Rats and Mice: What’s The Difference?

Jerry T Jitterbug at your service!

It’s coming on to winter San Antonio. Just like you want to cuddle up under a blanket or by a warm fire, so do many of our furry friends. We’ve been noticing a number of people calling with reports of mice or rats in their house, but what strikes us is most people don’t know the difference. Actually, they are related much like a crocodile and an alligator are, but how to spot the difference? Read and find out.


Rats are most commonly seen as big guys. This is true. Rats are medium to large rodents but are usually hairless but they can have thick coats. They are found everywhere from sewers to forests. Since they are more lovers than fighters, they rarely come out during the day unless they are very hungry or sick. They can actually grow to being over a foot in length but that is pretty unusual.


For the rats that have hair, it’s usually a good natural camouflage color of brown, black, grew, or white. Given their territory, rats have shorter noses since they don’t route around in the ground as much as mice do. As we’ve discovered, many people actually keep rats as pets in San Antonio. Pest control people usually don’t see them as pets but everyone loves someone I guess.


Mice are smaller cousins of rats. Usually they are just 4-5 inches long from nose to tail and weigh just a few ounces. Like their rat cousins, they’ve got great natural camoflage color wise and tend to be furrier. Like rats, they are quite literally everywhere from fields to attics. Most mice rarely make it past their first birthday since they are prey animals that are eaten by a myriad of animals, including out friends the cats. If Disney taught us anything, mice are particularly clever and very social. This is actually true by the way. Mice are popular pets as well and can live 6 or more years given good food and exercise.

We hope that helps answer your questions about what the difference between rats and mice are. If you are in the San Antonio area and have any more questions, please do give us a call at 210-653-9700.

Jerry T Jitterbug

Jitterbug Pest Control


(210) 653-9700