Falcon Environmental Services logo

The Falcon Blog

Modern solutions, flying with tradition

Do You Have Rats or Mice – How to Tell the Difference

how to tell if rats or mice

Scratchings in the middle of the night, chewed wires and unexplained droppings are all signs that you have a rodent problem. But how do you know for sure and how can you tell, in the first instance, what type of rodent it is? We take a look at how to tell if you have rats or mice.

Noises in the Night

If you hear unexplained noises in the night, the chances are it is a rodent. They are mostly nocturnal which is why you will hear them when you are trying to sleep. Rats are larger and may make more noise than mice however, in the dead of night, any noise can sound loud. Noise alone will not tell you what kind of rodent you have living in your house, only that you need to carry out further investigation.

Physical Appearance – Rats or Mice?

If you have seen a rodent but aren’t sure what it is, a quick Google search may help you to determine whether it is a rat or mouse. However, there are a few key differences between the two:

  • Rats are usually larger and a bit more serious looking than mice
  • Mouse tails tend to be pink and skinny – rats have darker, fatter tails
  • Rats are often darker in colour than mice – mice tend to be brown in colour
  • Mice ears are large and round – the size of their ears is big in comparison to their heads. While rats have large ears, proportionately they are small in relation to their head
  • The eyes – rats eyes are narrower than the wider eyes of a mouse
  • Mice smell musky – you will usually smell something before you see it

The exception can be when an adult mouse is compared with a young rat. The mouse will have larger ears and a longer tail compared to its body length than the rat.

Their Droppings

Examining rodent droppings may not be something that you want to consider but it will help you to identify the source of your rodent issue and whether it’s rats or mice.

Rat Droppings

Measuring between 1/2 and 3/4 inch long, rat droppings are shiny black. This is fresh poop – older poop will be grey and dry

Rat and squirrel droppings are the same size however which is worth considering. The difference between rats and squirrels is that rats will spread out their droppings and squirrels will go in the same spot.

Mice Droppings

These are small and smooth, measuring around a 1/4 of an inch and they have pointed ends. Like rat droppings, new mouse droppings will be shiny, older droppings will be chalky and grey. Similar to grains of rice and you will see more droppings – 40-100 throughout the day in comparison to 20-50 from a rat.

rats and mice
Mice and rat droppings when compared to grains of rice

Leave it to the Experts

Of course, rats or mice, even squirrels… you don’t want any of these things to be nesting in your home for fear of the damage they can cause and the disease they can spread. You also don’t want your house to become a breeding ground for rodents so if you suspect you may have an issue in the walls, the roof space, under the floorboards or even in outbuildings such as sheds and garages, don’t hesitate – call the experts today.

Even if you don’t have a rodent problem, we can put your mind at rest, just like we did for Brenda:

“Matthew came out this morning as we had spotted a mouse – he checked the property and quickly assured us we do not have a problem and it was probably a one-off, very honest as he could have said anything!! He also took time to advise us on how to prevent any further visitors! Also Kerry on the phone was really lovely. Excellent customer service all round which can be rare to find these days. Thank you both.”

If you do have an issue, we can advise on the best method of dealing with it and then provide the necessary steps to remove the rodents, and block their access points to stop them from returning.

Don’t be enticed by DIY methods – they rarely provide a solution. Instead call Falcon on 01752 929292 and let us help. We can help you with unwanted rats or mice and make sure they don’t come back.

Call us for a quote today on

Or leave us a message and we'll call you

Do you have a picture that would help show us the problem? Click below to upload
ken miller
ken miller
Had a very large wasp nest in my loft, which was sorted very quickly and professionally. Would definitely recommend and use again.
Sophie Stubbs
Sophie Stubbs
Absolutely fantastic service from Matthew. Good communication, kept to time and made us feel as ease about having pests on the house! Thank you so much!
We had a great service from Falcon. They were efficient. Responsive and informative. Mo (Mohammad) was really friendly, kind, efficient and gave us great information that was really interesting. We had been struggling with a hornets nest, he advised it was the biggest he had seen. He was really kind and gave a great service and they have all gone now! I highly recommend Falcon and their team, from when I called up to the end result was 5*. Khara Pierre
daniel m
daniel m
Again! Falcon environmental services to the rescue. Excellent service from matthew and the team at Falcon environmental. Expert knowledge as always! Very informative. Solved the pest control problem i had. Would highly recommend. 5 star service.
Jan Smith
Jan Smith
Can highly recommend Falcon. The office staff were very professional, polite and communication excellent informing me when & what time visits were to happen. Mo visited several times & was always courteous, informed me what he was going to do & showed me pictures of the loft so I could see what he was doing. He answered questions & was reassuring. Good experience all round
Susan Williams
Susan Williams
Customer service excellent and certainly know what they are doing. Communication good and immediate response to my initial approach. Mo, the gentleman who attended was very knowledgeable and a lovely man. We would recommend this company.
Rose Chapman
Rose Chapman
I was recommended Falcon to remove a wasp nest from the fascia’s which turned out to be two nests. I can’t rate them highly enough and their quick response was thoroughly followed up until completely sorted. They are honest, friendly and reliable and I would not hesitate to recommend them. It is great to support local people who are good at their work and this is a team who really deserve exactly this. Thank you.
Ros Durston
Ros Durston
I received a highly professional and genuinely caring service. I would not hesitate to recommend them and to use them again.
Kate Jennings
Kate Jennings
Matthew was extremely thorough and very professional and informative. It was unnecessary to take any further steps as there was no evidence of mice.

Contact us today for fast, effective help

Call us on 01752 929292 or complete the form below and we’ll contact you.

Do you have a picture that would help show us the problem? Click below to upload