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How to tell if you have got Mice or Rats

Which type of rodents have you got? Rats or mice? How to tell.


You may have guessed that you have some form of vermin infesting your place. The tell-tale signs are there, typically chewed-up pieces of paper, gnawings of things, food being ruined, and the presence of little turds which are small and black.

Do you have mice, or is it rats? Which have you got? Here's how to tell:

Put a single chocolate biscuit on a plate and leave to out for the rodents. Such kind generosity may seem counterproductive, but it's worthwhile to find out what type of vermin are present.

After a day or two, the experimental results will be there to be seen, as mice and rats behave differently. The results and conclusions are as follows:

If it's mice, the biscuit will have little bits nibbled out of it around the edge.

If it's rats, the biscuit will be gone! ...taken away by a rat.

The reason for the difference is because mice go foraging and nibble what they find. In contrast, rats hoard food and when they find some food they grab it and take it back to their hideout.

Having determined which type of vermin you are unfortunate enough to have, you can deal with it in an appropriate manner. Mice can be killed in mousetraps, caught in humane mousetraps, poisoned, or got rid of by cats. Rats can't be killed by mousetraps. You need rat traps instead, and they are dangerous so be careful. Humane rat-traps are also available, but they can be expensive, and you need to mind your fingers when you have a caged rat. Another option is rat poison which also works, but it has to be slow poison because rats have a method of dealing with normal poison. These various items can be acquired from hardware stores. Good luck!

Even knowing which type of trap to get is information which makes the sacrifice of a biscuit worthwhile.


Generally, you have mice or rats. It is unlikely that you have both mice and rats. Rats eat mice. Whichever type of vermin you have, it's worth knowing the type of rodent so you can eliminate it appropriately.