Can You Have Mice And Rats At The Same Time? [Answered]

Rats living with mice

Many homeowners want to know if you can have mice and rats at the same time, because it will impact how you get rid of them.

But unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation being shared about this!

This guide will teach you if rats and mice can live together, so you can prepare for keeping them out of your home.

Can You Have Mice And Rats At The Same Time?

Rats and mice are two rodents that people often confuse with one another. Many homeowners actually use the terms “rat” and “mouse” interchangeably, causing some confusion about the pest they’re actually dealing with.

While they both fall under the rodent umbrella, these two animals are pretty distinct. 

Mice are the smaller of the two. The most common type of mouse you’ll encounter is the lowly house mouse. It’s usually no more than four inches long at the most.

These creatures are small and light brown. They typically have more prominent ears compared to the rest of the body. Pair that with their strong hind legs to lift themselves up, and mice are relatively easy to distinguish from rats.

A mouse avoiding rats

Rats are the more menacing of the two rodents. These creatures are the epitome of filth. Fully grown, a rat can measure up to 10 inches long.

The ears are smaller, and the overall fur color is usually darker. They also have narrow snouts, large feet, and bigger eyes.

Make no mistake: You don’t want any of these rodents in your house. They’re both nuisances that can destroy your home. The pests have a knack for chewing on wires, burrowing holes, and causing all kinds of destruction.

But that’s not all.

Mice and rats are also known to carry diseases. They’re filthy creatures that can harbor parasites, fleas, ticks, and other things you don’t want in your home.

Interacting with these rodents can be dangerous to you and your family’s health. However, the same goes for indirect interaction. Coming across rodent urine or feces can be problematic, too, which is why it’s important to address possible infestations as quickly as possible.

Rats and mice are two pests that can invade your home. But can you have both at the same time? Do mice and rats get along?

While it is possible, it’s very rare to have rats and mice cohabitate under the same roof. It’s not just physical differences that prevents this from happening. They also have distinct behaviors and preferences.

Mice tend to be a little more aloof and curious. They typically don’t enter homes solely to find food and shelter. In many cases, they stumble into tiny holes or cracks.

Then, they find food and develop a taste for what’s around. Mice don’t even, particularly like garbage or food scraps! They prefer to eat grains and plant matter.

But when they come into a home and find an abundant food source, they grow accustomed to eating things they usually wouldn’t in the wild. 

Meanwhile, rats are opportunistic eaters. Unlike mice, rats have massive bodies they need to maintain. They have to eat a lot more food and can’t afford to be picky.

Rats living with mice

Rats are known to get into some actual filth. They will rummage through trash, eat meat, and even feed on one another if things get dire enough. 

These rodents are some of the worst you can have in your home. They will invade your sewers, burrow wherever possible, and spread far more filth!

Rats and mice cause harm, but rats are the more resilient and determined of the two. In addition to constantly searching for food, they will go through any environment and establish a solid territory.

Here’s why rats and mice don’t live together or get along. Rats are very territorial. Once they find a reliable food source, they will defend tooth and nail!

Rats are notorious for multiplying in numbers. They can nest and have babies that only solidify the defensive force.

If mice were to enter the rat’s domain, it wouldn’t be much of a fight. The mice would attempt to defend themselves, but the sheer size and voracity of rats make them no match. It would be a grim scene, to say the least.

Mice are fully aware of the dangers rats present. Both rodents give off a distinct smell. When a mouse smells a rat nearby, they often flee to avoid conflict.

So while you technically can have mice and rats at the same time, that’s the biggest reason why you don’t see it happen often. The rats often drive the mice out. But if there’s a mice infestation that’s large enough, they may even drive curious rats out!

You’re more likely to see two different species of mice or two species of rats in the same home instead of seeing both rodents together.

Situations Where It Might Be Possible

If you suspect that you might have a rodent infestation, it’s likely one or the other (since we know mice and rats don’t get along). There are a few telltale signs to see which one is getting cozy under your roof. Typically, the go-to is to examine the size of the feces they leave behind.

Rats are bigger, therefore producing larger droppings. Pest control experts can also look at other signs to get a clearer picture of the rodent you’re up against.

In a vast majority of cases, you’re either dealing with a rat or a mouse problem. But there are always exceptions.

On rare occasions you can have mice and rats at the same time, but that only occurs under specific measures. Two factors can make cohabitation possible: The size of your house and the amount of food available.

If you have a big house, rats and mice living together under one roof are possible. These rodents will not live close to one another, but they may split the territory to avoid getting in each other’s way. 

For example, you might have rats living in one wing of the house and mice living in another. Sheer distance ensures they don’t get into a bloody battle every night!

Food is essential as well. If you have tons of food around, there could be enough to support both rodents without the need for fighting.

This scenario is more likely to happen in large resorts, hotels, or multifamily homes. It’s rarer in single-family homes unless you have a massive layout with separate kitchens or bars.


While you can have mice and rats at the same time, it’s not likely. If you’re wondering what sort of rodent problem you have, take some extra time to properly identify what sort of animals are living in your home.

As always, if you have any questions for us about these pests you can always get in touch.

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