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Understanding the Difference Between Rat Holes vs Mouse Holes

Rat Holes vs Mouse Holes. As we go about our daily lives, it’s not uncommon to spot holes in the walls and floors of our homes. While some may be caused by natural wear and tear, others may be the result of rodent infestations. But how can you tell if it’s a rat or a mouse that’s responsible for the holes? Understanding the difference between rat holes and mouse holes is crucial in identifying the type of rodent infestation in your home.

In this blog, we’ll explore the various characteristics and distinctions between rat holes and mouse holes, so you can take the necessary steps to address the issue and keep your home rodent-free. So, buckle up and get ready to delve into the world of rodent identification.

Rat Holes vs Mouse Holes: What’s the Difference?

If you have noticed holes in your home’s walls or floors, you may be wondering what kind of rodent is causing the damage. Rats and mice are common household pests, and both are known for their ability to burrow through materials to create nesting sites. However, there are differences between rat holes and mouse holes that can help you determine which critter is causing the problem.

One of the main differences between rat holes and mouse holes is their purpose. Rats tend to create burrows for nesting and hiding, while mice create holes as access points to food and shelter. As a result, rat holes are often more complex and have multiple entrances and exits, while mouse holes are simpler and more straightforward. Below are the key differences between the two:

CriteriaRat HolesMouse Holes
SizeLarger, typically 2-4 inches in diameterSmaller, typically 1/2 – 1 1/2 inches in diameter
ShapeIrregular, with rough edgesRound, with smooth edges
LocationUsually found outdoors or in crawl spacesCan be found indoors, particularly in walls or cabinets
DamageOften cause extensive damage to walls and insulationMay cause some damage to wood, but typically less severe than rats
Amount of DroppingsLarger droppings with visible fur and food particlesSmaller droppings with no visible fur or food particles
Noise levelLouder, with heavier footsteps and scratching soundsSofter, with lighter footsteps and scratching sounds
Type of DamageCan gnaw through wood, wires, and pipes, causing significant damageTend to gnaw on softer materials like paper or cardboard
It’s important to note that these are general differences, and not all rat or mouse holes will necessarily fit these exact descriptions.

Where To Find Rat Holes?

These holes may also be found in dark, damp areas such as basements, crawl spaces, or along the foundation of buildings. Rats tend to burrow into the ground, creating extensive tunnel systems, and may also use pre-existing openings such as gaps in walls or pipes.

They are typically larger in diameter than mouse holes and are usually found near the ground or in lower levels of buildings. Rat holes may have loose dirt or debris around the opening, indicating recent activity.

How to Get Rid of Rat & Mouse Holes?

If you’ve identified rat holes around your property, it’s important to take action to get rid of them as soon as possible. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Identify the entry points: Before you can start getting rid of rat holes, you need to identify how the rats are getting in. Look for gaps and holes around your property that are big enough for rats to fit through.
  2. Seal off entry points: Once you’ve identified the entry points, you need to seal them off. Use materials that rats cannot chew through, such as metal mesh or cement. Be sure to seal all possible entry points, including gaps in walls, roofs, and foundations.
  3. Use traps: One effective way to get rid of rats is to use traps. There are many different types of traps available, including snap traps, glue traps, and live traps. Research the different types and choose the one that will work best for your situation.
  4. Use baits: Rat baits can be effective in getting rid of rats, but they should be used with caution. Make sure to place them in areas that are inaccessible to children and pets. Be aware that rats can develop resistance to certain types of baits over time.
  5. Call in the professionals: If you’re unable to get rid of the rat holes on your own, it’s time to call in the professionals. Pest control companies have the tools and expertise needed to get rid of rats safely and effectively.


In conclusion, identifying and getting rid of rat holes is crucial in preventing damage and infestation in your home. Knowing the differences between rat holes and mouse holes can help in determining the type of rodent you’re dealing with and the best approach to take. Whether you choose to fill in the holes with the appropriate materials, use traps or seek professional help, it’s important to act fast and prevent further damage. Remember to keep your home clean and eliminate potential food sources to discourage rodents from returning.

Robert Gillman, Ph.D.

Science Editor

Robert Gillman is a rodentologist and the publisher of the website RodentsFacts. He has dedicated his career to studying rodents and their behavior, habitats, and impact on the environment. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Robert has become an expert in rodent control and management, and has helped countless individuals and organizations address rodent infestations.

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