Mole vs Mouse: 5 Key Differences

Written by August Buck
Published: March 11, 2022
Image Credit Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com
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While both a mole vs mouse make for an extremely small and cute animal, you might be wondering: what’s the difference? These rodents live extremely different lives, despite being found around the world and in many different climates. You may think that these two creatures are extremely similar, but it simply isn’t the case.

In this article, we will address all of the differences between moles and mice, including their preferred habitats and dietary preferences. We will also address their appearances so that you can learn how to tell these rodents apart should you stumble upon one in nature. Let’s get started and learn about moles and mice now!

Comparing Mole vs Mouse

mole vs mouse
Moles grow far larger than mice on average, both in length and weight.

A-Z-Animals.com

MoleMouse
Size4-8 inches long; 8-20 ounces2-4 inches long; 1-2 ounces
AppearanceHuge hands with sharp claws for digging; eyes are not usually visible. Short, pointed snout and rounded body; covered in dark brown or black fur that is extremely soft.Found in many colors of soft fur. Small head and slender snout with rounded ears and eyes. Long tail and whiskers.
Location and HabitatFound worldwide in temperate climates; prefers loose and moist soil for diggingFound worldwide in many different climates; prefers grasslands and areas with humans
BehaviorRarely comes to the surface, living their entire life underground. Digs tunnels prolifically and leads a solitary lifeInvade homes for food and shelter, but also capable of burrowing. Highly social with other mice
DietOmnivore; insects, mice, earthwormsOmnivorous, but prefers an herbivore lifestyle; fruits, seeds, some insects

Key Differences Between Mole vs Mouse

mole vs mouse
Mice have long and slender tails, while most moles do not.

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There are many key differences between a mole vs mouse. Moles grow far larger than mice on average, both in length and weight. Mice have long and slender tails, while most moles do not. Both of these creatures are found worldwide, but mice enjoy living in fields and people’s homes, while moles live in underground tunnels that they make themselves.

Let’s talk about these differences in more detail now. 

Mole vs Mouse: Size and Weight

mole vs mouse
Mice reach anywhere from 2-4 inches long, while some mole species reach as much as 8 inches in length.

Carmen Rieb/Shutterstock.com

While you may not notice this difference unless you are looking at a mole and a mouse side by side, there are some size differences between these two rodents. For example, the average mole weighs 8-20 ounces depending on the species, while mice only weigh 1-2 ounces on average. This is an extreme difference!

This means that the average mouse is shorter in length than moles as well. Mice reach anywhere from 2-4 inches long, while some mole species reach as much as 8 inches in length. And this is without a tail! Moles are far larger than mice, on average.

Mole vs Mouse: Location and Habitat Preferences

mole vs mouse
Moles live underground in tunnels that they dig, so they prefer habitats with loose and moist soil, while mice live above ground.

CezaryKorkosz/Shutterstock.com

While both moles and mice live around the world in a wide variety of habitats, there are some key differences between them. Moles live underground in tunnels that they dig, so they prefer habitats with loose and moist soil, while mice live above ground. This means that mice are less concerned with soil quality compared to the average mole.

Mice enjoy temperate, grassy habitats, or even forested areas. However, mice also enjoy living in close proximity to humans, often invading homes during times of inclement weather or food shortages. Moles do not invade homes, given that they live their entire lives underground and are well adapted to this life.

Mole vs Mouse: Appearance

mole vs mouse
Mice have small and dainty feet, while moles have huge feet covered in powerful claws.

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You can tell the difference between a mole vs mouse just by looking at them. Mice are well known for their long and skinny tails, while moles do not have tails. Moles are covered in a soft and satiny dark fur, and mice are found in many more colors comparatively. You can also see the eyes of a mouse, while most moles do not have any visible eyes.

Mice have small and dainty feet, while moles have huge feet covered in powerful claws. This allows moles to dig their intricate tunnels, something that mice do not do. Finally, mice have rounded and semi-large ears compared to the rest of their body, while moles do not have visible ears.

Mole vs Mouse: Behavior

mole vs mouse
Moles are highly territorial and solitary, while mice enjoy complex social structures among their own kind.

Rudmer Zwerver/Shutterstock.com

Moles and mice live extremely different lives. Given that moles create elaborate tunnels and burrows underground, they do not come to the surface, which is where mice live their lives. Moles are also highly territorial and solitary, while mice enjoy complex social structures among their own kind. Mice are highly affectionate with one another, while moles often resort to violence among their own kind.

Mice are less afraid of humans than moles are, often invading households for food or shelter. Moles wouldn’t dream of doing this, given that they are made for underground living and have no real way of living above ground.

Mole vs Mouse: Diet

mole vs mouse
Moles are notorious omnivores, while mice prefer an herbivore diet, though they are technically omnivores as well.

Agnieszka Bacal/Shutterstock.com

A final difference between moles and mice lies in their dietary preferences. Moles are notorious omnivores, while mice prefer an herbivore diet, though they are technically omnivores as well. Let’s talk more about what these two rodents eat now.

Mice eat a wide variety of seeds, plants, fruit, and insects, while moles eat earthworms, other insects, and, shockingly, mice! The fact that moles eat mice makes these two creatures extraordinarily different from one another, even though mice may sometimes eat their own kind out of absolute necessity.

Vole vs Mouse

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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