How To Differentiate Between Rat And Mice Droppings

August 18, 2021

Mice and rats are nocturnal rodents. They are mostly active at night when many of their predators are asleep. Their nightly nature poses a challenge because you cannot spy on them. So, how do you know you have a rat or mice infestation? The clearest indication is mouse or rat droppings. Besides looking different and having distinct behaviours, rats and mice can be differentiated by their poop. To determine whether mice or rats infest your home, it pays to tell the difference between rat poop vs. mice poop.

Rat Droppings Vs. Mouse Droppings

1. Rat Droppings

A rat infestation can deposit at least twenty to forty droppings daily. Rats also produce a large amount of pungent-smelling urine. Within a few weeks of infestation, the smell emanating from the droppings can be recognised upon entering the house. Rat poop usually appears in tight, large clusters because rats defecate in the same place.

Where To Find Rat Poop

  • Boiler rooms, storage cupboards, and inspection chambers
  • Beneath kitchen and utility room appliances
  • Behind dryers, fridges, freezers, and washing machines
  • Insulated lofts, attics, and crawl spaces

2. Mouse Droppings

Mice can produce fifty to seventy-five black, scattered droppings in a single night. The droppings almost look similar to those of bats. The main difference is that bat droppings usually crumble to dust, while mice have putty-like droppings. Like rats, mice urinate a lot with the urine featuring a pungent smell and containing disease-causing bacteria. Unlike rats, mice defecate all over the place.

Where To Find Mice Poop

  • In sofa beds
  • Inside toaster and crumb trays
  • Under microwaves and TV cabinets
  • Behind and beneath furniture

3. Size Of The Droppings

Rat droppings are bigger than those of mice, measuring three-quarter inches long and featuring a blunter end. How big is mouse poop then? Mice droppings measure around a quarter-inch in length and feature a pointed end.

4. Shape And Colour Of The Droppings

Rat poop is dark brown and wide, featuring a banana-like curve. On the other hand, mice poop is black with a granular shape.

5. Location Of The Poop

Mice usually build their nesting place close to food sources like the pantry, and here is where you are likely to find their droppings. Rats tend to put up nests in more hidden areas, such as behind the wall or along the basement. If you find poop in such locations, it likely belongs to rats.

What Do Rat And Mice Droppings Indicate?

When you spot rat or mouse poop in your house, it simply means there is an infestation. The size and amount of poop can help you determine how many rodents have invaded your home and how large they are. And rat vs. mouse poop differences will enable you to know which of the two common household rodents has infested your home. The frequency of pooping indicates whether rats and mice are still active or not.

A baby rat or mouse produces tiny droppings. Hence, if you spot countless droppings differing in size, it signifies that mice or rats are actively reproducing. The age of the poop, whether fresh or dry, confirms current or past activity by rats or mice. Fresh poop shows that they are still around, while dry poop shows they were around but have since left or died. If you are not sure, clean up the old droppings and check if new poop will appear within a day or two.

Health Risks Of Mouse And Rat Droppings

Both mice and rat droppings are health hazards despite their many differences. The droppings are linked to various diseases, including Leptospirosis, Rickettsia, Salmonellosis, and Hantavirus. Therefore, it is dangerous having direct contact with rat and mouse poop. Again, with time, the droppings dry and crumble, becoming airborne. When inhaled, an allergic reaction may occur.

Proofing Your Home

Securing your home against household rodents is the finest way of doing away with rat and mice droppings once and for all. Trim all shrubs and trees around. Keep bird feeders away from your house. And store pet food indoors, preferably in plastic or metal rodent-proof containers. Additionally, check the exterior of your home for cracks, crevices, and other entry points rats and mice can use to gain entry.

Hiring A Rodent Control Expert

Now that you are knowledgeable about rat poop vs. mouse poop, what next? Rat and mice control it is! It is advisable to get in touch with a professional rodent control service to successfully deal with a rat or mice infestation in your home. Professionals not only eliminate the mice and rats on your property but also clean up their mess. If you are experiencing a small infestation, you can use traps and other DIY approaches to get rid of these furry pests. Items in your pantry like cloves, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and peppermint oil are favourable rodent repellents.

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