How To Identify Rat Droppings In Your Home

August 18, 2021

Rat and mice infestations are a frustrating experience for homeowners. These rodents enter houses looking for a food source and nesting place. Through their droppings, you can know if they have infested your home. Identifying rodent droppings is essential in discovering and eradicating an infestation by rats or mice.

What Do Mice Droppings Look Like?

Below we look at the different aspects of rat excreta and how it compares to mice droppings.

1. Colour

Rat droppings are dark brown. The darker the colour, the fresher they are. With time, the droppings dry out and turn grey. You can check the freshness or dryness of rat faeces to determine if you have a current or an old infestation. The same goes for mice poop which is black in colour.

2. How Big Is Rat Poop?

Rat stool differs in size depending on rat age and species. Obviously, the bigger the rat, the more and larger the poop. Rat and mice faeces are different in certain aspects. Mice poop is tinier, darker, and smoother with more pointed ends.

3. How Often Do Rats Poop?

In a day, mice leave behind 80 to 160 droppings, while rats do 40 to 55 droppings. Regardless of the amount, any sign of poop indicates your home has been infested. The quantity of droppings can give you a clue about the number of mice or rats in your home.

4. Moisture

Fresh rodent poop is moist and shiny. To determine how fresh the poop is, use a pointed stick to squish it. If it crumbles, it is old. But if it does not, then it is fresh. Fresh droppings indicate rats and mice are still around.

5. Location Of The Poop

Due to their bigger size, rats defecate in more open areas such as along garage walls, behind storage shelves, under kitchen appliances, and around attic spaces. Mice do the contrary, getting into your cabinet or silverware drawer and easing themselves there.

Rat Vs. Squirrel Droppings

Rat poop is larger than a squirrel’s. It measures around 3/4 of an inch, while that of a squirrel is about 3/8 of an inch. In addition, comparing squirrel poop vs rat poop, the droppings of the former are rounder in shape and lighter in colour.

Dangers Of Rat Faeces

Rat stool contains pathogens that pose several health risks to humans, including Salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, Leptospirosis, haemorrhagic fever, renal syndrome, Bubonic plague, and Lassa fever. Rat poop can also affect your pets health-wise. When exposed to rat faeces, dogs can contract rat-bite fever, Leptospirosis, Toxoplasmosis, and Tularemia (rabbit fever). The longer it takes to remove rat droppings, the higher the danger posed to your family and pets. 

Does Rat Poop Smell?

Rat stool emits a pungent, musky smell. The urine of rats stinks more than their poop.

How Long Are Rat Droppings Toxic?

Whether the poop is dry or moist, it is still hazardous. Rat faeces, old or fresh, can contaminate food, trigger allergies, and spread bacteria. Therefore, there is no specific time frame in which rat faeces remain toxic.

How To Clean Up Rat Poop

When collecting rat faeces for disposal, take precautions not to handle the poop with your bare hands because you will be risking contracting one of the many diseases transmitted by rats. If the faeces are extremely dry and probably crumbled, put a mask on to avoid inhaling airborne pathogens and subsequently getting an allergic reaction. Also, be careful not to contaminate surfaces with the poop.

  • Open Windows and Doors – Ventilate the entire space for a few minutes before cleaning up the poop.
  • Wear Protective Clothing – Protect yourself from contamination by wearing gloves, a face mask, and goggles. Doing so blocks direct contact with the rat droppings.
  • Apply Chlorine Bleach – Mix five litres of hot water with three hundred and sixty millilitres of chlorine bleach. Spray the solution on all areas with rat stool. Do not vacuum or sweep to prevent the release of pathogens into the air.
  • Collect the Poop – Use paper towels to pick up the droppings. Put them in a sealed plastic bag and safely dispose of them outside.
  • Disinfect Floors and Other Surfaces – Use the chlorine bleach solution to wipe surfaces and then dry using a paper towel.
  • Wash Your Hands Clean – With a disinfectant and warm water, thoroughly scrub your hands to ensure no contaminants are left.

Keeping Rats And Mice Away From Your Home

The ideal way to avoid rat and mice droppings is to ensure that these household rodents do not infest your home. Capture them using traps, then release them to the wild. You can also use repellents to drive them away. Some effective rodent repellents include peppermint oil, hot pepper flakes, garlic, clove oil, ammonia, and instant potatoes. However, if the rat or mice infestation is severe, it is strongly recommended to contact a professional rodent control service. Specialists in rodent removal eradicate rats and mice in homes, getting rid of their droppings altogether.

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