What Do Mouse Droppings Look Like?
Worried about having a mouse on the loose in your home? Mice are smart and curious creatures. They usually can’t be seen out in the open, and it’s tough to catch them in the act. When all you have is a hunch to go on, you have to find evidence. One clue that you can use to confirm the presence of mice is mice droppings.
Mice leave a trail of droppings in their path. This is a tell tale sign that mice are definitely nesting in your house. You just need to know what you’re looking for. What do mice droppings look like? Identifying them might be a little trickier than you think. Follow our guide to identifying all sorts of rodent droppings. Finding mouse poop is the first step to locating areas where mice might be, and determining if you do indeed have a mouse problem.
Mouse Droppings vs. Rat Droppings
The best way to tell mouse and rat droppings apart are by checking for size and shape. Mouse droppings are extremely small, barely the size of a grain or rice! They hard dark brown to black in color. The droppings form firm, tough turds that are pointy at both ends. Mouse poop is usually less than one quarter inch long. If you aren’t looking very closely, you might miss it!
Rat droppings, on the other hand, are much larger. They are normally half and inch or even bigger. Although rat droppings are similar in color, they are shaped differently. About 1/8 inch in width, rat droppings are shaped like thick sausages and have rounded ends.
You can even narrow down what type of rodent species you may be dealing with by noticing details in the droppings. For example, if find approximately 40 to 50 droppings every day that are about ½ inch long, then you should suspect black or roof rat. However, when you see 40 to 50 droppings but the shape is more rectangular with flat ends, and the size is 3/4 an inch, you are most likely dealing with Norway rats.
Image courtesy of wildlife removal
For both rats and mice, droppings can stay fresh for up to 48 hours. You can tell the droppings are fresh because they have a more vibrant and shiny dark color, and they will still be moist. Older droppings will fade in color (sometimes will even have a greenish tint) and crumble to a dust like consistency.
Where to Look for Droppings
Rats and mice are creatures of habit. Mice are more adventurous and curious than rats, but both are extremely cautious and avoid humans. For this reason, they do not travel far from their nest. Mice, for example, will only venture in a 25 ft radius from their nest. Rats will travel up to 100 ft from their nest if they do not feel threatened.
This means that when you spot mice droppings you are getting close to the nest! So where should you look? Like humans, mice and rats need food and water to survive. Odds are they can’t resist sneaking into your kitchen or pantry. These are areas where mice are known to wreak havoc. They love to eat grains (cereal, bread, rice) and fresh fruit.
But even if they’re not munching your food, they might be gnawing at your electrical wiring. Yikes! This is a terrible, dangerous habit that rodents have. While you scope out your kitchen space for droppings, be sure to check the wiring on your major appliances too. Compromised and chewed up wiring can start electrical fires.
If you have no luck in the kitchen, then your next stop is the attic. This is ideal real estate for mice and roof rats. Sometimes there’s enough junk up in the attic for rodents to find scraps to feed on. Small cracks and crevices let in enough water for them to drink. Attic insulation is their number one choice for nest material, and if you have a mouse infestation your insulation will be littered with droppings.
Image courtesy of Animals in the Attic
Disposing of Droppings
So, you’ve carefully inspected your home and you have definitely found rodent droppings. What next? It is very important to understand that rodent droppings are not safe. They can carry infectious diseases, even ones that can become airborne. For this reason, you should never attempt to get rid of mouse poop by sweeping or vacuuming. You could inadvertently kick-up harmful bacteria into the air!
Rodent droppings have to be disposed of safely and carefully. Protective goggles, gloves, and face mask are a must. Contents should be picked up by hand, then sealed in a plastic bag and be taken out to the trash immediately. For a thorough job, contact your local pest control experts. They have all the proper gear and know the correct safety procedures for handling rodent droppings. The with eliminate all the health risks by cleaning up and sanitizing the area with high-grade disinfectant.
Getting Rid of Mice
Where there are mice droppings, there are definitely mice. It can be hard to face the facts, but the truth is an infestation can happen anywhere- even in the cleanest of homes. Don’t ignore the signs of a problem, or it will get worse (mice reproduce more than five times per year!)
Getting rid of mice starts with finding and sealing all entry points. Find out where and how rodents are sneaking in, then block that entry point. The friendly team at Green Rat Control can do an inspection of your entire property to identify entry points. They also have a fool proof system for sealing them shut and keeping rodents out!
Finally, the GRC pros can expertly remove the mice that are leaving droppings inside your home. They’ll locate the nest and remove the rodents safely and quickly. You can get your home, your health, and your peace of mind back!