Rodent Poop Identification Tips


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Houses can become infested with all sorts of wildlife, and that includes various types of rodents. Three of the most common pests are rats, mice, and squirrel. If you only hear sounds of rodents in your home but have never actually seen one of them, you may need to resort to .

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Why It's Important to Identify the Rodent Type

You might be wondering why it's necessary to identify what type of pest you have. Why not just set a trap and be done with it? Rodents are different sizes and have unique behavioral characteristics - what works on type of rodent may not work on another. Do an inspection of both the house and the garden or yard for rodent droppings. Check particularly around food sources for clues.

Safety Measures

Take protective measures before you start investigating. Wear a tightly-fitted dust mask and rubber gloves at a minimum. Rodent droppings pose a health risk and can transmit serious diseases to humans. DO NOT vacuum or sweep droppings as you may release airborne particles that can make you sick. Clean-up of rodent droppings must be done carefully - hire a professional or learn how to safely do it yourself.

Identifying Rat Poop

Rat poop is oblong in shape, sometimes with a little bulge in the middle, typically around 3/8" to 3/4" long (sometimes compared to the size of a bean). Fresh droppings are shiny, moist, and dark-colored. Older droppings are dry and lighter in color.

The two most common types of rats have different-looking feces. The Norway rat's droppings are bluntly rounded on the ends, while the roof rat's is pointed and the droppings are more curved in shape.

House Mice Poop

Mouse droppings are much smaller than either rat or squirrel droppings. They are thin with either one or both ends pointed, and look similar to small brown grains of rice.

Squirrel Droppings

Squirrel and rat droppings are very similar. They are approximately the same size (about 3/8" to 1/2" and oblong in shape, about the size of a raisin), while the ends are rounded. Squirrel droppings may be slightly thicker / fatter than rat droppings. They are dark brown in color and get lighter with age.

The age of the droppings can provide a hint whether the rodent problem is an old one, or if you may still have pests in the house.

Rodent poop identification isn't as easy as it seems. If you are unsure of what type of pest you have in your home, it may be time to call in the experts. Professional pest control services can inspect your home and identify the type of rodent before coming up with a removal plan. There are humane pest control methods that can be attempted first. Once the pests have all been removed from the home, the next step is to address preventive pest control methods. Prevention is the key to keeping your home and yard as pest-free as possible.