If you think you have a rodent infestation, one of the first things you may notice are droppings. Rodent poop is an obvious sign of activity and can be helpful in identifying what rodent is in your home and how large the infestation is. The location and quantity of droppings can also help you determine where you need to focus your baiting and trapping efforts. Here are some answers to common questions about rodent droppings.
Where Should I Look for Rodent Droppings?
Rodent droppings are most often found in areas that mice and rats frequent. This includes places they eat, sleep, and travel. Common places to look for rodent droppings within the home include: behind appliances, in kitchen or bathroom cupboards, in pantries or other areas of food storage, and near water heaters or utility closets. Use a flashlight to carefully search these areas.
Rodent Dropping Identification
Knowing what kind of rodent that you are dealing with is helpful so that you know what products and traps to use. The most common types of rodents that are found in homes are house mice, Norway rats, and roof rats. The droppings associated with each of these species is unique and can help in identification.
The house mouse can leave 50-75 pellets (droppings) every day! These droppings are small and dark, ranging from ⅛ to ¼ of an inch long. Mouse droppings are the shape of rice with both ends pointed.
Norway rats are the largest of the three common rodents. Their droppings are wider than mouse droppings and are generally longer than ½ an inch. Both ends of Norway rat droppings are blunt.
Mouse droppings (lower left) and Norway rat droppings (top right)
Roof rat droppings look a lot like mouse droppings, but size is an important difference. Roof rat droppings are much bigger (about ½ an inch long) and are also pointed at both ends.
Mouse and rat droppings tend to be dark in color, but vary slightly depending on diet. New droppings are usually shinier and have a pliable texture, while old droppings become hard and crumbly. It can be difficult to tell how fresh droppings are though, so to make sure the infestation is gone, you will want to place traps and baits before attempting the clean-up.
Dangers Associated with Rodent Droppings
Great care should be taken when you find rodent droppings because rodents are known to carry many different types of diseases. Hantavirus, leptospirosis, plague, and salmonellosis are only a few of the illnesses that can be serious to humans. Handling the droppings is not the only way diseases can spread. If you try to sweep or vacuum up droppings, particles may become airborne and can make you sick.
Cleaning Up Rodent Droppings Safely
If you find rodent droppings, you can hire a professional pest control company to do the clean-up or attempt it yourself. Always follow proper procedures to ensure that you and your family members are safe.1
- Air out the areas for at least 30 minutes if possible.
- Wear rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves. You should also use a respirator or breathing mask to prevent breathing in airborne particles.
- Use a disinfectant spray. Let it soak in for 5 minutes before proceeding.
- Clean the urine and droppings with disposable rags or paper towels.
- Throw away the droppings and rags.
- Dispose of the gloves, seal the bag, and put it in an outside rubbish bin.
- Wash hands well with soap and water.
- Re-inspect the area after a few days to ensure that the infestation has been contained.
If you find yourself with a rodent problem, Radar Pest Control is here to help. Our expert technicians will inspect your home and property to find the cause of the infestation, where the rodents are coming in, and what can be done to solve the problem. With offices in Bli Bli, Buderim, and Nambour, Radar Pest Control is your best bet for Sunshine Coast rodent control. Contact us today for more information.