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How to Identify Rodent Droppings

Rodent droppings are one of the last things you want to discover in any living space. However, no matter how hard you try, you could still face a rodent invasion.

The droppings they leave behind aren’t just gross; they can also become a health hazard.

Today, we’ll help you learn to identify rodent droppings so you can create your battle plan for dealing with pests. Let’s dive in!

What Are Rodent Droppings?

When rats and mice scurry about an area, they often leave droppings behind. Just so there are no misunderstandings, droppings mean poop. They don’t care about your beautiful granite countertops, tile floors, or extensive clothing collection. They’ll show no mercy and do their business all over your stuff. 

Can You Get Sick From Rodent Droppings?

Coming into contact with rodent droppings can have severe health impacts on humans. These droppings can contain hantavirus disease, which can cause fatigue, fever, and muscle aches. Severe cases can also include headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems.

You should wear protective gear when cleaning up any rodent droppings you discover. You should wear gloves, a mask that covers your mouth and nose, and eye protection. Also, disinfect any surfaces that have come in contact with the droppings.

Close up of rodent dropping
Nobody wants to find rodent droppings in their space, especially if it’s hard to identify them.

How to Identify Rodent Droppings

The two primary rodent droppings that people deal with belong to rats and mice. You need to know what type of rodent you’re dealing with to create an effective plan to rid your living space of them. Let’s look at how you can tell the difference between the two.


Rats are much larger than mice, so naturally, their droppings will be larger. Rat droppings are ½ to ¾ of an inch long and dark black. They might also be shiny.


Since mice are smaller, you can expect their droppings to be smaller. These are typically very small and smooth and have pointed ends. These droppings typically measure ⅛ to ¼ of an inch. Mouse droppings generally are darker brown than black. However, mice droppings can turn black if they’ve sat for some time.

Pro Tip: Nobody wants rodents in their personal space. Find out How to Deal With Rodent Droppings in a Camper.

Mouse leaving rodent droppings
Stay dropping free by stopping rodents from even entering into your space.

Tips for Keeping Rodents Out of Your Space

You can do some things to keep mice, rats, and other rodents out of your space. Here are some tips to eliminate pests and keep your space rodent-free. Let’s get started!

Remove Sources of Food

Just like humans, rodents need food to survive. The hungrier they get, the more desperate they’ll become. They’ll start chewing through just about anything they can to find food.

Remove any food sources to avoid attracting rodents into your living space. This may mean replacing food storage containers with beefier and bulkier storage containers to prevent rodents from smelling the food or being able to access it. The rodents will continue to return as long as they can find food.

Eliminate Nesting Materials

The second most important thing rodents look for when searching your living space is shelter. They won’t think twice about swiping insulation and any soft materials they can find that will allow them to make a nest. If you want to keep rodents away, don’t give them easy access to something that will help keep them warm or more comfortable.

Seal Access Points

You need to find where the rodents are getting into your space. This could be holes or cracks in the foundation, but rodents can be pesky creatures and squeeze through some tight spots. Look for any potential gaps where they can get into your home.

Depending on where the rodents are getting into your home, they may be able to move about freely without being detected. However, you’ll likely notice increased levels of rodent droppings in the areas where they’re gaining access to your space.

Use Traps

There are a variety of traps on the market for catching rodents. You can find snapping traps, glue traps, and more humane catch-and-release traps. Whatever your preference, get some traps and use them.

You should check them often to make sure they’re doing their job. Don’t go several days without checking your traps. If you do that, you could wind up with a dead mouse sitting in your house for several days. Not only will you have to clean up the mess, but you’ll have to deal with a funky odor, too.

Get a Cat

If you want the circle of life to do its job, getting a cat is one way to deal with rodents. Some cats are excellent hunters. If they spot or sense a mouse scurrying about, they’ll track it down and take care of it. However, some cats are better than others at hunting rodents.

If this is your goal, you must research how to train your cat to hunt. You don’t want to overfeed your cat, as it could see chasing the rodents as recreation and not a source of food. However, some felines are simply not interested in hunting rodents regardless of their diet.

Pro Tip: Keep rodents out of your home for good by using Irish Spring Soap to Keep Mice Away.

Know the Droppings to Know Your Enemy

The more you know about your enemy, the better your chance of identifying their weaknesses. When you know their weaknesses, you can win the war. Identifying your enemy by their droppings is essential to enjoying a rodent-free home. 

Luckily, rodent droppings are easy to identify. You should start your counterattack on them as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more comfortable they’re going to get. Get out there and take back your space!

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