Identifying rodent droppings, squirrel droppings and bat droppings.◀ Back To Blog
January 7, 2013
After finding mice droppings in the restroom and near storage racks, county health officials recently closed Mag's Donuts & Bakery in Newport Beach. During a routine inspection on Nov. 21, Mag's was cited when inspectors found "a few rodent droppings on the floor underneath the storage rack" and "some in the restroom."
Identifying Rodent and Other Wildlife Droppings
The northeast is currently in rodent season, but can you properly identify rodent and other wildlife droppings?
- Mouse droppings are approximately the size of a grain of rice, dark and pointed at both ends.
- Norway rat droppings are about 3/4" with blunt ends.
- Flying squirrel droppings are usually round, dark in color and unorganized.
- Squirrel droppings are 3/8 inch long with rounded edges and scattered about.
- Bat droppings look like black grains of rice just a little large. When touched, they break apart into a powdery substance.
- Opossum droppings are fairly large, resembling dog poop. Averages 3/4 inch in diameter. The sides are usually smooth, and the ends are usually tapered, while more curly than straight. Sometimes mold grows on the feces.
- Raccoon droppings average 3/4 inch in diameter. The sides are usually textured, and the tips are often rounded or broken off. Raccoon feces commonly have berries.
- Skunk droppings are 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter and 1 to 2 inches long with blunt ends. Skunk droppings look similar to cat droppings but may contain undigested insect parts, berry seeds, fur, or feathers.
- Woodchucks poop in holes they dig underground. If you find droppings on your property it’s highly unlikely that they are coming from woodchucks.
Fresh droppings are moist, soft, glisten, and look wet. Once, the droppings begin to harden which usually takes a few days to a week, they appear dull. Rat droppings become gray, dusty, and crumbly whereas mice become hard and whitish.
Rodent droppings can sometimes be confused with American roach droppings and fly pupae. Here’s how you can tell the difference:
- American roach droppings tend to be barrel-shaped and have striations, or lines, along the sides. Mouse pellets have no lines and tend to be tapered at the ends. Droppings found in hot, steamy locations might more likely be from American roaches, rather than mice so a closer, more deliberative look will be needed.
- Rat droppings are larger (up to ¾ inch) and can be confused with large fly pupae. Fly pupae easily can be differentiated because of lines running around the circumference of the pupal case. Pupal cases also tend to be more uniform in shape than rat droppings, rounded at the ends, and not tapered.
Cleaning Rodent and Wildlife Droppings
Before cleaning rodent feces, squirrel droppings, or bat droppings from spaces like attics, basements, crawlspaces, and other storage areas, there are important things to know. The infestation should be completely removed and measures should be taken to pest-proof, or prevent the entry again. Contact a pest professional to clean up rodent feces. Although a simple task, there are infectious viruses, like Hantavirus found in rodents’ urine, rodent droppings, and even nesting material like insulation. Thomas Pest Services offers rodent removal and rodent dropping removal with HEPA filter vacuums, sanitation liquid, insulation removal, and replacement.
Thomas Pest Services has been solving rodent and insect pest problems for those that live, work and play in the Capital Region and surrounding towns like Chatham, Schenectady, Latham, Saratoga Springs and Queensbury with third-generation experience. To learn more about rodent removal, squirrel removal, and bat removal, contact Thomas Pest Services via phone at (518) 458-7378, via web inquiry, Facebook or Twitter. We remove rodent droppings so you don't have to!