During winter weather, rats and mice are common household pests that drive homeowners wild across the country.
From sneaking into your pantry to leaving waste around your home, rodents make a mess wherever they go! But what’s the best way to tell the difference between rat vs. mouse droppings whenever you have a rodent infestation indoors?
Keep reading to learn more about the best identification methods for rodent infestations!
Why You See Rodents Indoors
So, what’s the real reason mice and rats come inside to eat our food and spread waste wherever they go?
Like most pests, rodents enter homes for food and shelter. Because our homes are temperature-controlled meccas filled with viable food sources, rodents flock inside to live it up on our dime.
Pantries stocked with unsecured goodies are hotspots for rodents looking for their next meal. From cereal and pretzels to cookies and bread, mice and rats will pillage your wrappers and food boxes to eat everything you’ve bought.
Because of their sharp and long teeth, rodents can easily puncture flimsy packaging or chew through rigid cardboard boxes. Whenever these pests are hungry, nothing is holding them back from their next snack!
When the winter chill hits your area, rats and mice typically flock indoors to escape the frigid temperatures. While usually outdoor pests, cold weather convinces rodents to use your home as their seasonal getaway.
Depending on the species, these rodents can populate different areas of your home. Some rats prefer to spend their time in your attic, upstairs rooms, or crawlspaces, while others settle in basements, floorboards, and cabinets.
Mice will similarly appear in different spots around your home, but these tiny invaders tend to pop up anywhere. While rats prefer to stay close to their nests, curious mice can make their presence known in your furniture, pantries, walls, or storage boxes.
Both rodent infestations are annoying and a danger to your health. However, knowing the difference between rat vs. mouse droppings can help eliminate your specific infestation.
Rat vs. Mouse Droppings
Rat and mouse droppings are visually different and usually easy to tell apart, as long as you don’t mind getting up close and personal with rodent waste!
Because rats are usually larger than mice, their waste is typically bigger too. If you see rodent droppings that are unusually large or around the size of a grain of rice, you probably have rats in your home!
There are two types of rats you can find indoors. Norway rats and roof rats are common rodents many homeowners struggle with on their property.
Of the two rat species, Norway rats are larger, ranging in size from twelve to sixteen inches in length, including their tail. Their long tails can even be over five inches long, almost the size of their bodies!
Roof rats are slightly shorter but still hefty rodents that will pillage around in your attic and roof spaces. These rats are usually approximately twelve inches long, including their tails. Also called black rats, roof rats are dark in color with equally dark tails.
A Norway rat’s droppings resemble small pellets with bluntly rounded ends. Because of their larger size, their waste tends to be much bigger than other indoor rodents and is usually ¾ of an inch.
While larger rodents, roof rats have much smaller droppings than Norway rats. Their waste resembles typical mice droppings and has an average length of ½ an inch. You can differentiate their waste by the skinnier shape and pointed ends.
Cleaning up Rodent Waste
Want to know more about rat vs. mouse droppings? You’re in the right place.
Regular house mice have much smaller droppings than other rats but still share the same overall look as roof rat droppings. While tinier than a grain of rice, mice waste is usually pinched or pointed at one end.
While rats tend to defecate in one place, mice will spread their waste throughout your home. Some rodents may leave droppings in or around your food, bedding, countertops, cabinets, or bathrooms.
These unsanitary critters can create less than hospitable conditions too. Rodents have historically been the cause of many disease-spreading events like the plague during the Middle Ages.
The plague isn’t as large of a concern anymore, but rodents can still spread contagions around your home or even introduce other pests like ticks and fleas. Those pest bites are no joke, either!
Rat vs. mouse droppings are different sizes, but their cleanup is the same. Never touch the pellets with your bare hands whenever you find rodent waste indoors. You could become very sick if you accidentally ingest anything.
Also, avoid vacuuming or sweeping up droppings. Disturbing the waste will send bacteria particles into the air and could also make you ill. Never utilize any cleaning method where you directly touch the rodent droppings or spread them around.
Instead, spray a cleaning solution on the mice or rat droppings. You can either use your favorite cleaning solution or create your bleach cleaner with water. Use one part bleach to nine parts of water whenever making this mixture.
Plus, always wear protective materials whenever handling pest waste. Use gloves and a health mask to keep yourself safe. Rubber or plastic gloves should do the trick!
Thoroughly saturate the droppings with your desired cleaning solution. After letting this soak for around five minutes, wipe up the remaining mess with a paper towel. Quickly dispose of the used paper towel afterward.
Spritz the area again with the same cleaning solution to remove any lingering bacteria or pathogens. Make sure to scrub down the surface to keep it clean! Either throw away gloves and wash your hands afterward.
Curious about how to eliminate or remove rodents from your home? Still confused about rat vs. mouse droppings? We can help!
proof. Pest Control’s trained technicians can easily find the source of any difficult rodent infestation and swiftly remove them with our proven and trustworthy techniques. Whenever you’re struggling with pesky rodents, turn to proof. for help!