Rodent Droppings: 4 Tips for Cleaning and Identification

By proof. Pest Control

When you have a rodent infestation, these pests leave a mess behind wherever they go!

Homeowners typically find signs of rats and mice from feces scattered around rooms, kitchens, and pantries. 

Gross! No one wants rodent waste near their cereal or cookies!

Look at our article, where we’ll teach you how to identify different rodent droppings and give you the best cleaning tips to keep your kitchen and home safe!

Identifying Types of Rodent Droppings

You may wonder why it matters what kind of rat or mouse is indoors. Understanding the type of infestation you have can impact your pest control methods. While one solution works for mice, it may not have the same outcome for rats. 

Mouse feces is much smaller than rat droppings, primarily due to a rat’s larger size. Mouse waste isn’t much larger than a grain of white rice, ranging in size from ⅛ an inch to ¼ an inch

Most mice feces is black but may look differently depending on what they eat. Mice typically defecate when they walk, leaving a trail of waste behind them as they forage through your home and food.

Rat feces is large and can vary depending on the species. Roof rats typically populate attics and high, hard-to-reach areas and have waste measuring around ½ an inch in size. You may have a different rodent problem if you spot any larger droppings.

Roof rat and mouse droppings similarly have pointed ends, but you can usually differentiate the two by their size. Seeing anything larger than a grain of rice means rats could infest your home.

Norway rats are another common species found throughout many of proof.’s service areas. These pests are bigger than roof rats, and their waste usually averages around ¾ inches. Instead of pointing out at the ends, it resembles bulky pellets. 

Dangers of Rodent Droppings

Rodent waste can cause problems, regardless of species. Rats and mice are responsible for many infectious diseases and may make you ill as they spread their waste near the items you eat or use daily. 

During the Middle Ages, rodents were the primary disease vectors for the highly contagious plague. By spreading droppings and fleas, rodents aided in devastating European countries during the 1300s.

While the plague isn’t a common concern now, rodents are still responsible for spreading bacteria in households. Beyond transmitting diseases through bites, rodents can infect food and surfaces with hantavirus and salmonella

If the rodents have fleas or ticks, they could introduce these pests into your home. Fleas and ticks can bite and transmit a host of diseases to you and your pets, some of which could be fatal. 

You should act quickly to address the rat or mouse infestation whenever you see signs of rodent droppings in your home. Food poisoning isn’t any fun, and these pests can cause more severe illnesses with their infected waste. 

Check out this video to learn more!

Our Favorite Cleaning Tips

Cleaning up after pests may seem easy, but you should do a few things to keep your home area squeaky clean.

Never Handle Feces with Bare Hands

It’s easy to brush away the mess with a swipe of your hand, but avoid touching anything without gloves. Not only is it unsanitary to handle pest feces, but you could accidentally infect yourself with any bacteria or pathogen in the droppings. 

Before trying to clean, grab a sturdy pair of sanitary gloves. These will protect you from pest waste and your hands from harsh cleaning chemicals. Opt for thick cleaning gloves over thinner latex options. 

Avoid Vacuuming the Droppings

Breaking out your vacuum cleaner or a broom seems easy, but the CDC recommends against using these everyday household cleaning items. 

Vacuuming and sweeping can cause viruses and bacteria to spread out in the air. A mask could prevent accidental inhalation, but we advise against dirtying any cleaning products.

When you reuse your broom or vacuum, the bacteria could linger and spread to other surfaces around your home. If the infestations are localized to one area, you don’t want to spread waste particles elsewhere. 

Choose the Proper Disinfectant 

These little pests can easily make you ill with their infectious droppings. To sanitize your home correctly, you’ll need to use the proper disinfectant to eliminate potential contamination.

A diluted bleach and water solution can quickly sanitize your counter spaces and remove lingering bacteria. Add one and a half cups of bleach to a gallon of water, and then combine everything into a spray bottle. 

If you have another disinfectant you prefer, most household cleaners should do the trick. However, read all products carefully before use and research if you can apply the cleaning solution to animal waste. 

Saturate the rodent droppings and let the cleanser soak into the feces before wiping anything away. Reclean the area with the same product with a clean sponge or paper towel. 

Don’t forget to wash your hands and gloves afterward!

Toss Out Infested Food

Rodents can comb through easily accessible food items when they invade your home. Using their sharp teeth, rats and mice can chew through softer packaging to reach food. 

Many homeowners find their cereal boxes, cookies, rice, flour, and sugar tampered with once rodents sneak indoors. While most animals don’t like to defecate where they eat, mice and rats tend to leave droppings wherever they go. 

We advise throwing out any groceries that have signs of damage. While it’s difficult to see your recently bought items in the trash, discarding anything rodents interacted with is the best option.

Never keep food items with rodent pellets inside. Consuming the bacteria-filled feces could make you extremely sick.

If you find rodent droppings outside of seemingly unaffected food, it’s better to err on the side of caution and throw the items away. Contamination is still likely unless you store the food in rigid airtight containers. 

But what should you do to eliminate the rats and mice that populate your home? Don’t worry! proof. has your back! 

Our rodent control services can eliminate the pests that sneak inside your home, no matter what time of year! Contact us today to schedule your next pest control appointment! 

Call proof. pest control at 888-291-5333, or send us a message online.