What to Do If You Find Rat or Mouse Droppings

White rat chewing on food

Do you see small black granular shapes around your home or apartment? This could cause concern as these are mice droppings, which is a larger sign that you are sharing your home with rodents.

Mice are naturally an unwanted problem as they chew through your food, and spread a variety of diseases. When dealing with a potential rodent infestation, it is important to know whether you have a rat infestation or a mouse infestation, as they are different animals and cause different problems. An important part of understanding whether or not you have a mouse infestation is to knowing where to look. Similarly, if you encounter a mouse or begin to see the signs of an infestation, you need to take care of the infestation in a proper way. 

What Diseases Do Droppings Spread?

As we all continue to live through a global pandemic, it is important to prevent the spread of other diseases, such as those spread by mice and their droppings. Mice will naturally leave their droppings and urine and they will turn to dust and which can spread deadly viruses in the air. Thus if not treated quickly enough, you will breathe in deadly viruses. Mice droppings are known to expose people to Hantavirus, Salmonellosis, Tularemia, Choriomeningitis, and Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.

If you find recent mouse droppings from an unwanted infestation, it is possible you can develop Hantavirus within 1 to 8 weeks and these symptoms include: fatigue, fever, muscle pain specifically in the back, thighs, and hip region, vomiting, diaherra, and stomach pain. If not treated quickly Hantavirus will cause your lungs to fill with fluid and it can be fatal. Thus it is important to deal with mouse droppings quickly, as these critters are prone to spreading a variety of terrible diseases. 

Identifying Which Rodent You’re Dealing With

Both mice and rats are unwanted visitors from any home! Both rodents spread a variety of diseases and cause trouble within their new environments. It is important to understand whether you find mice or rat droppings, as then you can treat these rodents appropriately.

Mouse droppings tend to be 3-6mm long with a granular shape and black. These droppings are smaller than a grain of rice, appear dry and bent. Also multiple mouse droppings appear in a specific area, whereas rat droppings are more sporadic.

Rat poop on the other hand tends to be much larger, resembles that of a raisin, and it is often described as appearing ‘shiny.’ Mice and rats are both troublesome pests, yet it is necessary to understand what type of pest you are dealing with! Rats are much larger than mice, so it is important to buy a correctly sized rat trap, as opposed to a smaller mouse trap! 

Where Do I Search for Them?

If you are worried about a potential mouse or rat infestation, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to look for their droppings! But where would you look? Since mice are nocturnal and shy animals, it is unlikely you will see a mouse. Thus the most obvious warning sign of an infestation is their droppings. Mice are naturally attracted to human food so their droppings are found inside kitchen cabinets and pantries. Mice also like dark shaded areas such as inside cupboard tops, under and behind appliances, inside drawers, near electrical wires, garage and garden areas.

If you see a single mouse in your home or apartment but do not find any droppings, it is possible that the animal just wandered into your home by accident. This is a common occurrence especially if there is construction in your neighbor, as the critter’s natural home was likely disturbed. However if you do see a single mouse, remember to regularly check areas in which droppings are common to insure you do not have a larger mouse infestation. Checking these areas regularly will cause you to notice early signs of a mouse problem and prevent those critters from getting out of control. 

How to Deal with Droppings Safely

If you find mice droppings in your home, it is important to take care of the issue carefully! First, don’t panic as mouse droppings should be handled with care. It is important to use gloves because if you don’t, you can easily be exposed to a virus found in their droppings. Do not sweep or vacuum the droppings, as this can lead to a further exposure. When you spot the droppings, first ventilate the room by opening a window, as this will lower the chances of inhaling a potential disease found in mouse droppings. Trap the mice for a week and you should begin the cleaning process when you no longer catch any additional mice. Open two windows on opposite sides of your property and allow the room to ventilate for 30 minutes.

Wear gloves and a face mask when dealing with mice poop. Spray the mice droppings 1 and ½ cup of bleach to a gallon of water (a 1:10 ratio) and allow the droppings to sit in the disinfectant for 5-10 minutes. Use a plastic bag to pick up the droppings and place this bag in a garbage bin located outside of your home. After handling the droppings, wash your hands immediately even when wearing gloves. Disinfect all areas where the mouse droppings are present, especially in areas of food preparation. Also contact a pest control expert like TermiGuard for additional help.  It is important to properly dispose and treat mouse droppings as they can easily make you sick!

Mouse droppings are a serious problem and it is important to understand how to treat them! Mouse droppings can make one easily sick and its bad bacteria will spread through the air. It is also important to know the difference between mouse and rat droppings! If you are worried about a rodent infestation look in areas where mice and rats like to hide. Similarly if you find droppings make sure you take the correct steps to dispose of them. A mouse infestation can make you feel small but contacting a pest control expert like Termi Guard will keep you larger than those pests!