Image of a Rodent

Visual Cues

Mice and rats are nocturnal, stealthy, and well adapted to staying out of sight. The first sign of an infestation is often the identification of rodent droppings in or around the house.

Mouse poop is dark colored and about the size of a rice kernel, while rat scat is black and bean-sized.

Rodent feces typically show up in garages, kitchens, bedrooms, and other areas the pests frequent. Not only are these pellets unsightly, but they fill the room with a foul, musty odor.

Homeowners can also look for rodent scat in the following places:

  • Near improperly stored garbage
  • Behind shelves, stoves, and tables along the wall
  • In attics and wall voids

Diet

Rodents prefer to eat fresh food, but they can live their entire lives on nothing but garbage.

An ounce each of rotting food and dirty water is all it takes to keep a rat alive for one day. It also provides plenty of fuel to create piles of rodent droppings.

This survival skill makes it hard to simply starve out or wait out an infestation. As a general rule, for every visible mouse or rat, about 25 more remain unseen.

Rodent Feces Contamination

When mice and rats make their way indoors, they search for food in kitchens and pantries.

The pests can easily gnaw through packaging and taint the contents with rodent feces and urine. Since this waste can transmit Hantavirus and salmonellosis, it's a serious threat to residents.

Rats and mice contaminate as much as 10 times the food they eat. As soon as rodent poop is identified in pantries or cupboards, it is safest to get rid of anything not stored in a tightly-sealed container.

Heavy-duty materials like metal, thick plastic, and glass are the most rodent-proof.

Additional Problems

Even if not directly consumed, rat or mouse waste may still transfer disease. An act as simple as moving rodent scat can release infected particles into the air. Never vacuum or sweep rodent poop, urine, or nesting material in an attempt to clean up.

Before cold weather begins, seal structural gaps or any small entry points into the home. This will reduce the possibility of rodent droppings showing up indoors. However, it can be difficult to identify every crevice.

Reach out to Critter Control for professional rodent prevention and removal.