The most recent American Housing Survey, sponsored by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and implemented by the U.S. Census Bureau, asked residents whether they saw rodent activity in their homes in the 12 months before the survey. Out of the total respondents, an alarming 14.8 million reported seeing rodents, including rats.
So what does this mean for you?
Rats damage the structural integrity of the buildings they infest and threaten the health of nearby individuals, particularly by urinating and defecating excessively. Property owners should always be on the lookout for rat poop in order to catch infestations early and avoid health problems.
What Do Rat Droppings Look Like? How to Recognize Rat Poop
Rats can urinate around .11 fluid ounces and poop up to 50 pellets daily. If you notice objects that look like dirt, rice, beans, or raisins on your countertops, floors, cabinets, under appliances, and along baseboards, those are likely rat droppings. Their droppings will have streaks of urine nearby, which signals to other rats their sexual availability.
The size of droppings can vary depending on the rat species. For example, a Norway rat’s feces can be 24 mm or ¾” to an inch in length. They look like pill capsules but with flat ends. A roof rat’s droppings are smaller, measuring about 12 mm or ½ “long.
Rat feces pellets carry diseases that remain infectious for two to three days. If the feces you see is dark and shiny, it's fresh. Eventually, it will dry out, fade, and crumble. It is essential to wear gloves and masks when cleaning rat feces and urine since diseases can quickly spread.
Diseases Associated with Rat Poop
What are the health concerns with rat droppings? Diseases, or hantaviruses, associated with rat droppings can range from mild to life-threatening. The following are diseases a human can contract by handling or inhaling the spores of rat feces and urine.
- Weil’s disease, a variation of Leptospirosis
- Rat-bite fever
- Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
- Rat tapeworm
Symptoms of Diseases Associated with Rat Poop
If you become infected with a disease following contact with rat feces, initial symptoms will feel like the flu. You may have one or multiple symptoms, including fever, chills, achy muscles, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, etc.
Like most diseases, if left untreated, symptoms will progress and worsen. Breathing may become more difficult due to fluid buildup in the lungs and a reduction in oxygen levels. Other symptoms might include low platelet count, low blood pressure, coughing, shock, and rapid heartbeats. Symptoms like these may require hospitalization, depending on their severity. If left untreated, a person may experience lung or kidney failure.
How to Properly Clean Rat Poop
Do not clean up rat poop without proper personal protective equipment (PPE)! Critter Control wildlife technicians wear respirators and gloves to clean up rat poop. Protect yourself with rubber or plastic gloves and a N95 masks.
- Spray disinfectant or a bleach solution and let it soak for a few minutes.
- Use a paper towel or rag to pick up the feces and dispose of it in a zip-lock bag when possible.
- Mop the area with a disinfecting cleaner or bleach solution.
- Wash the gloves with disinfecting or antibacterial soap and warm water, then remove them.
- Wash hands with soap and water.
Keep Rat Poop Out of Your Home
Prevention is the best solution. Keeping rats out of your home means you don’t have to worry about encountering rat feces. Hiring a wildlife control expert is the best way to ensure rats do not invade your home. Technicians, like those at Critter Control, can help homeowners with exclusions, such as:
- Sealing all potential access points to your home with materials a rat cannot chew through. Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, so knowing how to find access points is crucial.
- Installing effective storage solutions for garbage, human, and pet foods.
- Removing piles of brush, wood, and rocks around the home’s exterior where rats like to hide.
- Clearing unused items from the yard that rats may find an attractive home.
- Removing bird feeders or food sources rats enjoy.
- Maintaining lawns to avoid the overgrowth that gives rats a great place to hide and travel.
Prevention and exclusion methods will also keep other nuisance wildlife out of your home, like mice, bats, and raccoons, all of which leave feces that can grow mold spores and put you at risk of contracting a disease.
Call one of our technicians today for a detailed inspection and action plan.
Get them out.
Experience wildlife or pest issue? We can help! Complete this form and your local Critter Control® office will contact you to assist.
Keep them out.®
indicates required field.
It has been very effective at reducing the number of mice, lizard, and snake sightings. During one visit Edgar removed a rattlesnake he came across. We may see a snake maybe two to three times during the spring and summer months, but it has been far less than before.
Serivces: Wildlife & Rodent Control in San Diego
Full service. Excellent job of extracting raccoon, cleaning all animal waste, sanitizing, and spraying anti-parasitic substance. They closed all potential ports of entry, though the work did not match the vinyl, and it looks kind of tacky. They added blown insulation, which added a lot to the cost. They provide a one year warranty against animal intrusion, with an option to extend the warranty at the end of each one- year period. They were willing to work with me one the price. I will probably extend my warranty, and will definitely use them it the future.
I was really impressed by these guys. Got a call within a few hours of making an inquiry. Had a rep out to inspect the situation by the end of the week, and when they laid out the timeline they kept if not exceeded listed times.
Rob, Travis, and Jim were all professional, polite, and courteous and after months of hearing squirrels in my ceiling they are gone and the repair to my flashing looks excellent. Can't recommend these guys enough.
Jeff was incredibly professional and helpful. I'll use them again and would recommend them to anyone.
Critter Control did a great job of evaluating our house for sites of entry after we found bats and a squirrel in our attic. They completed their work promptly and professionally.
We heard some noise from the corner of our house. Concerned that it could be inside we called for an inspection. Jessy arrived as scheduled and conducted a complete inspection of our home. Based on a recording we made he determined we had a tree frog on our roof. I was pleased that we didn’t have any rodent in our house. And his inspection could a few spots I can tighten up around my house. I am very happy with the outcome.
We have a vacation home in Western Mass
and haven’t been there much during the pandemic as we live and work in Atlanta, GA. On our most recent visit we noticed that we had some rodent intrusion as well as some un-welcomed wildlife who decided to make our vacation home their home.
We contacted Critter Control and Mr. Cahoon was quick to set up an appointment as we wouldn’t be in town very long. He came out and assessed our issues. He informed us of our options to both eradicate and control future intrusions. Keeping in mind that wildlife is wildlife! He quickly got to work eradicating the rodents and wildlife from our home and addressing the intrusion issues. We feel much better leaving our vacation home for periods at a time knowing that Mr. Cahoon and Critter Control did their job and did it right! Thanks again!
We bought an old cabin last spring , it was used for years as a summer vacation cabin, therefore maintenance wasn’t a priority. After our project to remodel started, we found evidence of mice droppings
We immediately called Critter Control and they came and gave us a reasonable estimate to remove all remnants and insulation. They sanitized and replaced with new insulation and sealing up points of entry .
Seeing their professional work made us feel confident and secure that the problem was solved ! Everyone we worked with continued to show professional and respectful work. Highly recommend this company! We continue to use critter control monthly to be sure we are mice and bug free!