So You've Found Droppings In Your Home - Now It's Time To Find Out Who The Culprit is....
Have you found rodent droppings in your home recently yet are not 100% sure of what type of animal left them? You're not alone. Before jumping on the phone and calling out a pest removal expert, read this article which will help you identify exactly who the culprit is.
Why does this matter? Well for one thing, once you identify the type of animal thats living in your home, you can decide on your next step - DIY removal, or calling in an expert. If There's a chance that it's something you can capture yourself, you'll be wasting your money by calling someone.
The following table of contents will allow you to jump to the section most appropriate for you.
Discovering animal faeces in or around your home is generally a certain way to conclude the presence of pests in your home. Naturally, certain pests pose more of a risk than others. In terms of pests and rodents that commonly inhabit spaces such as attics, there are quiet a few. So, how can you tell between squirrel and rat droppings or bat and mice stools? (or anything else?)
The faster you find out the type of pest which is running amok in your home, the faster you can take action to remove them - which is vital; there's a good chance they are breeding, and causing more damage.
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Lets take a look at some of the most common pest droppings, and educate you on what they look like...
Squirrel droppings are always cylindrical in shape with rounded edges. They can have a diameter of anywhere up to 8mm and on average is 3/8 inch long. It won't be too hard to identify their poop when you see it because it has a distinct smell and appearance that much different than other animals.
Due to the fact that a squirrel’s diet is not as diverse as other animals, it is brow or red in color and lightens with age. A squirrel will deposit its fecal matter or poop at random but can be more commonly located in clusters at a favoured feeding site, such as a bird table. You will also be able to find more of them scattered around the area of where they usually feed.
- Shape: cylindrical with round edges
- Size: 8mm - 3/8 inches
- Browny/red in color however lightens with age.
A bat’s droppings can usually be recognized through the location in which they’re found.
Typically, bat droppings or bat poop will be found in one pile below the resting place of a bat; where it hangs or sits. It is also common for bat droppings to be found stuck to walls or near holes where the bats have entered a location.
Bat droppings are long and segmented, with a similar physical appearance to black grains of rice. However, unlike poop from other rodents, they do not harden and can be identified by the fact that when crushed they break into a powdery substance.
A simple crush test is the easiest way to identify bat poop. Bat droppings also contain undigested insects.
- Size and shape: similar to a long grain of rice
- Commonly stuck to walls as well as on floor
- When crushed, break into a powdery substance very easily.
Bat Guano/Droppings can be dangerous to your respiratory system (lungs) due to mold spores which become airborne as a result of the droppings. If you notice bat droppings in your home, call a professional immediately
Mice frequently deposit faecal matter in the form of pellets and It's not uncommon for house mice to deposit fifty to seventy five pellets on a daily basis.
Brown or black in color, a mouse’s droppings resemble the appearance of a seed and range in size from 1/8 to 1/4 inch. They are commonly tapered at at least one end but can be round.
Mouse poop are almost always found scattered in areas where they explore. It is for this reason that any area where food is prepared and crumbs are likely to be a hotbed for mice droppings.
- Size: 1/8 to 1/4 inches long
- Shape: Small with 1 or both ends tapered (pointed)
- Brown or black in color
Rats deposit fecal matter at a much higher rate than other pests. The average rat will leave 25000 droppings in a year due to the fact that rats leave droppings as they move.
Due to this it is unusual to find rat droppings in clusters, instead they tend to be dispersed randomly. A rat’s droppings are dark in color and soft when fresh. However, after a period of a few days the color will fade and the stool will harden.
Generally the droppings can be up to 3/4 inch in length and 1/4 inch thick. The shape of the stool depends on the species of the rat, but is commonly long and spindle-shaped. Visually, rat droppings can be compared to a raisin. This makes mice poop easier to identify.
Summary - Norway Rat:
- Size: 3/4 inches long
- Shape: larger and rectangular with blunt ends
- Only found in small clusters of 20 or less (will be spread out more than mice droppings or poop)
Summary - Roof Rat:
- Size: 1/2 inche long
- Shape: Large and curved sausage like shaped pellets with tapered ends
- Rarely found in clusters; more commonly found scattered around.
For a Quick Solution Try These Steps…
Once a pest’s faecal matter is identified it is important to remove it in the safest possible way. This not only prevents disease in the future but also when handling the faeces. For this reason it is recommended that a professional service is used but if conducting the process yourself gloves, a respirator mask and a Tyvek suit should all be worn for maximum protection.
Step 1: Ventilate
Prior to cleaning the infected zone, the area should be ventilated for at least thirty minutes; particularly enclosed and dusty areas. This is important because, you need to air our the smell as well as the stuff in the air as you don't want to inhale it when you're dealing with different types of animals. Some of them can cause issues to people with weak lungs.
Step 2: Wet down The Area With Water and Bleach
The area should then be thoroughly wet down (to prevent microscopic dust becoming airborne) and cleaned with a liquid disinfectant (one part bleach to ten parts water).
This is extremely important; if you jump straight into the job with a broom before wetting it down, microscopic fece particles will become airborne and you will be damage your lungs.
Simply use a spray bottle with a mix of bleach and water. If you want do do a thorough job (you should, to kill all of the microscopic germs) Use what the pros use:
The Smith Bleach & Chemical Sprayer (Includes a Non-Corrosive 15-Inch)
Step 3: Clean Up
Use paper towels and plastic bags to pick up all of the droppings, and do not sweep or vacuum, as this will only cause more dust to be circulated; Instead use a wiping motion to clean up droppings.
You can only vacuum or sweep up if you have given the area a thorough wet down once picking up the bulk of the mess, so repeat step 2, then vacuum carefully.
If you do decide to vacuum, please think ahead and purchase a dust particle filter to ensure you are safe.
We recommend this simple Particulate N95 Respirator with Valve, which is used by the pro's and will keep you safe.
Step 4: Burn The Evidence!
All mess should be double bagged and should be buried or burned afterwards!
All surfaces should be disinfected and bedding and clothing should be laundered in hot water and detergent.If this fails, a professional should be attained, who will likely fog the area with a special enzyme cleaner.
It’s a huge task, but once you are sure the critters are gone for good, and the droppings have been removed appropriately, you can sleep easy. Remember, prevention is better than the cure, so take measures to ensure those pest don’t enter your home once again. If you want to learn more how to get them off your property, catch them, keep them away and basic ways to deal with these animals then go to our homepage to find out more about this. We have the solution to all your problems!