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IS IT MOUSE POOP OR RAT POOP?

By Chris Williams on January 10, 2018.

I think I might have just discovered rat poop in my garage in a back corner. Can a person tell the difference between rat poop and mouse poop? I figure size might be a factor but is there some other hint? I sure hate to think that we have rats here! G. W., Peabody, MA

Size of the droppings is definitely a clue but then you can always have a small or immature rat whose droppings might be more mouse-sized than rat-sized. Let’s assume that if you have a rat, it’s a Norway or brown rat, easily the most common in our region. Roof rats can also occur in some coastal areas. Whether rat or mouse, a rodent’s droppings are rather cylindrical, firm, and separate, rather than runny or sticking together.

SIZE AND SHAPE OF DROPPINGS

ARE THE MAIN CLUES

A Norway rat’s droppings average 3/4–inch in length while a mouse’s droppings are considerably smaller at only ¼-inch, smaller than a grain of rice. A roof rat’s droppings are just slightly smaller than those of the Norway rat.

There are some differences in shape as well. A Norway rat’s droppings are about three times as long as they are wide, and with mostly blunt or rounded ends. A mouse’s small droppings are spindle-shaped and usually pointed at both ends.

Rodents leave lots of droppings. A mouse can deposit 75 droppings in the course of the day in no particular place along its travel routes. A rat leaves 40-50 droppings a day, usually in small groupings. If the droppings are dark and fairly soft, they are recent. If they are lighter in color and crumble when pressed, they’ve probably been there a while.

CALL COLONIAL FOR A RODENT INSPECTION

I wouldn’t spend too much energy trying to determine whether you have a rat or a mouse in your garage. Either way, you have a potential problem. If it’s in your garage, it could have moved into wall voids or the attic and it could be planning a family! Give Colonial Pest a call and have us inspect your garage and home for evidence of rodents of either variety. We can also help you figure out what attracted the rodent to your garage in the first place, how it got in, and can seal up openings as part of our rodent management plan.

For more on rats, mice, their poop, and garage visitors, see these Colonial blogs:

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