Rat faeces aren’t usually difficult to identify – if you discover small, dark droppings scattered around your home or garden, you likely have a pest issue, and it’s highly likely that you have a rodent infestation.
How to Identify Rat Faeces?
There’s a simple way to determine if the rodent droppings come from rats or mice. Here we look into their shape and size:
- Rat droppings tend to be found in a large grouping, and the droppings are of similar shape and size to an olive – around half an inch. They’re often found near or around property insulations.
- Mouse droppings, in comparison, are much smaller and similar to the size of a small berry or raisin. The shape of mouse droppings is similar to that of a grain of rice – elongated with pointed ends.
How to Safely Clean Rat Droppings?
Although a rodent infestation will often require expert help from a pest control specialist, there are several solutions that you can safely utilise to eliminate rodent droppings yourself:
Solutions For When you Find Rat Droppings?
- Ventilation – You must open any doors and windows to the infected location and leave the room to be ventilated for a minimum of 30 minutes before you start to clean the droppings.
- Protect yourself – You should prepare yourself properly by wearing protective gear. Use rubber gloves to avoid any direct contact between your skin and the droppings; eye goggles can be worn so that any contaminated dust from the rat or mice droppings doesn’t get into your ears. A face mask will prevent you from inhaling any harmful substances or catching any diseases.
- Bleach – The ideal solution to make up is 360 millilitres of chlorine bleach disinfectant to every 5 litres of hot water. Spay your solution directly onto the droppings – avoid vacuuming or sweeping as this will contaminate your vacuum or brush and release pathogens into the air.
- Paper towels – Use paper towels to pick up the rat or mice droppings and place the droppings directly into a sealable plastic bag.
- Disinfect – bleach and clean all floors and surfaces, with your bleach solution, within the vicinity.
- Clean hands – Last but certainly not least, wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap for at least 30 seconds.
- Call us – Call in a pest control service who can ensure the clean-up is sufficient and provide preventative measures and tips related to your specific pest.
Are Rat Droppings Dangerous to Pets?
As well as being hazardous for humans, rodent droppings can be just as harmful to pets and can lead to several potentially deadly diseases, such as:
- Roundworm – Many dogs get worms at some point in their lives; some are even born with them, but if you don’t regularly worm your dog or cat as a preventative measure and are unaware they have worms, you are exposing yourself to several infections. Roundworms may even lead to neurological, eye, heart, liver, and lung problems for humans.
- Leptospirosis – signs of this in a pet may include several painful conditions such as; muscle tenderness, fever, lethargy, exhaustion, shivering, diarrhoea, vomiting, and jaundice. If left untreated, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney and liver failure.
- Tularemia – mostly common in smaller animals like domestic rabbits; this can also affect dogs and cats. It can cause many illnesses such as vomiting and diarrhoea, lethargy, and a reduced appetite. It can also very quickly turn fatal.
- Toxoplasmosis – a serious infection that can be detected through symptoms like cough, fever, diarrhea, jaundice, and difficulty breathing. Toxoplasmosis can lead to seizures and death.
Can you Get Sick From Old Rat Droppings?
When rat droppings accumulate, bacteria will be spread, which can trigger allergic reactions in humans, contaminate food sources and be toxic to pets. When rodent droppings become old and dry up, they’re dangerous for anyone who breathes them in. You can also catch Leptospirosis from rats.
Are Rat Faeces Dangerous to Clean if You’re Pregnant?
In short, yes. If you’re pregnant, you should avoid any contact with rodent droppings. If you accidentally touched or breathed in hazardous dust from droppings whilst expecting a baby, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Do Rat Droppings Smell?
Rat droppings do have a distinctive odour. However, it is rodents’ urine that’s usually much more noticeable. If you have a rodent infestation and can see rodent droppings, there will be rat urine there too. The odour you notice will most likely be from the urine and not the droppings.
What To Look For To Identify Signs Of Rats
Identifying what rodent problem you have can be tricky – is it rats, mice, squirrels, or do you have a cockroach problem? To discover if your pest control problem is rats, think like a rat – if you were hungry, where would you find food? Can you spot any chew marks on your wall or behind a door? Is there any hole in a low-level cupboard that may indicate something is living or bypassing through there? Can you notice any fresh droppings or even a singular pellet today that weren’t there yesterday? All of these things are usually a sign that you have rats in your home.
- If you find rodent droppings in your home or garden, then you’re likely to have a pest control problem. Their pellets are typically circular shaped, whereas pellets from a mouse are shaped more like a rice grain. If the pellets are wet and a light brown colour indicates your problem is ongoing, if they’re dark brown and look drier with a less circular shape, you may be over your rodents infestation but you may want to consider humane traps to double-check.
- Rub marks along a wall or floors are a clear indication of a pest problem, especially rats or mice. Rodents can leave dark brown marks as they make their way through your property. The marks are caused by the grease and oils of the rodent’s fur.
Brown rats, such as the Norway rat, are identifiable through the grinding sound they make with their teeth when they gnaw. Look for any damaged or bitted food packaging and teeth marks in soft metals and wood, which would indicate you have rats.
Rats and mice will chew holes in walls, doors – anything, as a form of easy entry and escape in and out of rooms in the house or property outbuildings.
Rats will often build a nest under property foundations or overgrown areas within the garden. They will use their nests to store food and raise their babies.
- Rats are pests who aren’t shy about making their presence known. They will explore every area of your house or garden, leaving clear footprints on their way. These will be around half an inch long and in an oblong shape.
Where to Check for Rats Inside a Building
Rats make it their business to be comfortable, warm, dry, and well-fed. The identification of a rat being present in your home can be usually detected relatively easily by using your senses:
Smell – Can you smell rat urine or droppings?
See – Have you seen a footprint, rub mark, gnaw mark, pellet, nest, rat, or mouse?
Hear – Can you hear squeaks, chewing, or rustling?
Where to Check for Rats Outside your Property
Rats can construct clever systems around a garden or yard, with scattered droppings being a clear indication. They will opt for a warm, dry location so check outbuildings, dustbins, under (or even inside) rabbit or guinea pig hutches. Anywhere a rat may hide, a rat could be hidden.
Should I be worried if I see a rat in my garden?
If you spot a rat or mouse in your garden, it can be an unpleasant experience. Left to get on with their business, they may damage wooden outbuildings, play equipment, furniture, wires, any fruits or vegetables, bulbs, plants, or flowers. They should be considered a severe health risk, and you need to call in pest control solutions as a matter of urgency.