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The start of colder weather signals the end of many of the pests that have been bugging you all summer, but it also means the start of rodent season. During the fall and winter, rodents want to find a warm, comfortable place to live, and all too often, that means sharing your home. Identifying what rodent is in your home is an important place to start if you hope to be able to get rid of them. While it may not sound pleasant, one of the best ways to figure out what pest is in your home is by looking at their droppings. Learning to identify the difference between mouse and rat droppings will help you figure out what size of trap you will need and other valuable information.

 

rodent

http://res.freestockphotos.biz/originals/17/17035-close-up-of-a-deer-mouse-or.jpg

 

The four major rodents in Texas that cause trouble for residents are house mice, deer mice, Norway rats, and roof rats. Before examining the rodent droppings to determine which of these critters might be your new houseguest, it is important to note that rodent droppings can carry many diseases. You should never handle droppings without wearing gloves. Appropriate cleanup measures should involve a respirator mask, adequate ventilation, and proper disposal.

 

Mouse Droppings

Since mice are much smaller than rats, their droppings are also smaller. Mouse droppings range from ⅛ – ¼ inches long. They are brown or black in color and have points at one or both ends. Mice are constantly moving around in search of more food, so mouse droppings are likely scattered throughout their travel areas. Droppings may be found under kitchen appliances, in cupboards or drawers, under sinks, in closets, etc. Since mice are voracious eaters, they produce a lot of feces, up to 75 droppings per day.

 

Rat Droppings

While both species of mice produce very similar droppings, rat poop differs between species. Roof rats are larger than mice, but not as big as Norway rats. Roof rat droppings are black and have pointed ends like mice, but they are larger, up to ½ an inch long, and may resemble the shape of a curved sausage. Roof rats are excellent climbers and can be found in trees, on roofs, and in attics.

Norway rats are even larger and produce droppings that are typically over ½ an inch long. The droppings are black, oblong-shaped, have blunt ends on both sides, and often have a bulge in the middle. Norway rats tend to eat their food all at one time, rather than throughout the night like mice, so their droppings are often grouped together in small areas. Norway rats live and travel at ground level, so droppings are often found in garages, along the sides of walls, in basements or crawl spaces, and more.

 

Some Other Things To Remember

If you find rodent droppings in your home, check to see if they are fresh or old droppings. New droppings are shiny with a putty-like texture. Old rodent droppings will turn more gray in color and become hard and crumbly. When you find fresh droppings, you know that the rodents are active in that area and can make a plan to get rid of them.

Cockroach droppings can look very similar to rodent droppings at first glance, but they are easily identified by their smaller size, blunt ends, and distinct ridges. The following picture helps to illustrate some of the differences discussed. The picture shows Norway rat droppings (top), followed by cockroach droppings (lower right), and house mouse droppings (lower left).

 

rodent droppings

By NY State IPM Program at Cornell University [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)] via Flickr

 

Texas Rodent Control

If you need rodent control in Anna, TX or surrounding areas, EcoArmor Pest Defense can help. Our expert technicians can help you identify the species, find and seal potential entry points, and customize a treatment plan that will get rid of them. Trust EcoArmor Pest Defense to get the job done right!