Rat droppings

Rats as a pest are considered as secretive and nocturnal creatures. This is probably the reason why it is often easier to spot the sign of a rat problem, rather than the actual living rat itself.

On the other hand, rat droppings are one of the most obvious and unsanitary tell-tale signs of rat infestation that homeowners can identify to determine what type of rat is scurrying around your home right now.

But how do you know for sure if the droppings you found came from rats and not from other animals? Learn more detailed information about rat droppings on this page, including what it looks like, where you can find it and what to do if you find rat droppings at home.

Alternatively, you can contact Rentokil online if you are worried about a rat problem.

What do rat droppings look like?

Rat and mice poo waste leaving
Gambar kotoran tikus

Identifying the rat droppings can be very tricky and difficult for untrained eyes since the size and appearance of rat droppings can vary, depending on some factors but not limited to:

  • The age of rat droppings
  • Rat species

The age of rat droppings

How to tell if the rat droppings are new or old by its color and texture?

Fresh rat droppings are dark in color and moist in textures, while the older rat droppings will have a faded color or will become grey, hard, and dried when touched.

Rat species

In general, rat droppings are larger than mouse droppings despite their similar appearance: dark brown or black in color and resemble a shape of a rice grain. The rats droppings typically range between 12 - 18mm long, while the mouse droppings ranging between 3 - 8mm long.

Rat and mice poo waste leavings image Diagram
Gambar perbedaan bentuk dan ukuran kotoran tikus

What’s the difference between rat droppings vs mouse droppings?

  • Norway rat droppings are up to 18mm long and in a form like capsules with blunt ends. They are typically found in a tapered, spindle shape – resembling a large grain of rice.
  • Roof rats droppings are 12mm long on average. They are sausage-shaped, a little smaller than brown rat droppings. Roof rat poop are more regular in the form with a banana-like curve and pointed ends.
  • House mouse droppings are approximately 3-8mm long with pointed ends and are often found randomly scattered during an infestation - in contrast with rat droppings which are often concentrated in one specific spot.

Learn more the difference between rats and mice here

Rats droppings vs other animal droppings

In most cases, rat droppings are often misidentified as other animal droppings, such as a lizard (also known as cicak by Indonesians) or cockroaches droppings. Here are the simple tips on how to spot the difference between rats, lizard, and cockroach droppings:

Rats droppings vs cockroach droppings

One of the main characteristics of cockroach droppings is that it has a distinct ridge along the edges, which rats don't. In terms of size, cockroaches droppings are way smaller than rats have - approximately 1 - 3mm.

Rats droppings vs lizard droppings

Lizard Droppings.
Gambar kotoran cicak

Lizards or often called as cicak by most Indonesians are often found leaving their droppings on the walls, which would have been impossible for rats to do so. In regard to size and colors, lizard droppings are very identical: black in color with a white tip which is derived from uric acid crystal and typically may range between 2 - 5mm long.

Where do you find rat droppings?

Since adult rats will eat 12 - 15 grams of diet per day, thus a single rat can leave 50 droppings every day or at least about 25,000 droppings in a year!

In addition, rat droppings act as a chemical signal to other rats in regard to mark their territory and indicate their breeding status. As a result, rats will literally leave droppings behind wherever they scurry around inside your house.

Check the following places to find rat droppings in the house:

  • Under kitchen cabinets and countertops
  • Behind or underneath refrigerator and stove
  • In the corner or inside card boxes
  • Lofts & attic spaces
  • Near or over the top of the water heater
  • Behind bathtub or toilet
  • In the air duct system

Why are rat droppings dangerous to humans?

Rat droppings are one of the unsanitary waste other than rat's urine and carcasses that can pose serious health risks to humans. In the case of rat droppings, some disease might be spread by rats to humans through both direct and indirect contact with their feces, including:

  • Touching rat droppings
  • Consuming water or food contaminated by rat droppings
  • Inhaling particles of rats droppings

Some diseases caused by rat droppings, including:

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) – is a fatal respiratory disease that is transmitted to humans both through direct contact with rat droppings and breathing in dust that is contaminated with rat droppings particles
  • Salmonellosis – is a bacterial disease that is caused by consuming food or drink contaminated by rat droppings

How to clean up rat droppings?

It is important to know the right and safe manner in cleaning rat droppings by yourself when you decide not to enlist the help of professional rat control services to take care of the issue for you.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are several precaution steps you need to take when it comes to cleaning rat droppings in the right and safe manner:

  1. Open doors or windows for 30 minutes in the areas that infested with rat droppings to allowing fresh air entering the area before starting the cleanup process
  2. Do not touch rat droppings with your bare hands - use rubber or latex gloves and additional respiratory protection such as a breathing mask for extra protection
  3. Spray rat droppings with a disinfectant spray or you can take a mixture of chlorine bleach and water, and let soak for about 15 minutes
  4. Remove or wipe the droppings with paper towels or disposable cloth
  5. Dispose of the cleaning wipes, hand protection equipment and droppings in a well-sealed plastic bag and toss it to the garbage bin
  6. After the rat droppings have been removed, disinfect the whole area that infested with rat droppings by mopping the floor and/or countertops with disinfectant spray or bleach and water mixtures
  7. When the step 1-6 has been completed, wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly

Please be aware that it is not recommended to sweep or vacuum the rat droppings - since it may cause the harmful particle dust to go into the air, where it can be breathed in.

Rat infestation solutions

There’s no doubt that rat droppings are bad for your health, and the most important thing is you should clean them immediately once you find it. Thus, until the rat infestation is completely controlled from your house, the possibility for you to keep finding rat droppings will always be there.

Rentokil is an expert in rat control in homes and businesses for over 50 years in Indonesia. In dealing with a rat infestation at your property with safe and reliable control methods which offer a long-term solution to your rat problem:

Contact Rentokil online today to see how we can help you with your rat problem.

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