What does mouse poop look like? What should you do if you spot it inside your home? These are questions that every property owner should ask and find answers to, so we’re going to reveal everything you need to know to identify mouse droppings right here. That includes how to tell mouse droppings apart from poop left by other pests.
If there’s one thing you don’t want to come across inside your home, it’s animal feces. That is clear evidence that a pest has found its way into your property and has potentially brought a few friends or delivered a litter or two on the premise. Mice can have litters about every 25 days, and each litter typically contains multiple babies. That means one mouse can lead to a serious infestation before you even notice they’ve moved in.
Let’s start our discussion with what mouse poop looks like, then we’ll move on to tips for elimination.
Let’s get to the point right away. What does mouse poop look like? There are five main characteristics that you can look for, but keep in mind that some variations are possible. There are different types of mice, but these characteristics are representative of the mice most people see inside their homes.
Mouse droppings are typically around ¼-inch long. You may see some even smaller, depending on the size and age of the mouse. If you see larger droppings that are 1/2-inch or longer, you’re likely looking at feces left by rats or potentially another pest altogether.
Mouse droppings look like small pellets and are often sitting along walls, in corners, behind appliances, or under cabinets. You may not notice the first few that appear because they’re so small and may easily blend into some dark-colored flooring. As the mice continue to leave droppings in a favored area of your home, they become harder and harder to miss.
Other pests also leave pellet-shaped droppings, but mouse poop is typically pointed on both ends. If the ends look more like blunt cuts, the droppings may belong to a rat or another pest. There are exceptions here, depending on the type of mouse.
Mouse droppings tend to have smooth surfaces between the pointed ends. The pellet shape creates curves at the top and bottom of each dropping, but you shouldn’t notice many jagged edges or points around the center of the dropping.
Dark brown is the telltale color of mouse poop. If you notice a dark color along with some shine along the outside surface, the droppings are likely fresh. As they dry out, the droppings will take on more of a chalky or dried appearance. The color may lighten some with age, but dark brown is still what you’re looking for to detect mice poop.
Keep in mind that mice poop is often green if a mouse has ingested poison. You may also detect some droppings that are dark in color with some green areas. Solid green droppings are harder to detect the natural color, so you may need to rely on other characteristics of mouse poop like the pointed edges.
We’ve answered the big question: What does mouse poop look like? It’s time to dig into what you should do if you’ve discovered mice droppings inside your home or within your outdoor living space.
The fastest, safest, and most efficient option is to call a professional exterminator to handle the problem. They have the resources and expertise needed to determine the exact type of droppings and implement the most effective elimination, treatment, and prevention plan. There are a variety of factors that determine how a mouse problem is handled, including:
Professional exterminators can also use more natural products that are safe for children, pets, and even adults. You want to restore the peace and harmony within and around your home with protection from re-infestation.
If you aren’t ready to call the professionals or don’t have the money to make that immediate investment, there are some things you can try on your own. The following process will walk you through the steps, but take your time completing each one thoroughly. This isn’t a problem that you’re going to solve overnight, especially if the mice have been accumulating for some time.
Look through every room of your home plus the surrounding exterior to detect mouse poop. You’ll know if you have mice living in some areas by the accumulation of droppings. Other signs include bite marks, chewed areas, and small piles of shredded paper, cloth, and other materials that mice may use to create a warm bed.
Mice like to hide in dark, warm places where the risk of detection is low. Look behind and under furniture and appliances, in the back of cabinets, and in closet corners. If you have a food pantry, that’s a great place to look as well because it gives mice easy access to food.
Mice can squeeze through tiny cracks and holes to gain entrance to your home. They may also chew through wood, vinyl, and other materials on the exterior of your home or from within walls or an attic. They can even chew through electrical wiring, which puts your home at risk.
Look around your home to find every potential entry point, paying close attention to windows, doors, and any hole created for pipes to pass through. You can seal small holes with steel wool, holding it in place with caulk. Use materials that mice can’t chew through to cover larger holes. Some options include cement, metal sheeting, and lathe metal or screening.
It’s time to eliminate the mice already living in or around your home. Mouse traps and bait are the simplest and most affordable option, but it isn’t always as easy as it sounds. You want to set traps in areas where you have found mouse poop because you know the mice are visiting those areas.
Make sure you place them so that they don’t become a danger to pets or children. Behind furniture and under appliances or in the back corners of kitchen cabinets are common locations. If you believe you have mice in the walls, you can even cut a hole in the wall and place a trap inside. You will need to seal the hole once you eliminate the mice.
It can take some time to eliminate mice with traps if you have a large population established on the property. Repellants can help because they create smells that naturally turn mice and other pests away from your home. The simplest and safest options are peppermint essential oil or apple cider vinegar mixed with water. A 50/50 solution works well.
If you continue to trap mice and there seems no end to the infestation, you may have a problem that is bigger than you can handle. That means it’s time to call professionals to ensure the mouse droppings and other waste are properly cleaned from your property after the infestation is handled.
If you’re certain that there are no lingering mice on your property, thoroughly clean all areas they were visiting. You can continue spraying repellants around the perimeter of your home once a month to help prevent re-infestation.
If you read through the identifying characteristics of mouse poop and don’t believe that is what you’ve discovered, there are some other options. Rat droppings can look very similar, but they’re typically larger with blunted ends. Cockroach poop can also look similar in size and shape but with blunted ends.
There are other possibilities, depending on where you’re seeing the droppings. The best option is to contact an exterminator for proper and fast identification.
How many droppings does one mouse leave? Do they leave single droppings?
Rats are pooping machines! They won’t leave just one dropping and move on to a new area of the home. The poop comes out as they move through your home, so you’re likely to see lines or piles of droppings.
If you do notice a single dropping, pull back the furniture or appliances because there is more than likely a lot more to find. If not, look through other areas of your home. Perhaps you have a newly recruited mouse who has just started exploring that area of your home and more droppings are to come. That doesn’t mean they haven’t settled in elsewhere.
Where would you find mouse droppings?
Mice like to live in warm, dry places that give them easy access to food and water. They aren’t likely to make beds or spend a lot of time out in the open, but you may start to catch them running behind furniture or across rooms when they think there is an opportunity.
You should pull out furniture and appliances, open cabinet doors, and look in the back of closets to find signs of a mouse infestation. If you hear sounds in the walls, then that can give you some idea of where the mice are going in your home as well.
Are mouse droppings toxic?
Mouse poop and urine can create a toxic hazard for your home. As it accumulates—and it does so quickly—you run the risk of exposure to serious diseases like salmonellosis and leptospirosis. The more it accumulates, the more serious the problem.
If you’ve detected mouse poop anywhere in your home or even outdoors close by, you may have a long-standing infestation. The longer mice are allowed to live in your home, the larger the population and the more accumulated mice droppings and urine tracks present. That increases the risk of illness and disease transmission, requiring immediate and thorough cleanup.
It's one thing to get rid of a mouse or two but another thing entirely to eliminate a large mouse population, clean the property, and then seal all entry points to prevent re-infestation. You may end up spending more time and money handling the problem on your own because professionals know exactly what to do to efficiently handle the problem.
If you need help reclaiming your home from mice, contact us.