Rat vs Mouse Droppings

Learn the difference between rat and droppings.

When inspecting for rodent droppings, do not confuse the smaller mice dropping with roach excrement.

  • Cockroach droppings are smaller and more slender than mice droppings and have a distinct ridge along the edges.
  • The larger American roach dropping is blunt on end.
  • Squirrel droppings are similar to rat droppings but have a twist at the midpoint of the dropping.
Droppings
Droppings

The droppings on the left are from mice; the ones to the right are from roof rats or squirrels.

Rodent droppings are known to be harmful. Not only do they contaminate foods and cause allergic reactions in people, but they can also transmit bacteria and diseases. The hantavirus is associated with mice droppings through inhalation.

See the safety tips below for inspection and removal of rodent droppings.

Key Takeaway

Rat droppings are larger than a cooked grain of rice with relatively blunt ends.

Tips for Safe Handling Of Rodent Droppings

  • Use gloves and facemasks when handling rodent feces.
  • Prevent hazardous particles in the droppings from becoming airborne. Do not stir up dust by vacuuming, sweeping, or any other means.
  • Mix 1½ cups of household bleach in 1 gallon of water. Once everything is soaked for 10-30 minutes, remove all of the nest material, mice or droppings with damp paper or disposable towels.
  • Mop or sponge the area with bleach solution.
  • Wash hands and clothes thoroughly afterward.

Rodent Types and Pellet Droppings Characteristics

Mice
mice droppings

Qty: 50-75 pellets a day

Size: 1/4" long

Shape: Small, one or both ends pointed

Roof Rats
roof rat feces

Qty: 40-50 pellets a day

Size: 1/2" long

Shape: Curved, oblong shaped with pointed ends. They are scattered.

Norway Rats
Norway rat feces

Qty: 40-50 pellets a day

Size: 3/4" long

Shape: Rectangular, larger with blunt ends. They are found in small groupings.

Key Takeaway

Mice droppings are smaller than an uncooked grain of rice and pointed at the ends. This often has them mistaken for insect droppings.

Written by our resident pest control expert Ken Martin.