Mouse droppings are a telltale sign of mice in your home.
You’ll find these droppings in tight corners of your home or in places of your home where you don’t go often.
However, you might confuse mouse droppings with a lot of things. And ignoring these droppings can have long-term health effects on you and your kids.
This guide will tell you how to identify mouse droppings, how to eliminate them, and how you can use it as a tracker to find hidden mice in your home.
Let’s dive in.
Mouse Droppings – How To Identify Them
Mouse droppings are easy to identify. But you can confuse them with rat droppings.
In this section, you’ll find out how to tell exactly if it’s a mouse dropping depending on it’s shape, size, and color.
Mouse poops’ shape is like that of a grain of rice. But they’re smaller than the rice grains.
Mouse feces are not straight like rice grain. They’ve got a bent in the middle, making the mouse droppings look curved at the center.
An adult mouse’s droppings can be anywhere between 2mm to 6 mm, depending on the mouse’s size.
If the poop is bigger than 6 mm, it’s a rat’s dropping.
Mouse droppings are dark brown. Some may look black, but in reality, they’re dark brown.
When the droppings are fresh, the poops have a shiny surface. Stepping on the mouse poop when it’s fresh will make it like a paste.
Droppings turn stale after 72 hours.
When the mouse feces are stale, they look dry. The poop loses its shine, and they look browner than when they’re fresh.
If you step on a stale mouse poop, it’ll crush into a powder.
Where Will You Find Mouse Droppings?
Mice can defecate anywhere where they feel like it. But often, you’ll come across mice droppings in tight corners.
The most common places where you’ll notice mice droppings are where they hide and build their nests.
So, places like the storage rooms, attics, basements, kitchen, and the storage section underneath your bed are the most common areas where you can find mouse droppings.
Also, mice can leave their droppings behind on the route they travel.
So, many homeowners who have a mice infestation in their home find mice droppings along the baseboards and behind furniture.
Do Mouse Droppings Mean Infestation?
It can mean infestation-if you’re finding the mouse droppings in different places of your home.
Mice don’t go far away from their nest unless they’ve to invade your kitchen to find food.
Suppose you’re finding mouse droppings in different areas of your home, such as your living room and basement. In that case, there are multiple mice in your home.
Mice can hide in your bedroom and living room too.
And their favorite place to hide in the living room is your couch.
Mice will sneak inside your couch by creating a hole underneath the sofa.
The couches’ interiors are perfect for mice to build their nests because it cozy and comfortable for baby mice.
In your bedroom, mice can hide in in the storage section underneath the bed.
Your closet, wardrobe, and dresser drawers are also comfy hiding places for mice, especially when the bedroom is lying vacant for considerable amount of time.
Treatment Of Mouse Droppings
You need to be careful while dealing with mouse droppings as the feces are pathological and carry diseases.
So, wear a mask and a pair of rubber gloves.
If the mouse dropping is stale, use a vacuum cleaner on the droppings to remove them.
Pour bleach or a disinfectant on the surface, and let it sit on the surface for 20 minutes where you found the mouse droppings.
Scrub off the surface with a brush. If the mouse droppings get stale, they can leave behind stain marks on the surface.
So, ensure that you get rid of the stains by scrubbing the surface.
We don’t recommend using bleach if you’ve found mouse droppings on a wooden surface like wooden floors or furniture.
It’s better to use a mixture of disinfectant and soapy water or Lysol to treat the mouse droppings.
What if the mouse droppings are fresh?
Then you can scoop it off like you remove your pet’s poop.
And dispose of the droppings outside of your home and property.
Then clean the surface in the same way by using bleach (or with a mixture of disinfectant and soapy water).
Bad Long-Term Effects Of Mouse Droppings
Don’t let the mouse droppings lie around in your home. Get rid of them.
If you’ve found mouse droppings on a fabric, then it’s best to discard the fabric.
Many people find mouse droppings on soft furnishings like couches, carpets, rugs, and even on their beds.
In that case, hire a professional cleaner to get these things cleaned.
Not getting rid of mouse droppings and not treating the place where you found them can negatively affect your and your family’s health.
Mouse and rat feces contain pathogens. When the feces become stale, the pathogens get suspended in the air.
It’s extremely hazardous to breathe in these pathogens. And they can spread to your food too.
Those pathogens can also cause allergic attacks in sensitive people like children and the elderly. For asthma patients, it can be more serious.
Some of the dangerous diseases rodent droppings can cause hantavirus and salmonella.
So, get rid of mouse droppings and even smear marks if you find them in your home.
Please wear a mask and gloves while getting rid of rodent droppings from your home.
Chances of getting sick from mouse droppings are high, especially when you inhale the pathogens that the dry feces of the mouse emit.
The mask will prevent you from inhaling any suspended pathogens.
And the rubber glove will ensure that your hand doesn’t contact the dirty surface while cleaning it.
How To Locate A Mouse Nest By Using Mouse Droppings?
Mice don’t go beyond 10-23 feet from their nest. Their foraging radius is within the mentioned distance.
So, if you’ve found mouse droppings in your home, inspect the places within the 23 feet radius.
Check for any holes in the walls and furniture. Also, check the cluttered places.
If there are storage boxes or cardboard boxes within the mentioned distance, check those boxes.
The chances are high that you’ll find a mouse nest in these areas. If you find a mouse nest, then get rid of it.
But if there are baby mice in the nest, it’ll be best to call a pest controller or wildlife control to deal with the nest.
It’ll be best to check for mouse nests in places of your home where you don’t go often.
It’s because mice are shy, and they avoid human contact. And they prefer to build nests in places where there are not many human footfalls.
So, check for mice nests in places like the attic, storage rooms, and basement.
What Can You Confuse With Mouse Droppings?
Cockroach poop and rat feces look like mouse droppings.
However, there are critical differences.
Cockroach poop isn’t dark brown like mouse droppings. And they’re oval-shaped.
You will not find cockroach droppings in randomly anywhere in your home.
Roaches discard their poop in their nests for the baby roaches to eat or near damp places where they’re hiding.
Also, you’ll not find roach droppings in clusters like you’ll find mouse droppings.
Rat droppings look like mouse droppings to the point of being indistinguishable.
But rat droppings are bigger. And rats leave behind only one dropping rather than multiple droppings like the mice do.
This guide revealed the physical aspects of mouse droppings, like what they look like, their size, shape, and where you find them in your home.
It also revealed the most significant differences between rat droppings and mouse droppings.
It’s always good for you and for your family’s health and safety to remove mouse droppings from your home by following the methods laid out in this post.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.