Many of you have read my reports where I mention the importance of rodent-proofing new and existing houses. This is crucial. We only build houses for a couple of reasons: to keep the elements off our heads and to choose which animals we’d like to live with. The following article by Jessica Kane speaks to identifying the signs of an invasion of the unwanted. Enjoy!
Telltale Signs of Rodent Droppings and Rodent Infestation in Your Home
In order to fully protect your family from the harm that can be caused from rodent infestation of your residence, you need to familiarize yourself with the telltale signs of rodent droppings in and around your home. You must understand that rodent infestation at your home will not only result in physical damage to your home, it can expose your loved ones to potentially serious diseases.
What do Rodent Droppings Look Like?
There are three types of rodent droppings that a homeowner in the United States needs to be aware of, including:
The feces from each of these animals are different in their appearance. A mouse dropping looks rather like a grain of brown rice. A mouse produces the smallest droppings of the three types of rodents that can infest a U.S. residence. Mouse droppings normally are thin with at least one end that is pointed
Rat droppings are larger than those produces by a mouse. A rat dropping tends to be oblong in shape. A rat dropping typically is slightly wider in the middle area of a feces from this rodent. A rat dropping usually is darker in color that a rat feces. This type of dropping usually has a shiny and moist appearance. Over time, a rat dropping becomes a bit lighter in color.
Although an adult squirrel is larger that a mouse or rat, a squirrel’s dropping is close in size to that of the much smaller mouse. A rat dropping is smaller than that of a rat. A squirrel dropping is the darkest type of rodent feces.
Location of Rodent Droppings
The location of rodent droppings is also indicative of the type of animal that may be infesting your home. Rats and mice tend to leave droppings in lines, but not in one location. They tend to leave lines of droppings in locations in your home that they use to get from one location to another.
Squirrels tend to establish what fairly can be called latrines, when it comes to their droppings. In other words, if you’ve some type of squirrel infestation, you are likely to find growing piles of squirrel feces in or around your home. As an aside, while rats and mice are likely to nest in different parts of your home, is squirrels infest the interior of your home, they are likely to be found in the attic.
Rodent Droppings as a Sign of Infestation
If you are attempting to confirm whether or not some type of rodent has infested your home, you will also want to pay attention to the color of feces. As rodent feces age, they become lighter in color.
If the rodent droppings you find in your residence appear lighter in color, even with something of a gray hue, they are not fresh and have been around for some time. If you only identify rodent feces of this nature, with this color, you likely do not have a current rodent infestation. Rodents were present in your home in the past, but by feces that appear lighter in color, with a grayish hue, and dry, odds are that whatever rodents that were once in your home vacated.
Health Dangers of Rodent Feces
In addition to being indicative of rodent infestation, feces can also be highly dangerous in and of themselves. For example, rat mouse feces can carry the hantavirus. A human infected by the hantavirus can end up seriously ill or even die.
You need to keep in mind that live hantavirus persists in rodent feces, even after the droppings dry. Dry feces crumble easily. If infected by the hantavirus, a dry rodent dropping can crumble and release the virus into the air. When that happens, the situation becomes very serious. A person can breathe in the dust from the feces, infected themselves with the hantavirus.
Rodent Feces Cleanup
Because of the potential for dangerous pathogens contained in rodent feces, care must be taken when droppings are cleaned up. Indeed, consideration should be given to retaining the professional services of a rodent feces cleanup specialist. If you are going to attempt to cleanup rodent feces, you must utilize appropriate personal protective equipment, including:
- Smock or other covering
- Mask or respirator
Due to the risk of airborne virus infection, a respirator is recommended over the use of a mask. As noted previously, professional rodent feces cleanup is recommended over self-help when it comes to cleaning up what can be dangerous droppings.