One of the most apparent and surefire signs of a rat infestation is the presence of droppings in a property. However, many people assume rat droppings are similar to those of hamsters and mice, with which more people are familiar. However, rat droppings are quite different from other types of droppings from rodents and small mammals. Understanding the differences between different droppings can help to quickly identify the pests responsible if you have an infestation in your home.
Knowing how to identify rat droppings isn’t just useful when they infest your property. Rats can spread all manner of nasty pathogens via their droppings. Many of these can have severe repercussions for human health. Young children and vulnerable adults must stay well away from rat droppings. Among the many illnesses that can spread via rat droppings, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, salmonellosis, and leptospirosis are some of the more concerning. These are diseases that have the potential to be deadly and or debilitating. The longer you and your household are exposed to rat’s faeces, the greater the chances of exposure to all of these diseases.
Fortunately, rat droppings are generally much easier to spot and identify than mouse droppings. Whereas mouse droppings are small and often hidden on top of or in the back of cupboards and in other areas where mice can stay out of sight, rat droppings are larger and more noticeable. Rat droppings are roughly the size and shape of an olive and are often found near insulations. Rat droppings have a much more noticeable smell than mouse droppings, but their urine creates a much more powerful odour. When fresh, rat droppings are dark and shiny. Old droppings turn grey and dusty as they dry out. If you find rat droppings, wear protective gear, including a face covering, before cleaning them to avoid contamination.