How to Dispose of Mouse & Rat Droppings Safely

How do I know if it’s mouse or rat droppings/feces?

Mouse or rat droppings aren’t something anybody wants to find. It’s too bad mice and rats can’t just be toilet trained, but then again, you would still have an infestation on your hands. Read on to find out how to properly identify droppings, and safely dispose of them – as well as how to stop the droppings for good.

Mouse droppings are best described as small, pellet-shaped and dark brown in color with pointed ends.  Mice droppings are typically small, about ¼-inch in length.  You can tell if they are fresh droppings by the color.  Newer droppings will be darker and shinier while older droppings will look chalky and dry.  Rat droppings are similar in shape but larger, typically ½-inch to ¾-inch in length with blunt ends.” – Catchmaster

Mouse droppings (smaller than rice), Rice for reference, Rat droppings (larger than rice)

Did you know? 

“Mice can produce between 50 and 75 droppings — also called pellets — every day.” – Terminix

If it’s not the first time you’ve seen droppings, it’s safe to assume you have a rodent infestation. It’s prudent for your home’s safety that you check other areas for droppings and other evidence of rodents. 

Where you should check for mouse/rat droppings:

  1. Kitchen cabinets, pantries and other areas where food is stored or prepared
  2. Utility closets and areas around appliances and water heaters
  3. Bathroom cabinets and closets
  4. Attic and crawl space
  5. Any part of the home where there are air vents, exposed pipes or holes in walls


How to Clean Mouse or Rat Droppings Safely

Gloved hands holding wash cloth and spray bottle, spritzing and wiping

The most important thing to remember is to never sweep or vacuum rodent evidence including feces, urine and nesting material. When these substances are swept or vacuumed they can break up, forcing virus particles into the air where they can easily be inhaled, infecting the person doing the cleaning. Hantavirus and Arenavirus are transmitted in this manner.” – Contra Costa Mosquito

Illustration of sweeping and vacuuming rodent droppings, with "X" overlaid to suggest against doing either.

From WikiHow

Step-by-Step Proper Cleaning of Mouse & Rat Droppings:

Provided by Contra Costa Mosquito.

  1. Make a solution of one-part bleach and nine-parts water in a spray bottle or use a general purpose household disinfectant.
  2. Wearing rubber or plastic gloves, spray the solution or disinfectant on the dried urine, feces and nesting material until the substances are soaking wet.
  3. Let the wet materials soak for five minutes.
  4. After five minutes, use a damp paper towel to wipe up urine, droppings and nesting material.
  5. Place the paper towel and waste materials in a plastic bag.
  6. Then, using the same solution or disinfectant, mop or sponge off the area where the rodent evidence was located.
  7. Once finished, put the sponge or mop head into the bag with the rodent evidence.
  8. Wash gloved hands with soap and warm water or spray with disinfectant or solution before removing them. Place them in the plastic bag as well.
  9. Seal the bag and place in a lidded garbage can.
  10. Wash the now un-gloved hands with soap and water.

Once the newly cleaned area is dry (in approximately 30 minutes) it’s ready for reuse.

How are mice/rat droppings harmful to humans?

When a rat or mouse walks through their own droppings or urine, then walks through human food, that transfer of bacteria from the droppings and urine can contaminate the food – making someone sick if they unknowingly eat the contaminated food.” Contra Costa Mosquito

What types of diseases do rats and mice carry?

Rats and mice carry two main types of disease in their waste: Salmonellosis and Leptospirosis.

Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning. Leptospirosis is also a bacterial type of food poisoning that can contaminate food or water in the same method as Salmonellosis.

How to Prevent Mouse/Rat Droppings in your Home or Business

We’ll tell you this much – the solution isn’t to go around picking up after them indefinitely. 

Mouse and rat infestations, when gone untreated, will only get worse. They multiply like wildfire, and if allowed to, they will burrow deeper into your property causing thousands in structural damages. Not to mention the threat to your family or personnel’s health

Nip it in the bud. Contact A1 Exterminators today for a free estimate. Our Rodent Control Plan includes sanitization and disinfection of infested areas, including dropping sites. 

Learn more about A1 Rodent Control here.

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