Mouse Droppings
Mouse Droppings

Mouse Droppings vs Rat Droppings

Rodents are common household pests, especially in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. However, many homeowners often do not know if they have mice or rats. Identifying mouse droppings vs rat droppings can help you, and a pest control company, resolve the problem faster. You may recognize the telltale signs of rodent problems such as food being nibbled or droppings. But rodent droppings will vary in size, shape, color, and quantity depending on whether you have a mouse or rat problem.

In this article, we will review the difference between mouse dropping vs rat droppings, what to do if you find any rodent droppings in your house, and whether or not rodent droppings can carry diseases.

What Do Mouse Droppings Look Like Versus Rat Droppings?

When it comes to rodent droppings, there are a few sure ways to distinguish the difference between those left by mice and those left by rats. Rat droppings are typically round, black, and shiny. They can be a half inch or greater in size and usually come as a singular dropping or a cluster of a few.

Alternatively, mouse droppings are brown or black, pellet-shaped, and tapered on either end. They come in piles of many droppings and each individual piece is no larger than a quarter of an inch long. Think about the size of a grain of rice.

The most common place to find either type of rodent droppings is near sources of food such as kitchen cupboards or their nests.

What Should I Do If I Find Mouse or Rat Droppings in My House?

If you find rodent droppings in your house, you should make sure that all of your food is properly sealed and throw away any containers that have been chewed through. Set up traps throughout your house baited with peanut butter to lure the rodents out.

The best course of action you could take is to call your local pest control company. Exterminators like My Pest Pros can help eliminate rodent infestations by providing traps and laying down bait or poison around key spots in your home. Our technicians are trained to recognize likely access points, and nesting areas, and have years of experience solving rodent and other pest issues.

They also inspect potential places where rodents are coming into your house and help you seal up these areas or offer further advice on prevention methods.

Can Rodent Droppings Carry Disease?

Whether rat or mouse droppings, the presence of rodents is not a welcome sight, but take caution when cleaning up these little pellets because they can contain some nasty viruses. Infected rodents can easily spread disease through their droppings if you handle them without wearing gloves or a mask.

Contact with infected feces or inhalation of airborne particles from dried-up droppings is two common ways to get sick from rodent waste. Some of the diseases that rodents carry are no joke including hantavirus, bubonic plague, tularemia, salmonella, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. Most of these are life-threatening so be sure to take proper precautions before disposing of droppings.


While you can easily tell if you have rats or mice in your house by observing the characteristics of their droppings, both are unwelcome signs of a rodent infestation. These droppings can carry serious diseases, so take caution when you dispose of them and immediately contact your local pest control company.

Exterminators like My Pest Pros can set up baited traps to eliminate rodent infestations and prevent them from returning to your home. Call us at 703-665-4455 and We'll Get Rid of What's Bugging You!