Mouse Droppings: What do they look like?

Mouse Droppings: What do they look like?

Spotting mouse droppings in your home or commercial property is one of the first signs of infestation and must be treated swiftly in order to reduce the risk of an increased mouse population. Mice are able to populate extremely fast, which is why being able to identify droppings becomes an important part of the mouse removal process.

Safeguard has been removing mice from domestic and commercial properties across Birmingham and the Midlands for over 35 years and is on-hand to provide fast and effective pest control solutions for all customers.

Sign You May Have a Mouse Infestation

It’s likely that you will spot the droppings before you see the mouse, as while they enjoy living within our company, they are nocturnal and are unlikely to search for food in daylight.


You spot mouse droppings – mouse droppings are among the first signs you will notice. Mouse droppings are usually grouped together in high numbers, usually 40 – 100 droppings (and that’s just from one mouse). They can be identified by their small, pellet-shaped appearance and their size, roughly ¼ inch in length and resemble grains of rice. If they are light brown, the droppings are likely fresh, the darker and harder the pellets, the older they are. 

Noises, specifically scratching and scuttlings – another telltale sign of an infestation are noises emanating from the walls, floorboards and ceilings. Mice are most active at night and use the cover of darkness to source food and materials to build their nest. The sounds are characterised by scratchings, squeaks, scurrying and gnawing. Be sure to inspect the source of the noise and identify the problem pest.

Chewed sills, furniture and wiring – look out for gnaw marks on bits of furniture and floor sills. Mice can also chew through wires, so be sure to insect behind computers and televisions for mouse nests.

Footprints – noticeable in dusty parts of the property that see rare use (attics, lofts, storage areas etc).

Where to Look for Mouse Droppings

Mice prefer to nest in small, enclosed areas of your home, away from plain sight. However, they may be far closer than you think, be sure to check in the following areas for mouse droppings:

  • Kitchen cabinets, behind the oven and other large appliances
  • Airing cupboards and utility rooms
  • Bathroom cabinets 
  • Lofts, atticus and storage spaces 
  • Garden sheds and workshops
  • Cracks, fissures and holes in the wall

The Difference Between Mouse and Rat Droppings

It’s important to be able to differentiate mouse droppings from rat droppings in order to place effective treatment. Size is the key differentiator here, as stated previously, they are about ¼ of an inch in contrast to trap droppings, which are around half an inch long and are usually wider. 

Additionally, rats poop on the go whereas mice prefer to poop in one place, creating a pileup. 

Are Mouse Droppings Dangerous?

While not as dangerous as rat or pigeon droppings, mouse droppings do carry bacteria which can be dangerous to pets and humans when ingested. In some cases, mouse droppings may also trigger allergic reactions in some people. When inhaled, mouse droppings can also cause the following infectious diseases:

  • Hantavirus – a potentially fatal disease that is transmitted to humans then they ingest the urine, feces or saliva of infected rodents.
  • Bubonic plague – known for causing “The Black Death” in the early 14th century. It is highly contagious and is predominantly spread through bite of an infected rodent but can also be caught if urine, feces or saliva is ingested.

Do Mouse Droppings Smell?

Yes, mouse droppings are known to smell, especially when they are left in a property for too long. The longer they are left, the more difficult the smell is to eradicate.

What Should I do With Mouse Droppings?

Due to mouse droppings giving off a strong, unpleasant smell, air out the area for at least half an hour before cleaning begins. Next, sweep the droppings into a dustpan or hoover them up using a vacuum cleaner. 

Be sure to wear gloves and safely empty the vacuum cleaner/dustpan to dispose of the droppings. Place the droppings into a sealed bag and place this in your bin outside to ensure the smell does not remain in the property. 

Spray or clean the dropping area with antibacterial soap to ensure no remnants are left for pets or children to come into contact with.

Check up on the place you cleaned the droppings from to ensure the mouse is not still present. If it is, you may have an early infestation problem and trapping will be required to alleviate the problem. We’d recommend reading our The 10 Best Baits for Mice | Fast & Easy Removal Tips article.

Have You Spotted Mouse Droppings?

If you have spotted mouse droppings in your commercial property and you would rather let the professionals take care of it, Safeguard is on-hand to help. With over 35 years’ experience in the rat and mouse control industry and certified technicians equipped to handle any problem big or small, you’re in safe hands with our team.

We also provide emergency call-outs if your problem is urgent, for example, if a large infestation of mice is disrupting your commercial property and hindering your staff from working.

For commercial mouse dropping problems, please call our team today for fast, effective and affordable pest control solutions.

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