Rat Droppings: Location, Identification and Removal

One of the most worrying pest-related suspicions a homeowner can have is that there may be a rat nesting somewhere in your home. Where one rat can be found, it is highly likely that there will be more, and if they are left to their own devices, you may find yourself overrun by an infestation. To prevent this from happening, it is heavily recommended that you check for signs of rats, including rat droppings in and around your property.

If you have found rat droppings in your house, or you have found droppings but have not been able to positively identify them, then Safeguard are here to help. As experts in pest control and removal, we know how to identify rat droppings, and will be happy to provide our customers with advice on what to do to locate and identify them, as well as get them cleaned up.

When you find recent rat droppings in your home, the animal that caused them will still likely be hiding somewhere on your property as well. We know that you will want to do something about this, before one or two problem pests become a large infestation.

Get in touch with us today and we will be able to carry out a swift and professional removal on any and all rats found on your property, keeping your space pest-free and letting you get back to everyday life.

Locating Rat Droppings

Rats are able to produce up to 40 droppings a night, which will usually be found in concentrated areas. These are the areas that rats will most likely visit when they are moving through your house, either unseen or at night, when everybody who lives in the property is asleep. 

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Areas where you are most likely to find rat droppings include:

  • Attics and other spaces where rats may nest
  • Unused boxes
  • Near packets of food
  • Cupboards and drawers
  • Gaps between walls and crawl spaces that rodents may use as “runways”
  • Behind furniture
  • Behind appliances such as cookers, dishwashers and washing machines.

If you find droppings in any of these locations and they appear to have been recently left, it is likely that you will have a rat or several in your home. Fortunately, we know exactly what to do to remove them for you, with little hassle and minimal disruption to your daily routine. Contact us today and we will be able to send one of our trained and qualified team members to your location in no time at all, helping you to get your home pest-free again.

Identifying Rat Droppings

When you find one or more droppings, they will most likely be from a rat if they are dark brown, moist and tapered or curved. In terms of shape, rat droppings look like a large and wide grain of rice. They should also be between 10-20mm in length. Older droppings will be dry, greyer in colour and may easily fall apart if touched (if you only find droppings like this, they will most likely have been left behind from rats that have been in your home previously).

Rat droppings do smell, but their odour will most likely be overpowered by rat urine, as this will also be present if you have fresh rat droppings in your home.

Rat vs. Mouse Droppings

The most noticeable difference between mouse and rat droppings will be the size. A rat dropping’s size will be much larger than that of a mouse, while a mouse dropping will have thinner, more pointed ends. There may also appear to be more droppings if you have a mouse infestation, as they can produce twice the amount that rats can per day.

Rat Dropping Health Risks

Out of every sign and symptom that you have rats in your home, rat droppings remain the one most likely to pose a risk to your health. This not only extends to you and other people living on your property (there is an increased risk if someone in the house is pregnant), but it can also affect your pets. Rat droppings are dangerous for dogs in particular, as well as humans.

Diseases caused by rat droppings that can affect humans include:

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
  • Hantavirus Haemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS)
  • Weil’s Disease
  • Rat-Bite Fever
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis
  • Salmonellosis
  • Leptospirosis

Diseases caused by rat droppings that can affect pets include:

  • Rat-Bite Fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Tularemia (Rabbit Fever)
  • Roundworm
  • Plague

The longer rat droppings are left on your property, the more the risk of a health hazard increases. In order to prevent this from happening, it is best that the droppings are cleared up as soon as possible. To ensure that no more can be created after this, you should also call us right away so that one of our team members can remove the rats for you.

Cleaning up Rat Droppings

You must be thorough when attempting to clean up rat droppings, as any that are missed will still run the risk of passing on disease to you, your family and your pets. Below, we have listed a several step procedure that will allow you to safely clean up and remove rat droppings from your home.

  1. Ventilate Your Home

When you find rat droppings somewhere in your home, you should ventilate the room before you attempt to clean them up. Open all the doors and windows that lead into the area for at least half an hour before starting.

  1. Put on Protective Wear

Before attempting to remove the droppings, remember to put on rubber gloves, a face mask, and think about wearing protective goggles as well. These will keep you from handling the droppings directly, inhaling any dust from them or potentially getting dust or particles in your eyes.

  1. Use a Disinfectant Spray

Create a solution of 360ml of chlorine bleach with 5L of hot water and spray the droppings with this mixture. You should not try to vacuum rat droppings, or sweep them up, as this can release pathogens into the air or trap the pathogens in your broom or vacuum cleaner.

  1. Pick up the Droppings

Use a paper towel to pick them up, placing them in a sealable plastic bag. The paper towel should also be placed in a sealable plastic bag.

  1. Dispose of the Droppings

Discard the bags in a bin outside your home.

  1. Disinfect all Surfaces

Using the same disinfectant you used on the droppings, wipe all the floors and surfaces in the room. Wipe them dry with a paper towel.

  1. Wash Your Hands

Clean your hands thoroughly using hot water and disinfectant, making sure you also clean under your nails and around your wrists.


The next course of action after you have removed the rat droppings will be to prevent more from appearing. To do this, you should contact a professional pest removal service to remove any rats that are still in your home.

This will put a stop to the diseases caused by rats and can prevent damage that they would ordinarily cause to your property, allowing you to feel like your space is clean and pest-free once more.

Get in Touch

If you suspect there may be rats in your home, either because you have heard noises, found droppings or seen the damage they have caused, contact Safeguard today. Our team is made up of highly trained and qualified professionals, who will carry out a swift, safe removal for any and all rats found on your property. 

We want you to feel comfortable in your space, so we will do everything we can to make that happen. We will even be happy to offer advice on what to do to stop rats from returning to your home. Get in touch and we will send someone to help as soon as possible.

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