Pest Droppings Identification Guide

rat droppings

Finding pest droppings in your property is never a good sign. Not only are they unsightly, but they can signify a bigger problem: a pest infestation.

Once you have discovered the droppings, the first thing you will want to do is identify what kind of droppings they are so that the correct measures can be taken. While a pest control expert will be able to identify the pest by their droppings, if you know what to look out for, it could save you time, money and effort. Knowing how to identify the pest via its droppings will speed up the process and ultimately mean that  a faster removal from your property.

Discovering Pest Droppings

Once you discover droppings in or around your property, there’s an extremely high chance you have a nearby pest infestation. Of course, some pests cause more issues than others, so it’s important that you identify the pest quickly to ensure the infestation doesn’t worsen.

So, how do you tell the difference between one pest dropping and another? Let’s take a look at some of the most common pest droppings you’re likely to find in and around your property.


Mouse Droppings

Arguably the most common droppings found in and around your property, mouse droppings come in the form of pellets. They are fairly easy to spot because, while small, mouse pellets are usually found in groups. In fact, mice are known for depositing around 50 droppings on a daily basis!

Colour and Size:

Mouse droppings are usually black or brown and, as stated before, resemble a pellet. Their sizes range between 1/8 to ¼ inch, which is an important piece of information to remember as knowing the difference between a mouse dropping and a rat dropping is essential.

Location:

Mouse droppings are commonly found in areas where they explore. They’re inquisitive animals, so their droppings will be scattered around the property, usually in corners or dark places, such as behind fridges, cupboards and under beds. This is why it’s important to clean up any leftover food, because this is exactly what attracts mice in the first place.

Dangerous?

No, just unsightly!

What to do?

Capturing the mouse or mice is essential, as they’re known for breeding at alarming rates. We’d recommend laying out some humane mouse traps and, upon capture, releasing them into the wild. However, if the problem is more serious and the infestation is large, we’d strongly recommend contacting a pest control company. At AMES Group, we specialise in mouse infestation removal, so be sure to get in touch if you believe you may have an infestation!


Rat Droppings

Rat droppings share some similarities with mouse droppings; however, their dropping rate is far higher than other pests. On average, a rat will leave 25,000 droppings every year! This is because rats leave droppings as they move.

Colour and Size:

In most cases, rat droppings are between ¾ inches long and ¼ inches thick. Their shape depends on the species of rat but for the most part, they’re pellet-shaped, similar to mouse droppings only bigger.

Location:

Unlike mice, rat droppings aren’t found in groups because they defecate on the move. The droppings are similar in shape to mouse droppings, though slightly larger.

Dangerous?

Rat droppings can be very dangerous if they’re not cleaned. The droppings can carry a host of diseases, and if they’re found in a warehouse, they may have come into contact with food and drink and this can lead to serious illness, especially if the droppings have come into contact with food and drink.

What to do?

Rat droppings can be very dangerous, especially if they come into direct contact with humans. They can carry multiple diseases that can cause serious problems if they’re not swiftly addressed. Contacting a pest control expert is safer than attempting to address the problem yourself. While the droppings can be hoovered and cleaned, the dust formed by the droppings is dangerous, especially if direct inhaled. At AMES Group, we specialise in rat infestation removal, so be sure to get in touch if you believe you may have an infestation!


Squirrel Droppings

Squirrels are another common pest we find ourselves dealing with. While they aren’t as invasive or dangerous as rats, they do still present a threat to our properties. Red squirrels are far less invasive and rarer than grey squirrels, which is why we’ll be focusing on the grey squirrel.

Colour and Size:

Squirrel droppings can be identified by their round, cylindrical shape. They’re usually around 3/8 inches long and can easily be identified by their unique smell. This is because the squirrel’s diet is not as diverse as other pests. Their droppings are usually light brown in colour and are generally found in clusters wherever they have been feeding. Bird feeders are common areas where you’ll find droppings, mainly because they’re trying to steal the food.

Location:

The most common area you’re likely to find squirrel droppings is around bird feeders or below trees. It’s incredibly rare that you’ll find droppings inside a property unless it’s a shed or somewhere with easy access to food.

Dangerous?

Squirrels can carry a host of diseases, which is why their droppings are best left avoided and left to a pest control expert.

What to do?

Grey squirrels are an invasive species and you’d be wise to have them safely removed from your property as soon as possible. Their droppings are also dangerous, which is another reason why they should be dealt with swiftly. At AMES Group, we specialise in squirrel infestation removal, so be sure to get in touch if you believe you may have an infestation!


Cockroach Droppings

Cockroaches are arguably the least desirable pest, as not only are they unsightly but they’re notoriously difficult to eradicate. Although they are smaller than the rest of the pests on this list, their droppings are still very noticeable.

Colour and Size:

Cockroach droppings are easy to spot, they’re the size of small grains of rice and they’re usually dark or brown in colour. They’re also pellet-shaped and their size depends on the size of the cockroach, but generally speaking they’re about half the size of a grain of rice.

Location:

Cockroach droppings are very small but because they’re found in clusters, they’re easy to spot. They are usually found in corners of rooms, under beds, floorboards and sometimes even cupboards and shelves.

Dangerous?

Cockroach droppings can trigger allergic reactions such as asthma. This makes the droppings dangerous and we’d highly recommend that you contact a pest control expert to remove the droppings and eradicate the presence of cockroaches.

What to do?

Cockroaches are one of the most unsightly and difficult to remove pests in the world. We’d highly recommend that you contact a professional pest control service to remove these insects. Being notoriously difficult to kill, standard pesticides may have little to no effect on them. At AMES Group, we specialise in cockroach infestation removal, so be sure to get in touch if you believe you may have an infestation!


Pigeon Droppings

Pigeons are responsible for a multitude of problems, notably their droppings. Pigeons are one of the most common bird species in the UK and, because many of them take up residence in our cities and industrial areas, their droppings become a major problem.

Colour and Size:

Pigeon poos range in colour, mainly white and black depending on their diet. The size again, ranges but they’re usually between ½ an inch to an inch long.

Location:

Pigeons are native to our cities, so their droppings are usually located where they nest. They are particularly fond of balconies, air conditioning units and anywhere up high. Their droppings can be found anywhere as they’re constantly on the move, the droppings are also notoriously difficult to remove.

Dangerous?

Yes, pigeon droppings are highly acidic and will have no trouble eroding certain surfaces, namely cars exteriors, statues and anything metallic. Attempting to remove pigeon droppings using conventional DIY methods will prove very difficult due to their acidity. This is why a pest control expert will be required to ensure safe and effective removal is carried out.

What to do?

Pigeon droppings, while unsightly and dangerous, can be easily removed by a pest control expert. If your property has been affected by pigeon droppings, you will need to contact a professional because it’s likely that they will also advise deterring the pigeons as well. Pigeons have an in-built homing system, so while you can’t remove them, you can help stop them from returning using tools such as pigeon spikes, pigeon netting and sonar systems.


Seagull Droppings

In a similar sense to pigeons, seagulls are also known to dominate urban areas which results in a frequent need to clean their droppings. Their droppings aren’t as dangerous as pigeon droppings, but they do harbour nasty bacteria and will also damage property upon contact.

Colour and Size:

Seagull droppings are predominantly white in colour and usually very sticky. Due to their frequent flying, their excrement is usually splattered and therefore their size cannot accurately be measured. However, they are usually between an inch and an inch and a half long.

Location:

Similar to pigeons, seagull droppings are located along their flight path. As they drop from the sky, their location can vary, but they usually take up residence along coast lines and urban areas.

Dangerous?

While seagull droppings are not as acidic as pigeon droppings, they do still carry bacteria that can be harmful to humans. Additionally, their droppings will stain if left on a surface for too long. It’s advised that as soon as you notice seagull droppings, you clean them from your property.

What to do?

Seagull droppings can be easily cleaned but it’s important this is done swiftly to ensure no staining or property damage follows. Additionally, because their droppings may contain antibiotic resistance bacteria, it’s advised that the droppings are removed carefully.


If you have come into contact with any of the above pests or their droppings, it’s strongly recommended that you contact a professional pest control company. Pest infestations can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage if they are left untreated and their droppings can also cause a host of issues, some even fatal. Hopefully this guide can help both identify and safely rid pest droppings from your property.

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