Rats and Mice: The Scoop on Poop

white mouse going down hallway

Have you found what looks like mysterious tracks of dirt around your house? Take a closer look, because what you’re seeing may actually be rodent poop. Like any animal droppings, rat and mouse poop is not a pleasant sight for any homeowner. However, unlike some of these other animals, mishandling their leavings poses a particular health hazard. What does mouse poop look like? How can you clean rat droppings safely? And who can you call in Baton Rouge for comprehensive rat control services? We’ll answer all of that below.

Rat Versus Mouse Droppings

Rats and mice may both be considered the same kind of pests, but they’re very different creatures. Rats are much larger, for instance, and their droppings reflect that. They will leave waste all over the house in pellets the size of a coffee bean. Rat droppings are commonly mistaken for squirrel poop, though squirrel leavings are more rounded and lighten over time.

Compare this to mouse poop. Mice are so small that their waste is sometimes confused with cockroach poop. Both are dark and tiny, though mouse droppings are pointed at the ends like a grain of rice. You might find these dark brown grains in your silverware drawer, or behind spaces where you store food. If you do, it’s a sure sign of the presence of mice somewhere in your home. But before you address that, how can you properly clean the leavings in front of you right now?

How to Safely Clean Mouse and Rat Poop

There’s a respiratory disease called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, or just Hantavirus for short. It’s a severe respiratory disease that has similar symptoms to COVID-19, including the possibility of the patient’s lungs filling with fluid. The fatality rate is around 38%, but in the United States, there have been no cases of the disease being transferred from person to person. How does it spread, then?

Rats and mice are both known for carrying HPS. When they leave their droppings around the house, their waste contains the virus. So, if you come across a pile and sweep or vacuum it up, you’re unknowingly releasing virus particles into the air. That’s not to say that you can’t clean rodent waste from around your house, it just means that to do so requires some careful precautions.

You’ll need rubber or plastic gloves, eye goggles and a mask. Once you’re protected, spray the contaminated area with bleach or disinfectant and allow it to soak for five minutes. Once you’ve done that, you can wipe up the mess with a paper towel and throw it away. After that you can clean as you usually would, vacuuming or scrubbing depending on the location of the mess. Doing all this cleans and sanitizes your home, but it doesn’t remove the pest from your property. To do that you’ll need some professional help.

Dugas for Rodent Control

At Dugas Pest Control we’ve been controlling pests around Baton Rouge for almost a hundred years. We are familiar with all the main rodents and other pests in this part of Louisiana, and we can treat for all of them. Rats and mice, if left on their own, can damage your belongings and your house as a whole. They will tunnel through insulation and gnaw at wood and wires, increasing the risk of an electrical fire. If you’re in the Baton Rouge LA area and have a rodent infestation, we’re the ones that can get rid of it for you. Not only that, but we can implement exclusion tactics to make sure more don’t get in later. To learn more and get your free quote, contact us today!

Everything You Need to Know About Southern Mice

Mice come in many different types and they can take on a variety of roles in regard to their relationship with humans.

People keep them as pets, they are some of the most important animals when it comes to scientific research, but most commonly they make themselves unwanted pests that live in and around our homes.

To remove mice from a home and prevent them from entering again, it requires an understanding of these creatures’ habits and weaknesses.

Find out what you need to know about these rodents in the following guide.

All About Mice

Mice come in a variety of different species and they all have their own unique characteristics and behaviors. However, for this guide, we are mostly going to be focused on the house mouse; those little brown critters that you may find living in your home or scurrying about in the yard.

Unless a mouse is eating or sleeping, it is very likely to be running. They try to get from place to place quickly to avoid predators or any other danger that may exist. Though running is their most common form of movement, they can also climb, swim and jump if the need should arise.

Just like humans, mice are omnivorous and they will eat from a variety of different food sources. If they are in a home or storeroom, they are very likely to get into food that is being kept or trash bins that have discarded edible material in them. In addition to being found around homes, the house mouse will also be found around agricultural land.

When they inhabit a location, the first order of business is to locate a concealed place to build their nest. Generally, in a nesting area there will be one dominant male with a few females and their young.

Mice in the New Orleans Area

If humans settle somewhere, it is almost certain that mice are going to try to take advantage of the situation. The structures that we build provide good opportunities for nesting and our presence usually means that there will be some form of food source available to them.

While rats and mice are common to just about every city, the unfortunate fact is that New Orleans has a particularly bad problem with rodents.

Surveys have shown that residents of New Orleans report a much higher rate of pest spottings than other cities and this includes animals such as the house mouse and the rat. There are many reasons for larger numbers, but our temperate climate and relatively high numbers of abandoned properties play a big part.

Signs of a Mouse Infestation

A human dwelling is an especially inviting place for rodents, and mice are very resourceful when it comes to finding ways into your house. In fact, it could be said that if a homeowner doesn’t currently have rodent squatters, without proper precautions he will soon!

Therefore, it is important for homeowners to know how to identify an infestation.

Seeing the mice is probably the easiest way to identify an infestation, but they do have a tendency to stay out of sight, so you need to look for other signs.

Firstly, an area where mice are nesting will have a distinct musky odor to it. Unfortunately, some people know this as simply ‘the way the attic smells.’

Additionally, you can look for signs like droppings, gnaw marks, and tracks under furniture and along walls. While you’re in the attic or shed retrieving lights, you should look around a bit to find any nests.

Prevention and Controlling Mice

For rodent control, there are a few approaches that you could take.

Using things like poisons and glue traps are not recommended, not only because it is incredibly easy to nab a creature you weren’t targeting, and it’s also a pretty cruel way to go, but most importantly it does nothing to prevent reoccurrence.

The most important factor is prevention!

Eliminate all food sources by keeping a clean kitchen and carefully storing food in a way that is difficult for rodents to access.

Use a trash can with a secure lid to prevent feasting on leftovers. Perhaps most importantly, you should work to identify the places where they gain entry and find a way to close it off.

Humane Removal Concerns

If mice are in your home, then finding a humane way to remove them is the best way to go. Even traps that are designed to kill instantly often end up merely injuring the animal and as a result, they die a slow and painful death.

If you do remove all the mice successfully, exclusion is the key to keeping this from happening again. If you do not limit their access and eliminate the food sources, they will just keep coming back.

For expert help with trapping, removal and exclusion, contact our professionals at Dugas Pest Control. We have the necessary experience to humanely trap and release mice, and our team knows all of the ins and outs of exclusion and prevention.

Don’t let mice overwhelm you, let us help you end this nuisance once & for all!