Mice are big pests and at the same time masters of hide-and-seek. We rarely see them. But on their forays through the house, the nocturnal rodents leave telltale tracks: mouse droppings!

Mouse droppings – a crucial clue

Mice are nocturnal and afraid of people. They only roam free when they feel safe. If they sense danger, they flee to safety in a flash. If noises, bite marks or an unpleasant smell have aroused initial suspicion, the droppings come into focus. If you didn’t discover it by accident, look for it specifically. Especially at the beginning of an infestation, his assessment often provides the only clear indication of this pest.

Be careful when handling mouse droppings

Be aware of the dangers posed by mouse droppings. Not only are they unhygienic, but they can be contaminated with dangerous germs. First and foremost is the hantavirus, which causes an illness with flu-like symptoms in humans. Put on protective gloves and, if possible, also wear a breathing mask. Even dried-up droppings are still a health hazard, as small particles can become detached and float in the air.

Search for possible hiding spots

Mouse droppings are not always easy and quick to track down. The bigger the house, the more hiding places it will offer these pests. If you want to be absolutely sure, keep searching until you discover faeces or until you have searched everything. Here you need to take a closer look:

  • behind/under furniture
  • in cupboards and drawers
  • in pantries and cable ducts
  • in the basement, garage or attic
  • behind sacks, in boxes, in the middle of discarded “junk”
  • in dark corners

size and appearance

Mice drop feces that are typical in size and appearance. You can identify them with the following information:

  • Length can be between 3 and 8 mm
  • the shape is reminiscent of a grain of rice
  • the color is dark brown to black
Note: If there is a mouse in the house, you will very likely discover several pieces of droppings. If they are isolated and randomly distributed over a larger area, this clearly indicates a mouse. Each specimen lays about 60-80 droppings per day.

Conclusions from appearance

If all the pieces of droppings are about the same length, you are probably dealing with only one mouse, because each animal “fabricates” pieces of about the same length. On the other hand, if there are pieces of different lengths, you could be dealing with a larger infestation. A mix of very small and large pieces of droppings indicates a diligent reproduction with young animals.

Distinguish between fresh and old faeces

If the mouse droppings are fresh, this indicates an acute infestation, while old droppings can also be from an earlier infestation that is long gone. How to tell the difference:

  • fresh fecal pellets have a moist, glossy surface and are soft
  • old fecal pellets are dull, hard, and possibly crumbled
Tip: You can also recognize older excrement by its color. This gradually fades and finally becomes greyish.

The smell

The smell that mice leave in the house is intense and is perceived by humans as a stench. It is spread by both the feces and urine of these rodents.

Clean up the stool as soon as possible

Since mouse droppings pose a risk to human health, you must remove them immediately and then thoroughly clean and disinfect the storage area. Do not use a vacuum cleaner, viruses can be released into the breathing air via the exhaust air. Of course, you should promptly initiate suitable control measures or contact a pest controller to catch the pest.

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