Found Mouse Droppings in the Kitchen – What Do I Do?

So you’ve found a few gnawed cereal boxes, torn-up old newspapers, and a mysterious hole in your sofa. Congratulations, you’ve got yourself an uninvited rodent family! The missing cereal and little gifts left behind? Yep, that’s mouse poop.

While this may seem amusing, the discovery of mouse droppings is not a laughing matter. It’s a red flag signaling a home invasion that might be harmful to your health. Direct contact with these droppings could expose you to diseases like Hantavirus, Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome, and Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis.

Today, we’re going on a knowledge quest! We’ll explore how to differentiate between mouse and rat droppings, how to identify mouse droppings, how they spread diseases, and how to clean them up safely. It’s crucial to arm yourself with this information, especially if there’s a chance you’re unknowingly hosting a rodent refuge. Doing so can help ensure your home remains a secure, clean, and healthy sanctuary for your family.

The Art of Identifying Your Unwanted Guests: Mice vs. Rats

Your detective work begins with identifying the source of those droppings – are they from a mouse or a rat?

Identifying your rodent housemates is key before brainstorming your eviction strategy. Mice and rats might belong to the same order, Rodentia, but their extermination plans differ significantly due to their unique traits.

To successfully bid farewell to the uninvited rodents in your home, here’s a handy guide to discern whether you’re dealing with mice or rats:


Mice are petite creatures, weighing between 0.5 ounces and 3 ounces. Their round bodies, triangle-shaped noses, large ears, and black beady eyes are distinctive features. Their fur is smooth and can be brown or gray. Mice have thin, fur-covered tails.

On the other hand, rats are larger, weighing between 12 ounces and 1.5 pounds. They have large heads, small ears, and round eyes. Their fur is coarse and can be gray, white, or brown. Rats sport longer, thicker, scaly, and furless tails.


Mice typically dwell in rural areas in the eastern and midwest regions of the United States. They often find shelter in warm houses, under decks, garages, or sometimes under trees in the yard.

Conversely, rats are more urban-dwellers, also prevalent in the eastern and mid-west regions. They are often found nesting in attics, basements, within walls, and even in sewers when houses or buildings are not accessible.


Returning to your initial discovery – the droppings on your kitchen counter.

Mouse droppings are small, about 1/4th of an inch long, resembling tiny black grains of rice. You’ll typically find around a hundred droppings at once.

Rat droppings, on the other hand, are shaped like elongated ovals and measure about 3/4th of an inch. You’ll find fewer droppings, perhaps between 20 and 50, at a time compared to mice.


Both rats and mice are on a constant quest for shelter and food. However, their dietary preferences differ.

Mice have a fondness for specific types of food, such as bread, crumbs, seeds, fruit, meat, and plants. So, if you notice tiny nibbles in these foods, you might be hosting a mouse.

Rats are less choosy and will eat almost anything, often found rummaging through dumpsters looking for leftovers.


Both rodents pose risks to you and your family when they infiltrate your home, carrying diseases such as Hantavirus, West Nile virus, and Lassa Fever.

Rats tend to be more aggressive than mice and can bite when agitated, potentially causing Rat Bite Fever. Mice, interestingly, are often scared of rats, mainly due to rats’ tendencies to kill and eat mice.

Furthermore, the fur from mice and rats can cause allergic reactions and breathing difficulties.

If you believe you have mice or rats covertly living in your home, it’s essential to act swiftly to ensure their eviction.

Where to Look for Mouse Droppings?

Mice are timid creatures, not keen on doing their business center-stage. Areas to inspect for droppings are those with food sources such as inside your kitchen cabinets, pantries, and food stores.

Mice usually nest in these areas. So, if you discover any dark cylindrical droppings here, there’s a high chance you’re inadvertently running a rodent motel! Other places to check for signs of mice include:

  • Inside or on cupboard tops;
  • Along the skirting;
  • Under appliances;
  • Behind furniture;
  • Inside drawers;
  • Near electrical wires;
  • In your garage;
  • In your garden.
Calling in the Cavalry: On Demand Pest Control

Should you find yourself dealing with a mouse infestation, it’s advisable to seek professional help. At On Demand Pest Control, our specialists have a keen understanding of mouse behavior. We are skilled at detecting the slightest signs of their presence and identifying their favorite entry points.

Partnering with a pest control expert can help create an effective strategy for mouse eradication, keeping your home safe from these pests and their associated health risks.

If you notice signs of mouse activity in your home, such as noises within the walls, or have concerns about potential health risks, it’s essential to act immediately.

Don’t hesitate to contact On Demand. We offer a complimentary property inspection. Swift action at the first hint of a possible infestation is crucial.

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