What Does Rat Poop Look Like?

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Animal droppings can be a cause for concern for many homeowners, and rat poop differs from other critters that may invade your home, including mice, squirrels, chipmunks, and others. This difference can help distinguish what rodent species are frequenting your dwelling so you can take the correct precautions to evacuate them. 

If you’re not familiar with the variances in rat poop vs. mice poop or other invasive critters, here you’ll find all the information you need to know to keep these rodents away from your house.

What Does Rat Poop Look Like? 

Rat droppings vary depending on the different species. But, in general, they are bigger than mice droppings, from half an inch long up to one inch, and they look dark and shiny when fresh and gray and dusty when older.

Identifying Rat Droppings

Let’s look at some distinguishing features that will help you tell if it is rat poop vs. mouse poop in your home or office space. 


Noticing the variances of rat poop vs. mice poop will help determine which critter is invading your home. When they first release excrement, rat poop color will be shiny and dark, almost black. However, the color will lighten and change to a dark grey or dusty look as it ages. 


The size is one of the distinguishing features that will tell you if there are rats in your dwelling. Rat droppings will be larger than mouse droppings and measure anywhere between a half-inch to a full inch in length. 


Like mice or squirrels, rats will poop much more than other invasive critters. Therefore, if you have a rat infestation, you will notice droppings scattered as they scurry rather than concentrated in one spot. 

A rat can poop up to 25,000 pellets each year, creating a significant mess if they are left to thrive in your house or office. 


While the shape of rat feces is similar to mouse droppings, it will be significantly larger. Rat poop will be oblong, resembling a spindle, but can be thicker in the middle, measuring up to a ¼ inch wide with tapered ends. 


Fresh rat feces will be soft and pliable but dry out and harden after a few days. This attribute is similar to mouse feces. However, droppings from a mouse will dry out faster as it is smaller. 


Rats will typically reside in a basement or roof area when they invade a home or office space. With a concentration of droppings in the lower levels of a home or the rafters of an office, rats are most likely the culprit. 

Rat Poop vs. Mouse Poop

Although determining the difference between rat poop vs. mice poop can help you find out what critters are in your home, some rat species also have distinguishing features in their feces.

Norway Rat Droppings

Norway rats are a common brown rat species that you will find anywhere there are humans. Their poop tends to be thicker with blunt ends and measures up to ¾-inch long. You could mistake them for tiny black seeds. 

Roof Rat Droppings

Roof rats are more common in the southern states of North America as they prefer warmer climates. However, they are not as adaptable as Norway rats, making them less widespread than their cousins. Roof rat droppings are dark and have pointed ends, similar to mouse poop. 

Mouse Droppings

Mouse droppings are significantly smaller than rat feces. It will resemble food, such as chocolate sprinkles or grains of rice. Mouse poop will vary from 3 to 8mm in size, making it significantly smaller than rat poop. 

How to Clean Rat Droppings

Proper cleaning is critical when handling and eradicating rat droppings from your home or office. Cleaning rodent droppings must be done carefully to avoid transmitting surface bacteria and airborne pathogens. Ensure you wear protective gear during the cleaning process. 

  1. Ensure there are no further rat infestations in your home
  2. Open any doors and windows to air out the location with rat droppings for at least 30 minutes
  3. Clean up any loose rat droppings, nests, or debris
  4. Disinfect the area 
  5. Thoroughly mop and disinfect all surfaces and the floor 

Cleaning Rat Droppings

If you need to learn how to clean mouse droppings or rat poop, following these steps can ensure your space is clean once again. 

Do not vacuum any rat droppings, as they could force airborne pathogens into the space around you and spread to other nearby areas. Instead, use a broom to lightly sweep up any feces or a paper towel to pick up droppings and debris and discard them into a bag for immediate disposal. 

Take notice of any debris, such as paper, boxes, or anywhere rats may have nesting areas. Clean out these spaces and keep your home free of clutter to avoid future infestations.

Disinfect the Area

Use an industrial disinfectant or a homemade solution of bleach and water to disinfect the area properly. Thoroughly spray the location with this solution and let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Remember to disinfect any spaces where you find bite or claw marks, as these were also traveling areas for rats in the home. 

What Are Other Signs of a Rat Infestation?

Droppings are not the only way to determine if you have a rat infestation. Other signs that rats may be inhabiting your space include: 

  • Nesting areas that use paper, fabric, leaves, or other plant matter
  • Unknown smells coming from specific regions of the home, such as basements and attics
  • Chewing marks or holes on food packaging 
  • Chewing marks or holes in walls or floor spaces 


No one likes dealing with a rat problem at home or work. However, calling rat control experts can help rid your space of these critters and keep them from coming back. When you do not address this situation as soon as possible, you risk spreading the problem and becoming much worse over time. 

With the proper preventative measures and cleaning procedures, you can once again have a clean rat-free home without worries about harmful bacteria or pathogens. 

Jake Garza
Jake Garza
Jake is the founder of Hama Pest Control, the preferred choice for pest removal and extermination in the Greater Toronto Area. With over thirty years of experience, Jake prides himself in bringing quality, knowledge, and care to Hama Pest Control's customers.
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