What Does Rat Feces Look Like?
The rats most commonly found infesting homes are Norway and roof rats. The feces of these species is often used by exterminators as a way to identify which type of rat is present. Rat droppings are at least twice the size of mouse droppings, and Norway rat feces is typically larger than those of roof rats. Norway rat droppings measure 3/4 of an inch in length and 1/4 of an inch in diameter. They are rectangular in shape and have blunt ends. Roof rat droppings are an average length of 1/2 of an inch and share the same diameter as those of Norway rats. They are sausage-shaped with pointed ends. All rat feces appears brown to black and usually contains as many as 200 hair fragments.
Can Rat Droppings Transmit Disease?
Disease can be transmitted by rat feces in three ways: the inhalation of dropping dust and particles, direct contact with infected droppings, and the consumption of food that has been contaminated by droppings. Humans may contract Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, Lassa fever, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, and tularemia by coming into contact with rat feces. Individuals sanitizing homes after rat infestations should never sweep or vacuum up droppings so as to avoid stirring up dust and particles.
Individual rats leave behind an average of 40 to 60 droppings each day. As such, infested homes are often littered with feces. Rats most often expel their waste in corners and secured areas, and their droppings may be found in and around pet food dishes, food storage containers, recycling bins, cabinets, drawers, counters, and under sinks. If rat excrement is found around the house, contact pest control specialists immediately. They have the tools and certifications to efficiently eradicate rat populations and set up integrated pest management plans that help prevent future infestations.