Home generalIs the rat droppings? This is how to properly detect faeces from rats

Is the rat droppings? This is how to properly detect faeces from rats

  • Rat droppings in detail
    • side effects

The fear of rats and other vermin sits deep among gardeners and homeowners. Due to their way of life and their history, rodents are uninhabited cultural followers, who are still able to transmit diseases to humans today. However, fleas are rarer here. Here it is more about the feces, which can quickly become a real danger together with the other excretions of the animals.

Oh scary! After a long time you were back in your attic and suddenly you find the droppings of a rodent. Of course, you immediately ask yourself whether the excretions are those of a rat. Rats are still found today in the urban environment of humans, which have secured the cultural successor as housing and food base. For humans, this often has serious consequences if the infestation degenerates. Especially if the rodents eat unnoticed food, it can lead to infections with numerous bacteria and viruses. It is helpful if you can identify the feces.

Rat droppings in detail

It is important to know what forms of rat droppings you can encounter. The reason: there are two basic rat species in Central Europe that are close to humans. These would be, on the one hand, the house-rat, whose tail is longer than her body and in most cases will nest in her four walls, and on the other, the brown rat . This is significantly larger than the house rat, comes from East Asia and was the first transmitter of the plague, after the animals were brought as passengers on ships to Europe. The differentiation of the feces facilitates the work for the exterminator in case of a large infestation. Now the feces in detail.

Houshold Rat (Rattus rattus) faeces

Houshold rat dung is found mostly in living rooms, especially in attics . For this reason, the 15 to 25 centimeters large rodents are often called roof rat. The tail of the house rat has a length of 18 to 28 centimeters, which causes great disgust in many people. You can tell if you have an infestation by house rats if the feces look like this.

  • Length: 10 - 20 mm
  • Color: light or medium brown, discolored darker
  • resemble sausages
  • bent

The excretions of the house rat are also not stored centrally, but scattered over a larger area. The animals are always on the move and, for that reason, even kill while moving.

Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) manure

Brown rats are taller than house rats, ranging in size from 20 to 30 centimeters and made more robust. They also have a shorter tail of up to 23 centimeters and smaller ears. Brown rats are less common in homes, but in gardens, sheds, or on land that is near water sources such as sewers, ponds, rivers, or streams. Your droppings are very different from those of the house rat.

  • Length: 20 - 30 mm
  • Diameter: 20 - 30 mm
  • Color: dark brown to black
  • Remember cocoons
  • fusiform

Brown rats do not spread their feces over larger areas, but relieve themselves at one point. That is, the droppings are accumulated as a pile and thus easy to find. As a result, you can also immediately see if it is a migrant or house rat.

If you notice a little rat droppings because one of the creatures has taken a short cut through their living space, you do not have to panic yet. As soon as you notice a small amount of feces, watch the spot for a long time before you contact the exterminator . It may well be that the rat has only accidentally got lost in your premises. Furthermore, the description of mouse and hedgehog faeces, which also differ greatly from rat droppings, follows. Since all of these animals live in the same environment, your garden, the comparison makes it easier to distinguish them.

mouse droppings

Rat droppings usually remain dark and do not turn gray, which speaks unmistakably for mouse droppings. For this reason, you can immediately tell if it is mice or rats that have taken up residence with you. In addition, the excretions of the rats are much faster to recognize, even if there are a few copies. In contrast, mouse droppings are usually not noticed until it is already too late and the animals have settled in permanently.

  • Size: 2 - 10 mm
  • Color depending on food: green, brown, black, gray
  • is wet in the fresh state
  • dries out over time
  • reminiscent of small seeds or rice grains


Hedgehog droppings are rarely confused with rat or mouse droppings as they are much larger . However, the excretions of kittens can be confused with those of the rodents, as these reach a maximum size of 20 millimeters.

  • Size: 20 - 50 mm
  • Color depending on food: cream yellow, light brown, dark brown, black
  • Thickness resembles a pencil
  • runs to the ends pointed
  • in older animals there is an indentation in the feces
  • this is missing in young animals

Igelkot differs significantly from rat and mouse droppings and can not be found in your living quarters. Hedgehogs only stay on their property and rarely get lost in unfinished buildings. If you notice hedgehog droppings, you do not have to do anything because the animals are loners . However, you should pay attention to whether the droppings in a light green color and has a soft, almost slimy consistency. In this case, the animal is ill.

Tip: The color rats, domesticated rats that you can keep as pets, are breeds of brown rat. The reason for this is the intensive pigmentation of the coat, which can present itself from fuchsrot to brown-black in many shades.

side effects

Rat droppings do not come alone. Rats have a pronounced territorial behavior, which serves on the one hand to expand their own colony and on the other to warn their members of potential dangers. There are also other clear features that arise from the movement of the animals.

Typical of a rat pest are:

  • Strong smell of ammonia in living rooms
  • gnawing marks
  • Trajectories and signs of lubrication are visible
  • Mold forms

The signs of smudging are mainly due to dirt, grease and fecal deposits of the animals on the coat. The trails are mainly in the garden. In any case, you should contact the exterminator for these signs, as the risk of transmitted diseases rises sharply. Especially the smell of ammonia is an important warning sign here, because ammonia develops only after some time. This means. If you smell ammonia, the rats have been living in your apartment for some time.

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