Your Full Guide to Pest Identification by Droppings
Last updated: 12/01/2023
Estimated read time: 5.5 minutes
So many pests are experts at evading our detection. It’s a big part of what makes them such effective home invaders. Still, even the sneakiest pest tends to leave behind a few clues—specifically, their poop! Read on to learn about some of the most common pest droppings you’ll encounter in your home, who they belong to, and what to do, including poop belong to:
Appearance: Mouse droppings are among the most common that you’ll find in your home and are easily identifiable by their small, pellet-like appearance and tight grouping. A single mouse can produce more than 50 per day, so it’s not uncommon to discover mouse poop in large volumes.
Location: While it’s not uncommon to discover mouse droppings in and around your kitchen and food storage areas, they’re most often found near nests and breeding areas. This is a helpful tool in aiding a rodent control professional find the source of a lingering infestation.
What To Do: Step one is to thoroughly clean the area. Open windows or run fans to allow for proper ventilation, then, using gloves or any other form of hand protection, remove the droppings and dispose of them securely. Next, wipe down the area with an effective disinfectant with the ability to kill or neutralize viruses and then call an exterminator right away.
Appearance: Unlike their smaller relatives, rats produce larger droppings. Rat feces can be identified easily due to their droppings’ larger size and more oblong appearance, compared to those belonging to mice.
Location: Rats’ poop is usually found in the back of shelves, drawers, and other storage areas. Additionally, kitchen storage spaces, attics, and even underneath electrical appliances aren’t unusual. This provides rodent control technicians with fewer clues as to the epicenter of an infestation, but can still be helpful in tracking their movements.
What To Do: Follow the same steps as described above when discussing what to do about mouse droppings. Both mice and rats can expose your loved ones to similar hazards and are generally treated in the same ways. Learn more about our rodent control program.
Appearance: Proportionally large to the pest that produces them, cockroach droppings resemble small, brown grains of rice. Their size varies significantly across roach species, meaning that their droppings are an essential tool in diagnosing an infestation.
Location: Roaches of all varieties typically defecate close to where they eat. Given that they’re usually attracted to your kitchen and food-prep areas, that’s where you’re most likely to encounter roach poop.
What To Do: Roach poop isn’t known to carry or transmit disease so following basic cleaning procedures will be effective. However, the presence of cockroach poop is a surefire sign of an infestation, making professional pest removal necessary. Learn more about our pest control program.
Appearance: Among the most unique on this list, termite feces, also known as frass, is brown or black and dusty in appearance and can easily be confused for wood dust upon quick inspection.
Location: Termites push their fecal pellets out of their nests through various exit holes. This typically results in small mounds near their nests which can help you identify their presence in your home.
What To Do: Similar to cockroach poop, termites’ aren’t harmful. This means that they can be swept or vacuumed up with little to no risk. However, we recommend leaving them in place to help a termite treatment professional locate their nests and properly assess your needs. Learn more about our termite treatment plan.
Appearance: Given the breadth of ant species that may target your home, it is difficult to say that ant droppings have one uniquely identifying feature. Carpenter ant droppings are nearly identical to termite frass, given their diet of wood (learn more about ant vs termite droppings). However, with other varieties of ants that nest outdoors, it’s extremely unusual to find their poop in your house as they’re actually quite fastidious creatures that only defecate in designated areas of the nest.
Location: Seeing as ants almost never poop in your home, providing a typical local is impossible. Carpenter ants, which nest in your home’s wooden structures, also push their dropping out of their dwelling, creating small piles near exit and entry points.
What To Do: If you think you’ve discovered carpenter ant poop, the first thing you should do is call an exterminator to determine whether they’re actually from carpenter ants or from termites. This will aid in creating an effective wood-destroying insect control plan to protect your home from further damage. Learn more about our ant control program.
Appearance: House flies have an extremely fast metabolism which creates large quantities of very small black pellets, which are often referred to as fly specs.
Location: Frustratingly, flies poop pretty much everywhere. Their aforementioned fast metabolism means that they defecate often and therefore, can’t afford to be picky. This means that, if you have a fly problem in your home, it’s a safe bet that your kitchen, food storage, and garbage storage areas are covered in fly specs. On a separate note, we’re very sorry for planting that image in your head.
What To Do: As with cockroaches and other household pests, their droppings are a sure sign of an infestation. Follow basic cleaning procedures in the area for the time being and try to reevaluate how you’ve been storing trash and food. Once a professional has resolved the issue, conduct a deep cleaning of the formerly affected areas. Learn more about our pest control program.
Appearance: Unique on this list, bed bug poop most closely resembles stains. They can be black or rust-colored in appearance and when fresh, are liquidy, owing to their diet of blood.
Location: Appropriately given their name, bed bugs most commonly defecate on bedding or furniture upholstery in an infested room. The silver lining to this deeply unsettling piece of knowledge, however, is that it makes for easy identification, letting you get help quickly.
What To Do: If possible, thoroughly wash the surface, either in a washing machine or with hot, soapy water. Then, call an exterminator right away as bed bugs are stubborn and frustrating pests that are notoriously difficult to get rid of on your own.
Let B.O.G. Pest Control Help!
Here at B.O.G Pest Control, we’re ready and able to help you get rid of pests in your home, no matter how severe the infestation is. Our skilled, reliable, and highly-trained exterminators will bring industry-leading techniques to your front door, all while maintaining a family and eco-friendly approach. It doesn’t matter which pest is pooping in your home. As soon as you find out, it’s got to go. So when you’re in need of pest control you can count on, look no further than the Mid-Atlantic’s best!
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