Pest dropping identification guide (The BEST scoop on poop)

pest-droppings

Identifying pests by their droppings is difficult, but sometimes it’s the only piece of evidence you have that an insect or animal is present in your home, garden, or elsewhere.

You’ve been hearing a squeaking sound in the walls, a crunching noise from the attic, or the scuttling of tiny feet whenever you flick on the lights in the basement.

So you get a flashlight and work up your nerve to see what has made its way into your home. There is no sign of the culprit, of course, but your heart sinks as you see the telltale sign of a pest problem: a fresh pile of poop.

Finding pests’ feces in or around your home is never fun since it means some creature has taken up residence around your living area.

The good news about such a discovery is it gives you the ability to potentially identify who, exactly, has been rattling around in your walls or getting into the garbage can in the garage.

Knowing what kind of pest you are confronting means much better chances of eliminating them from your property.

What can you find out from pest poop?

The first step to identifying pests by droppings is understanding what kind of insect, rodent, or larger animal you might be up against. There are three general categories of pests who leave poop behind:

  • Small to medium-sized rodents: mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, etc.
  • Larger animals: raccoons, possums, skunks, groundhogs, woodchucks, etc.
  • Insects and bugs: cockroaches, termites, and bed bugs
  • Bats: Many different species of bats
  • Reptiles and amphibians: snakes, lizards, frogs, and toads

Narrowing down what kind of animal is invading your home by identifying what it leaves behind could mean the difference between restoring the creature-free status of your home and making a nest of mice (or a den of snakes or a colony of bats) your new roommates.

So before you scoop that poop and toss it, see if you can use it to hone in on the kind of animal you’re trying to eliminate.

A word of caution: all pest poop carries toxins. Extreme care should be used when identifying or cleaning up animal feces of any kind from anywhere, especially in enclosed spaces.

Cleaning up particular kinds of dung, like bat guano or mouse feces, should be done with safety gear like masks and gloves because they can contain harmful and even deadly viruses or bacteria.

These scenarios are risky enough that you may want to defer the problem to a professional pest remover.

See a cleanup site like Professional Wildlife Removal for more information on how to safely remove droppings from your living area, if you decide to undertake the cleanup yourself.

Mouse, rat, and squirrel droppings

Mouse droppings

One of the most commonly found and identified kinds of pest poop is mouse droppings. Mice leave behind their feces wherever they go and many have come across these small, oblong-shaped pellets in their kitchens, basements, and garages.

Mouse poop is dark in color and found in a scattered pattern in places where mice have been lurking or running.

Rat droppings

Rat droppings, in contrast, are thicker and sometimes shorter in length than mouse poop. Roof rat excrement is longer and fatter than mouse poop but similar in shape, color, and distribution pattern.

Norway rats tend to leave droppings that are a bit shorter but even thicker than mouse and roof rat pellets.

Distinguish between rat and lizard droppings

Video explaining differences between lizard and rat droppings

Distinguishing Between Mice and Rat Poop

Video explaining differences between mouse, Norway rat, and roof rat scat
Video explaining rat versus mice droppings

Squirrel Droppings

Squirrel feces may be confused for rat poop because it is thick and oblong. Squirrels leave behind pellets that are rounded at the ends, unlike the more pointed poop left by rats, and the color of their dung will lighten with time.

This means droppings of this size and shape that retain their dark color over time are likely from rats; if they are becoming white, they are more likely from squirrels.

Rat and Squirrel Droppings Side by Side Comparison

Video showing rat and squirrel poop side by side for comparison

Chipmunk Droppings

Chipmunk feces looks quite a bit like mouse feces and also similar to many mouse dropping, chipmunk droppings can be very toxic and dangerous to humans.

Chipmunk droppings are usually the same shape as mouse droppings but up to a quarter of an inch larger and chipmunk droppings are usually hardened.

Why Chipmunk Droppings Can be Dangerous

Even the air around chipmunk poop can contain spores that can contaminate the area with bacteria or transferable diseases so take care when attempting to clean chipmunk droppings from a home, barn, or shed.

You will want to wear protective clothing and glove and a dust mask at a minimum or contact a professional.

Raccoon, Possum, and Skunk Droppings

Hopefully, you have not found feces of this size inside your house, but these pests can be quite a problem if they choose to inhabit your attic, garage, or outbuildings.

Because of their size, these animal feces are easier to spot and identify even if found on the ground outside. Remnants of their meals seen in the poop may help you learn more about the habits of your pests and whether they are breaking into your pantry, garden, bird seed, etc.

Don’t be the animal poops victim! Click here to request a FREE pest control quote.

Video showing typical raccoon dung piles (a.k.a. raccoon latrines)

Raccoon Dung

Raccoons leave piles of dung similar to dog poop. Each piece is fat and may contain visible specks of what the raccoon is eating, like corn or seeds from the fruit.

Opposum Dung

Possum excrement is also comparable to dog poop, though it may be more curled than a raccoon’s. It is also more likely to be left in a trail than found in a single pile. Like raccoons, possums should be on your suspect list if you are trying to identify a larger animal living in your attic, under your porch, or in your garage.

Skunk Dung

Skunks typically make themselves known with the distinctive smell of their spray, but the first sign of a skunk skulking around your property may be its droppings.

Skunk poop is close in size to a cat’s but is shaped differently. Their droppings are somewhat mushy and vary in color depending on what the skunk is currently feeding on. Bits of insects or berries in droppings might indicate a skunk.

Video showing skunk poop on the ground by a house

Groundhog Droppings

It is rare for most people to see groundhog scat because groundhogs tend to place all their poop in specific underground chambers. If you find droppings above ground that you think are from a groundhog, it is more likely that they are from badgers, skunks, or prairie dogs (all of which leave their droppings above ground).

If you for some reason find groundhog feces above the ground or elsewhere, you should be able to clean it up because there are no known hazards from groundhog poop.

Bug and Insect Droppings

Cockroach Droppings

Cockroaches are hard to miss when they have taken up residence in your house. Identifying cockroach poop, however, may be helpful for understanding where they are living in your home and the best location for traps or spray.

Cockroach poop is small and granular. It can look like coarsely ground pepper when scattered on the floor. Cockroach frass is also sticky enough to cling to walls, so you may find it there too.

Unfortunately, cockroach droppings are fairly toxic when dry and can trigger a number of illnesses in humans from asthma attacks to gastrointestinal problems.

Video showing American Roach droppings and egg casings (roach poop is often confused for mouse poop)

Bed Bug Droppings

Bed bug poop is even smaller than cockroach feces and is found, most likely, in your bed or other soft surfaces they are infesting. Bed bug poop looks like tiny specks, about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

Bed bug frass is either rust-colored or black, made up of dried blood. Sometimes picking out bed bug poop confirms you have these terrible little pests in your living area rather than another biting creature like fleas or spiders.

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Video showing signs of bed bug droppings (they often leave marks on your mattress, sheets, etc.)

Termite Frass

Termite droppings (also known as frass) have a color that matches the wood they recently ate. Termite frass is found in piles and each piece is six-sided, making termite poop easy to distinguish from other kinds of dung.

You can find out more about identifying insect droppings in particular by looking at pest profiles with a quick Google search.

Video showing drywood termite frass piles on a porch

Centipede Droppings

Video showing a centipede’s feces

You can see in the video above that centipede poop is small, and dark. Additionally, centipede droppings have sometimes undigested exoskeletons of the insects the centipede ate (similar to bat or toad droppings)

Bat Droppings

Bat droppings should be treated with extreme caution because of the diseases and toxins they carry. You don’t even need to touch guano for it to become a health hazard– just breathing the air where bats have taken up residence is enough to make you seriously ill.

Most sources recommend using gloves, a HEPA filter mask, and protective clothing for inspecting an area potentially inhabited by bats.

You can tell bat poop from other kinds of pest poop by its look and location. Bat guano tends to pile up beneath the place where bats roost.

It is pellet-like but rougher in texture than mouse and rat poop since it contains the exoskeletons of undigested bugs. Each piece of guano is about the size of mouse poop pellets.

Video explaining how to identify bat droppings (a.k.a bat guana)

Snake and Lizard Droppings

Snake Droppings

Snake poop is easily misidentified as bird poop. Like bird droppings, snake dung has a wet, mushy appearance when fresh and dries to a chalky white after a time.

Location may help you determine if you are looking at snake or bird droppings since snakes have access to many low, closed spaces a bird could not reach.

Video showing snake poop (different snake species’ feces will look slightly different but this give you an idea of its appearance)

Lizard Feces

Lizard feces looks something like a cross between rat and bird droppings. Although oblong and dark in color like rat droppings, what lizards leave behind typically has white incorporated in it like bird guano.

Lizard droppings are often confused for the poop of other reptiles and amphibians, like frogs, so poop alone may not be the best way to know if a lizard is your culprit.

Because they are difficult to identify, you might want to look up pictures of reptile feces online if you suspect something scaly and slithery is hiding in your house.

Better yet, call an experienced exterminator who can knowingly and safely look for the invader.

Using Pest Droppings to Your Advantage (Properties of Fecal Mater Help in Identification)

Here is a quick rundown of what to look for when identifying pests by their droppings:

Location of Droppings

The place where you find droppings can help distinguish between kinds of pests.

Under or in your kitchen cabinets? You might be looking at mouse poop, rat feces, or cockroach frass.

Found poop in the bottom rafters of your attic? That is likely bat guano but could be squirrel droppings (other mammals besides bats can sneak into your attic).

Size and Shape of Poop

The precise look of droppings can distinguish one animal from another when factors like location are no help.

The more you know about your pest problem, like whether a Norway rat or roof rat is living in your walls, the better you can locate and eradicate their population.​

Color of Feces

Scats’ color can sometimes be determined by what an animal is eating. Droppings’ colors can also sometimes help you distinguish between two the animals or bugs the feces originated from.

This means the color of pest poop can help you distinguish between a squirrel vs. a rat problem in your attic, for example.​

Distribution of Droppings

Even the placement of feces in an area can help you distinguish what type of animal or insect it originated from.

For example, whether feces are scattered in a line or found in a single pile, can denote the difference between possum and raccoon droppings. Opossums typically leave a trail of poop whereas raccoons tend to leave a pile of poop.

Consider this a first step in ridding yourself of pests. Take advantage of whatever online resources you can.

The Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management, for instance, features a detailed droppings identification guide and article on how to control pest populations once you identify them.

Also, don’t hesitate to contact a professional, if you suspect a pest problem in your home—an experienced exterminator can expertly identify droppings in addition to the other signs invasive creatures leave behind.

Hopefully, you are a little closer to solving the mystery of which creatures have been living, and pooping, in your house and on your property. If not, below are a few more resources for identifying animals and insects by their droppings.

Frequently Asked Questions about pest dropping locations

What is pooping in my garage?

Many different pests can get into your garage undetected and leave droppings, leaving you confused. Pests that commonly poop in garages are mice, squirrels, chipmunks, toads, feral cats, opossums, and raccoons. It could be anything, though, so use the advice we provided above to narrow down what animal or bug it is.

Further Animal and Insect Dropping Identification Resources:

  1. Identifying Your Pest – with Poop? – Cornell University
  2. Identifying Common Garden Vertebrate Pests from Their Signs—Burrows, Mounds, and Tracks – University of California
  3. Scat Dichotomy Key: Michigan
Published
Categorized as Droppings

By David Jackson

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and sharing what I learn at NeverPest.com. I aim to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

43 comments

  1. Some type of pest is leaving a bronze colored transparent sticky substance on my kitchen table and chairs. Any idea what this might be? I have seen a few cockroaches and one gecko recently. Since I put borax/sugar baits around the house, I have not noticed any cockroaches.

  2. What could be leaving small bb size orange colored droppings (that’s what I’m guessing it is)? There are lots of them about 4-5 in in diameter area.

  3. I have found a large dropping outside my front garden near a raised area. It’s 1 inch long by a half an inch wide, dark brown with golden shell-like pellets on top. And whatever it is it is trying to make a tunnel.

  4. Hi,
    I own a crested gecko. Is it bad to see it pooping too much? I don’t know how to identify if her poop is for good or bad “cause”. I’m afraid she’s getting sick.
    Thank you.

  5. Hello, I’m hoping someone can help me. I have something leaving droppings in my basement. It is always left on clothing or material. I found some in my sock bin on top of my washer. I found some in between the folds of towels on a shelf. It is larger than mouse droppings. Any idea what kind of animal would crawl inside of a towel to leave it’s mess? The pile of towels seemed undisturbed as well. Thanks!

  6. I was hoping for some help with an animal dropping identification. Twice now, in our driveway, I have found animal droppings. Each time it was a single piece, about an inch and a half long, tapered at one end and blunt at the other. Very light in color and dry looking. I live in Pennsylvania and know that there are all sorts of nighttime visitors lurking around. The single piece is really throwing me for a loop. I can’t seem to figure out what is leaving it. Any comment would be appreciated.

  7. I found “droppings” in my utility shed. Can’t figure out what kind of rodent it is. It is runny and a dark gray greenish color and a very strong smell.. . looks like a day old. Any clue what it might be?

  8. After discovering mice in our camper storage compartments we found mice in the camper, too. We set traps and caught several but during inspections we came across the weirdest thing. It looked like bubbles that float on top of the water in a bubble bath, but dark in color and rather dried. It was this little cloud of dark bubbles several inches high and long. My husband took the vacuum to it and it just collapsed and disintegrated and went up the vacuum hose. We can’t figure out what animal leaves this type of droppings. Needless to say we had the carpet professionally cleaned.

  9. I’m in Delhi, in a short-stay rented apartment, and was out from 4pm-11pm today – I found some tiny black droppings, that actually didn’t look like droppings, more like tiny flecks of rubber (flat, hard). But they were scattered across the bed on the top sheets, and on a sheet underneath (not the pillows). There were also a couple on a table near two sealed containers of water. They are extremely dry and probably only slightly bigger than this period. I put water on one (after putting it on a tissue) and it didn’t streak or soften at all.

    I have worried about bed bugs, and I have seen both an American and Oriental Cockroach in this block of flats, but not in my bedroom (which I try to keep cool and food-less anyway – though it would have been warm whilst I was out). I also didn’t think either bedbugs or cockroaches liked to come out in the daytime. There are lizards living on the balcony, so whatever it is obviously isn’t being eaten by them either.

    Anyone know if this is very hard bedbug poo, very hard cockroach poo or something else that just happens to do dry, flat tiny black poo?

  10. I find little black droppings in my kitchen cabinets and paper that is chewed on. I did see an insect once
    crawling on the ledge. It was light brown and about an 1/8th of an inch long.

    I have cleaned all my cabinets with vinegar but still find droppings. Where do I take them to find out what they are and what to do about them?

    They seem to love paper.

  11. Hello,
    I found some pellets that look like rat poop, shiny an smooth same size as you said.
    Then I found another one. Similar size with a hard shell, gave it a squeeze and it was gooey and white on the inside!
    Any ideas.

  12. My daughter found something in her bed, on the fitted sheet, under her pillow and near her the foot of her bed. She sent me pictures and it looks similar to sesame seeds, both in color and in size. She doesn’t eat in her bed. Any idea what it could be?

  13. Hello! I found some droppings at home and I can’t identify what they are based on the pictures above. They look like think grains of rice, reddish brown and very smooth. Any idea what they could be?

    1. Hello Ana,

      Thanks for visiting NeverPest. Sounds like a pretty good chance that is some sort of rodent feces. I would guess mouse droppings if they are about the size of grains of rice and reddish brown. However, there is a chance it could be squirrel or rat droppings. Have you seen any other signs of pest activity in your home? Opened bags of food for example? Do you hear any noises in the wall or in the ceiling? and where did you find the droppings?

  14. Today I found 2 small black pellets in my kitchen cabinet, but no other evidence of pests. They were oval shaped and hard as a bean. Each had a small white dot on the side. What could that be?

  15. Hello I just have a question about these droppings I did examine pictures that you have on your website and it seems to me that it is either a Norway rat or a roof rat however we have seen them in our building everywhere and now we’re hearing it on the roof. My question is if we beat on the ceiling and the rodent keeps and continues to make noises such as making a nest, wouldn’t it get frightened from us beating or hitting the wall and or roof close to wherever it is making its nest? Previously I’ve always noticed that rats will run just from the littlest sounds and it seems that with us hitting the wall the rat continues 2 dig or whatever it is doing. I am just concerned that it may be something else being that it doesn’t even seem to care how close A human is to it. I’m just concerned it’s something bigger. Any advice would be helpful thank you.

    1. Hi Casey,

      Thanks for stopping by NeverPest.com Strange situation you have here. You may be onto something because many types of larger animals will take up residence in attics. Raccoons and opossums are two culprits people sometimes find in attics.

      They may be less fearful of a pounding sound on the ceiling due to their size, but, on the other hand, it could also be Norway rats who have been up there long enough and become accustomed to the sounds of humans (you and your family) below. If that’s the case, Norway rats can become less fearful than a rat you might see in the wild.

      This is similar to how deer get used to people in the cities and do not spook as easily as deer in rural areas. Animals adapt to their environments remarkably well. Your best bet is to get a professional to go up in the attic and conduct an inspection.

      Until you do, you could try a little trick a farmer friend of mine used in his hay loft wwhere a raccoon family who wouldn’t leave. He took a cheap AM/FM radio, plugged it into an extension cord and placed it at the entrance of one of the tunnels the raccoons made into the hay loft. He set the radio to a talk show (there’s plenty on AM frequencies) and the raccoons didn’t come back. We think the sound of the human voice kept them from returning. That was something that the hayloft racoons apparently could not adapt to. You probably wouldn’t need it very loud up in the attic to do the same trick, so might be worth a try. But this is not a complete solution.

      Whatever is up there also likely left droppings which can be very dangerous because of the diseases they can carry. I would NOT recommend attempting to clean this up on your own and you should not just leave the droppings up there. Hire a professional who has the necessary safety gear and tools to remove the critters and whatever they left behind. Another hazard is that certain animals, like squirrels, fairly often will chew into electrical wirings in the attic which can create a serious fire hazard. This is something a good pest professional will inspect for (but not likely fix unless they are a certified electrician as well). I hope that help, good luck, and please do come back and let us know what you find out—feedback helps us all!

  16. My daughter discovered two pellets of poop at the base of her sink. One was similar to black rice the other one was curled up like a snake. I have no clue what this could be. Please help!

    1. It sounds like it could be mouse droppings. Were they quite small? Take a look at some photos of mouse droppings and let me know if those look similar.

  17. David,
    Went to get winter clothes from attic. Found one bag we didn’t seal properly. In bag, found many, perfectly round, hard, black pellets in bag. About an 1/8 ” round. Aside from the many ” pellets” found slightly larger, not so round, tan colored “eggs”? Only about 10.
    Did notice one shirt, partly polyester, with holes in it.
    Any ideas?
    Thank You

  18. We have a lake house and we go there once a month. We have lately noticed small sticky oblong black lines like the size of a splinter all around the sink,, behind the microwave, and on top of the counter… we’ve had mice before and it doesn’t look like pellets. What creature could it be? Again the feces is sticky..

    1. Kim, do they look like dark sticky smudges with dark dots? If so they sound like cockroach droppings. Investigate a little more and see if you find any roach eggs. The are ribbed and a yellowish color and about the size of a small fingernail. Also, the fact that they are near the microwave, makes me think they may be feeding on crumbs or they may have taken up residence inside your microwave. I know that probably sounds crazy, but it happens quite often. Insects are often attracted to the heat and shelter that electronics provide. Let me know if you have any questions, and come back and let us know if you find out. We enjoy the feedback as it helps everyone here at NeverPest learn!

  19. Around our ground bird feeder I found droppings that look like ground alfalfa, about 1 inch long and size of a little woman’s finger. Also they are a greenish color. Can you tell me what it might be?

  20. We have been finding redish brown dropping like things in a couple places in our house. They are larger than a mouses’ droppings and are usually found in areas we don’t access often, but don’t have any food in them. We were wondering if it could be a spider casing or moth or something as its usually around a spider web. We have an older home in New England. We normally just find one in an area, so we thought they had been tracked in from outside, but just found 6 in our sunroom, which we use for storage of outside items. They varied in size, but are definitely not mouse droppings. I’ve looked up rat droppings, and while similar to a Norway rat, it’s not quite a match as they aren’t that dark in color. The room is small and we’ve inspected it for any access points to the outside, but found none. The “droppings” are hard and don’t seem to break apart easily. They are a reddish brown color, but aren’t a dark brown. Any thoughts as to what this is would be very helpful!

    1. Denise, thanks for sharing. The fact that they are similar to a Norway Rat’s droppings minus the color makes me think you may be dealing with a rodent. Keep in mind, that stated colors of mammal dropping and other pest droppings for that matter, are a guideline more than a law. Different animals and insects droppings will change colors slightly depending on what they last ate so do not discount that it may have been a rat on color alone. It would be good for you to put out some mouse/rat traps just in case. I’ve found peanut butter is a great bait for live traps or the kind the extermination traps.

      It could be chipmunk, flying squirrel, other types of rats, shrews, voles, ground squirrel. There are quite a few types of mammals that have small cylindrical scat. Have you noticed any other signs of pests in your home? Any sounds in the wall or attic?

      Check out this article on squirrel poop from wildlife-removal.com. They look slightly reddish and are near to the size of rat droppings.

      Here is a photo of ruffed grouse scat from Vermont. It is small cylindrical and reddish.

      Here is a photo of a Fisher dropping, again it looks slightly reddish. What I would focus on for better identification is the shape and size. I hope that helps guide you closer to the answer, it is not always easy identifying animal or insect droppings, especially when the droppings are quite small. Larger animal scat is typically easier to identify than rodents or insects. Good luck and please do come back and drop us a line to let us know what you find out!

      1. Thanks for the information, David! After looking at the photos and doing some additional research, we think it is squirrel scat. They’re reddish/brown and are the right size and shape. Much too small to be a rat, I’d think as they’re only about 1/4″, although a couple were a little longer with a couple bulges in the middle. We only have found about 6 droppings in the sunroom and have fully searched the room for any openings and have found none. We have many squirrels outside of the sunroom, and since we store things like outdoor chairs and shoes in there, we’re thinking it may have been tracked inside. Do you think this could be possible? Upon thinking that, we’ve also searched around the area that we store our shoes inside the main door and found two more similar looking droppings. other than that, we don’t see any evidence of a squirrel infestation. We’re in a rural area, so I’m hoping the droppings were just tracked inside and that we don’t have a squirell issue!

        1. Denise, thanks for sharing your additional findings with us!

          I would say your analysis sounds feasible. Some droppings from squirrels could have been attached to your outdoor chairs, they may have even been slightly stuck to them and when you were carrying them indoors for the winter you may very well have rustled them loose. The fact that you stated they were quite hard makes, additionally makes me think your analysis is correct.

          Please do keep an eye (and an ear) out for additional signs of squirrels though. A favorite place for them to take up residence is in the attic, especially as cold weather sets in. If they can find a small hole or crack in your home they will find their way in. It is up in the attic where many people have squirrels and do not notice them until they chew through an electrical cable, which can cause power loss at a minimum and can start electrical fires. Not a good scenario. I am not trying to scare you, just be aware that they can cause quite a bit of damage in some cases so it may be worth taking a look in the attic when you get a chance. Another place squirrels have been known to hide out is in people’s walls, although this is less common than the attic. Sometimes they even find their way into the walls via an entry point from the attic. No need to fret though, just perform you own inspection of the attic and usually if you have a squirrel in the walls or attic, you will hear it at some point.

  21. I’m scared, when I returned home after being out for about an hour, I entered the kitchen and noticed my husband had cleaned up lunch brilliantly from lunch. As I said, it was only and hour or so. I happened to notice that on top of my stove was what looked like a small, about the size of the tip of my pinky finger (including the nail) mound of fresh laid POOP!! I live in SW Florida and my best friend always had snakes and other reptiles while growing up so I’ve seen reptile poop, armadillo poop, prehensile tailed skink poop, rat, poop, mice and many palmetto bug poop! I was thinking it was more like a snake than any other…How am I going to sleep?? Also, I have 13 year old daughter and am worried until the Pest company comes next week. I’ve looked everywhere…nothing is around.

    1. Jeanine, I would not worry too much until the Pest Company arrives next week. It seems to me that because this happened in the kitchen chances are greater that it is some type of rodent. Any chance this dropping could have been squirrel poop? Also, I hope you took a photo of it because this could greatly help the Pest Professional who arrives to help you. If you ever find unknown pest feces in your home it is always best practice to take a photo of it with a ruler positioned in such a way that the viewer of the photo will be able to clearly see how large the dropping is.

      Now, as far as trying to figure out what it may be until the pest control company arrives, try this little field test. Clean up your kitchen well in the evening but try placing a little piece of peanut butter out on the floor on the counter near your stove where you found the dropping. Just use a tiny little piece placed on some wax paper or something like that. You want to make it a small enough piece of peanut butter so that if it is rodent in your home, they will likely to eat all of it. If you put a large spoonful, a small mouse may not be able to eat all of it by the time morning arrives, so stick to a small amount that you think a rodent could finish before morning. If the peanut butter is gone in the morning, I would say you are not dealing with a rodent of some sort and not a snake or other type of reptile.

  22. We have an unknown pest in our livingroom that must come out at night, get up on the end table without disturbing the candle and figurines, reach into the candy dish and take wrapped candy (chocolate covered caramel) out without tipping the post base dish, take it to the floor, unwrap or chew the wrapper off and eat the candy. Sometimes it only chews on the edges of the candy and leaves very small (tiny) teeth marks. It carries it behind the sofa and upright piano, and one time carried the wrapper into the kitchen. We live on 1.5 acres in semi-country. There are no footprints and no feces left anywhere. How can we determine what it might be (we think it’s only one) and how to get rid of it?
    Thank you.

    1. Tom, this sounds like a really interesting case. Whatever critter you are dealing with seems quite clever. Have you experienced any other types of signs of this creature? You mentioned no other signs of feces or footprints, but has this creature eaten any other types of food in your house?

      I would lean toward this being a rodent of some sort but the way it seems to be agile enough to not knock over any figurines almost seems like it could be a little mink. Do you by chance have a live trap? What could be interesting is to get a live trap, they have them on Amazon for a decent price here.

      Give this a try. Start placing the candy bowl on the floor, but only place a few pieces at a time in there so this animal doesn’t eat all your chocolate caramels. Then, the next night, replace the bowl with a live trap, but use some gloves so you do not get your scent on it.

      After you place the trap, set some candies in it but do not set the trap to go off. You want the animal to get comfortable entering and exiting the trap to get the candies. After you see signs that the critter is feeling free to go into the trap and eat these candies, then go ahead and set the trap. I think you will catch this little creature after that and hopefully share with us what you find out.

      Of course, if you let it go I’d take it 20 or more miles away. Animal’s determination can amaze some people. They will find their way back to an easy meal if possible.

  23. We have an animal eating our tomato and pepper plant on the deck. The droppings are about a quarter inch pellets and tubular with green stripes. We tried deer and rabbit repellants and moth balls…no luck. Any idea what kind of animal?

    1. Jim, for Tomato and pepper plants, the first thing that springs to my mind is Tomato Hornworms. They are a green caterpillar that prefers to eat leaves of tomato plants but will also eat other leafy plants. Their droppings have a slightly green color but they have a unique shape to them. They almost have the shape of a tiny raspberry or mulberry. Another animal which sometimes has green droppings are certain types of rabbits although their droppings are often a dark brown as well. Squirrel pellets are slightly oblong and tubular and can range from 1/8 inch to 3/8 of an inch in length. As far as the green, squirrel pellets can lighten up over time but normally they are brown, so I think that may be unlikely as well. The green stripes make me lean toward saying that you are dealing with some type of insect. Have you observed any type of caterpillars or insects eating your tomato plants? Look into mixing some diatomaceous earth with the soil around your tomatoes and peppers. This is a non-toxic and safe method to help control quite a few types of insect pests. You can also mix various types of essential oils with water and spray it on the plants. Some oils like mint and tea tree oil are unpleasant to many insects and/or disrupt their pheromones so they will avoid areas where these oils are present. Hope that helps get you in the right direction, let us know what you find out.

  24. I have small green pellets dropping from the underside of the porch. NOT the attic. They are smaller than the lead in a #2 pencil. Almost roughly round. Kind of rough or spongy looking. Not smooth. I have been finding them on a table on my back porch and dismissed it. Today I was working on that table and these pellets were practically raining down on me. Lizards? Gecko? American cockroach (please no) I see all of these things in and around my porch. Nothing else that is big enough for these. Please advise if it’s no problem or if I need help. I want to caulk the gap I think it’s coming from but if it’s a good guy I don’t want to destroy his home. BTW, there is nothing green up there.

    1. Kim, is there wood at the underside of your porch? If they are that size and they were “raining down” on you it makes me suspicious that it may be termite droppings also known as termite frass. Termites typically keep their tunnels inside the safety of wood but when they need to do some housekeeping they will make a tiny hole, known as a pin hole, and kick out their frass or droppings. The only thing that has me slightly confused is the fact that they are green. Termite frass is usually different shades of brown rather than green. Take a look at some pictures of termite frass and let me know if that looks similar to what you are seeing. Termite droppings are slightly granular. Many people mistake them for wood shavings or sawdust but termite droppings have more of a slightly angular appearance, kind of like tiny rice shapes but again, it is typically colored in shades of brown.

  25. White droppings in my garage on the bench worktops, approx 5mm long any idea of what the problem is?

    1. John, do the droppings look old and dry? Many animal droppings turn white as they age so it could be mouse or rat droppings. Are they more like pellets or a longer cylinder shape? I have also read that spider feces can be white or light gray. Are there by chance any evidence of spider webs above your shop bench and worktop area?

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