Identifying the poop left behind in your attic to determine what type of critter issue you have.
During the initial visit finding poop is a common way to determine what is living with you, in your walls, or in your attic. Most of us know that when there is food going in, there is poop coming out. However, there are 5 different and very distinct poops for each of the critters you may find in your home. This is important as it will tell us what we are dealing with before we havean encounter.
There are many reasons why animals come into our home. Perhaps it is cold outside and the attic is very warm. Maybe they are just looking for food and shelter, which your home provides both. They will get braver and start to come further into the home. Be sure that all your food items are securely stored. Remember, many of these species multiply rapidly, so getting them out should be a number one priority. One of them can quickly become a small herd, which can cause even more damage.
Let’s take a look at the different feces these animals produce and see if you can determine what your infestation is.
What does Bat Poop Look Like?
Bats do very little damage when inside the home. But their poop can really stink, and remember, where there is one, there will be more! This means that the bat poop can really accumulate and cause a stink. It looks like brown grains of rice,sort of. And, typically it is piled up where they are nesting. Sometimes these small turds are clumped together with urine but the small rice gains are pretty distinct. Besides the smell, this poop can also make you pretty sick and should only be dealt with by professionals or with protective gear. When cleaning up bat poop you will need to wear protective gear and especially a good HEPA mask, not just one of those cheap disposable ones. Bats can also carry rabies as well as other health hazards.
In some cases, the bat poop piles up so much that it can destroy the ceiling of a home. It can also eat at the drywall and wood which can cause ceilings to collapse. This is why you should get the bats out as soon as you are aware of the problem.
The only way to get the bats out is by extraction. Even at night when the adults are out feeding there are flightless babies left in the roost.
What does Rat Poop Look Like?
Rat poop is about 1/2-3/4″ long and oblong in shape. It is usually a shiny black, but if it is old it can turn to a dull charcoal color. If you are familiar with mouse droppings, they are similar but much larger. These should certainly cause concern because if you see rat poop that is a good indication that you have a rat infestation.
Rats are of the rodent family and they will do damage to the home. This damage can be something as simple as chewing up the bottom of the couch. However, the damage could be much worse by chewing up wiring found in the walls of the home. This wiring issue could cause fires and lead to more damage. Rat poop is only one indication that you have a rat problem. Maybe your dog seems a little on edge or you are hearing things in the walls or ceiling.
Over time the rat poop can give off a smell as well. The smell is a musty sort of smell that doesn’t go away by opening up a window or turning on a fan.
What does Raccoon Poop Look Like?
Raccoon poop is long and tubular. It is often confused with a small dog or cat poop. However, if you look closely at the poop you will usually find some food that is undigested.sually, it is dark in color due to their diet as well and typically 1 1/2″-3″ long. And, many times you will find the poop piled up on top of old feces. If you have an established group of raccoons then they will all use the same area to relieve themselves. This is typically easy to find. Raccoons live in groups and are social animals by nature.
Raccoon feces is some of the most dangerous to deal with and shouldn’t be dealt with without protection. The raccoon poop can carry all kinds of various diseases as well as eggs of worms that can be ingested either via the mouth or through the air. These parasites, if left untreated could actually cause the death of a human.
If you think you have a raccoon problem, the first thing you need to do is secure all food items. This means not only people food that you may have outside in the trash can, but your pet’s food and trash as well. Raccoons are not picky eaters and will take advantage of anything they can consider food.
What does Opossum Poop Look Like?
Opossum poop is very similar to raccoon poop. It is tubular and about 1 1/2″-3″ in length and being 1/2-1″ in diameter. The sides are usually smooth and have pointed ends. They too will use the same area over and over again. This area is typically easy to find and will have a pile of poop that has accumulated over time. If you find this pile, do not touch it. Just like with raccoon poop, opossum poop contains a lot of possible diseases and you shouldn’t be breathing around it either. This is very dangerous to be around and shouldn’t be cleaned up without a very nice HEPA filter mask.
Opossum poop can contain spores that you could breathe in and contaminate you. You can pick up parasites from their poop by not only touching it but being near it and breathing. Be careful! Opossum poop tends to be more curly than straight which is one feature that is different from raccoon poop.
Opossum poop smells. Yes, it has a very strong odor that is mixed with urine. Many insects are attracted to it and will lay their eggs on it. Be very careful and call a professional if you think you have opossum poop in or around your home. There are all kinds of diseases that can be caused by opossum poop and you need to get that and the animal removed immediately.
What does Squirrel Poop Look Like?
Squirrels are super cute but also a nuisance that can get into your home or buildings. These critters are considered rodents and like rats, they like to chew on things. Squirrel poop is oblong pellets that are typically bulging in the center. They are 1/8″-3/8″ long and are dark brown, although they lighten with age. They have a very similar look to rat poop, but are usually a little bit fatter and tend to grow much lighter over time. Unlike mouse droppings, you will tend to not find them in the kitchen or pantry but near the entrance, they use to get into the home. Squirrels can make nests and multiply like other rodents, fairly quickly. So, if you see signs of a squirrel problem, it is best to get that under control quickly. They chew on things and it can become quite dangerous. Many times you might see other signs of squirrels such as nutshells and bits around the home or building. They are typically not clean critters and tend to leave messes just about anywhere.
Removing Wildlife from Your Home
When it comes to removing the animals from your home, you can certainly attempt it on your own. But, be sure you are fully aware of the consequences of messing with wild animals. They may be cute, but they are not friendly. You will need to understand what motivates them, what their paths are, and how to rid your home of them. This also goes for their poop. They will leave behind a mess that needs to be taken care of. Remember when you are cleaning up any of this wild animal poop you need to wear a Hazmat suit and HEPA filtration. Many have parasites that you can pick up just from breathing in the fumes of the poop. This is not a job if you have a queasy stomach either as it will most likely smell. There may be some damage that will need to be repaired due to the animal’s feces, urine, or just their chewing. If you have had a rodent problem for a while but didn’t know it, you should have your home inspected to ensure that it is safe. As we have said, rodents can chew on wires and cause all kinds of internal damage to your home’s structure.
Wild Animal Poop Dangers
We cannot stress this enough. Do not be around wild animal poop without proper ventilation. You need to wear a mask to protect yourself from all kinds of things including parasites that get in through your lungs. You should not use a cheap throw away mask, but one that has powerful filters to ensure you don’t get sick.
Does this sound like too much work for you? You can certainly call in a professional. This is not a job that you should take lightly. These animals multiply fast and you need to get on it quickly. Bats, for example, are hard for homeowners to deal with as they tend to leave their young behind. You will need to get into the area that they are and ensure you get them all out. Doing this on your own can be dangerous. Be sure you wear the proper clothing and protect yourself from being bit. Or call a professional to remove the animals as well as clean up all the mess they leave behind. This is the option that many go for. After all, this is a dangerous job and the clean up can present quite a few problems.
Beware of Frightened animals
If you have ever seen a frightened animal, you understand the dangers. Identifying what animal you have living in your home or building by their poop will help you identify what you need to do to get them out. Sometimes the amount of animal poop will also be an indication of how many there are. If there are a lot of them, then you have a serious infestation on your hands and certainly will need professional help. If you have a single bat that has found its way into your garage, then a simple broom and shooing might do the trick. Remember to never touch any poop or animal with your bare hands.