One important factor in helping you determine what kind of wildlife infestation you have on your hands is figuring out what kind of droppings you find in your attic. Based on the information we’ll go through in the following, you’ll learn to identify those droppings and make accurate assessments on what kinds of animals are living in your attic. That will help establish an effective course of action, rather than going at it blindly, and basically shooting in the dark, hoping to catch something.
Figuring out which droppings belong to which animal: Poop can differ in several ways: texture, color, smell and shape. While it’s never recommended that you handle animal droppings without proper protection, you can easily check for texture with any simple object, like a stick. For example, if the droppings disintegrate into fine dust as soon as you touch them, it usually points to it being guano – bat droppings. But more on that later. Color can be easily identified on the stop, but also keep in mind that it can change over time, depending on weather conditions, on available diets for the animals in question, or other factors, so it may not be the most reliable sign to help you determine what kind of poop it is.
Small, rice-shaped, usually dark brown and black droppings are usually associated with rats and mice. While you may find piles here and there, these creatures usually do it wherever they are – so you’re apt to find trails all over the place if you have these rodents in or around your house. As mentioned above, guano or bat droppings is also fairly common in attics, and it looks like oversized rat droppings. But unlike rat droppings which are usually dense and hard to the touch, guano disintegrates into a fine dust. Make sure you use protection for your mouth as well as for your hands when handling guano, as inhaling it can lead to catching some nasty diseases.
Squirrel droppings look pretty standard – elongated, but under an inch and round along the edges, typically red or brown in color. As time goes by, these droppings start to whiten, so if you find them already white, know that you’ve had these ‘guests’ there for a long time. There’s no specific place that squirrels choose to do their business, but it’s usually near where they eat.
We also have opossums and raccoons, which look pretty much similar to your household pets, be it cat or dog. While raccoon droppings have a bit of a swirl to their shape, opossums are usually straight. You can often see seeds which belong to the fruit the animal has consumed.
Regardless of the droppings you find, keep in mind to handle it safely when you decide to remove it from there. This includes protection for your hands, like heavy duty rubber gloves, and a mask for your face, which should protect your eyes, along with the airways. After removing the feces, make sure to properly sanitize the area as well, and then move on to preventive measures to stop wildlife from invading your attic in the future.
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