How to Properly Identify Squirrel Droppings
Squirrels run up our trees, through our backyards, and sometimes end up in our homes (e.g., attics). When they get inside, they can be noisy, messy, and troublesome. In some cases, squirrels leave behind unpleasant droppings/feces. In fact, animal feces is evidence that wildlife has entered your residence and/or property. So, what does squirrel poop look like? Here are some tips on how to properly identify squirrel poop around your property.
There are more than 350 species of squirrels in the world. Thus, it is important to understand that there may be some variation in feces characteristics (e.g. size, shape, composition) between geographically distinct squirrel populations and species. For example, feces from the Eastern Grey Squirrel is typically 1 x 0.4 cm in size. Yet, feces from the Tassel-Eared Squirrel are usually 0.6 x 0.3 cm.
Evidence of squirrel droppings may be a sign of squirrel infestations. However, other types of wildlife may be present in residential areas, hence information on proper feces identification is important when assessing a potential pest issue. For example, in some cases, it may be necessary to distinguish between squirrel and rat feces. Both squirrel, and rat feces are dark brown or black. However, there is a slight difference between the feces of the two pests in shape. Rat droppings are spindle-shaped. Squirrel feces may also be spindle-shaped or they may appear clumped, depending primarily on the moisture content of their food source. High-moisture foods may result in clumpy or soft, spindle-shaped feces, while low-moisture foods may result in feces with pointed ends like deer feces. Knowledge of the varying characteristics of squirrel feces is important in accurate identification. It is recommended to consult a wildlife professional to help you determine the type of animal that has been excreting feces on your property and/or in your home.
Squirrel feces are not the only way of identifying evidence of squirrels. Noises may be an indicator of wildlife living within your walls and/or on your property. Scrabbling/scurrying, squeaking, and chewing are all common noises that may signify squirrels. However, rats and other rodents may also make these types of noises.
Nests may also be evidence of squirrels or other rodents. Most often, these are materials brought in from outdoors, which may include fur, leaves, bark, grasses or feathers.
If there is a squirrel infestation, it should be mitigated prior to damaging activity such as destroyed insulation, wires, and building materials around your home. If you suspect a squirrel is living in your home, schedule an appointment with Terminix®. Our trained technicians know where to find them and can help make sure they don’t come back once removed.