Feces Identification: Pt. 1
So, you think you have something living in your attic and you’ve been told “Just look for poop! If something is living up there, it’s pooping up there!” Sounds simple enough, right?
But what exactly are you looking for? What would rat, raccoon, squirrel, or snake feces look like exactly? We put together a quick guide to help you with the basics of feces identification so you can not only say “Yup, that there is critter poop”, but you can also say “I believe I have a ______ living up here!” Empowering, right? Okay, let’s get started!
First and foremost is a Warning: Don’t ever touch wildlife feces with your bare hands! One of the reasons having wildlife living on your property is dangerous is due to the feces and urine. It carries many diseases that can spread to pets and humans and come with some serious side effects. Use a stick, or put on gloves before touching any feces. Also, some of these diseases are airborne which means you can inhale them, so it’d be prudent to wear a mask when you don’t know what you’re dealing with! Want to know more about these diseases? Stay tuned! We have a special blog post dedicated to the diseases spread in feces and urine coming soon!
Secondly, a Caveat: Identifying wildlife feces can be tricky business! Many species have very similar looking feces, in part due to their very similar diets. Looking at the feces may not give you a definitive answer to what you have living on your property, but it will certainly help narrow it down. Wildlife Experts look at more than just feces when determining what critter is causing your problems and you can too! Keep checking back, we will have more blog posts in the future about the various types of evidence to examine in order to determine what is plaguing your peace of mind!
Without further ado:
Note: There is little difference between squirrel feces and larger rat feces. A rat's feces will be slightly thinner and darker than a squirrels (but that only helps if you have both to compare!). Sometimes, you can see wood or nut pulp in a squirrel's feces.
Note: Snakes defecate about as often as they eat, which is to say not often. Some snakes will poop as infrequently as once a Year! So with that said, you are not very likely to see snake feces unless you have a long-term guest living in or around your home. If the feces you are seeing is partially white, you have automatically narrowed it down to three culprits: Snake, Bird, or Lizard. The white is a urea cap: pee in solid(ish) form. Snakes, birds, and lizards have urine and feces mixed together due to a convergence of the rectal and urinal tracts just prior to exiting the body. In summary: White = Snake, Bird, or Lizard.