How To Tell If Mouse Droppings Are Fresh?

If you’ve noticed mouse droppings in your home, you may be wondering how fresh they are. In this article, not only will you find out all the different ways to know the freshness of mouse droppings, but you’ll also learn where to look for mouse droppings, what to do with them, and other frequently asked questions!

So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

How To Tell If Mouse Droppings Are Fresh

Fortunately, there are a few different ways you can figure out how fresh mouse droppings are. Here are the main things to look for:

  • Droppings that are still fresh tend to look brighter and less faded. They’ll often appear to be shiny when they’re still fresh, and then they’ll become more faded as time goes by.
  • When droppings are new they tend to be more squishy, however, as they get older they’ll begin to crumble. (You should avoid disturbing droppings when you see them though)
  • When droppings are new they’ll tend to look wet as well, however, as they get older, they’ll look drier.

Why Is It Important To Know How Old Mouse Droppings Are?

One of the reasons you should be aware of how old mouse droppings are is to figure out if you’re dealing with an infestation or not. If the mouse droppings are new, then the chances are you’ve got more than one mouse in your home. However, if they’re old, the mice may have already left.

However, make sure you’re not using mouse droppings as the only indicator of whether there’s an infestation in your home or not. Just because the mouse droppings are old, it doesn’t mean you don’t have mice. There could still be droppings somewhere else that you haven’t found.

Where Should You Look For Mouse Droppings?

If you notice mouse droppings, whether they’re fresh or old, you should check other areas in your home for them too. The more droppings you find, the more severe you’re infestation is going to be (Find out all the signs of a bad mouse infestation).

So when you’re looking for mouse droppings, you should search in the following areas of your home:

  • The number one place you’re going to want to check is your kitchen cupboards. Especially the ones that have food. Your food cupboards are going to be the place where mice visit most often, so it’s also where you’ll most likely find droppings as well.
  • You should also check near your water heater as well. One of the reasons that mice come into your home is to stay warm, and there’s nowhere that provides them as much warmth and safety as near the water heater.
  • It’s also a good idea to check anywhere in your home that you don’t go too often. A lot of the time places like the attic, basement, and unused garages are going to be a great spot for mice to build their nests, so you may find mouse droppings there.
  • Cupboards, cabinets, and closets are also other places you may spot mice droppings. Once again, most of these places are going to provide them with a lot of warmth, whilst also being somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of attention from humans!
  • And lastly, you should also check the crawlspaces around your home as well as any exposed air vents or holes.

How To Remove Mouse Droppings

If you notice mouse droppings then at some point, they’re going to have to be removed. But due to the risk of hantavirus, removing them isn’t as simple as sweeping them up or vacuuming them. In fact, oftentimes it can be better to call in a professional to clean the droppings up. Because unfortunately, the moment you disturb the droppings, it can release hantavirus particles into the room, which you can then inhale.

Removing Them Yourself

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to get a professional to remove the droppings, sometimes, you’re just going to have to do it yourself. If you do plan on doing it yourself, then make sure you’re doing the following:

  • First of all, you should air out the area for 30 minutes before disturbing the droppings, to help reduce the chance of hantavirus spreading.
  • You should also make sure you’re wearing a breathing mask, and where possible rubber clothes you can wash.
  • Once you’ve done both of these things, you should then spray the droppings and surrounding areas with disinfectant spray, and let the spray sit for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, you can scoop up the droppings with a paper towel, and place them in a plastic bag. Then tie the plastic bag and place it in the bin with a cover.
  • Finally, try and get rid of the trash as soon as you can.

Remember, you should always avoid just sweeping up or vacuuming mouse droppings without disinfecting them first. Doing either of these can cause hantavirus to become airborne which can make you and your family sick.


Now you know what fresh mouse droppings look like and what to do about them, here are some more frequently asked questions people have!

How Long Does It Take Mouse Droppings To Dry?

Fresh droppings will tend to dry and harden after about three days. During this time, they’ll also begin to lose some of their color as well.

How Long Do Mouse Droppings Remain Infectious

Mouse droppings can remain infected for 3-4 days at room temperature. However, when exposed to sunlight and heat, this will be shorter, but in colder conditions, this can be longer.


As you can see, there are a few ways you can figure out how fresh mouse droppings are, so when you’re looking at them try to look at how fresh and shiny they look, to have a good indicator of their freshness!

If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website, otherwise have a great day!

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