A Game of Bat and Mouse; Identifying Droppings in Your Loft Space
Have you found droppings in your loft space? Are you unsure if they belong to a bat or a mouse? Avon Pest Control have written this handy guide to help you identify what creature has taken to roost in your roof.
Bats and mice are small and often roost in loft spaces. Mice are active all year round and are one of the commonest UK pests. Bats can also be found in buildings at any time in the year, however are mostly found in summertime. Mice are rodents, and as such you may see signs of gnawed cables, damaged stored items, and smear marks.
Bat guano and mouse droppings look very similar in appearance. One sure way to test if the droppings you have discovered belong to a mouse or a bat is to perform a “crumble test” as explained below.
The Crumble Test
Bat droppings are usually rougher in appearance than mouse droppings. As UK bats feed on insects, their droppings consist of insect exoskeletons and contain very little moisture. This makes them easy to crumble, unlike mouse droppings which, when fresh, will appear moist and soft.
It may be advisable to contact a professional Pest Control Company to identify your new lodgers, however, if you do attempt this test yourself, consider the following guidance:
- First ensure you are wearing gloves before attempting the crumble test to avoid gastro-intestinal infection from hand-to-mouth transfers.
- Roll the dropping between your thumb and finger.
- If the dropping crumbles under a small amount of pressure, the dropping most likely belongs to a bat and not a mouse.
- Ensure you take care not to inhale any dust from the bat dropping; consider wearing a face covering such as a dust mask.
- Further safeguard against inhalation by disposing of droppings and used gloves in a sealed bag.
- Wash hands thoroughly.
WARNING: Rarely people can develop an allergic reaction to the parasites that live in bat droppings. If you feel you are having an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical advice.
REMEMBER: In Britain, all bat species, breeding sites and roosting spaces are fully protected by UK law this means that you could be committing a criminal offence if you:
- Knowingly harm or kill a wild bat.
- Deliberately disturb a bat roost.
- Intentionally damage or destroy a place known to be used by bats for breeding or roosting, even if they are not currently using the space.
- Obstruct access to a bat roost on purpose.
(See The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2017) for more details). If you place poison in your loft believing you have a rodent pest problem, when actually you have roosting bats, you could inadvertently harm/kill them. Therefore, it is essential that you know what type of animal you are dealing with to ensure you do not unwittingly break the law.
Some Jobs are Easier and Safer Left to the Experts.
Avon Pest Control was established in 1991.
We have been Serving the Community for over 30 Years!