Squirrel Poop: What Does it Look Like? The Answer May Surprise You

Picture of a squirrel, learn more about squirrel poop.

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In North American cities, squirrels are so common that they’re almost a nuisance. Whether walking down the street or in a park, you may see dozens of squirrels roaming around looking for their next meal. 

With so many squirrels, there has to be a lot of poop. Since squirrel poop is so tiny and they primarily live outdoors, it can be difficult for you to identify it correctly. But as with any animal poop, understanding what squirrel poop (or “scat”) looks like and what to be wary of when it comes to your pet, can be crucial for your pet’s health.

Let’s go through some ways to help you recognize and avoid squirrel poop. 

What Does Squirrel Poop Look Like?

Squirrel feces is generally oblong, measuring between a quarter and a half an inch long. They are about 1/8 of an inch wide. Squirrel poop usually bulges in the center, tapering off towards the ends. 

Squirrel poop resembles rat poop, but they’re not identical.

Squirrel droppings have rounded ends and are either dark brown or tan in color. Over time, squirrel droppings become lighter and drier.

If you’re in doubt about the type of poop in your house or yard, here’s a picture of squirrel poop in an attack via Wildlife Removal:

Image of squirrel poop in an attack - this is what it looks like,

Squirrel vs Rat Poop: The Difference Between Squirrel Poop and Rat Poop

To determine whether some feces is squirrel poop vs. rat poop, you need to consider a few factors. First, rat poop is much smaller than squirrel poop. Rat poop is about half the width of squirrel poop but similar in length.

Second, look at the color. Rat poop is darker and remains dark even when it dries. Squirrel poop is a lighter color, and when it dries, it becomes even lighter. Finally, rat poop has two pointed ends, whereas squirrel poop usually has rounded ends.

Size, Texture, Shape, and Color

Squirrel poop can measure up to a half inch long and a 1/8 of an inch wide. It’s usually dark brown or tan in color and becomes much lighter as it dries. When the poop is fresh, it has a solid texture.

But once squirrel poop dries, its texture becomes much more crumbly. It can even turn to dust if you don’t clean it up in time. In general, squirrel feces can range in shape from cylinders to oblong shapes.

Is Squirrel Poop Hazardous for Pets?

Like rat poop, squirrel poop is highly hazardous to human and pet health. The worst health consequences occur when you have a squirrel infestation. Squirrels poop in areas they live, meaning an infestation can cause a significant amount of poop inside your home.

If you encounter squirrel scat, don’t touch it with your bare hands. Squirrel poop can contain:

These diseases can cause serious harm to both people and pets, especially dogs. The best way to prevent these diseases is by cleaning up squirrel poop when you find it. 

Squirrels commonly poop inside the homes they occupy. However, if they’re outdoors, you might find squirrel droppings below bird feeders, trees, or garbage cans. Always wear gloves and a medical mask, and wash any equipment you use when you dispose of squirrel poop.

Tips from Our Vets

Though it may seem weird to try to identify different animals’ feces, there are many cases where you may need to do exactly that.

Many home and property owners come across animal feces and are concerned about what animals may be lurking. Being able to identify the feces that wildlife and rodents leave behind will not only let you know what animals are in the area, but also can give clues as to how many of them are present.

At first, it can be distressing to find foreign looking animal feces in your home or on your property. Fears of aggressive or rabid animals, as well as the diseases they may carry are often the first worries.

Protecting your family and pets is of utmost importance. However, taking the time to correctly identify the feces is essential in assessing the threat or risk from the animals.

This research will also enable a home or property owner to devise an effective strategy for keeping any pest animals out of their homes, barns, or other areas where they are not welcome.

Scat Identification Techniques

  1. The first thing to do if you come across scat, or feces from animals, is to observe the location of the droppings. Notice where the feces are in relation to buildings, other structures, other animals, water, roads, and vegetation. Different animals will place their droppings in particular locations and this can be the first clue to identifying them.
  2. Next, observe the placement of the scat. Are the feces hidden or buried? Are they randomly dropped all over an area with seemingly little regard for placement, or are they tucked away in corners or neat piles? These factors can greatly narrow down the list of possible culprits.
  3. Note the size of the scat. If you are investigating feces found in your home or on your property, it is a good idea to obtain a ruler or tape measure that you can use to measure. Some animals’ feces may look identical to others from the same family, and size may be the only distinguishing feature. *REMEMEBR: animal feces can carry both diseases and parasites so they should never be handled without gloves.*
  4. What is the shape of the found fecal matter? Some shape characteristics to look for include if the feces are round, tapered at the ends, completely tubular, round pellets, twisted, or moist mounds.
  5. An additional clue to the species of animal leaving the scat is what is included in the feces. Berries, hair, seeds, and plant parts should all be looked for in the droppings. This information can be used to identify the animal that left it.
  6. Lastly, look around the area where you first identified the scat. In cases of feces from animals that have similar appearing feces to another species, it can be helpful to search for nearby footprints or tracks left by the animals. This can be used to confirm species.

Final Thoughts: Squirrel Scat & Your Pet

Squirrels are among the most common animals in our cities, which also means they produce a lot of poop. Identifying and avoiding squirrel poop can help prevent some diseases while ensuring you don’t have any nasty surprises on the bottom of your shoes!

Not sure about the droppings you’re seeing? Check out our other guides to animal scat:

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.