I found these droppings near a flower pot in the front of our house. Has anyone seen anything like this? Btw, I live in the pacific NW area.

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Adding some more pictures as per request in comments and answers:

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Disclaimer: Image look very big than their original size :)

  • The answer is way off. Those droppings are much too small. The penny gives the scale. Aside from a very small rodent, they could also be caterpillar droppings. Is there a tree overhead? And, also I don't know of any rodent that leaves such a discrete pile like that.
    – user22542
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 15:56
  • If the nearby plant was recently moved away from near that spot, they could easily be caterpillar droppings (or some other insect larva scat). Larvae eat ravenously at that stage - thus the "pile" of tiny crap.
    – user22542
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


Using what I assume is an almond husk for scale this could be squirrel or wood rat. I am guessing squirrel by the almond shell and what you should go do is dig around in the soil of that pot, other pots to see if you can find buried peanuts or acorns.

The scale is still confusing and very important. What is interesting is you have had a very regular visitor that is comfortable pooping while eating probably perched on the rim of a pot?

You won't surprise a rat or mouse because they hide all of the time. Squirrels loved my pots that I had on my front porch. I am a weirdo that feeds animals and in an urban situation squirrels are the only wild animal thriving. So I fed squirrels and quickly got them used to being fed by hand. Squirrels are far more confident than rats. Rat poop is best found in basement, crawl spaces and anywhere they can utilize the insulation.

If you are able to find a smooth dusty surface or even LEAVE an innocuous dusty surface (assuming you have a porch roof) to get prints. Black background with flour thinly coating your thin, flat, 1'X1'? Set it behind your pots. Check on it within a day. If you get any track, take a picture with lighting that causes shadows, down low, not too bright and send it to us. I am better at tracking than I am deciphering poop. Take a picture of the pots with your poop pile. Take a picture after you've 'stirred' this pile just a little so we can see the color of older scat (on the bottom) versus newer scat usually wet with urine that is darker. Believe it or not this is an important way to distinguish between OTHER types of these scats. (I might ask you to dissect a pellet and pull it apart to be able to check out what it has been eating and or possibly finding hairs from grooming itself or brood, do you have a good magnifying glass?).

My (grins) squirrels never pooped on my porch much less in a pile like this. But something is A REGULAR VISITOR. And where is it that you live? In the country surrounded by acreage? What wildlife do you have visiting? Are you in suburban or urban environment? Do you or neighbors have compost piles? Do you have a weirdo neighbor like me putting out food? Anyone near you have a parrot as a pet? Bird feeders (for parrots)? The answers to these questions would really help.

Also, please send pictures with a nickel or dime or quarter for scale.

Check these sites for your own comparison; verbal descriptions of scat

pictures of scat comparison

scat and tracks

I am thinking squirrel as this seems to be lighter than rat. Rats would not be doing this out in the open so blatantly. Squirrels would and this site says that the droppings of squirrels are lighter than rats...did you do the little tile and flour thingy?

  • From the links you have given, here's a picture that compares the size of poop with rice grains. And I would say the one I posted is about the size of the mice droppings shown here: doctorwhogeneral.wikia.com/wiki/File:Learn_the_differences.jpg
    – yasouser
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 20:09
  • 2
    @yasouser! I just saw your new photos! That size has got to be mice or smaller. How interesting! Possibly chipmunks, shrews or voles? And those just would not be creating a pile like this. The mice and voles and shrews just don't make sense. A pile like this pile in plain sight on your porch tells me that this is a more heavily interfacing little mammal with humans. Please do that flour and black tile thingy! I am dying to see more sign. This is too small for squirrel scat. It might almost make cockroach scat!!
    – stormy
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 23:21
  • 1
    How often do you use your front porch?
    – stormy
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 23:25
  • 1
    Did you move your plant to the left for this picture? The scalloped marks on the concrete in front of the siding. (They should never pour concrete or asphalt this close to the bottom of your siding, how long ago was this house built, oh I can go off tangent big time)...There is absolutely no reason for a pile of scat like this all in one place unless there is a reason, like sitting on the edge of your planter or even the saucer. So SMALL!!
    – stormy
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 23:56
  • 1
    I must say, I love stackexchange just for questions like these :) Sorry @stormy I'm seeing your questions after what its going to be nearly 2 years. I've not noticed these droppings recently. If I notice it, I'll try the flour and blank tile thingy and get to you :) I sincerely appreciate your questions and comments. Cheers!
    – yasouser
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 17:54

Looks like slug/snail poison has been spilled there.

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