Common Signs of Rats and Mice Infesting Your Home


Discovering that your home is infested with rats or mice can be unsettling and alarming. These pests not only cause damage to your property but also pose health risks to you and your family. If you suspect a rat or mouse infestation, it’s crucial to take immediate action to eliminate the problem. To help you identify these unwanted guests, we have compiled a list of common signs that indicate rats or mice have made their way into your home.

Unusual Noises

One of the first signs of a rodent infestation is strange noises coming from your walls, attic, or crawl spaces. Rats and mice are typically active at night, so you might hear scratching, scampering, or squeaking sounds when the house is quiet. These noises are a result of their movement, nesting activities, and communication with other rats or mice. Pay close attention to any unusual sounds, especially during the night, as it could indicate the presence of rodents in your home.


Rat and mouse droppings are a clear indication of their presence. These droppings are typically small and resemble black grains of rice or small pellets. You may find them in the areas where rodents are active, such as the kitchen, pantry, or near their nests. Take caution when handling droppings, as they can carry harmful bacteria and parasites which can be a health risk. Wear gloves and use proper sanitation methods to clean up any droppings and disinfect the area.

Gnaw Marks

Rats and mice have incisor teeth that continuously grow, and they gnaw on objects to keep these teeth trimmed down. Look for gnaw marks on wood, plastic, insulation, or electrical wires. Rodents may chew on furniture, baseboards, or even walls in their search for food and nesting materials. If you notice any signs of gnawing, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage to your property and potential electrical hazards.

Nesting Materials

Finding shredded paper, fabric, or other soft materials in your home may indicate the presence of rats or mice. These materials are often used by rodents to build their nests, which are typically hidden in secluded areas such as attics, crawl spaces, or inside walls. Inspect these areas for any signs of nests or nesting materials. If you come across a nest, it’s advisable to contact a pest control professional to handle its removal safely.

Grease Marks and Tracks

Rats and mice have oily fur, and as they navigate through your home, they may leave greasy smudges or tracks along their usual paths. You may notice dark, greasy marks along walls, baseboards, or near entry points like holes or gaps. These marks are a result of the rodents repeatedly brushing against surfaces as they move around. Follow these tracks to identify potential entry points and take measures to seal them off, preventing further infestation.

Rub Marks

Similar to grease marks, rats and mice may create rub marks along their regular routes. These marks are caused by their bodies repeatedly brushing against walls or other surfaces. They are usually seen as smudges or dark streaks, particularly in corners, narrow gaps, or along baseboards. If you notice rub marks, it’s an indication that rodents are actively using those routes and requires attention to prevent further infestation.


Perhaps the most obvious sign of a rodent infestation is actually seeing rats or mice in your home. Spotting these pests during the day is uncommon, as they are primarily nocturnal creatures. However, if you see them during daytime hours, it may indicate a larger infestation or a lack of available food sources. If you do see a rat or mouse, take immediate action to address the problem and contact a pest control professional for assistance.

Unpleasant Odors

A strong, musky odor in your home can indicate the presence of rats or mice. Rodents have scent glands that produce a distinctive smell that can become more noticeable in enclosed areas or areas where they congregate. If you notice an unpleasant odor that persists despite your efforts to eliminate it, it’s worth investigating for a possible rodent infestation.


Being aware of the common signs of rat and mouse infestation can help you identify and address the problem promptly. Keep an eye out for unusual noises, droppings, gnaw marks, nesting materials, grease marks and tracks, rub marks, sightings, and unpleasant odors. If you suspect a rodent infestation, it’s advisable to contact a professional pest control service to assess the situation, implement effective extermination methods, and provide guidance on preventing future infestations. Early detection and prompt action are key to minimizing the damage and health risks associated with rats and mice in your home.

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