rat droppings

What are the Signs of Rats or Mice in the House?

You may not have a “rodent infestation”, but with the diseases they carry you really don’t want even a single rat or mouse in the house. Rats and mice are shy and nocturnal, so it’s quite rare to actually see a rodent, unless you’re up late at night or you do indeed have a major infestation! So, what are the signs you might have a rodent in the house?

The two most obvious visual signs you have a rodent problem are finding rodent droppings or spotting rodent damage.

Rat droppings and Mouse Droppings

Rodent droppings are dark brown to black and cylindrical in shape. Their size and shape allow a professional pest manager to identify the species. Mouse droppings are slender and up to 5mm long, whereas rat droppings are 3-4 times longer (and fatter), depending on the species. Piles of droppings indicate a likely feeding spot nearby.

Rodent damage

The teeth of rats and mice grow continuously, and they need to gnaw hard objects to file them down. Chewed edges of doors, cupboards, plastic boxes and wiring will show there’s a rodent in the house. Of course, rodents will also chew to gain access to food and will easily chew through cardboard boxes to favoured foods, like cereals.

Where do rats and mice nest?

Rats and mice will normally live outside, coming inside looking for food. But of course, there are plenty of locations inside buildings that make an ideal spot to make a nest, especially during the colder months. So how can you know if rodents are nesting inside your house?

Outdoors, mice and Norway rats will dig burrows. Roof rats tend to nest in trees. This gives us the clues as to where they will nest inside. Norway rats and mice will tend to build a nest at ground level. Norway rats often nest behind or under cupboards. Mice will build nests in smaller spaces and can even build their nests in furniture. As their name suggests, roof rats will more likely nest in the roof void.

Rodents will often gather soft materials to build their nest, so if you see pieces of paper, foam or material in unusual places, it may indicate a rodent is nesting and has dropped some nesting material.

If you spot holes in the ground in sheltered positions outdoors, such as among dense vegetation, then they could well be rodent burrows.

Rub marks

If you have had furry visitors nesting in your house or making frequent visits over a period of time, it is likely you will see brown marks on the wall or around entrance holes. Rodents typically use the same runways when foraging. Over time, the oils from their fur are deposited on surfaces as they squeeze by.

Rat runway - rub marks
Rat runway with rub marks from fur oil

The sounds rodents make…

Rodents will make a squeaking sound when alarmed or fighting, although some of their squeaks are outside the range of the human ear. It is more likely you will hear scurrying or scratching noises of rodents in the wall voids or roof cavity. However, noises in the roof could also be due to possums.

If you can smell rodents, you’ve got a problem!

As well as depositing 40-100 droppings per day, house mice also produce up to 1000 micro-droplets of urine. They wee wherever they go! This is one of the reasons they can quickly spread disease. Obviously, if mice have moved into your home, it won’t be long before the amount of urine starts to generate a smell, which tends to be stronger near their nest.

If you spot any of these signs of rodents give Rebel Pest Professionals a call for a safe and efficient rodent treatment. It’s not something to delay – apart from the disease issues, rodents chewing through wiring are one of the main causes of house fires.

Share this article