How to Tell If You Have Rodents in Your Home

Do you have rodents? If you do, how do you know? Are you hearing scraping, chewing, or bumping sounds coming from a wall, a ceiling, or a vent? Sounds are definitely one way to tell that you have rodents in your house. But most of the time rodents don't make any noise. In fact, the noises you're hearing right now are likely to go away. If you are lucky, you'll hear them again. But they could go away for several days and give you the false impression that your mouse or rat went away. We're here to tell you that it probably didn't. Mice and rats are quiet creatures, so you can't rely on sounds to warn you of a rodent infestation. Let's take a look at two other warning signs rodents will give you to let you know you have an active infestation.


You probably have an idea of what mice and rat droppings look like. If you set a pile of mouse and rat droppings next to a pile of rice, you'll see many common characteristics. They are similar in size and shape. Mouse droppings will be a little smaller and rat droppings will be a little larger. Both with be black and have at least one slightly pointed end.

These droppings will be left in hidden locations as rodents don't care to venture out into the open. The most common and easily accessible area rodents leave droppings is in the back of cabinets and under the sink. If you see droppings in these locations, clean them up so that you'll be able to see when new droppings are left. New droppings are a clear sign of current rodent activity. Another place to look for droppings is in your attic spaces, especially in fiberglass insulation where rodents like to create their nests. You might have to move some insulation around or lift it up to find the evidence that you're looking for.

No matter where you find mice or rat droppings, you can determine if those droppings are fresh by squeezing them with gloved fingers or by crushing them with the eraser of a pencil. If they break apart like powder, they are old droppings. If they squish and stay together, they are new. Along with this, a dark black coloration is fresh and a gray coloration is old. You might be able to just look at those droppings to tell that they're old. But please be cautious around rodent droppings. Rodent dropping can have diseases, harmful bacteria, or parasitic worms. We strongly recommend wearing a mask to prevent the inhalation of harmful particulates that can lead to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.


When rodents get into a home, they often chew a hole. These exterior holes can give you the evidence you need to determine that an infestation is possible but it isn't going to prove that you have an infestation. The holes that rodents create inside your home can.

The most obvious holes rodents make are holes in food packaging. When you see your Captain Crunch cereal all over the pantry floor and a good sized hole through the cardboard and plastic inner sleeve, you won't have to wonder what creature did that. There is a high probability that it was a mouse or rat. And, if you're sure the cereal was inside the box yesterday, you'll know your infestation is current and active.

The Importance of Rodent Detection

It is important to know how to detect rodents when they get into your home. Rodents present many dangers when they get inside. They can contaminate your dishes, food-prep surfaces, and foods with harmful bacteria, human pathogens, and parasitic worms. As they travel around your home, they can deposit fleas, ticks, lice and other harmful parasites. As they chew holes, they have the potential to sever a live wire and start a house fire. They damage building materials and belongings and contaminate areas with their urine and feces. It is never good to have a rodent infestation, especially a silent one that you're not aware of.

Get Rodents Out and Keep Them Out!

Since rodents can be so harmful, we highly recommend professional pest control to remove them and exclude them. If you're in our South Carolina service area, we'd be happy to help you create a plan to properly deal with rodent threats. Our team is recognized as an industry leader and has earned the QualityPro mark of excellence. We have the training and experience to make sure those rodents aren't a threat to you or your family. To get started with quality rodent control, call us today to make an appointment!

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