Are uninvited critters turning your home into their home? Are chitter-chatter and strange odors keeping you up at night? Rodents may try to stay out of sight. But read on to learn about clear signs of rodent infestation in your home and what you can do to get rid of rodent pests.

1. Is that Rice or Droppings?

Mice dropping looks like a tan, brown, or black grain of rice. The color depends on what they’ve been eating. They are about a quarter-inch long and taper at both ends. Rat droppings look similar, but they are larger than a rice grain and as big as half an inch long.

You might find droppings in:

  • Garage
  • Cupboard
  • Pantry
  • Cabinet
  • Attic
  • Crawlspace
  • Basement
  • In air vents or pipes
  • Around holes in baseboards, walls, or floors

2. Gnaw Marks

Rodents ave incredibly sharp teeth. And their upper teeth never stop growing, so it’s nothing for a mouse or rat to chew through something hard. Rats have even been known to chew through concrete. As the teeth naturally “file” down, they just grow back. In fact, rodents need to chew to keep teeth from growing too long.

So the mouse hole in the wall may seem like a cartoon cliche. But chewing through drywall or even paneling isn’t that big a deal if it’s the best way in.

signs of a rodent infestation

Look for gnaw marks on doors, walls, floors, and food packages.

3. Nests

Rodents tend to gather paper, cardboard, bits of fabric, leaves, and similar discarded matter to build nests in places where they believe they won’t be disturbed.

4. Rub Marks

Warning! This one is not for the faint of heart. Rats produce an oil called sebum on their undersides. As the squat to scurry in and out of their nest, they rub this oil across surfaces. Over time, it will all blend into a wide, long, dark pathway out of the nest.

5. Strange Noises

You may hear squeaking, chirping, chattering, scurrying, or chewing. It may be more noticeable when it rains if rodents seek refuge in your house during a storm. You might also hear hissing and shrieking during territorial fights.

6. That Corn Chip Smell

Rodents can have different smells. And some people describe the smells in different ways.

If you’re near a nest, you may smell a musty ammonia smell from the urine in the nest. You might also smell it if you open a cabinet that has been closed for a while.

But some people have likened the smell of rodents to maple syrup, grape soda, popcorn, corn chips, or corn tortillas. The way rodents smell may relate to the diseases they carry.

For example, the bacteria Proteus mirabilis are commonly found in the urinary tracts of mice. These bacteria smell a lot like corn. Proteus mirabilis is bacteria (probiotic) naturally found in the human gut. But it can cause respiratory infections in humans when inhaled. Rodent activity pushes it up into the air.

There’s just one more reason not to co-exist with rodents in your house unless they are a pet in a regularly cleaned cage.

7. You See a Rodent

Finally, where there’s one, there are more. If you see a rodent in or around your home, you very likely have a nest inside your home.

Witness Signs of a Rodent Infestation?

Are you experiencing signs of rodent infestation in your home? Call the exterminators at Life After Bugs. We can help you get rid of that rodent problem by trapping any mice or rats present, deterring them from returning with a whole home exclusion service, and monitoring to ensure they stay away. Call us or book online.