9 Signs of a Rodent Infestation

When present in large numbers, rats, and mice leave telltale signs indicating their presence. In large enough numbers, these can be quite obvious, and if you notice them, there is a good chance that you have a rodent infestation. What are the signs of a rodent infestation? Well, you are about to find out. Here are some key clues that might indicate you have a lot of unwanted house guests.

1. Scratching Noises

While rodents are generally quite cautious about being seen out in the open, they aren’t quite so wary when it comes to making noise. 

Rodents are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active during the hours of darkness. While daytime activity and household noise may mask the sounds rodents make, it can be a different story at night.

Rodents can make a scrabbling noise as they move around. When they are continuously gnawing, this can also make a crunching or scratching sound. Speaking of which…

2. Gnaw Marks and Holes

Rodents’ teeth grow constantly, and they need to gnaw hard materials to wear their teeth down. Rats and mice aren’t too particular about what they chew to achieve this. It could be corners of skirting boards, your furniture, loose items… The list is endless. 

Rodents will also chew through drywall and create holes to access areas you can’t reach.

If you spot strange holes at floor level or have noticed small chips and scratches taken out of household objects, this is a real sign that you’ve got a rodent infestation.

3. Droppings

Rodents have bad toilet habits and will ‘go’ wherever and whenever. Droppings are one of the most obvious signs of rodent infestation. Both mouse and rat feces is football-shaped and dark brown in color, varying in size, but on average, they are about the same size as rice grains.

Whereas the odd dropping might mean you have an isolated rodent problem, several droppings or clusters can indicate that you’ve got a bigger problem.

4. Foul Odors

In line with rodents’ toilet habits, you can expect a bad odor in the areas of the highest concentration. Rodent urine and droppings produce a sharp and musty smell similar to ammonia. 

Sometimes, if you have a large rodent population, members can die of natural causes. If this happens behind wall panels, then the carcass will decompose. This will produce a rotting smell that is most unpleasant. What is worse is that this can attract other rodents and parasites.

5. Tracks

Rodents tend to shy away from human contact, and you’ll often find that they have taken up residence in areas of the house that are not often used. The bad news is that you might not realize this until you have a real colony of rodents flourishing.

The good news?

Remote areas of your property tend to accumulate dust, which can offer vital clues.


Footprints and tracks! Both rat and mouse tracks are distinctive and hard to miss, especially if they are there in large numbers.

6. Damaged Food Packets

Rodents tend to set up shop wherever there is a steady food supply, and they have terrible manners. Suppose you’ve found that items in your pantry or store cupboards have mysteriously ‘opened’, or you find corners and holes chewed into boxes. In that case, this is a sign that you’ve got a rodent problem.

Not only is this annoying, but it can also be dangerous. Rats urinate almost constantly and can spread pathogens such as Weil’s disease, which can be fatal in certain circumstances.

7. Animal Interest

They call dogs mans best friend for a reason. In the case of rodents, the same can be said of cats. Household pets have a far better sense of smell than humans. You may have noticed that your pet is showing an increased interest in a certain part of a room. 

Certain breeds of dogs, such as terriers, have it in their genetic makeup to show interest in rodents. 

If the above is the case, you could have a rodent infestation. The good news is that household pets are pretty efficient at pinpointing nest locations, making your job of eradicating rodents a little easier. 

8. Grease Marks 

Once they have established that a particular route or thoroughfare is safe, Rodents will continue using it. They prefer to hug skirting boards and avoid being caught out in the open. As a result of continued use by many rodents, you may notice greasy smudges. 

These marks can take a while to build up and accumulate and are more common when there are a greater number of rodents. If they are obvious, there is a good chance there are significant rats or mice on your property. 

9. You’ve Seen Rodents

Ok, so this may seem a little obvious. But there is more to the story than it would first seem. 

Let’s say you have seen one rodent. A single rodent doesn’t equal an infestation, right?

Well, actually, the fact that you have seen a rodent at all could indicate a bigger problem, especially if you’ve spotted one in daylight.

Most rodents are cautious and avoid being out where predators can catch them. When nests and rodent colonies get too big, weaker members are forced out. The fact that you’ve seen one means that you might have a bigger problem on your hands as it isn’t usual for rodents to expose themselves unless forced to.

Solutions to a Rodent Infestation

While you might deal with isolated rodents with mixed success, an infestation can be more problematic. Not only will you want to remove the infestation, but you’ll need steps to ensure that whatever caused it is prevented in the future.

Facility Pest Control can provide the answer. We are experts in rodent control and removal with over 15 years in the business and serving the California area. We’ll be able to appraise the situation and employ tactics that will succeed. Feel free to contact us for more information.