Warning Signs of a Rodent Infestation: What to Watch Out For

Rodent Entering House Through Entry Point in Wall


As a homeowner, it is critically important to be aware of rodent issues as soon as possible. Failure to know the signs of a rodent infestation can lead to thousands of dollars of damage to your home, as well as have a significant impact on your family’s health. We have put together some of the top signs that you may be dealing with a rodent infestation. If you spot any of these signs in your home, it is critical to call in a professional immediately.

Dirty walls and baseboards

Do your walls seem to be consistently getting dirty with grease like dirt? Rodents tend to run along the side walls as they scamper through your home. When they are rubbing against the walls they smear a grease-like dirt as they go. If you notice these smears you should reach out to a professional as soon as possible. Remember these marks may not just be on the inside of your house but on the outside siding as well.

Bite marks and signs on gnawing

Due to the fact the rats and mice have teeth that keep growing, they chew on things to keep the teeth short. If left unchecked, the chewing of items in your home can be extremely costly. You should check belongings like furniture, cardboard and anything wood in the home. You will also want to check the wiring in the house. If you are concerned about rodents in your attic take a look at your insulation. If it has been chewed up, the rodents are most likely using it to build nests.


If you see droppings in your home, it is a strong sign that you have a significant infestation in your home. It is imperative that you call out a professional immediately. Rodent droppings pose an immediate health risk to your family, as the droppings can spread diseases such as salmonella. You can look for droppings in the attic as well as the basement, but you should also check anywhere there is a food source. Cleaning up the dropping is not the solution, you must deal with the source.


Before you see the physical signs of an infestation, you may smell it. Rodents tend to give off a musty smell in the house. In addition if the rodent dies they tend to do so in the walls and areas you will not see but can smell. If you have an unusual smell in the house, you should seek help right away as you may be able to correct the issue before it becomes a major infestation. If you have pets and they seem overly interested in a certain area of the house it could be a sign of a nest as they have the ability to smell rodents before humans do.

Food packaging

Rodents like to come into homes for two reasons, they like to seek warmth during the colder months and to look for food to eat. Just as with your furniture and wires, rodents will use their sharp teeth to chew through just about any food source they can find. You will want to check your pantry and look for signs of gnawing. They tend to love to chew through bags of cat and dog food left on the pantry floor. If you notice any bite marks, it is critical to throw the food away immediately. You can purchase containers to store your pet food and cereals etc in that rodents can’t gnaw  through. In addition to food inside your home, it is important to make sure the trash outside your home is secured. Any food source will attract rodents to your property and eventually bring them inside.

Live rodents

This might be stating the obvious, but if you see a live mouse scamper across the living room while you are watching TV you most likely have a serious infestation. Rodents most likely come out when it is dark, so while you might not see them during the day if you see even one at night there are most likely many more in your home.


If there is a dusty area in your home, you will most likely notice tiny footprints in the dust in the event you have an infestation. If your home is very clean, but you suspect you have an infestation, you can place talcum powder around the baseboard to see if any footprints show up.


While most of the signs of a rodent infestation can be seen, it is likely you can hear the rodents as well. If you notice scratching sounds at night especially in the attic there is a good chance the rodents are running around up there.

If you have any of these signs in your home, call a professional immediately. Waiting can lead to extensive property damage in your home along with putting the health of your family at risk.