5 Warning Signs of a Rodent Infestation in Your Home

Updated April 1, 2024

5 Warning Signs of a Rodent Infestation in Your Home

It only takes one male and female rodent to create an infestation in your home. Mice and rats can access your home through cracks, holes, pipes, and drains. Once inside, rodents cover surfaces with disease-spreading feces and shred their way through your home.

Rodents love to hide away inside walls and under floors but leave behind rodent infestation signs. If you have mice or rats in your home, it’s important to contact a wildlife removal service fast to stop the infestation. Some signs of rodent infestation include:


Rodents will leave behind droppings (poop) anywhere in your home they have access to. It’s common to find droppings hidden:  

  • Inside cabinets or drawers (especially near food)  
  • Under the sink  
  • Behind appliances  
  • Near pipes or hot water heaters in the basement  
  • Dark closets  
  • Around fireplaces

Mice droppings look like dark brown or black grains of rice. Rat droppings are larger and about the size of a raisin. Droppings may also be more pointed at one end and contain hair.

Four Odors

Rodent droppings and urine can also leave a foul, lingering smell in areas where they’ve made nests. A single dead rodent, which is not always a sign of rodent infestation, can also cause a strong, sour odor that lingers for days or weeks as it decays.

Gnaw Marks and Holes

Rodents will also leave behind teeth marks anywhere they’ve been active—usually in the same areas of droppings. Mice and rodents love to chew to keep their teeth filed down.

They also use their teeth to gnaw away walls, floors, and furniture to access their nests or food sources better. Holes can indicate you have a rodent nest in your walls or floors. Holes through exterior walls often indicate a rodent infestation’s infestation’s entry point.

Chewed Up or Shredded Nesting Material

Rodents who start eating your food may leave behind chewed-up food packaging. You may also notice shredded paper or fabric in areas near droppings. Mice and rats like to shred soft materials to create their nests. Rodent nests are made of piles of debris, usually covered in droppings and gnaw marks.

Scratching or Small Thuds

Rodents usually move around at night, so you may not hear them. However, you may hear scratching noises inside your walls or floors as rodents claw and chew through nesting material and your home. You may also hear soft scampering or thuds as mice or rats move inside walls or under floorboards.

Rodent Infestation Health Risks and Removal Services

Because rodent feces and urine contaminate every surface they touch, it’s easy for disease to spread. Rodents carry many diseases that can infect people and make them sick. A rodent bite or scratch can also make you sick.

Contacting a wildlife removal expert for rodent infestation removal is important to avoid spreading rodent disease and damage. Alpha Wildlife is available 24/7 to respond to emergency rodent removal inside your home. For non-emergencies, we typically offer same-day and next-day service.

Learn more about our humane rodent removal services.