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How to Identify Common Signs of Rats and Mice in Your Home

They can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare and an incredibly unpleasant presence in your house, as well as being difficult to spot and eliminate when they are found. Rats and mice can scurry throughout your home, staying in the shadows, often being heard long before they are seen. There are some things to look out for in order to ensure you catch and eliminate these pests before they cause damage to your home.



Probably the most obvious sign that you have an unwanted lodger or lodgers in your home. They can be quite difficult to spot due to their size, but if you notice a large amount in a certain area, then this is a good indicator as to where they most likely to be. Rats produce around 40 droppings per night and mice around 50/80 per night. The places to check for these are on top of cupboards, or near skirting boards.

Squeaks and other noises


Hearing these noises can be unsettling at best, especially at night time when the house is quiet. It can often be quite difficult to know exactly where the scratching and squeaking is coming from, as rodents move so quickly that it can seem like they are everywhere at once. Black rats are very adept at climbing, so if the noises seem higher up – in a loft, for example – it is more than likely a member of this species, whereas mice tend to stay in lower areas.

Gnawing and damage to food/packaging


Another telltale sign that rats and mice have made a home in your house is gnawing on things like skirting boards, cables and food packaging. It is obviously very important that you throw away any food that has had its packaging gnawed, as it is likely contaminated.

Rub marks


Due to their poor eyesight, rats use familiar routes along skirting boards to help them navigate around houses, and mice use a similar technique too. If you notice long streaks or greasy marks on your skirting boards, this could be because your unwanted guests are using them to find their way around your home.

Strong smell


The frequent droppings and urination of rodents mean that there will be a very noticeable unpleasant smell accumulating in the areas that they congregate in. The longer this is allowed to build up, the longer it can stay even after the infestation has been removed from your home, so it is important to be proactive when dealing with issues like this.

With over 25 years of experience in the industry and a local authority approved member of the British Pest Control Association, Pest Defence are the perfect company to resolve your pest issue in your home or business. From rats and mice to insects, moles and rabbits, we have the skills, equipment and dedication necessary to provide you with an expert solution to your problem. Get in touch today to find out more.


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