Warning Signs of a Rodent Infestation | Pest Education | Copesan

According to rodent removal professionals, rodents need to gnaw to keep their teeth from growing too long, so it’s not uncommon for chew marks to appear in places like baseboards and walls. You may also notice gnawing holes in food packaging and shredded paper or fabric around the house.

Droppings and urine are other common signs of a rodent infestation. The latter typically appears as small puddles or streaks around cabinets and drawers.

Gnaw Marks

Rodents need to gnaw to keep their teeth from overgrowing, which can lead to visible damage throughout your home. Look for chewed materials, including wires, baseboards, furniture, food containers, and boxes. You can also spot gnaw marks with a flashlight when you shine it on a suspected area of your home.

Gnaw marks appear as small holes with a grainy appearance and are usually found near food sources, nesting areas, or electrical wires. You may also notice chewed food packaging or a musky odor.

Rodents like to build their nests in warm, secluded areas such as attics and basements. Look for shredded paper products, cotton, packing materials, and wall insulation in these areas. You may also see tracks or rub marks on walls and floorboards caused by a rat’s oily fur. If you aren’t sure what to look for, try spreading a bit of flour where you think rodents might have been and checking for trails and smudges the next day.

Nesting Materials

Rodents build their nests from shredded paper, fabric scraps, and dry plant material. Look around your home for these nest materials, usually in concealed areas like drawers, cupboards, and under sinks. If you see these signs of rodent infestation, clean up the nests and any droppings in and around them.

You may also notice gnawed holes in food packaging, walls, and baseboards. Rodents chew on things to keep their teeth sharp and prevent them from overgrowing. This can cause significant damage to your home, and you may be able to tell how long the rodent has been in your house by looking at the size of the gnaw marks. Newer gnaw marks are lighter in color, while older ones become darker.

Also, watch out for oily rub marks along walls, as rodents use these to travel on. You should also be able to determine whether the rubbing marks are fresh or old by looking at how they smear.


Rodents often leave footprints around food containers or in drawers and cupboards. You may also notice a trail of droppings on the floor, along baseboards, or on walls. The size of the droppings can tell you if the rodent is a mouse or rat (mouse droppings are smaller and pointed at both ends, while rat droppings are larger and have blunt ends). The smell of urine is another crucial indicator of a rodent infestation.

Mice and rats must gnaw to keep their teeth from overgrowing, so you should look for signs of chewing in your home. Look for gnawed wires, holes in drywall and food packaging, and nesting materials like shredded paper, fabric scraps, and dried plant matter.

Prevent a rodent infestation by keeping your home clean and your food stored in sealable containers. Block any entry points into your home with steel wool or caulk, and remove potential rodent nesting sites by cleaning up leaf piles and deep mulch.


Rodents have strong odors that can cause an unpleasant smell in your home. This can be caused by urine, feces, and decomposition. It is a good idea to inspect the house regularly for these odors.

Scratching noises heard at night, especially in an attic or wall cavity, can indicate a rodent problem. These sounds are made when the rodents gaw, scratch, and move through the materials in their nests.

Look for signs of rodent droppings and urine stains in cabinets, drawers, bins, and anywhere food is stored. Mouse droppings are smaller and are blunt at both ends, while rat droppings are larger and have pointed ends. The odor of rodent droppings is also a telltale sign.

Mice and rats carry diseases that can be spread to humans. These include Hantavirus, Lyme disease, and Salmonella. These diseases can be transmitted through flea bites or rodent urine. The best way to protect your family is to keep the garbage in sealed containers, remove pet food dishes from the floor, and call a rodent removal expert to solve the issue.