How to Spot Mice or Rats in the Home

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

Forget the cartoon image of a woman jumping on a chair because of a mouse. You may not be terrified by mice or abide by this stereotypical image, but you do need to be aware that they are a health risk and not something that can be tolerated in your home.

Did you know a mouse can get through a hole as small as ¼”? As long as they can get their skull through the rest of their body will follow! The same is true of rats although they are generally larger than mice.

mice in home

You don’t have to live in the country to be near mice or rats. In fact, it is estimated that there could be as many as 2 million rats in New York City Alone, that’s a ratio of 1 rat to every 4 people.

If you think you have a mouse or rat problem then you need expert pest control assistance, the sooner you eradicate the problem the better!

You can find out more about the local support available to you.

Don’t forget, mice and rats can carry many different diseases and they leave these across your home, potentially exposing you to these diseases.

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Here are the signs that you have a mouse or rat issue:


Mice and rats don’t have set toilet areas, they basically let the waste fall out as they run. This means the first sign of a pest problem is the droppings, they can be across the floor, in your cupboards, or even on your countertops!

It’s possible to trace the droppings back to their source which can help to locate the nest. But, this will depend on how active they have been and how many mice there are.


Alongside the droppings, you’ll notice an unpleasant odor. It’s a cross between ammonia and something even more disgusting!

The aroma will be strongest nearest their nest and shows you that you have an issue that needs dealing with.

Don’t forget these rodents breed fast, the problem will quickly multiply.

mice in home

Gnaw marks

Mice and rats will try to find a way into your food, they can gnaw through paper, cardboard, and will try to get through plastic. If you notice gnaw marks then you have rodents looking for food.

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If you spot a nest then you’re doing well, this is a clear sign that you have a rodent issue, but at least you know where to start dealing with them.

Alongside this, you should seal up any potential entry points.


When your home is quiet, usually late evening or overnight; you’ll find the rodents are most active. They are also most audible at this time.

You’ll hear them scuttling across the floor and even squeezing through gaps to get closer to your food.

It’s time for the poison and traps…


If you have dogs or cats they will know you have a rodent problem before you do. In fact, they’ll try to tell you by sniffing the area where the rodents have been.

Most cats will try to catch the mice and some dogs will do too!

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