Signs You May Have A Rodent Problem

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If you go to a pet store and ask whether or not mice and rats make great pets, they are sure to say yes. And, they would be right. In captivity, these furry creatures pose no danger to you or your home (although you may want to wash your hands after handling pet mice.) Mice don't have the compulsive grooming habits rats have. Yes. It's true. Pet rats groom themselves even more frequently than a cat. If you're looking for a pet that is as faithful as a dog and as clean as your cat, you don't have to look any further than the humble rat.

But when these creatures are allowed to roam freely through your home, you're going to have trouble. Rodents chew on wood and eat through sheetrock. They can cause a house fire when they chew through wires. And, their foraging habits will have them crawling out of trash bins and spreading harmful bacteria to your food prep surfaces, silverware drawer, and food storage areas. Worse still, rodents that come in from outside can bring parasites with them. If you'd rather not have lice, ticks, fleas, mites, and worms, it is important to recognize the signs of a rodent infestation.

hole on outside of ny home created by rodents

Visual Sighting

Obviously, the best way to know for sure you have rodents in your home is to see one. The problem with this sign is that mice and rats don't like to be seen. These are skittish creatures that are adept at avoiding visual detection. If you do happen to see a rodent scurrying around in your home, it is cause for concern. These animals are usually only seen when they are forced to take greater chances. This happens when the population has grown larger than available food sources.

Sounds Inside The Wall

Most often, mice will be detected when they make their way through wall voids. They will scrape when they climb up and bump when they work their way down. They can also be heard bumping and thumping around in attic spaces, but there are several reasons you may not hear these sounds at all.

  • Rodents are nocturnal. You're not likely to hear them bumping and scraping in walls during the day. That means you will likely be in your bedroom when you hear them. If they don't need to pass through your bedroom walls to get to their food source, you aren't going to hear them.

  • If your bedroom isn't just underneath attic spaces, they can bump around all night long and you'll never hear it.

  • Rodents prefer to be close to food sources. If they make a nest in the wall void next to your pantry, they won't be passing by any of your bedrooms.


This is the sign you're most often going to see. Mice and rats leave their droppings everywhere they go. These small black fecal pellets will most often be found in the backs of drawers, cabinets, or shelves.

Chew Marks

Rodents love to chew, and chewing is also their primary way to create access to food areas. If you find a hole in a pantry wall, there is a good chance you have rodents. Another good indication is when you find holes in the packaging of stored food.

Dirt Smears

When rodents pass through an area, their fur will rub on floors, walls, pipes, and baseboards. If you see dirt smears, it could be a sign of a rodent infestation. These dirt smears are also called rub marks or grease smears. And, if you're seeing them, it is easy to understand why you don't want these creatures in your food storage areas.


If you want to be proactive about searching for signs of rodent infestation, the place to look is in your attic spaces. Use a flashlight to search corners and nooks for bedding created by insulation, torn paper, cardboard, and other fibrous materials. While you're up there, you can also use your nose to detect a rodent infestation. Rodents use their urine to attract a mate. The more rodents you have, the more noticeable the odor will be.

Rodent Control

When you find rodents in your home or business, it is time to call a professional. You want to make sure all of these stealthy pests are removed. If you live in New York State, check and see if you're in our service area. Parkway Pest Services has been protecting homes and businesses since 1932, and our team of professionals is nationally recognized as QualityPro Certified. When you need your property rodent-free, you can trust Parkway Pest Services to get them all. Every time!


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