Signs of a Rodent Infestation in Your Attic

Have you seen signs of rodent infestation around your home or business? If you’re concerned about sharing your home with an unwanted guest, keep an eye out for common signs of an infestation.

Rodents can damage your home’s insulation. The team at SoDak Insulation is here to help. If rodents have done a number on your attic insulation, give us a call today.

What Are The Signs Of Rodent Infestation?

Rodents leave a variety of clues when they invade your home. An active infestation can be spotted with your eyes, ears, and even your nose.

If you have rodents in your attic, they are likely in other parts of your home as well. Keep an eye out for these telltale signs as you inspect your attic and the rest of your home.

rodent looking through hole in the attic wall

Rodent Droppings

One of the most definitive signs of rodent infestation is the discovery of rodent droppings around the home. 

If you have spotted small brown or black pellets around food packages or near baseboards, you have a rodent infestation.

Mice and rats have similar droppings. Mouse droppings have pointed ends, are smooth, and are between an eighth and a fourth of an inch long. Rat droppings are a bit larger and often have more squared-off ends. 

Always wear gloves and a dust mask when cleaning to avoid getting sick.

Gnaw Marks

Rodents have strong teeth that keep growing throughout their lives. Gnawing helps them keep their teeth in check.

Mice and rats use their teeth to gain access to your home. Once inside, they happily chew their way through walls, electrical wires, and food containers.

Rodent gnaw marks look like very small nibbles with evenly spaced, tiny parallel lines. A house mouse may leave telltale gnaw marks on your walls, furniture, or the bottom of doors. 

sign of rodent infestation is a rodent on your kitchen counter

The Smell Of Urine

Mice have a peculiar smell that resembles stale urine or ammonia. The odor helps them to mark their territory.

If you discover an animal smell when you open a cabinet or closet, you most likely have a rodent.

Rub Marks and Tracks

When rats move around your home, they often leave dark smudges on the baseboards. Rats have oily fur that leaves a residue on surfaces. They like to stick with familiar paths and keep near walls, and their tracks can be seen with a close look.

In the attic, your insulation leaves a clear trail where mice have been. Mouse pathways in your insulation look like small, 1- to 2-inch deep hallways.

A Dead Body

You found a body in your pantry. Did you think, “Oh good, it’s dead”? 

Sadly, if there was one mouse in your house, there is very likely more than one mouse in your house.

Mice follow the scent of other mice. That one critter you found very likely has brothers and sisters living in your walls.

Don’t wait to meet the whole family. 

Scratching Noises

Rodents don’t trim their toenails. One of the signs of rodent infestation is scratching noise from inside your walls. 

Rodent sounds are most noticeable at night when they are most active and your home is the quietest. 



Rodents love to build nests from shredded paper, bedding, and insulation. Check the dark corners of your home, as well as behind furniture and in cabinets.

What To Do When You Have Rodents In Your Home

You noticed the signs of a rodent and confirmed you have a trespassing critter. Don’t delay: Take steps to remove those rodents right away.

Follow these steps to evict your unwelcome guest:

  1. Attempt to determine how it got into your home. Fix any holes or gaps that could provide access to additional rodents.
  2. Secure any potential sources of food. Food in plastic bags should be placed in containers with thicker walls. Don’t leave the pet food out, either.
  3. Place traps. If you know the animal’s trail, set traps along their path. Bait them with chocolate or peanut butter. 

But remember: Never place snap traps or poison where pets or small children can access them. 

Eliminating unwanted pests can be an unpleasant job. You always have the option to bring in professional help. 

how to keep rodents out of your attic

How To Keep Rodents Out Of Your Home

After you’ve gotten rid of your mice or rats, you’ll want to take action to make sure your home stays rodent-free. Incorporate these steps into your home maintenance to keep the critters out:

  • Walk around the outside of your home and check for any cracks, gaps, or other openings. Mice only need a quarter of an inch to push through. 
  • Fix water leaks. A dripping spigot provides a consistent water source for rodents and other animals. 
  • Place pantry staples in airtight containers. Flour, rice, and other foods are often packaged in plastic bags, an easy target for rodents. Put your pantry foods in stronger, airtight containers.
  • Don’t let garbage pile up. Rodents love human garbage and are drawn to it. Keep your garbage in tightly sealed containers, both inside and outside your home. Have your garbage hauled away at least weekly.
  • Only feed the animals you want to keep around. Pet and bird feeders are easy targets for rodents.
  • Watch for signs of rodent infestation as the weather outside gets colder. Rodent problems get worse in the fall and winter.

Keeping rodents out is much easier than removing them after they’ve moved in.

If Your Attic Has Been The Home Of Rodents, Consider Replacing Your Insulation

Rodents are dirty, stinky, and sometimes even dangerous. After you’ve evicted them, your home may need clean-up and repairs.

If you had bats, rats, or mice in your attic, your insulation has been their bathroom. This can make your whole home smell bad. 

If you think you might need to replace your attic insulation, contact SoDak Insulation today for a free quote. Our experts will inspect your attic and help you find the best solution for your home. Reach out today.

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