Eight signs of rodents

Learn the signs that rodents could be a problem for your home or business

Rats and mice are drawn to warm spaces that house food. As the temperatures drop with colder months on our doorsteps, it is likely that pests and rodents will be looking for a nice, warm place to stay. It is quite possible this nice, warm place will be your house or place of business.

Rodents are very crafty at finding ways into your building: open windows, under doors and through pipes, vents and cracks. No home or business is spared from rodents with their ability to enter buildings easily, small or large. Office buildings and homes in built-up areas are usually located close to cafes and restaurants, so there will always be rodents nearby.

The problem with rodents is more than just their damaging of electrical wiring, scaring children and creating a sense of unease. It goes much further – to the threat of disease.

It pays to keep an eye out for any indication of rodents. Here are some signs that you may have a rodent problem. If you think these signs are familiar, please get in touch. We are ready to help.

Sighting a rodent

These pests are much braver than you may think. When a rodent is spotted, dead or alive, it is important to act fast! Seeing dead or alive rodents around is a sure sign that there will be more and you need to avoid infestation.

We often get calls from clients mentioning that their cat or dog has brought home a nice little rodent present for them. They assume it is okay, since the rodent is dead. We always advise them that rodents breed and reproduce quickly. Where there is one rodent, there are sure to be many more.

Scratching and gnawing noises

At night, when everything is quiet, this is when you are most likely to hear rodents moving around – rats and mice are at their most active. The noises will be under floors, between walls, in ceilings and around the building structure.

Strong odour

Rats have a fast metabolism. This means they process food quickly, leaving a lot of waste. Their urine has a strong ammonia-like smell that lingers. The stronger the smell, the quicker you should give us a call.


Rodents shred paper and soft materials such as cardboard boxes and fabric to make nests. Keep an eye out for unexpected clumps of these materials – behind fridges and furniture, under stoves, in storage areas or wood piles.

Grease marks

Look out for grease marks and smears, which are caused by the rodents brushing themselves against walls, floors and skirtings. Dark smears near holes are a telling sign of a rodent problem.


Their fast metabolism means rodents can leave up to 40 to 80 droppings a day. This is one of the most common signs of a rodent problem. Droppings are like dark grains of rice if deposited by mice and about three times as big if left by rats. They are dark and moist if fresh and slightly greyer and more brittle if older. These droppings are likely to be found around food storage areas – in drawers and cupboards, under sinks and nearly always hidden from general view.


This is perhaps the most frustrating of signs. Chewed furnishings and cables can indicate a rodent issue. Wood, concrete, fabrics – rats’ teeth are strong and they don’t stop growing, so rats gnaw on a wide variety of objects as part of their way to keep their teeth a manageable size.

Strange behaviour of pets

You could notice a change of behaviour in your pets. They might suddenly be excited or start sniffing around unusual parts of your home. These behaviours can be a sign of rodent presence. Pets are territorial and notice unusual scents and odours. Pets may also see the rodents before you notice them. Strange barking or excited behaviour may indicate rodent sighting.

Office buildings and other workplaces

Many of the issues we’ve mentioned here – strong odours, grease marks, rodent droppings, damage from gnawing and even sighting nesting materials – are all things to look out for in an office environment. Rodents are not particular about their home, providing there is warmth, water, food and shelter, and you’d be surprised how many work environments can provide these comforts of home for rodents. 

Signs of rodents – call us!

If you have any suspicion at all that you might have a rodent problem, please contact Precision Pest Control as soon as you can. Don’t let the issue get out of hand. Your health could be at risk. Our experienced pest control operators are waiting to help. Contact Precision Pest Control today.