- It’s not mice’s fault that they find pleasure in sniffing around our basements. Yet, we will eventually notice and take action against them. This is how it has been going for centuries.
- Have you noticed an unusual, strong smell around your house? Typical signs of mouse infestation include rodent sightings (living or dead), musky odors, gnaw marks on plastic or furniture, tracks, mouse urine, urine pillars, and droppings.
- Keep reading to discover if mice inhabit your property even if you can’t see them!
How to spot a mouse problem?
Typical mice are nocturnal creatures—they sleep during the day and get back to being active during the night.
No wonder it’s hard to spot mice, especially in hidden areas of the house.
Wild mice are extremely timid toward humans and other animals. (Yet, they’re super social in their fellow mice group.)
Important: You may not see them alive in the daylight but accidentally come across them at night or when they’re dead. This is one sure sign that mice live in the house.
As a rule of thumb, mice aren’t the show’s stars, and they prefer to stay out of the limelight.
Yet, as a mouse population grows, so does food demand.
One way to notice a heavy rodent infestation (works equally with insects) is when they’re noticeable with bare eyes—they seem to become bolder—because they need more food.
So if you spot a mouse darting from wall to wall out of the corner of your eye, the rodent infestation problem gets out of control.
The same with mice remains. They will usually crawl into a hidden space to die, but if there’s a mouse body out in the open, in a wall, ceiling cavity, or within or under furniture, it’s definitely disinfection time.
Yet, we usually can’t see them, so how do we find out there is an active infestation in our household?
Below are some signs of a mouse problem to look for.
Signs of an infestation
It’s common that the first sign of mice infestation is the acrid, ammonia-like odor lingering in the property.
The stronger the odor, the worse the infestation.
You can also notice scratching sounds in walls and ceilings.
Mice work hard on setting up their home in the cavities and cracks in our house’s walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs.
Mice are relatively quiet, and usually, the only thing you can hear is scratching in walls and ceilings.
Important: The mice-related sounds might be pretty disturbing in the middle of the night. But what do you prefer, a ghost or mice burrowing or gnawing on material, such as electrical wiring, plasterboard, or wood, that builds your house?
This way, these hard-working rodents put some elbow grease to create a new route through your property or to gather nesting materials and build a nest.
While ugly smells and weird mice’s sounds weren’t pleasurable, grease marks left by these rodents on walls, doors, and furniture are even less entertaining.
According to Super Proof, mice have oil glands to keep their coats in good condition.
As they move around a property, during their regular route night time, their oil, hair, and dirt leave distinctive streaking (also called grease rubs) as they brush up against the interiors of your house.
Mice’s regular routes between nesting sites and food sources are called rodent runways.
Cats and dogs acting weird
Let’s say you spot no nests, ugly odor, mice droppings, urine stains, or urine pillars; what else can indicate mice around your property?
In houses where dogs or cats suddenly get interested in something you can’t detect, these can be mice or rats running around unnoticed.
Many cats are unbothered by mice, and it’s a myth that they will always catch them.
Yet, cats and dogs are curious animals, and if they take an interest in a particular spot under a kitchen cupboard, it’s time to look out for mice.
Since cats and dogs hear much better than we do, they can detect mice long before.
Recognizing droppings and urine
Mouse’s urine or droppings are good indicators that these rodents are around. Let’s see what we have discovered about them till now.
Mice can remain hidden for a long time before you suspect a problem.
Yet, spotting mouse urine is relatively easy, as these rodents dribble urine as they travel along.
Mice frequently urinate, leaving a strong ammonia-like smell. Imagine that a typical house mouse deposits several hundred tiny urine droplets on average in 24 hours.
Tip: When exterminators check for rodent infestations, they use a black light to check for mouse urine. Mouse urine glows under UV light!
And since they usually follow the same trails repeatedly (we mentioned rodent runways), these routes accumulate a large amount of rodent urine.
While fresh mouse urine smells like ammonia, a fermented one can smell like damp wood.
What do mouse urine stains look like?
Rodent urine is a thin line of dots, drops, or streaks running through vertical surfaces between cartons and bags.
Rodent urine often will have tail drag marks through the fluorescing deposit.
Tip: Wash rodent urine, whether it’s mouse and rat, droppings, and contaminated nesting materials, with commercial disinfectant or bleach solution (a mixture of bleach and water). Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, use recommended concentration, and wear rubber gloves!
So if you find small patches of urine, you’ll know it’s time to invest in pest control.
Other indicators of mice infestation are urine pillars. These occur when we’re dealing with a heavy rodent infestation.
When grease, dirt, and hair combine with mouse urine, this mixture creates small mounds known as urine pillars.
To identify mouse urine pillars, check for dirt, grease marks, and buildup around your property.
Mice defecate everywhere they go, and they do it often.
Just as in the case of urine, seeing their droppings is a sign that the rodents have inhabited your space.
After noticing a distinct and unpleasant smell and strange markings on your walls, get ready to look for mouse droppings.
Mouse feces indicate areas where they are most active.
These small black and dark droppings measure approximately 3 to 6 mm long. They are pellet-shaped and granular.