Top Indications of a Mice Infestation

Ever wonder where those squeaks and scratches during night time come from? It might be a sign that a house mouse is in your home. These small rodents can quickly infest your area if you don’t act on their invasion immediately.

Saying this is easy, but before anything can be done homeowners should know the first warning signs that their house is about to have a mice infestation problem. These pests are most active after the sun goes down where they come out in the open to search for food and move around.

This is why we can somehow associate the unfamiliar sound or smell to the rodent living in your lot. You might think that a single house mouse scurrying around your house is a problem you can ignore. However,it should be alarming enough to know that with the nature of these rodents they can proliferate in a matter of weeks without you even noticing. Thus, you have to be vigilant so you could avoid a mice infestation.

Vigilance is one thing, but you must know what to look out for so your search is focused and accurate. For owners, the typical house mouse leaves trails that indicate they’re currently residing inside you building.

Mice Poo

A house mouse keeps its food and consumes it little by little and because of that they defecate a whole lot throughout the course of a night. With their irregular eating habit, fecal matter can be spread around your home. Their waste is dark-colored and tiny which is easy to spot if you see it.

An active mouse nest would drop a lot of fresh waste which is also a sign of an early infestation. If you’re not entirely sure that the poo was excreted recently, you still proceed to clean-up duties and sanitation but you have to remember the area where you found the droppings. The day after, you must come back to the place and see if there are new mice feces and if you find some then you can conclude that they’re fresh and your house has been invaded by mice.

A house mouse explores areas where the smell of food is prominent, which means that their feces can be also found in the same parts of your home. You first check for poo in areas like cupboards and walls near food areas.

Mouse Markings

The humid and dirty environment that mice live in causes their hair to be wrapped with oil. This becomes grease marks when they run around looking for food through the usual passageways that they take. They move by squeezing through holes and staying near walls which makes their hairs rub on these surfaces leaving visible stains.

A house that has a lot of mice living inside may have a lot of urine pillars. These are marks made from urine, grease, dirt, and other materials found in their hairs. Such materials get caught on their hair because they live close to each other and on top of their waste. But before you conclude a heavy infestation, you must look at other signs because a grease mark that gets rubbed constantly by the same mouse may create a urine pillar as well.

Unfamiliar Sounds

A house mouse is a very careful creature and by that i mean it checks its area diligently. They do this through the use of their senses except their eyes because it is weak when compared to others.

All throughout the night, mice explore and stay active. Their activity involves scratching surfaces like wood and cement to investigate the area and while they’re searching for leftovers. If you hear scratching sounds late at night, then it is safe to assume that a mouse is causing that.

Flexibility and agility allows a mouse to move around and in between cracks on walls. When they get to these areas they continue to move and make sounds which explains why you hear irritating sounds coming from the inside of your wall or ceiling.


Seeing a mouse moving around your house may be a sign of an infestation because they generally live as families with a nesting area. The quickness of the house mouse allows them to move around and collect materials to build their nests on a certain spot in your home. Mice can build their nests anywhere but usually these animals prefer a place that is quiet and strategically placed where they can collect food faster.

Water isn’t too much of an issue for these creatures because the liquid inside the food they eat is usually enough for them to survive the day. If they do feel thirsty, mice only consume as much as 3 milliliters of water and they’re good for that day.

The hollow parts of walls, ceilings, floors are the most common nesting spots. Some mice are bolder where they build their nests under the refrigerator, stove tops, and even the cupboard.

If you find their nests, you can see that the materials they use to build it usually mimics their natural habitat as if they were living in the wild. Tree products are usually the materials they bring in. For example, papers, cloth, and cardboards.

Once they have built their nest and the conditions are just right for them to thrive, their population can shoot up quickly without you noticing. One litter can have as many as 8 mouse pups which adds to 10 mice per litter on average. It can grow out of proportion if the owner doesn’t make the necessary moves to stop it.

Mouse Tracks

A house mouse when active can leave footprints and when you trace these tracks you may be led to their nest or one of their route. To make it visible, you can try and shine some light on a spot that you think mice have been travelling through and if you see little footprints then that is it. Mouse tracks don’t get wiped off easily. In fact, they may stay there for a couple of months which means it would be difficult to know if they’re fresh tracks or not. If you want to know exactly how fresh some of the tracks you found are, applying talcum powder on the spot might help. Spread it over the route you suspect mice are taking and observe if it reveals new tracks the next day.

Visible Evidence

“To see is to believe”, a common saying that applies to a mice infestation. Mice that are freely moving in your kitchen or just outside your house is a warning sign that they’re currently living within your lot.

In the case where you see a house mouse during a sunny day, then you should consider taking aggressive measures to get rid of these mice because a sight like that clearly indicates an infestation. A mouse will not abandon its nocturnal nature to forage for food unless they’re forced to do so because of the heavy competition for food in their area. You would be lucky if their nest had just been damaged or somehow experienced a disturbance that pushed them to move around.

Awful Smell

Along with the aforementioned signs above, if you get awful smells that are clearly coming from urine and feces then you clearly have a bad mice infestation. Traces of their strong smell are left as they move around your house particularly near their nesting areas. The stronger the odor the nearer you are to either their nest or where they move around.

Final Take

There are a lot of things you have to check to confirm a mice infestation or to prevent it to go from one mouse to several nests. Narrow down your search from the information you’ve got above. One by one check for each clue and make an evaluation.

Mice infestations can easily go out of hand for every single day that you ignore them. They also pose high health risks for the humans and pets living inside the house. Urgency is crucial in addressing these seemingly obnoxious traces of house mouse in your place. To ensure full recovery of the house from the infestation, it is best to coordinate with a pest control firm for a massive house sanitation. This can be inconvenient at first, but this is also a sure way to prevent another round of mice infestation.

27 thoughts on “Top Indications of a Mice Infestation”

  1. Amarillo Texas
    Home invasion, they are throughout the walls. Never seen anything like that every… Help

  2. lots of food dishes in sink..they got into my chips..pretzels in cabinets..cookies tossed cookies out..and I spray bleach on counters every day..and trash out every garbage in trash..I have someone coming to help me with 20 traps,,found one this am on sticky the nerve..put in plastic bag and out the door..and NO food ever on counter of luck…

  3. Hi, I have a mice infestation problem, I live in australia, in melbourne victoria, having problems with the trap, difficult to use.

  4. Hi I must have a mouse infestation because my house smells very strong of urine and I constantly clean and can’t get rid of the smell. Any ideas how to get rid of them, I have a toddler and puppy so I would prefer no kind of poisons.

    1. Vinegar is amazing on urine smells, I use it as I have 2 cats and a dog that seem to sometimes miss the designated toilet places

  5. I thought I kicked somrthing soft when I walked into a dark room it felt soft and no indication of droppings or tracks , but Iam puzzled at what my foot touched. I have stickes & the socket noise in my oulets but no sign of anything. What can I do to I!.I am still puzzled my foot touched something more than ?/ or will they make their way out I have no food what should I do?

  6. Only suspect due to small hole in bananas left out over night. Finally, the hole was bigger in a new bunch in different place. Nearby were dropping, I think, but also things that seemed like wood shavings, different colors, maybe from paper. No noises tho. Could this be snakes or lizards? I live in a 2-story townhouse (row house attached on both sides). This “problem” only in kitchen so far at least. Thanks!

    1. Paul, since u clearly aren’t getting answers here, I will tell u (as a country girl from Ky who currently has her own mouse infestation)…what u saw is sure sign of mice! Nesting materials, poo, plus they are eating your food Paul. Pleeeeaaassssse take the steps now to eliminate those nasty creatures, I feel that they are a plague upon humanity & had I know how quickly this problem would escalate from 1-2 mice to what I am going thru right now…well, u can bet your last dollar I would have put a stop to it immediately!! It’s kind of like trying to clean up after an atomic bomb, when you could’ve just cut off the fuse to start with. Consider this free advice from someone who definitely & unfortunately knows what they are talking about, good luck Paul!

  7. Only suspect due to small hole in bananas left out over night. Finally, the hole was bigger in a new bunch in different place. Nearby were dropping, I think, but also things that seemed like wood shavings, different colors, maybe from paper. No noises tho. Could this be snakes or lizards? I live in a 2-story townhouse (row house attached on both sides). This “problem” only in kitchen so far at least. Thanks! I’m in Bangkok, Thailand and just moved into this place.

  8. Please give me a call at 917-362-7842 at your earliest convenience to discuss your rates. I live in New York City. I have a nice infestation in my apartment and need these darn critters to stop getting into my kitchen appliances! Thank you!

  9. We have caught 20 mice on glue traps already what else can i do it had only been 2 weeks that the traps have been out we live in south Louisiana my name is Kenny we just remodeled this home it was vacant for over a year please help

  10. Help, we have mice in our home, we have two toddlers and a dog. We have tried safe traps and hidden snap and glue traps. They had been on a routine tromping through our kitchen as soon as we go upstairs. I even saw one whizz past me I the hallway, it seemed faster than a vampire. I would love to get a cat, but my wife is alergic, I also put a feeding station beneath our cabinets that is sealed with no access for our kids. Electric traps, glue traps, snap traps, bottle traps, tom cat feeding station, tomcat live traps, nothing is working. I wish I could rent snakes and let then have a field day. I’m about ready to rip down the walls and refinish the floors to kill the stink.. Also before the winter last year, I sealed up a lot of holes in the field stone foundation and wonder if I trapped them inside?? Anyway it’s warmer now and no sign of them for a couple weeks. I plan on inspecting the foundation again to see if I can find and entry.. This sucks!!

  11. Hi we have a mouse infestation in our lean to garage beside house. My husband had insulated the walls and thats were they are nesting. I am just using traps and glue and have caught 12 in a week along with six newborns. My husband has started removing walls and insulation in which we found them. We are going to have to remove it I think as this is only part of walls removed. The smell is appalling. Is there anything else we could do.i have a fear if them getting in house. Is removing the garage the best thing?

  12. Hi almost more than a year I noticed mice in my house, finally I found where they are coming in and sealed it off.
    I had mice traps set up during and they were trapping more in winter, but after sealing their entrance some adults and some baby mice got trapped which is a succeed.
    My question is there should be lots of drops and possibly dead baby mice behind the walls, what I should do?
    Also could more than one mice family in my house or only one family will live and what time of the year they give birth to their babies.

  13. Suzanne Owings, Greenbelt, Maryland

    The rats keep licking the bacon grease off of the rat traps and not setting them off. I have tried a small tin cat and heard the rats making noise to try to get in it but they (it would not go inside of it. I have tried poison bait – they would not eat it. They even have jarred a screw loose from a cable plate, pushed the cable plate out from the wall and entered the apartment that way. I have sealed everything I can think of to seal, laid molding, etc. Also – will they enter they heat/air vents if the slits are large enough in the ceiling and walk down the walls?
    I have tried mint oil, black pepper, ammonia. They seem to be very intelligent. Any suggestions are appreciated. I’ve even had an exterminating service.

    1. I’ve never had to catch an infestation of mice. You’ve had an exterminator and they did not clear up your problem that worries me. I think putting grease, oil on a trap is very light for them to take it off, they need to work at it (putting pressure on the trigger) because it comes right offtry, they use a very light touch, not activating the trap. Try peanut butter I was surprised when that worked

  14. I was looking in a box of books I had stored in our integral garage today and noticed a lot of shredded paper as I looked further as mouse jumped out nearly giving me a heart attack and ran off to the back of the garage. When we inspected the box we found a dead adult in there and some baby mice which we disposed of. I have now put traps along the wall where I seen the mouse run – are there likely to be another family or is it likely I found them before an infestation. I haven’t looked in the boxes which have been stored for a few months now until today.

  15. When I go to bed (2:00-4:00) at night, after 10 minutes or so, I think I feel rustling. I am too scared to look. I keep telling myself that I’m just driving myself crazy since my neighbor told me that they got rid of the mice in there house. I thought that I have seen mouse droppings, but only twice and there was only 1 turd, not 2 or more. I have thought that I have heard the small dog’s dish clang. Again I tell myself…crazy, (it’s not against the wall, maybe 6″ away and 1″ high), eeks! It can be, it can be! I haven’t heard anything, for awhile now. I still feel a rustle in bed. I have seen no evidence of food being eaten, or packages opened. I do have a bad habit of leaving toast crumbs on cutting board all day and night. Same with the toaster, never without crumbs.
    Today I was in the garage and noticed a bag of poison (cellophane bag with green pellets) half eaten. (I don’t remember the name but was purchased at Walmart). Never noticed any droppings. Eeeks, reality check! Bed check too!
    I forgot to mention that I have those (expensive) things you plug into the outlet. (Maybe that is what is keeping them out, spiders too). Ihave not seen many spiders, but I have seen few)
    Problem, I have 2 in the kitchen, 1 downstairs, and one in living room. I think I need more downstairs, heck, I know I do!

  16. hi..saw a small mouse about five weeks ago in my ran away from me and jamp into chest of drawers so i closed the drawers.anyway. i got a mouse trap and the mouse kept eating it so 3weeks ago i filled it to the brim with meat,nan bread,and day.big mouse in trap.have been leaving trap out but no more food going.anyway today i decide yto clean out my flat.opened the chest of drawer,took out one by one,cleaned droppings out and as i took the last drawer out.there was the first mouse i saw dead.and still was brown.the one caugh in the trap was much bigger and grey with a creamy white belly.,,does anyone think there are

  17. Hi there,
    We discovered a mouse in our apartment living in the spare bathroom. We put down poison and traps, but then left to go on holiday. We came yesterday and discovered a dead mouse in the trap, god only know how long it was lying dead in the trap. We have located the site of the nest which is near an open pipe going into the wall near the sink. We know this because we have seen some of the insulation from the pipe has been gnawed off.

    The mouse also nibbled the poison 3 times. When we checked yesterday, we did not see anymore mouse droppings in the bathroom which leads me to believe that there was only the one mouse.

    But is it possible to only have one mouse? Also what should we do with the next? We intend on filling the gap with steel wool and securing it with expanding foam.

    Any comments would be very welcome.

  18. We caught 3 mice in our upstairs bathroom under the sink. We have a whole around the sink pipes. We used traps that kill the mouse and you do not see it dead. But 8.00 for 2 gets expensive. All summer no mice, but I kept a trap under the sink just in case. Sure enough after 6 months we caught one and another one today under the sink. I know have another trap yhere. We think they are coming uo through the chimney somehow. No indication of any mice in any other part of the housr, and never saw one. Going to call an exterminator tomorrow.

  19. I’m pretty sure that we have at least 1 family squatting some where in my house, our house is at the end of 4 joining it’s always spotless no food left anywhere and always eat in one place (ocd), so they must have hard time finding dinner unless they got the run of the joining houses. Two other people live with me who think I’m hallucinating or dreaming it, to me it’s as real as me writing this I’ve never seen 1 or there poo but hear them most nights scratching squeaking I’ve felt them on my bed and know when they on my bed as can smell them smells like they got in through sewer they stink it feels like they can get in side my mattress. This is becoming really annoying messing my sleep up and making work a lot harder I’ve bought traps just waiting for them to be delivered then will c if I’m going mad or not and if not hopefully kill them off.

  20. I have an old two family house and this Spring there had been a lot more mice than usual exacerbated by filthy tenants and mice over ran the place. Just by being clean and minimizing their opportunity to feed,etc the mouse problem seems to have lessened. However, there is still a mouse running around but with less frequency. It runs along a countertop and across my stove and around the sink. I put out peppermint oil ( which helped) and its visits are not as frequent. It went from near daily visit leaving urine and mouse droppings to only 1-2 droppings to every other day and just urine. I got a cat two weeks ago and now it went from 2x in the first week -just urine, to once this week – even less urine, but no droppings in several weeks. I don’t know yet if the cat is a mouser as he’s just acclimating to the space. I leave out kibble for him all day , though he’s not much of a day eater. My roomate insists the mice are running off and hoarding the kibble but I see no signs of mice anywhere near the bowl ( or random piles of kibble) and the mouse visit is lessening. Any thoughts? Are there pet safe mouse poisons? Oh these mice are trap savvy – I’ve avoided glue traps – but none of the others have worked.

  21. I’ve owned my home since 2013 and I’ve never seen a mouse before this month. One came through my main level kitchen door’s frame in broad daylight and took off for the living room. We released it back outside and sealed the frame. The second scurried across my basement’s wall at night while I was giving some new friends a tour. Great first impression *^*. I’ve never seen any poopies in my house or heard movement. There’s no food in the basement and I haven’t noticed any chew damage. They might be eating the pet food my little beast likes to hide. He’s ’bout to go on a diet!

    I clean a lot, but I don’t go in the basement often because there are spiders and crickets down there. I plan to declutter even more, lay some EZ snaps, and clean more diligently with diluted bleach and dish gloves down there. Idk if it’s the time of year in NC or if the Duke spill has messed up our ecosystem that much. I’m just worried about illness.

  22. Wayne I am going through the same thing I wont sleep in my bedroom anymore they are in my clothes they tear the seams so that they can get in, its crazy, they are all over me when I sleep, I know Im not nuts no one else in the house gets bothered but me, I have Lyme disease so I wonder if that is why they bother me only, I went to stay at a friends house and as soon as I brought clothes they followed me, it makes me wonder if I caught something that makes my hair and clothes so attractive my PCP had me checked out by psych and she cleared me who wouldnt after she saw all the bites around my body, I am sure that they are lemmings (you know 1000 ran off the cliff in a Disney movie) I live right above a bog and they are called bog lemmings and are not mice they are little rats and they are all over the country and europe but they rarely enter a house well they did nothing I do is working I live in a log cabin and they think its a big tree I think, little by little they are making me afraid to take a shower b ecause when I say they are everywhere I mean everywhere in the fridge, today the ice machine in my freezer, they have eaten all the weather stripping and are slowly taking over my house I sleep upstairs in the living room/dining/kitchen which is better than the bedroom as the guinea pigs (aha) are there, if it were up to me I would give them away but they are not mine. I am ready for the funny farm I have been trying to get them out with borax, castor oil, peanut butter and sugar they are eating it like crazy in every room, apparently each room has a cdolony different than the others, they eat each other or big rats have followed them. Can anyone help me with any other suggestions as I AM GETTING CLOSE TO A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, its like a nightmare that wont stop, also when I turn on a light in the laundry room, I see like flares almost llike those bugs that light up at night, I read that the human eye cannot see a lemming while untrained, I have just started to see them, they are tiny and so low to the floor that they almost look like an insect but I am also watching my husky go through the hell that I am and there is nothing I can do to stop it or help him, it.s breaking my heart I walk him every morning and he rolls and rolls to get them off and I caught him the other day pulling one out of his rear end and it looked like a little bug w 8 legs and long white hairs but not many one time I saw an adult on my head which has never happened, just for an instant and I screamed and he took off just horrible. HELP!!!!! PLEASE

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