How to Spot Signs of Rodents

As we enter the cooler months in the southern hemisphere, many homes and businesses are sure to experience an increase in the number of pests and animals migrating inside to find shelter, food and water. In fact, the stats this year show that rodent numbers are set to triple due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This means that on top of rising gas and electricity bills, you can also look forward to rat noises, mouse noises and unfortunately mouse and rat droppings. Not to mention the increased risk of infestations n businesses due to offices, shops and stores being left unattended for long periods of time. 

The most common type of pest that you’re most likely to come across during winter and autumn are of course rodents, with rats and mice frequently finding creative ways to enter your home or premises. Cracks, doorways, vents, windows and even chimneys are all rodent highways that are bound to see a lot of traffic. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

By spotting the early signs of rodents in your home or business, you can prevent them from contaminating food, damaging electrical wires, chewing up furniture and otherwise taking over your property. For additional pest control solutions, contact Competitive Pest Services today.

Signs of rodents

Below are some of the most common indicators that rats or mice have invaded your property.


Mouse and rat droppings are generally the most noticeable sign of an infestation. If you’ve ever found mouse droppings on your property, you’ll know they look like small dark pellets. They’ll also measure roughly 3-6 millimetres long or longer in the case of rats. 

Mouse droppings will be randomly scattered while rat droppings are often concentrated in one specific spot. As unsavoury as it may seem, places where food is kept and rooms where you store cardboard boxes can quickly become bathrooms for rodents. 

Mice, in particular, are prolific defecators. Producing somewhere between 50 and 80 droppings per day. If left uncleaned, these droppings have been known to spread harmful bacteria such as salmonella and the hantavirus, which makes reaching out for pest control services even more important.

Scuffling noises

If your home has rodents then there’s a chance it will sound like they’re throwing a party in your roof or walls come nightfall when they’re most active. 

Brown rats will make a grinding noise with their teeth, while mouse noises are more likely to manifest themselves as a scurrying sound. Either way, both mouse noises and rat noises are anything but soothing to nod off to.

Grease Marks

Rats have oily fur which they like to rub along walls and floorboards or on furniture as a way of creating a scent trail between their nest and their primary food and water source. 

Commonly called grease marks, they look like dark smears and will be generally found around holes and corners. Keeping an eye out for these marks is essential in locating their nest. So if you do notice a suspicious smear or smudge on a wall in your home or business, it’s presumably not Vegemite. Get in touch with a pest control services professional immediately.

Distinct odour

Another common indicator that you have rats or mice is a strong and musky odour throughout your home or business premises. This smell will most probably be that of rodent urine, as their wee has a distinct ammonia smell. The stronger the smell, the closer you are to a site with high amounts of rodent activity. 

If that’s not enough to make your toes curl though, rats and mice will also retreat to hard to access places in order to die. We probably don’t need to describe what a rotting rodent corpse stinks like, but let’s just say that you’ll definitely know it when you smell it.


Rodent nests are found in dark, damp and secluded areas where they can rest and breed without disturbance. The nests of rats and mice are typically built from bits of shredded paper, packing materials, fabrics and even insulation, however, rats may also live in burrows on the property. A pungent smell of urine plus scattered mouse and rat droppings can be detected in both types of nests. 

Gnaw marks

Rats can devastate properties due to their propensity for gnawing on almost all types of materials, whether it be timber, metal, plastic or packaging. Finding gnawed materials or goods is a definitive sign that you have a rodent problem and immediate action is required. To learn about our pest control solutions when it comes to rats and mice, contact our team today.

Actual rodents

The ultimate proof that rats or mice have taken up residence in your home or place of business is if you actually see them scurrying around. 

If this occurs, contact a licensed and professional pest control services team immediately. Odds are that if one is spotted there are plenty more nearby. If the sighting is in broad daylight, the situation is probably even direr than you think since that means the nest is overcrowded. Our team of highly trained rodent control specialists such as Competitive Pest Services can help in this instance.

Call CPS today on 1300 766 614 for prompt, professional and reliable pest control solutions.



With Competitive Pest Control Services you’ll never have to worry about paying for a job that hasn’t been done.

If you’re not satisfied with our services, we’ll not only give you your money back, we’ll return it to you twofold. That’s right: you’ll not only receive a full refund, we’ll also pay to have your pest problem sorted by our competition.*

We’re always trying to raise the standard of service, it’s one of the reasons we were name Australian Pest Manager of the Year four times in the past six years. When you employ our services, you know your pest problem will soon be a distant memory. What could be more satisfying than that?

*Please contact us to hear more about our 200% Money Back Guarantee - as due to issues sometimes outside our control, not all services may be covered by this offer.

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