Everyone wants to have a clean, pest-free home. You don't want to worry about your health, your family's health, or your pets' health. And you don't want to think about cleaning up after cockroaches, pigeons, and other pests. However, despite your best efforts, you may still end up with an infestation.


Many homes in New Jersey experience a mice infestation at least once. To know if your home has one of these infestations, read the signs listed below.

1. Sightings

Of course, if you see a mouse, you know you have an infestation. Mice rarely live alone, and if they feel bold enough to come out wit h you present, then they probably have a pretty big presence in your home.

You probably won't see the mouse at rest. You'll likely notice it scurrying out of the corner of your eye. Pay careful attention around food sources, as mice can visit them more than 20 times in a 24-hour period.

2. Droppings

Most people don't know they have mice until they see their droppings. You'll find droppings along baseboards, behind furniture, in cupboards, and around food sources. Mouse droppings usually appear black or brown and small, spanning no more than 1/8 or 1/4 in. long. They'll have two pointed ends. If you have a rat infestation, they'll have blunted ends instead.

3. Urine

Like many rodents, mice have weak bladders. They'll leave urine trails behind them as they scurry around your home. You may find the urine still wet, or you may find the dry urine under a black light.

House mice also tend to tend to make small mounds called urinating pillars. These pillars contain grease and dirt in addition to urine .

4. Wall Smudges

Mice have a lot of oil and dirt in their coats. If you start to see dark smears along baseboards or around small openings, you probably have a mice infestation. They walk close to walls like that because they have poor vision, and they have to rely on touch and smell to g et them to food sources. They'll often leave urine along these trails for added guidance as well.

If you suddenly see particularly dark grease smears, you probably have a rat infestation instead.

5. Musty Smell

Again, since mice can't control their bladders, they leave urine everywhere. The urine will smell musty at first, but it can become mor e ammonia-like.

6. Gnawing Marks on Food and Food Packaging

Mice have strong teeth, and they'll go after anything containing grains, candies, nuts, or seeds. They also love foods high in fat, including bacon and dairy. They'll go through anything, including plastic packaging, to get the foods that smell good to them.

7. Gnaw Marks

Mice will also gnaw on nonfood items. Their teeth grow constantly, so they have to gnaw them down to keep them under control. F or this reason, they love gnawing on wood, metal, plastic. They'll even chew through electrical cords in their quest to keep their teeth un der control.

Even if you don't see gnaw marks on these items, you'll probably notice sawdust or shavings around them. You should also check c ords and wires frequently to make sure they still have their plastic coating. If they don't, they could cause a house fire.

8. Strange Noises

Mice make a lot of noise if you know what to look for. At night, you'll probably hear them scratching or scurrying around inside your walls. The sound may sound like a quiet, sharp clicking. Sometimes mice will squeak or make gnawing noises as well. Stay quiet while yo u listen to make sure you actually hear mice, not your home as it expands or contracts with the temperature.  

9. Nests

Like birds, mice like to make nests where they sleep and raise their young. You'll usually find these nests in hidden places, like behind your fridge, in your walls or ceilings, within cabinets or storage boxes, etc. If mice can hide somewhere without anything disturbing the m, it's a great place for a nest. You can usually find these nests near food sources.

You'll recognize a nest when you see a heap of shredded materials like paper or fabric. Nests can also contain hair, features, and other soft materials.

10. Diseases

These rodent pests don't just leave droppings, urine, and grease everywhere. They cause a significant threat to you, your family, and your pets because they often carry a host of diseases, including:

  • Hantavirus-leads to fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and difficulty breathing
  • Leptospirosis-causes kidney and liver problems
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (aseptic meningitis or encephalitis)-causes swelling around the brain
  • Rat bite fever-leads to serious infection
  • Rickettsialpox-involves an ulcer around a bite, fear, and rash
  • Salmonellosis-causes diarrhea

Watch for these diseases. You and your family members can catch them from contaminated mice droppings and urine.

If you notice any of the signs above, don't wait. Contact a pest control expert in your area so you can keep your home and family safe. 

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