Handling a Mouse or Rat Problem

  • 11th June 2024
  • posted in: Advice

Any pest in your home is always unwelcome, but perhaps among the most worrying is when you have signs of a mouse or rat problem.

Perhaps you’ve not physically seen a rodent, but there are little things that seem strange or out of place that indicate a problem.

When it comes to dealing with a rodent, or any, infestation, early action is so important. Whether you're dealing with mice or rats, these pests can be harmful to health and destructive too. The quicker you seek professional pest control the better.

If you spot the signs of a mouse or rat, know that they don’t operate alone. If you see one, there will be more somewhere nearby. But first what are the tell-tale signs of an infestation?

Physical Damage

If you have a rodent problem, you’ll likely see physical evidence, even if you haven’t seen an actual mouse or rat. Mice and rats like to chew, so gnaw marks on your wires or furniture is an obvious indicator.

Rats in particular are good at chewing through most things. They can climb and can even find cracks in soft concrete and brick work and make it large enough to get inside.

If you do notice unexplained property damage, you should investigate it further.


Pests don't practise good hygiene and leave behind waste as they go about their journey. Rodents are prolific in these habits. Their droppings are small and don't really smell. They are conical and solid and you’ll likely find them along the scurrying routes and around food preparation areas where they stop off to eat.

Unpleasant Smells and Dead Rodents

Often, mice and rats produce a range of different smells. Mice and rats aren’t hygienic and often carry their food away to a secluded place or back to the nest. And they don't always finish their food, leaving rotting food that you can't always locate.

If you do notice a particularly disgusting and strong odour, it could also be that a mouse or rat has died somewhere in your home.

A dead mouse or rat gives off toxic gases that eventually smell like rotten vegetables, methane or hydrogen sulphide. Whilst the smell isn’t harmful, it's usually pretty strong and overpowering, especially if there is more than one dead rodent.

It can be especially strong if you’ve been out all day and all the windows have been closed.

If you do locate a dead mouse or rat, use gloves and a tool such as a spade or trowel. Or, if wearing rubber gloves, simply pick up the carcass and place it into a strong sealable bag. Don’t just throw the carcass into the bin.

Clean the surrounding surfaces and any tools with a disinfectant. You should get rid of the gloves and of course thoroughly wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap.

Strange Noises

One huge giveaway you have a mouse or rat problem is that mice and rats make scratching sounds when they’re out and about. They'll chew on just about anything they come across. They can fit into the smallest of spaces and won't be afraid to venture through your property if the opportunities are there.

Their Home in Yours

Pests, particularly mice and rats will make nests in any place they inhabit. If you’re looking to see if you have a mouse or rat problem, look for nests as well as droppings. Rodents will make their nests with anything they can find including grass, leaves, paper and they’ll build in the places in your home that you rarely use.

The problem here is that it can make finding a nest really difficult. What’s more, rat’s nests are usually covered in rat urine, posing a smell and health problem.

Usually, you'll find mouse or rat nests underneath your flooring or between walls, but an experienced professional will usually be able to locate the nest.

Damaged Plants and Grass

This might not be such an obvious one, but garden infestations are often the result of flies, beetles, rodents and moles. Rats or mice in your garden might not pose an immediate problem, but it’s likely they’ll venture closer when they’re looking for a food source.

And left unchecked nests can grow to huge sizes too.

Here are some tips on keeping rats out of your garden.

Brown Smears and Grease Marks

Rats and mice and pests in general tend to use the same routes. So, in many cases of pest infestation the appearance or brown smear marks in areas where the floor meets the wall and where rodents squeeze through holes are prevalent. As mice and rats squeeze through the same gap multiple times, smear marks will start to appear.

You might also find these marks on kitchen tops, on the cables of your appliances and on floors.

Calling a Pest Control Specialist

If you think your home has a mouse or rat problem, it’s a good idea to leave it to the professionals.

Mice and rats do not operate alone and some colonies can grow to have huge numbers of rodents.

Rats can also grow a lot bigger than you might imagine, so it’s best to leave it to someone who’s experienced in dealing with these pests.

A professional will also know where to look for nests and be able to seek out entry points and seal them, to prevent a reinfestation.

Rats are loyal to the nest and any that aren’t dealt with will simply come back to their home when the coast is clear.

Pest Control at Able Group

Able Group offers a range of specialist pest control treatments. Our experienced engineers will resolve your mouse and rat problem for the long term and advise you on how to prevent the problem occurring again.

We’re ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and offer a fast response service. If you're having mouse or rat problems, we’ll aim to get to your home within 90 minutes. There are no call-out charges or hidden costs and you’ll get a free quotation and advice before we start any work.

If you need our pest control services, get in touch today by calling 0330 096 1847 or by visiting our pest control website pages.

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