If you previously had a problem with rats or mice within your home, but now you believe (hope) that either you or the pest management professional you hired has eradicated the problem, is there any way to know this for sure?


Those droppings that you witnessed below the cabinets ? are they old or new? The gnawing marks you found recently ? are those fresh?


Here are a number of tips that you can use to determine if your concerns are to remain in the past or are better placed in the present.


wild mouse Droppings

Fresh droppings are dark and if you were to touch them, they are moist. With age, rodent droppings dry out and appear gray in color. They also crumble easily whenever touched.


Droppings will most likely be found in cupboards and drawers, around food packages, along rodent runways, and under sinks. Additionally, the greatest number of droppings will be seen where rodents are feeding or nesting, so be sure to inspect areas close to where the droppings were found as a way to determine if there?s a new infestation.



Quite in contrast to rodent droppings, more recent gnawing marks will appear lighter in color and darken with age. Gnawing marks will most likely be seen on food packaging and potentially on various structures within your home.


One way to go about determining age is to make a comparison between older and newer markings that both appear on the same material. If the marks you recently found are lighter in color, this may be some cause for concern as it can prove a continued infestation or a fresh one.


These marks can signify whether the problem relates to mice or rats. As you?d expect, larger gnaw marks imply rats. As such, if you had an infestation of mice previously, and you now see larger-sized gnaw marks, it?s a sign that rats are now invading your premises. Vice versa also applies.



Cats, dogs, and indeed, rodents that are pets, frequently become excitable in areas where the pest form of rodents are present. Why so? On account of the aroma pertaining to rodents, and it is most likely to occur just after rodents have gained entry to your premises. If your pet begins to paw in an area that previously held no particular interest, get the flashlight out and make an examination of the surroundings for mice or rats. If it?s merely a lost toy or a pet treat, you can count yourself fortunate.


If, on the other hand, there?s a an active and sizable infestation, there?s also likely to be a particularly stale aroma.


Runways & Tracks

Should there be rodents that are active either in or around your premises, runways and tracks will likely be fairly distinctive, and as time passes, they tend to fade. These runways and tracks are most easily identified by using either a flashlight or a back light which is pointed towards the suspected area.


You could see footprints, smudge marks, droppings, and/ or urine stains. If you do have reason to suspect that an area is being targeted by rodents, place a thin layer of baby powder or flour in that area. If rodents are indeed active, you?ll soon witness their trails in the powder.



Rodents have a passion for fabrics, shredded paper, or dried plant matter when making their nests. If such materials are found, and there are additional signs of presence ? gnawing, fresh droppings, tracks, and/ or odor ? then it?s probable there remains an infestation in your property.


Exterior Indicators

Rodents find organic waste matter, piles of trash, et cetera, to be attractive locales in terms of harboring and for food supplies. If you do have anything of that nature near your home, make an inspection for signs of rodent activity.


Even if there is no sign of activity present, eliminate any trash and waste matter at your earliest convenience as a way to aid in the prevention of any potential future rodent outbursts in the vicinity.


Population Size

There are signs which provide an indication as to the size of a rodent populace. If you witness rodents at nighttime but not throughout the day, the population is likely to be relatively small and can therefore be controlled through the use of baits and traps. If you frequently spot rodents in the daytime, the population is likely on the larger side, which may require professional attention.