What Are the Signs of Rodents in My Garage?

Mice and rats can cause significant damage when they infest a residential garage. In addition, the presence of rodents in your garage have the capacity for presenting a very real health threat to you and your family. Because of the hazards associated with a rodent infestation, it is important for you to be aware of signs that mice or rats have invaded your garage.

Rodent Droppings

A primary sign of a mouse or rat infestation is the presence of rodent droppings. Indeed, the presence of droppings can allow you the ability to ascertain what type of rodent has invaded your garage. Rat droppings are about the size of raisins, although they are smooth and not wrinkly in appearance. Mouse droppings, on other hand, look rather like grains of rice.

You will not find droppings in only isolated locations if you have a mouse or rat infestation in your garage. Mice and rats do not use what are called feces latrines when it comes to defecating. Many mammals, including other types of rodents, defecate in one or two primary locations, creating a latrine of feces. Mice and rats defecate “all over the place.” They will even defecate whilst they are out and about foraging for food and water, relieving themselves as they are scurrying from one location to another.

As a consequence, you are apt to find rodent droppings along walls. Mice and rats commonly move about a garage (and even into a residence) against a wall. The wall provides them a sense of safety and security.

You need to understand that rodent droppings can present a serious health threat to you and your family. Rat droppings can carry germs which are capable of causing serious (and even fatal) diseases in humans. (Examples of the types of diseases that can be conveyed through rodent droppings are salmonella poisoning and hantavirus infection.)

One aspect of dealing with a rodent infestation in your garage is cleaning up rodent droppings after the rodents themselves have been eradicated from the space. Cleaning up rodent droppings presents a true safety risk for anyone involved in the cleanup process. This includes dried droppings.

Dried rat droppings have a propensity for crumbling very easily. This causes feces dust and any germs contained in it to become airborne. For example, if rodent droppings contain the hantavirus, that germ can be inhaled by someone who comes into contact with the dust without proper protection. A hantavirus infection can result in a condition called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Of those who contract hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, about 35 percent will die.

Rodent Noises

Another sign that you have mice or rats in your garage is the existence of different types of noises. The noises associated with rodents in your garage include:

  • Gnawing sounds
  • Scurrying sounds
  • Squealing

An important fact to bear in mind when it comes to hearing mice and rats in your garage is the fact that rodents generally are nocturnal animals. Because they are nocturnal animals, you are not as likely to hear rodent noises during the day as is the case after the sun sets and before dawn. You are most likely to hear noises associated with the presence of rodents at night when these animals are moving about foraging for food or engaging other activities.

With that said, although rodents generally are nocturnal creatures, they do move about and can be somewhat active in the daytime. Thus, it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that you may hear sounds associated with rodents in your garage or elsewhere during daylight house as well. In other words, if you hear gnawing, scurrying, or squealing during the day, these very likely are noises and sounds associated with rodents.

Rodent Markings

Rodents also leave markings that signal their presence in your garage. The types of markings that are left by rodents infesting a garage include:

Gnaw marks on walls and objects in a garage

Scratch or claw marks on the floor and base of walls

Greasy looking trails along pathways commonly used by rodents (particularly near all baseboards)

Rodent Odors

Finally, a set of indicators that rodents have infested your garage come in the form or odors. One type of odor that accompanies a rodent infestation in your garage is urine. (As an aside, rodent urine can be hazardous as well. It can contain germs like salmonella and hantavirus. When it dries, urine dust can become airborne, carrying hantavirus along with it.)

Another type of odor that may be present when rodents infect a garage is the stench of decomposing mouse or rat cadavers. If an infestation exists for more than a short amount of time, rodents will die in the garage for one reason or another. In addition, depending on the manner in which a rodent infestation in a garage is dealt with, how it is eradicated, there may be remains left behind.