How to Tell if Mice Are in Your Attic?

Do you have attic mice?  The truth is, most people are unaware they have a problem in their attic.  Why?  Because mice are most active during the late hours of the evening and early morning.  To notice attic mice, you must be awake and below their activity location.  People who witness the sounds of attic mice will describe it as a faint scratching sound.

The best way to find out if you have attic mice is to inspect the attic.  In the attic, we are looking for a few signs of rodent activity.  Before entering the attic, be sure to take some safety precautions. It is recommended to wear goggles and a dust mask to protect eyes and lungs from insulation particles.

A pest control technician doing an inspection in the attic

  • The first sign we are seeking will be visual evidence of mice droppings.  Rodent droppings are: ¼ or less in length, black in color, and resemble a celery seed or grain of rice. To find out more about rodent dropping and their identification.
  • Rodent tunnels in the insulation:  Scan over the insulation and look for holes or tunnels.  Once rodents seek shelter in attic space, they will create tunnels or “runways” to travel throughout the structure.  Runways are usually 1-2 inches in diameter.   
  • Rodent nests-  Usually not visible or easily found, especially in an attic. Mice nests are usually hidden in locations not easily reached.  A nest can be made up of various materials such as paper, straw, insulation, cotton, etc.

How Do You Get Rid of Attic Mice?

There are a few options for rodent removal in the attic space.  Check out the options below and see what works best for your living situation.  There are positives and negatives to each method.

  • Snap-Traps

Bait and place traps in areas that are displaying activity.  If you go with this method, be sure to use the best mouse trap bait. Ensure you count how many traps you are using and remember where you place them.  Most people find this option the most difficult to execute.  Snap traps must be monitored on a daily basis.  They must be emptied (dead mice), baited, and reset.  If you can't venture into the attic every day and monitor the traps, this may not be the best method for you.

  • Live Trapping

What is a live trap? Most “live traps” look like a box-like structure but can come in many different styles and shapes.  This rodent contraption allows curious mice to enter the trap and then locks them inside.  Usually, people will release the mice back into the wild.  The biggest mistake:  Do not release mice outside your home.  If the rodents are released outside the home, they may venture back into the structure.

  • Poison

This is the easiest way to control attic mice. The positive: You do not have to check the stations or change the bait on a daily basis.  The downside to poison:  Once the mouse consumes a lethal dose, it will die.  Wait…What’s the problem?  We can’t control where the rodents will die.  So mice can possibly die inside your home and leave an unpleasant odor.  If this method is best for you, be sure to place poison in tamper-proof stations to avoid secondary poisoning.   

How Did the Rodents Get In?

After catching and removing the attic mice... You must figure out how they gained entry to the attic. To do this, you must inspect the outside of the structure for entry points.

Common Entry Points To Check

Inspect the entire exterior perimeter of the structure. Remember, if there is a gap larger than the diameter of a pencil, mice can gain entry. Be sure to check the following spots...

How did rodents get in the attic

  • Where brick walls meet soffit: Mice will run straight up the wall and into the attic.
  • Large & deep weep holes in brick
  • Damaged Dryer vents
  • Damaged Roofing vents
  • Pipes & electrical lines leading into the structure
  • Gaps surrounding water spigots
  • Improperly installed vinyl or aluminum siding
  • Windows & doors: Make sure there are no gaps leading into the home
  • Corner posts of vinyl & aluminum siding: There should be a cap preventing rodents from running up to the attic. You could then purchase the caps.

Lock Attic Mice Out

After you have eliminated the attic mice, it is time to seal all entry points. Hire a handyman or do the work yourself. Some materials you may need to seal up are copper meshing, caulk, sealant, and spray foam, considering both effectiveness and exterminator cost. Remember, if you do not seal up, new rodents will most likely appear.

A.N.T. Pest Control is a licensed, certified, and insured company. We serve New Lenox, Manhattan, Joliet, Frankfort, Mokena, Tinley Park, Orland Park, and the surrounding suburbs.

Contact Us

1200 S Cedar Rd #2D/E
New Lenox, IL 60451


Email Us

to top