Your home may be your castle, but it might also be a haven for four-legged pests that have no respect for royalty. Regardless of the season – winter, spring, summer, or fall – rodents can live and die in your house, creating a health problem that you never expected. But, how do you know whether or not you have mice in your house? 

Mouse “Pills”

That’s what my mom always called them – they were mouse pills rather than droppings. They are tiny black cocoons that might make you think there is some kind of insect in that area. Unfortunately, these droppings are a sure sign that you have a mouse in the house. And, where there is one mouse, you can bet there are more. Don’t dismiss this as an aberration. If you have mouse pellets in your pantry or under the kitchen sink, you can bet that they are in the carpets, too. The problem is that as you wipe up these droppings, or as they are walked on, they become powder. Then, the powder becomes airborne. 

One little-known fact about mice and rats is that they leave a urine trail. So, any place you find droppings, you can be sure there is some amount of urine in that spot as well. The mice use it for navigation. But this urine also becomes atomized. The atomized urine and droppings can present a severe health hazard, especially for children, who are shorter and closer to the source.


Mom could also smell a mouse. No one else in the house could. But, we would be sitting there watching TV, and she would say, “I smell a mouse.” Sure enough, in just a couple of days, the traps would reveal that she was right. 

A mouse smell is like no other. It’s a dirty smell, with kind of musty overtones. The smell is a little bit like rotten potatoes, except with potatoes, you can still smell the potato. 

Scrapes on Your Tupperware

So, you go to the pantry and get out your Tupperware container full of flour, and notice scrapes all around the edge. Just be aware that no one tried to use a bottle opener on your container. It was mice trying to chew their way into your food container. Sanitize the container, and call your exterminator.


My little daughter came to me one day and told me we have ghosts. She said she had seen one. What did it look like? She didn’t really know – it was just a movement out of the corner of her eye that had disappeared as soon as she looked at it. 

I, however, knew better. Growing up in the country, with a mom who could smell a mouse as soon as it entered the house, I had learned that if I saw a shadow, it was a mouse. Sure enough, a mouse trap proved my theory correct. 

If you see movements that are unexplained or that get your pets excited, or if you hear or smell something odd, call a pest control expert. It’s probably mice.

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