What Do Mice Sound Like In Walls? (Find Out Now!)

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone

While mice may not be as intimidating as large black or brown rates, they are still perfectly capable of bringing with them the same destruction and diseases as these larger rodents. If you are able to recognize the sounds that mice may in your home, you have a higher chance of eliminating them before they cause serious damage.

If you’ve been hearing strange noises in your home, you may be wondering if you have mice living in your walls. If you listen closely or pay attention in the evening hours, mice make occasional scratching, gnawing, scurrying, and squeaking noises inside the hollow walls of your home. They also make what can be described as foraging noises. When they’re making their nests they carry twigs, paper, and other debris throughout your home and it’s likely that these items are what you may be hearing.

Oftentimes, the presence of mice isn’t very apparent until you have an infestation. The best way to eliminate a mouse problem is to determine that they are living in your home as early as possible. Since mice are breeding machines, it won’t be long before your problem grows exponentially. So, what do mice sound like in walls, and how did they get there in the first place? Continue reading to find out.

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What Do Mice Sound Like in Walls?

The noises that mice are often one of the first signs of an infestation. In order to be on guard for these unwelcome guests, you need to know what they sound like in your walls. Any of the following sounds may indicate that you have some rodents living rent free in your home:

  • Scratching: As mice climb and crawl along and inside of your walls, you will hear scratching noises that come from their nails. Mice are also constantly scratching around to find materials for their nests.
  • Gnawing: Since a mouse’s teeth never stop growing, they need to chew relentlessly in order for their teeth to stay the proper size. For this reason, if you have a mice problem, it’s common to hear gnawing or chewing sounds behind your walls.
  • Scurrying: Scurrying is one of the most common sounds that mice make. These rodents are known for making soft, light scuffling noises as they move around. The sounds come from their bodies brushing along surfaces and their nails digging in for grip and traction.
  • Squeaking: Believe it or not, mice communicate with each other and this vocalization sounds like squeaking. While it’s less common to hear squeaking than scurrying or scratching in your walls, it happens more often during mating season. Mice will also use these vocal noises to express emotion and communicate the location of food and shelter. Generally speaking, the squeaks are faster during mating and louder when they’ve found a food supply.

When Do You Hear the Noises?

Since mice have nocturnal patterns, you’ll typically hear them in the dead of night. Though, they will also come out during the day if it’s quiet or if they need to find a food source. Rodents like mice and rats aren’t the only pests that can make noise in your home. Sounds in the middle of the day may be a sign of a squirrel infestation, as they are diurnal. Opossums and raccoons will also produce noises if they are in your home.

Since it’s so quiet in the evening hours, if you are hearing mice noises they will probably be amplified. This can make you think that you have a much bigger animal in your home, like a squirrel or raccoon.

With this in mind, the best way to confirm that the noises you hear are mice is to tap on a wall or make a sudden loud sound when you hear the noises. If the gnawing, scratching or scurrying stops, you probably have a mouse problem.

How Do Mice Get in Walls?

Due to their size, mice can squeeze their way into openings as small as a dime. Their skull is the only thing that needs to fit and then they can compress their body to get all the way through a hole. This fact, in addition to their ability to climb, makes it easy for them to access cracks and crevices above ground level. So, once mice make their way into your home, they use a similar approach to get into your walls.

Some common entry points for mice are as follows:

  • Cracks in your home’s foundation
  • Utility pipe and wire entries
  • Damaged siding
  • Gaps and cracks in building materials
  • Poorly sealed windows and door frames
  • Weep holes
  • Chimney pipes and roof vents

Why Are Mice in My Walls?

Mice find entry points into your home by following air currents that flow between the inside of your house to the outside. Their goal is to find shelter, warmth, water, and a food source. Once they find all of these things, they will remain and build their nests. Mouse infestations are most common in the fall and winter months when temperatures drop.

With that said, it’s no surprise that the main cause of mice activity within walls has to do with targeted areas that are neglected or vulnerable, providing easy access for the rodents.

Torn or Broken Vents

Vents like dryer vents, attic vents, soffit vents, crawl space vents, and turbine vents all lead to the outdoors. They are designed for airflow and to provide ventilation for your home. When holes or gaps are present, mice can seek out the air currents to make their way inside.

Once they gain access, they will nest within wall voids, and begin making those telltale scratching noises at night. The solution to this problem is to either create a barrier or repair and replace the damaged vents.

Cracks in Foundation

Since rodents can slip into gaps as small as ¼ inch, cracks in your foundation are incredibly vulnerable. These cracks typically occur when the ground is settling, which causes the foundation to shift. Another common problem is water erosion as a result of bad gutters and downspouts or improper drainage.

While there may be different types of cracks in your foundation for a variety of reasons, if any space exists, a mouse can get in. Then, they’ll have no problem getting into your walls.

Weep Holes

Weep holes are the name given to intentional gaps between bricks when a home has a masonry exterior. The purpose of these holes is to allow built-up water to escape and prevent moisture from getting stuck behind the bricks. While it’s not recommended to seal up or fill in weep holes, they should be screened off to prevent insects, mice, and other rodents from entering.

Since weep holes are exposed and generally pretty large, they offer the perfect space for unwanted visitors. Implement professional materials that prevent rodent entry but still allow the holes to breathe. This will help keep the weep holes functioning as intended, while also reducing the likelihood of a mice infestation.

Builder’s Gaps

Also known as a roof gap or construction gap, a “builder’s gap” is often created when a home is built to allow the house to breathe. The opening is located where the gutters and roof meet and runs horizontally where the two components should meet. Since it is usually covered by shingles, you may not even know that you have a builder’s gap on your roof.

However, this opening is notorious for allowing rats, squirrels, and mice to enter your attic. Then, once they are in your attic, it’s very easy for them to migrate into your wall voids. In this situation, your best course of action is to hire a pest control specialist to secure this area of your home against mice.

Unsealed Utility Pipes

Utility pipes, like sump pumps, aren’t always sealed off completely where they meet the exterior of your home. Since mice are skilled climbers, they will use any gaps around your piping to enter your walls and basement. Walk around the outside of your house and inspect for these gaps.

Any piping that creates a space of at least ¼ inch should be addressed immediately. Even if you don’t have a current rodent problem, leaving these gaps unchecked leaves your home vulnerable to infestations in the future.

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Other Places Mice Hide in Your Home

Wall voids are one of the most common places that you’ll find mice in the home, especially if they are insulated and located near a heat source. However, your walls aren’t the only place that mice like to hide. Here are some of the other places that mice will set up shop in homes:

  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Attics
  • Air ducts and venting systems
  • Voids in and behind kitchen appliances
  • Inside furniture
  • Inside storage boxes that are seldom emptied or inspected
  • Areas that are concealed by clutter and stored items
  • Under kitchen cabinets
  • Insulation (mice are notorious for creating costly messes by nesting in insulation)

While all of these locations are attractive to mice, you may never even see one. Instead, look out for other signs of their presence, like sounds, droppings, foul odors, and gnaw marks.

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Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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