Jessie Taylor

 Tags: Prevention

Humans and mice have been living together for centuries. Early on, mice figured out it was easier to eat food humans stored than to find food on their own. Since then, mice have been a constant nuisance for humans around the world. For many homeowners, the very thought of mice is enough to create stress and discomfort.

Most frequently, mice will live inside the attics and walls of homes in order to be close to humans food sources. They might go unnoticed for years. In fact, mice may be living in your attic right now. If you think you’ve heard mice in the attic, don’t dismiss the thought. You might be right, and it’s best to deal with a mouse problem immediately.

Download our free guide about the deer mice epidemic in southern Ontario.

If you want to know for sure that the sounds you’re hearing are indeed caused by mice, keep reading to find out what mice in the attic sound like.

Scurrying and Scratching

mouse hidden in a blanket The most common sounds you’ll hear coming from mice in the attic are scurrying and scratching. House mice are notorious for these light, soft scuffling noises. These sounds are caused by their nails digging into surfaced in order for them to gain a grip as they move around. The first time you hear these noises you may think its a creature much larger than a mouse. It is very troubling to hear strange noises in our homes, especially late if it happens late at night. Sometimes our imaginations can run wild and lead us to believe it is a much larger creature. Also, oftentimes the sounds made by mice will echo, giving the impression of a much larger footprint. You will be surprised at just how loud mice can sound in a wall cavity, ceiling crevice or attic.


A mouse’s four incisors never stop growing in its lifetime. Because of this, the mouse must gnaw and chew constantly in order to keep these teeth to their proper size. As a result, you might hear sounds like gnawing coming from your attic or behind your walls. This is particularly troubling when you consider the size of the average mouse population in an urban home. You are most likely dealing with hundreds, if not thousands of these unwanted guests. Now, consider hundreds orthousands of little critters chewing on wires, support beams, joists etc. Over time, this can become a costly issue and a safety hazrd.


Many homeowners don’t realize that mice actually sing to one another. To us, this singing chatter sounds like squeaking. Though you’ll likely hear skittering across the ceiling before you hear squeaking, this is another telltale sign you have mice in the attic. Singing typically occurs during mating season for mice.

Mice will also use vocal sounds like squeaking to relay the location of shelter and food as well as to express emotion. The frequency and pitch of the squeaks will vary depending on what the mice are trying to communicate. For example, the squeaks will be louder when they’ve found food and faster during mating.

In the Dead of Night

More often than not, you’ll hear mice in the dead of night. Mice have nocturnal behaviours. They will typically lie low during the day and come out at night to forage, build nests, and search for food.

However, because it’s so quiet in the dead of night, the sounds you hear as you’re lying in bed will likely be amplified. This can make you believe you have a larger wild animal in your home, such as a raccoon or a squirrel.

One way to determine whether or not you’re hearing a mouse is to tap on the area of the wall or ceiling where the scurrying is occurring. If the noises immediately stop and then start up again a few moments later, you have a mouse problem. When you tap, mice sense danger, so they will freeze in place to avoid being noticed. Once the tapping stops and they feel safe again, they’ll go back to moving around.

Don’t Discount Daytime Noises

A common misconception about mice that many homeowners have is the belief that they are strictly nocturnal. While it’s generally true that they’re typically most active after dark, mice can and will come out during the daytime, too.

Mice will come out during the day if food is scarce and they have determined they must risk their safety to find more. They’ll also be active during the day if a dominant mouse doesn’t allow them to hunt for food or mates at night. In addition, mice will be active throughout the daytime if your home is quiet and the mice feel it’s safe to come out. You might be surprised to find a mouse in your view when you’re just quietly reading a book in the middle of the day!

Mice removal is a complicated process that should only be done by professionals. 

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Jessie Taylor

As a technician at All Wildlife Removal Inc., Jessie is passionate about animals. She loves the outdoors and did an Outdoor Adventure Naturalist program at college. In her spare time, she enjoys painting and going out birding.