A home is supposed to bring you comfort but sometimes, you can face common pest problems that quickly bring in discomfort. A common problem you are likely to experience is scratching in walls but no droppings. It could be any wild animal, from rats, mice, and squirrels, to even bats. It could be any of them, and you need to identify the culprit to determine what proper treatment method you can apply.

Scratching in Walls But No Droppings

Scratching in Walls But No Droppings


This is a problem we all hate, considering that it disturbs your sleep and patience at night. You might hear rattling in your air conditioning or heating system, which is usually due to a technical problem. But what about scratching sounds in the walls with no droppings, or loud scratching sounds? Don’t worry, it’s not a ghost, it’s a pest who just moved in.

From my experience in wildlife removal, I know that these scratching or chewing noises at night are typically caused by rodents or other small animals. If you hear this noise for several nights, it’s a sign of their presence. The best thing to do is always to call a critter control service to inspect your home and identify the source of the noise. But sometimes, you might be able to treat the problem on your own if you can identify the exact spot where the scratching sound is coming from.

Critters that Cause Scratching Noise in Your Wall

Scratching sounds inside walls without droppings can come from a variety of wildlife. Along with scratching, you might hear sounds like squeaking, thumping, slithering, or chirping. Usually, animals scratch for reasons such as building nests, moving around, or storing food. If you only recently started hearing this scratching noise, then the animal just moved in. It’s usually difficult to pinpoint exactly which animal is making the noise based on the sound alone. The loudness of the scratching doesn’t necessarily indicate the size of the creature. However, there are some animals that are more commonly responsible for scratching in walls but no droppings if they just moved in.


1. Rats

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Rats, similar to mice, can cause scratching noises in walls. They also chew on food packages and other items in your home. If you find bite marks on the packaging, it could indicate a rat infestation. So the scratching you hear in your walls at night is likely because rats are nocturnal and more active then. Moreover, they often leave urine tracks wherever they go, and this can produce a strong smell. So, if you perceive a foul odor along with scratching sounds but no droppings, it’s possible you have a rat problem.

2. Mice

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The second possible animals in your wall are mice. These are rodents known to also cause scratching noises in walls, sometimes due to gnawing on the wall to maintain their ever-growing teeth. Mice are often responsible for noises in the ceilings too. Besides scratching, you might hear their light footsteps, known as skittering, as they move around your house.

A clear sign of a mouse infestation is the sound of chewing or gnawing. Mice are usually more active at night, but they can also be on the move during the day, especially when searching for food. The sound of mice in walls can be heard during the day or night, but it’s most noticeable when the house is quiet, as mice feel safer and less threatened.

3. Squirrels

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At number 3, I will say squirrels because they often find their way into homes and can become trapped inside. When squirrels are in your walls, you’ll likely hear noises during the day, as they are active then. If there are squirrels in your house, you might notice these disturbances more during your waking hours.

Squirrels also move unpredictably, so the sounds they make can be irregular. You might not always find squirrel droppings in your home. If you eventually find some, they are usually lighter in color compared to those of mice or rats.

4. Bats

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You could also be dealing with bats if you notice the noise of scratching in walls but no droppings. Like other rodents, bats can carry diseases. A unique concern with bats is their ability to fly. They can make scratching noises in your attic or other parts of the house.

Bats are generally quiet, and homeowners may not realize they have a bat infestation for years. Often, homeowners discover bats when they start falling behind walls. Juvenile bats are more prone to falling into wall crevices as they learn to navigate. These nocturnal animals usually make scratching noises at night. If they fall behind a wall, become disoriented, and cannot fly, they will attempt to climb, scratching the walls in the process.

5. Raccoons

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Lastly, we have raccoons. Despite their size, they can find their way into your home. Smaller or baby raccoons can slip inside through gaps and become trapped in places like your attic. Since raccoons are larger than rats, mice, and squirrels, the noises they make are louder and more varied. It sometimes indicates an animal in distress. This can make it easier to identify that a raccoon has infested your house.

What to Do if You Hear Scratching Noises in Your Walls But No Droppings

If you hear scratching sounds in your walls but no droppings during the day, contact a rodent removal company to inspect your house professionally. These animals, even though seemingly harmless ones like mice, can carry diseases. Raccoons might look cute but can become aggressive. On the other hand, bats typically don’t bite unless threatened but you certainly don’t want to risk an injury. It’s safer not to try trapping these creatures yourself. Leave it to the professionals.

Exterminators have the necessary equipment to handle various types of critters. They simply identify the specific infestation in your walls and the best way to deal with it. In cases of rodent infestations, such as mice or rats, they can use humane methods to get rid of them.

Usually, one very important measure is to find and seal all entry points to prevent the animals from re-entering. In the case of a raccoon infestation, you’ll need animal control services. The professionals will come to your house to safely remove them.

Keeping Future Infestations at Bay

Once you have been able to remove the animals causing the scratching in walls but no droppings, you’ll want to ensure it doesn’t happen again. These few tips will help you along the way:

  1. Check your house for any holes or gaps that might let pests in and seal them.
  2. Keep your gutters clear of debris and avoid leaving food scraps around the house.
  3. Make sure your garbage cans and bags are secure, especially if they contain food.
  4. Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.
  5. Install a mesh screen over your chimney to prevent squirrel infestations.

These simple tips will really help with managing rhe situation and keeping the critters outside your walls.


Scratching noises in walls are a common issue. We all hate it, but fortunately, it’s solvable. Just have a reliable pest removal company humanely expel pests and keep your house safe from various critters. Don’t delay in addressing these animal intrusions. The longer you wait, the more expensive the removal process can become.

Read AlsoMice in Ceiling Between Floors [What to Do]

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