What Is the Scratching Noise in My Wall?

A wall with scratching noises

Last updated: January 28, 2022 at 11:55 am

If you ever hear scratching noises in the wall, then you might be very concerned about what it is. Not only will the sound be annoying, but you may be worried that whatever is in the wall may find its way into your home.

There are a few different things that scratching noises in the wall could be, but luckily, the problem should be easy to resolve. There are lots of things that you can do to stop pests from entering your home, but if all else fails, you can always call pest control.

What Are the Scratching Noises in My Wall?


Mice are nocturnal creatures, so they’ll scratch at your walls during the day, before venturing out for food at night. They love cavity walls, ceilings, and vents, so make sure to keep an eye out if you’re hearing scratching in any of these places.

Some key things to look out for are chewed containers. This is practically a give away that the scratching noises are down to mice, as they love to chew carboard and plastic in the search for food. You could also look for droppings scattered around your home for another indicator.

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Finally, be on the lookout for footprints, nests, or any signs of old nests, as well as strong smells from anywhere in your home. These are all good indicators that you have mice living in your home, which will help you to get the right equipment to deal with them


rat making noise in wall

Rats have many similar signs to mice, such as droppings and strong smells. But there are many ways to distinguish rats from mice. Firstly, rats are much larger than mice, so scratching noises are going to be louder and so are droppings. Rats will also chew through pretty much anything in your home, which is another major indicator that you have mice in your home.

If you’re worried that you have a rat infestation, you should also make sure to check for disturbed insulation. If your insulation is chewed through, or simply messed up and everywhere, then you can be certain that you’ve got a rat infestation.

Rats also love to live in ducts, so make sure that you check those when diagnosing the problem. Rats are a much bigger problem than mice because they can carry deadly diseases. So, if you believe that you have a rat infestation, you should make sure to act upon it immediately. Don’t let the problem linger because it will only get worse with time.


The first, and most prominent sign that you have birds nesting in your home is the sound of birds squeaking. If you constantly hear this noise, even when inside, then there’s a good chance that there are birds living in your home. Birds will generally settle on the highest level of your house, most notably the attic.

They love balconies, ledges, gutters and pretty much anything else that will offer them protection and security. A good way to check if there are birds in your walls is to look and check if there is any way that they could have gotten in in the first place. Unlike mice and rats, birds will need a big hole to get into your walls. So, look for any holes, cracks, or fissures if you’re worried about a bird infestation. Bats behave in similar ways to birds.

However, they are nocturnal creatures, so you’re most likely to hear them during the day, because they go out to hunt at night. Having birds in your walls can be extremely loud and irritating, so you’ll want to address the issue as soon as it arises.

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You might not think that squirrels would like to live in your walls, but they can provide great shelter from predators and the cold at night. Luckily, there are some simple signs that will help you figure out if you have a squirrel in your walls. Firstly, you should listen out for any scratching or chirping in your walls. Next, check your home for any bad smells. This is a good indicator of squirrel urine, suggesting that there is one in your house.

You should also look for squirrel droppings on your floor. Next, when you’re outside, keep an eye out for squirrels. If you notice that one is always outside your house, then you can be pretty sure that there’s a squirrel in your walls. When you’re outside, you should also look for damage on your roof and vents.

Chewing marks are a great indicator that there is a squirrel residing in your home. Finally, any squirrel tracks on your patio or roof is a great indicator of a squirrel infestation. They might seem harmless, but these pests can cause serious damage to your home, so you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as you can.

If you’re unsure about what animal is living in your walls, then go through each of these descriptions. The one that best matches your situation will probably match the animal living in your home. But if you’re unsure, always seek professional advice. You don’t want to be trying to get rid of birds when you have a rat infestation.

What to Do if You Hear Noises

If you hear noises coming from your walls, then your first thought will probably be of fear, and disgust that something is behind the walls where you live, and sleep. But, you should remain calm and instead follow this guide of what to do if you hear noises coming from your walls.
The best thing to do will probably be to call pest control. Professionals will be able to diagnose the problem effectively and get rid of the pests in the most efficient and humane way possible. It might seem like an annoying expense, but it’ll probably be the best option, in terms of easiness at the very least.

If you feel confident to tackle the problem yourself, then there are ways and means of doing this. For instance, you can buy traps tailored to each of the pests on the list. Always aim for the most humane option- pests may be annoying, but there is no need to make them suffer a painful death.
If you deal with the problem yourself, you always run the risk that you don’t get rid of all the pests, so they may come back a few days or weeks later. Therefore it might be best to call pest control, who will make sure the infestation is eradicated once and for all.

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How to Keep Pests From Entering

If you’ve had an infestation before, then you won’t want another one. Similarly, if you’ve never had an infestation, then you’re probably wondering how you can keep pests away from your home.
The best thing to do is to inspect your home for any potential entry points for pests. Any holes, cracks or fissures in the walls or roof could lead to an infestation, so make sure to regularly check and fix any issues that you find. If a pest can’t get into your home, then you won’t have to deal with an infestation.

Another great tip is to make sure that there is no debris or food lying around your home. This is what attracts pests. So, if you make your home undesirable to the pests, they won’t settle down in it.

When Will I Need Pest Control?

If at any time you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in dealing with the issue yourself, then you should call pest control. The professionals will be much better equipped to get rid of the infestation safely and quickly and will have much more experience in dealing with such problems.

You should also never let a suspected infestation fester without addressing it. As soon as you hear scratching in your walls, either do something yourself to get rid of the pests, or call pest control immediately. This will save you a lot of time, annoyance, and house damage in the long run. It may seem like an inconvenience, but you’ll be saving yourself a lot of headaches down the road.


Hearing noises inside your walls is certainly an unpleasant experience. These noises will usually be down to four or five pests, these being, mice, rats, birds, bats, or squirrels. If you address the infestation as soon as it arises, then it shouldn’t grow into a massive problem. But, if you let the issue fester, you’ll be risking house damage, and even your health.

The best idea is always to call the professionals. They’ll have the equipment and the experience to deal with the problem in the most effective way. It might be an expensive and unexpected cost, but it’ll save you a lot of money down the line.

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About the Author: AJ

AJ is a self-confessed soundproofing nut. He has written full-time on Quiet Living for the past 4 years, and has a wealth of knowledge about living a quieter life, soundproofing and fixing loud noises.

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