Home Pests

Why Do I Hear Scratching in My Walls at Night?

Woman Hearing Scratching In Her Wall

Getting into bed and ready to sleep, you suddenly hear an irritating scratching noise. And that snug, relaxing, and sleepy feelings have vanished away.

Our homes are one of our largest investments for a comfortable living.

And when you are not getting a good sleep due to something that does not belong to you, the reaction is quite understandable.

Before you imagine horrific scenarios in a horror movie, the reasons for these sounds could be different.

Read this article to understand all the possible reasons for this scratching.


There could be two possible reasons for the scratching noise. First, there could be animals like mice, birds, bats, and raccoons.

The second possible but most unlikely reason could be faulty building components inside the wall, like loose pipes and damaged electrical components.

The scratching sound’s nature is somehow different for different animals. Understanding the nature of scratching could help to track the reason for it.

From emptying the walls from animals to stopping their entry inside the wall, various approaches could be applied to stop the scratching inside the walls.

We will discuss various possibilities for scratching in walls. Then we will include arguments about stopping this scratching. And in the end, we will present a clear takeaway and answer frequently asked questions about it.

Reasons for Scratching in Walls

Two Mice Living In A Brick Wall

The most common reason for scratching in walls is the presence of small animals.

Alongside scratching, you can also encounter sounds like chirping, squeaking, slithering, and thumping.

Usually, animals scratch walls when building their homes, storing food, or walking around.

Linking scratching to a specific animal is not easy. However, the chance for some rodents to be the culprits is more than the other animals.

Critters that Can Cause Scratching Noise

1. Mice and Rats

Rat Climbing In A Wooden Wall

Mice and rats are the most common culprits for scratching in walls. Usually, their activity is more at night.

You can only hear their scratching and skittering sounds at night because these rodents are usually quiet. To hear them during the day, it should be too quiet at home.

You can identify them in your home walls by their gnawing and chewing sounds. One more way to identify them is by tapping at the scratching point.

If they are mice, they will stop their activity for a minute and walk to find a safer place.

2. Squirrels

Squirrels At A House Wall

If you hear scratching in the early sunup and sundown, the probability of you having squirrels inside your walls is maximum.

Squirrels have specific noises, although these sounds could also be associated with other rodents. However, their tight schedules make their identification easy.

The other identification of squirrels in your walls is the chewing sound.

Squirrels’ teeth continue to grow, so squirrels constantly chew any to everything to curtail their teeth’s growth.

Squirrels are industrious by nature. Once they establish their home inside walls, they will spend time moving between outdoors and walls.

Hence, you can also see visual evidence, like their droppings at entry points.

3. Raccoons

A Raccoon Near The Wooden Wall

Although it’s difficult for raccoons to gain entry into walls due to their large size, they can still manage to get into your home walls.

They make scratching and other sounds when distressed and trapped inside the wall.

The most common season for their intrusions is winter. Furthermore, their activity increases at night because they are nocturnal.

Due to their larger size than that of mice and squirrels, their scratching sounds are also high in intensity, so it’s very easy to identify them.

4. Bats

A Bat Inside The House

Bats are also a reason for scratching in walls at night. They live in dark places, and walls are the most suitable dens for them.

As they are nocturnal, so they carry out their activity at night.

Their presence usually goes unnoticed as they are stuck and live in the upper portion of walls where sound detection is minimum.

Homeowners only hear their scratching when they fall in between the wall. Bats don’t have sharp vision, so they fall and become disoriented when they learn to move. Then they try to climb the wall by scratching.


When you hear scratching from walls but cannot detect any specific animal, it is recommended to call a pest control professional.

Getting in contact with the critters could be dangerous in various ways. For example, bats and raccoons can bite you when trapped and distressed, which could lead you to rabies.

How To Stop Animal Entry Into Walls

Woman Taking The Garbage Bag

Once you have identified the reason for scratching in your walls, now is the time to eliminate that and stop their further entry.

You can go for various quick fixes and opt for preventive measures.

Quick Fixes and DIY

Mouse Caught In A Live Trap

Multiple products in the market can resolve various problems related to animal entry into the house.

From traps to pepper-based products to ultrasonic repellents, you can find the most suitable one according to your needs.

Moreover, taking a tour of your home and closing all the vents that could be possible entry points for these animals is recommended.

Preventive Measures

Pet Food Inside The House

Many simple steps can limit the likelihood of random animals choosing your house to stay in. These steps include:

  • Keep the gutters free from junk, and stop leaving food waste around the house.
  • Mostly, rodents like mice are strongly attracted to pet food. Hence, do not leave your pet food outside your home.
  • Ensure safe disposal of food debris as animals find their way to it in search of food.


The issue of scratching noise from walls is common. As listed above, there could be various reasons for this.

Despite the small size of animals in the wall, they could seriously damage your home and have potential health threats to you.

So a detailed inspection by professionals is recommended.

Lastly, steps to stop their entry in the future are also necessary as you do not have much time and money to waste on such issues again and again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Mice Chew Through Walls?

Yes! Mice can chew through walls. They can chew their way through building materials like plywood and drywall.

What Are Animals Doing in the Wall When I Hear Scratching?

There could be a possibility of different animals inside your wall. So, according to their type, they could be climbing, walking, or digging.

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