Wondering if you have rodents afoot? Looking to get rid of any mice and rats that may be hiding around your home? Look no further than our guide to spotting some of the most common signs of a rodent invasion.
SIGNS OF RODENT INFESTATIONS
RODENTS BRING ODORS
Unpleasant new odors around the house can be an important clue in discovering mice and rats. A musty, stale smell accompanies many rodent infestations, especially larger ones. Rat and mice urine is markedly potent, too, and their feces is no different.
THERE MAY BE TEETH MARKS
Rodents’ teeth, unlike ours, never stop growing. Mice and rats wouldn’t survive without constant chewing to keep their incisors level and their jaws strong. Common areas to inspect for signs of chewing or gnawing include walls, baseboards, and packaged foods. Rodents also use their teeth to create burrows and tunnels and to expand holes so they can fit through them.
RODENTS BUILD NESTS
Though they’re usually built in concealed places, rodent nests have recognizable attributes that make them relatively simple to spot. Both mice and rats prefer to settle in undisturbed areas where you’re likely to notice shredded paper, cardboard, plant matter, fabric scraps, or matted-down stuffing. Rats may be nesting below your home’s foundation or within the attic, so investigate thoroughly.
YOU MIGHT HEAR THEM
If you’ve been kept awake by squeaking, scampering, or scratching sounds, you’ve probably got a few of these nocturnal pests in your midst. Rats and mice hunt and forage for food in the dark hours of the night when they’re at their most active—you may even hear shuffling sounds coming from inside the walls.
YOUR PETS ARE ON THE CASE
If your four-legged friend seems to bark at nothing, paws at appliances, and paces around, they may be on to something. Our pets—with their excellent hearing and sense of smell—might appear fixated on a meaningless spot on the wall, but they could very well be sensing a mouse or two hiding behind the refrigerator or in the walls. If their pet food is disappearing, too, that’s another sign that you may have a few rodent thieves around.
THEY WILL LEAVE DROPPINGS
You may have to undertake an unpleasant search for this one. Rodent droppings can be found near rummaging or foraging sites (like the pantry or near the garbage) and look like a small collection of black or dark brown rice. Rat droppings are typically the size of an olive pit, with blunted edges on both ends, while mice droppings are between ⅛ to ¼ inch in length with pointed ends. Fresh droppings, indicating recent rodent activity, will be shinier and slightly lighter in color.
THEY’LL LEAVE MARKS
Rats and mice are, well, dirty. Their fur accumulates grease, oil, and dirt as they navigate dusty tunnels and grimy paths. Their weak eyesight makes them reliant on other senses to maneuver around, and they tend to stick to well-traveled, routine pathways on their way to and from food and water sources. With each trip, your walls, cabinets, or baseboards may become streaked and smudged with the filth they carry on their bodies. Peculiar streaks of dirt close to the floor may mean a rodent problem, especially new smudges and spots.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING RID OF RATS AND MICE
Rodents are not only uninvited houseguests, but also especially unhealthy ones. Around the world, mice and rats are responsible for spreading dozens of diseases. A rodent left to forage in and around your food, travel across your countertops, or take up residence in your cabinets puts your home and family at risk for some seriously undesirable illnesses.
The trouble with mice and rats extends broadly into our environment. They disturb the peace with their sounds, smells, and trace annoyances, but more dangerously, these nibbling pests can take their chompers straight to wires and pipes within your walls. They can cause expensive, frustrating damage to plumbing and electrical systems through their chewing and nesting. Without quick interference, rodents can quickly multiply, and a few nuisance rats can turn into a full-blown infestation.
If they’re not already keeping you awake at night with scampering or squeaking noises, the anxiety that these pests may be around is enough to cause a few sleepless nights. As if we don’t already have enough to worry about, concerns about whether you have a rodent problem, where they could be hiding, and how many there are can really do a number on our wellbeing. Identifying and controlling rodents as early as possible is not only important to prevent infestations from becoming difficult to control, but also spares a great deal of stress and preserves your valuable energy for the rest of your to-do list.
You’re not alone when it comes to rodent infestations. For help with controlling rodent infestations, big or small, get in touch with our team of experts to schedule an in-home consultation. Our trained professionals are here to identify pest culprits, provide solutions, and take the worry out of pest control so you can enjoy your home with peace of mind.