Are you hearing scampering sounds in the middle of the night? Have you noticed that Fluffy and Rex seem to be going crazy over a certain corner in the wall? You may have a rodent infestation in your home. Find out how to tell if your home is the new home of mice and rats.
Signs of Rodent Infestation
Although these creatures are nocturnal, which means you probably can’t catch them during the day, they leave behind distinct marks that let you know they have invaded your house. Rodent droppings are the telltale signs of rodent infestation. You are likely to find these where you store food, in the cupboards, under the sink, along the walls, at the top of wall studs and beams and in storage boxes or closets.
Rodents build their nests from fuzzy and soft materials, such as shredded paper, dry grass, small twigs, furniture stuffing, fabric and so on. They can create nests in boxes, cabinets, closets, the spaces between floors and ceilings, dresser drawers, appliances and even machinery. This is because rodents nest in quiet locations close to food and water. The size and shape of the droppings indicate what kind of rats are in the house.
More Signs of Rodent Infestation
Grease marks are another sign that you have rodents in your house. Mice and rats leave greasy marks from oil and dirt in their coats as they squeeze into openings as small as a quarter of an inch. The larger the grease marks, the more likely you have rats.
You may also notice things that have been gnawed on, such as wood, fabric, plastic and paper. Since their incisor teeth continuously grow, rats and mice have to gnaw on things to keep them in check. This is especially dangerous, as they like to chew on electrical wiring, which can cause structural fires.
Rodents create feeding stations, where they collect food and leave larger droppings. Watch for half eaten or nibbled on food boxes and containers, especially pasta, rice, beans and dog food. In addition, if you notice a stale, musky odor that you can’t quite put your finger on, chances are you have mice and rats in the house.
Getting Rid of Rodents
See if you can find tail and feet tracks in dustier spots of the house, or try to listen for rodents during the night. You will likely hear squeaky noises and rustling as they move between nests. Track where the rodents travel by dusting baby powder or flour along areas, such as kitchen walls or other places where they are likely to scurry. This is also good for monitoring rats after you’ve cleared out an infestation.
If it seems like you have more than one or two rodents living with you, it’s best to call an exterminator who can get rid of the nests, not just kill the rodent. Not all mice and rats are dangerous, but many are, so it’s best to rodent proof your house