Here’s a fact to make your skin crawl: more than one-third of American homeowners spot a rodent in their home each year. While one confused mouse who has lost its way is no cause for alarm, a rodent infestation in your home is bad news.
Rodents contaminate foods, spread diseases, and damage appliances and home furnishings. If you suspect you have a rodent infestation you should call pest control as soon as possible.
But how do you know? Keep reading for telltale signs that your home has been invaded by uninvited rodents.
Droppings Around Your Home
The first time you saw them you probably thought that you spilled some rice a while back that has now darkened in color. Unfortunately, if you’re seeing small tan, brown, or black ‘grains of rice’ it’s likely rodent droppings. Mice droppings are the size of a grain of rice while rat droppings are larger, around 1/2 an inch long.
This is one of the first signs of a rodent infestation that homeowners come across. It’s most common to find these droppings in your garage, attic, basement, and crawlspaces, as well as your pantry and cabinets.
Rodents poop everywhere they go and you’ll come across little droppings in multiple areas of your home.
Rodents have very sharp little teeth and they love to munch on electrical cables and have no problem chewing their way through drywall and paneling.
These little critters actually have to chew on hard things just to file down their sharp teeth. So, if you have a rodent infestation you’ll notice gnaw marks on doors, walls, floors, electrical cables, and food packages.
Besides gnaw marks, you’ll see holes everywhere. Holes will pop up in your food storage containers, clothes, and walls.
If you suspect you have a rodent problem, do a quick survey of your home looking for these tiny gnaw marks that you might have missed. When you find some, call pest control for a home inspection and removal.
Do you lie in bed at night and hear strange noises? Perhaps a scuttling sound across your ceiling or squeaking and chirping. No, your home isn’t haunted, but it is probably infested.
Rodents are a noisy bunch and they make their presence heard. You may especially notice a cacophony of sounds when there is rain or a storm and the creatures seek refuge in your home.
Listen for chattering, chewing, squeaking, and scurrying. If you hear hissing and shrieking it’s most likely rodents fighting in your home. These sounds can be really disconcerting and are a good sign that it’s time to call a rodent removal service.
Urine Trails or Puddles
As if the plentiful poop around your home isn’t enough, rodents also urinate everywhere. It may be difficult to spot this because your floor or surrounding fabrics and materials will absorb the liquid.
Mice leave a very specific sign that they’ve been peeing all over your home. They create small urine pillars that turn into a mound of dirt, grease, and pee.
These are quite difficult to spot, but if you have a black or fluorescent light, shine it over your floors as the mounds fluoresce under the light.
Of course, the clearest sign that you have a rodent issue is if you often spot a rat or a mouse scurrying across your floor or peeping out from behind hiding spots. This is quite a shocking sight that no person wants to encounter in their home.
You need to identify whether you have one resident rodent or an infestation. A rodent removal company can come to conduct a home inspection to identify the scale of the problem.
Rodents scavenge soft materials (some from around your home) to create their nests. They love to use pieces of fabric and furniture stuffings as well as twigs, grass, and paper.
They won’t build their nests in a place that you often use, but rather a box, or drawer, or little nook of your home that you don’t frequent much. As they breed, their nests will expand to accommodate their family. If you find droppings, their nests are probably not far away.
Have a look in unused drawers and cabinets, packed away suitcases, and other nooks and crannies for nests.
An Unusual Odor
One of the strangest warning signs that you’re dealing with a rodent infestation is an unusual, and unpleasant, odor. The nests let off a musty smell which gets worse as urine starts to build up, smelling similar to ammonia.
You may also notice some unusual smells such as a corn chip odor. This is caused by bacteria in the urinary tract of mice. Rodents that carry diseases may let off different smells depending on the bacteria.
You may also smell a rotting odor caused by a dead rodent. If you have an infestation, it’s common to experience a dead rodent in the home. The smell is unmistakable and will lead you to the deceased animal.
Keep a Lookout for a Rodent Infestation
It’s important to remember that if you have a rodent infestation you may notice only one of these signs or a couple of them. However, one of these warning signs should be enough for you to call a rodent removal service and have your home inspected for an infestation before the problem becomes worse.
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