Truth be told, a rodent infestation can happen anywhere, and they invade over 21 million homes every winter. There is nothing more frightening than knowing that you have a rodent problem that could pose a danger to you and your home.
You see, rodents spread over 35 diseases, some of which can spread to humans directly. Others spread through rodent bites or contact with rodent urine, feces, or saliva, while others spread indirectly through ticks, fleas, and mites. In addition to that, they aggravate allergies and asthma, pose a risk of fire when they chew on electrical wires, and they are extremely disruptive.
The thing is, rodents are quite evasive, often staying out of sight, and only scavenge for food in the cover of darkness when you or other predators can’t see them. They hide in homes and breed by the hundreds, and by the time you realize it, you have an infestation. The question is, how do you know whether your home has been breached?
In this post, we will guide you through 9 of the most common signs that you have a rodent infestation in your property.
1. Check for Droppings
Rodents tend to poop anywhere and everywhere they go through, and as long as you know where they are likely to be, you may find droppings. In most cases, you’re likely to find droppings in the kitchen pantry, cupboards, bins, drawers, and anywhere else you store either human food or pet food. If you find droppings in these areas, then you most likely have an infestation.
Rodent droppings are almost the size of rice grains, either smaller or larger, depending on whether you’re dealing with mice or rats, respectively. If you have an infestation, they are likely to be fresh, meaning they’ll be shiny and black or dark brown.
2. Urine Trails or Pools
Rodents are not just prolific poopers — they pee everywhere as well. A lot of times, their urine gets absorbed by the products surrounding the foodstuffs they are gnawing on, or any fabrics and materials close by. However, if you’re dealing with mice, they create urinating pillars that form small mounds of dirt, grease, and urine.
If you look closely enough in those areas, you may find these mounds or urine drops that lead to them. Since it’s not very easy to spot, the best thing you can use is a black or fluorescent light. During the inspection, keep in mind that detergents, bleach, and similar cleaning supplies also fluoresce under the light.
3. Sightings and Sounds
Sightings may be one of the telltale signs that you have a rodent problem. Sometimes, it gets to a point where rodents will come out of hiding, especially if they are having a hard time finding food for their growing nests. If you see one or two rats or mice, then it’s almost certain you have an infestation.
To be sure, get a flashlight and check your cabinets or along rafters. If you manage to find them during the day, you do have an infestation. You can also listen for sounds at night as they scratch, scurry, crawl, and gnaw their way to food.
You might also hear squeaking if you’re dealing with rats.
4. Check for Tracks and Runways
Rats are known to follow scents and odor trails, and they use the same route to get food and water, then head back to their nest. These runways may be difficult to find, but if you can manage to find their tracks and tail marks, then you may find them. Mice have really small feet, and rats drag their tails as they scurry away, so you may be able to spot them, especially in dusty areas.
5. Check for Nests
Rodents live in nests that they create using soft materials. They take fabrics, furniture stuffings, twigs, grass, papers, and some rats even carry away clothing items for their nests. They will build a nest in areas you don’t frequent much, like hidden boxes, drawers, or suitcases.
As long as the place is warm enough and well hidden, they build large nests that expand as they breed. They like living very close to sources of food and water, so once you find droppings, the nest is not that far away.
6. Bad Odor
Rodent nests tend to have this bad musty smell, and once urine sits for a while, it stinks really bad. In the worst-case scenario, a rodent will die and start to rot, and the smell might even make living in your home unbearable. In this case, the best course of action is to have professional rodent exterminators to come and deal with both the dead and live rodents once and for all.
7. Weird Pet Behavior
Most homes in America have pets, and if yours is one of them, you may have noted some weird behavior. Weirder than usual anyway. If they are trying to chase away the rodents, scratching walls, and acting erratically, then you may have an infestation.
8. Holes, Holes, and More Holes
Rodents bite, chew, and gnaw at anything, including foodstuffs, walls, clothes, wires, and anything else they can bite their way through. Quite an annoying habit, this one.
If they need access or an extra entry point, they will create as many holes as necessary. If you store your food in tight plastic storage containers, they will gnaw their way through and get to the food.
9. Allergies Flare Up
Rodent fur and droppings aggravate asthma and allergies, so if you notice someone in the family whose allergies have flared up, rodents may be the culprit. There are many more reasons why allergies flare up, but this should also be a consideration.
How to Find a Rodent Infestation in Your Home
There you have it! These are some of the signs that your home may be invaded. If or when you notice one or more of these signs, it’s advisable to call a professional rodent exterminator immediately so they can get rid of your rodent infestation.
There are many DIY methods that you might consider, but if you give us a call, we guarantee that the infestation is as good as gone.