Common Signs of a Rodent Infestation
Many people associate the emergence of cold weather with high heating bills, power outages and other potential concerns, but rodent infestations are an area that should also be added to this list of winter woes.
In fact, a survey by the National Pest Management Association found that roughly 45 percent of rodent issues occur in the fall and winter months. Since the time of year is quickly arriving in which mice and rats tend to migrate indoors in search of food, water and shelter, it’s important to be aware of the signs of a rodent infestation.
Here at Pickett Pest Control, we’ve compiled the following list of items to look out for to help you determine if your home is indeed infested with these furry critters. If you happen to come across any of the following signs, give us a call and we’ll send one of our pest control experts out to your Utah home within 72 hours. If you don’t see one of the following signs, but still believe you might be due for a pest inspection, we offer free in-home evaluations to determine what pest control services you might require.
What to Look For
Finding mice or rat droppings around the home is one of the most prevalent signs of a rodent infestation. Measuring approximately 1/8-1/4” (3-6 mm) long, these pellets are often left behind by rodents in areas where food is stored in the home, such as kitchen cabinets or pantries. Homeowners may also find mouse droppings under sinks, inside chewed boxes, along baseboards, or on top of wall beams. Mouse droppings can carry harmful bacteria, transmit serious diseases such as salmonella and Hantavirus, and trigger allergies. Mice are capable of producing upwards of 50 droppings a day, so prompt removal using gloves is important for keeping the family safe from the potential health threats these critters pose.
Rodents can cause serious property damage by chewing through almost any type of material – including plumbing and electrical components – to find food or water. It’s necessary to keep a watchful eye for gnaw marks around the house, as this is a telltale sign of a rodent infestation.
Rodents prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas where there is little chance of disturbance. House mice, in particular, like to build their nests out of shredded paper products, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation and fabrics. If you see these materials scattered around the home, it might be time to call in a licensed pest control company to perform an inspection.
Tracks or Rub Marks
Because of their oily fur, rats tend to leave small, dark dirt and grease marks along walls and floorboards as they follow a trail throughout the home between their nest and food. Keep an eye out for these rub marks in your home.
Hearing strange noises in the walls, especially in the middle of the night, can be very alarming. It’s more than likely that these sounds can be attributed to a family of rodents scurrying between your walls and up in attics. Rodents are especially fond of attics and in most cases, attics are among the areas of a home that are overlooked during the pest-proofing process. Make sure to keep this area well ventilated and dry, and opt to store any family heirlooms in sealed plastic containers rather than in cardboard boxes.
Mice can breed rapidly, so if you spot one mouse in the house, it’s likely there are others playing hide and seek. In fact, a female house mouse can give birth to a half dozen babies every three weeks, up to 35 young per year. That’s a lot of mice!
If you recognize any of these signs of a rodent infestation, don’t mess around! Rodents are not only a nuisance; they can be dangerous with their capabilities to start fires, cost you money from damages, and spread diseases.
The best thing to do in the event of an infestation is to contact a licensed pest control company like Pickett Pest Control to allow us to inspect the home and recommend a proper course of treatment.