Rodent activity is one of the most common types of pest activity within homes. Surveys by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) have indicated that at least 45% of rodent issues occur in the fall and winter. Rodents are known to spread diseases, viruses, pathogens, bacteria, and parasites; therefore, keeping them out of your home is important for the health of your family. They are also known for chewing wires which can lead to electrical fires. Knowing what to look for when it comes to potential rodent activity is an important factor in keeping them out of your home.
Below are a few of the indications that rodents may be present in your home:
- Droppings: Mice and rat droppings and urine are some of the most common first signs of rodents in the home. Commonly found under sinks, along walls, and behind appliances, droppings can carry disease and trigger allergies. Mice can produce more than 30 droppings in a single day, therefore prompt and proper removal/cleanup are important.
- Nests: Rodents have a preference for dark secluded places for their nesting sites. Nests may be built from shredded paper, fabric, cotton, and other materials commonly found inside the home. Rodents reproduce rapidly. A single female house mouse can produce 35 babies per year with a new litter arriving roughly every 3 weeks.
- Gnaw marks: Rodents not only chew to gain access to desired areas such as walls and boxes, but they also chew wires, wood, and other items as well. As a matter of fact, due to the nature of their teeth, rodents MUST chew in order to consistently reduce their ever-growing teeth. Gnaw marks are a sure sign of rodent activity being present within the home.
- Noises: Strange noises, especially in the evening and night time can be a bit disturbing, but it can also be an indicator of the presence of rodent activity. The pitter-patter of tiny feet, scratching, and gnawing are all common sounds heard when rodents are present.
- Tracks and Rub Marks: Rodents are notorious for leaving dark, greasy dirt and oil marks as they travel. These marks are commonly found along walls and baseboards and around the edges of gaps or holes, they squeeze through. Tracks/footprints may be visible in the snow on the exterior of the home or in dirt/dust in secluded areas inside the home.
- Of course, the presence of the actual rodent is a sure confirmation of activity in the home. Mice and rats commonly dart from place to place in an attempt to not be seen but are often sighted inside of the home.
If you encounter any of these signs or believe that you may have rodent activity in your home, we recommend contacting a licensed pest control professional for assistance.