Rodents are responsible for the spread of several diseases, including Weil's disease, infectious jaundice, murine typhus and salmonella, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Rodents frequent areas such as dumpsters, sewers, trash heaps, and other filthy, bacteria-laden places and then track this filth (and leave urine and feces) everywhere they roam, including food storage and food prep areas. They also commonly carry parasites such as lice, mites, fleas and ticks which can also carry diseases. It is important to be able to identify the signs rodents leave behind, since they can infest a home or business without ever actually being seen. The following are signs that rodents have invaded your structure.
Mice typically leave dark colored, rice shaped droppings in the backs of silverware drawers, inside cabinets, behind appliances, along baseboards and anywhere else they roam. Rat droppings are larger and more likely to be in more open areas. If you have an active infestation, the droppings will be fresh, which means they will be dark brown or black and possibly still moist. If the droppings are old, they will be hard and gray.
Sounds Inside Your Walls
Although you probably won't hear a mouse if it is sneaking through your kitchen, once they get inside the walls, they are a bit less concerned about making noise. If you press your ear to the wall, and even if you don't, you may hear scratching, scampering, gnawing noises coming from within. Since rodents are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night, you are likely to hear these noises during the nighttime hours.
Rodents are famous for chewing holes in walls, corners, baseboards, food packages, boxes, insulation, and a myriad of other items and materials. The reason rodents chew so much is that they have incisors that never stop growing. They need to constantly chew on things to wear those teeth down so they don't get too long. This is not only a nuisance, but it can be dangerous if the rodent chews on the wrong thing, such as electrical wires.
If you take a flashlight up into your attic crawl spaces, you may be able to spot a rodent nest. Look for areas in nooks and crannies for bedding created by torn paper, insulation, cardboard, cloth, or other materials. But, more often than not, those nests are built inside wall voids where they will never be seen, unless, of course, you are doing a little remodeling and happen to rip out the right wall.
While you are looking for nests in your attic spaces, put your nose to work too. Rodents use urine to attract mates. If the odor is strong, you can be confident that you have a number of rodents infesting.
If your shelves are dusty, or there is a layer of flour dust, you might be able to detect a rodent infestation by the tiny footprints they leave behind. If you suspect rodent activity in a certain area, try putting down a thin layer of flour or baby powder and see if tracks appear.
Rodents tend to stick to the same routes, and they like sticking close to walls when they travel. For this reason, sometimes they will leave greasy, dirt smears on places they frequently pass by. This is likely to happen if they are rounding corners or squeezing through holes. Considering what those animals have been rubbing up against outside your home or business, you can see why you don't want them leaving that filth inside your home.
The all-time best sign that you have rodents inside your home or business is when you actually see them. And if you actually see a rodent, especially in the daytime, this is a very bad sign. Rodents are typically only seen when they are forced to take chances, and this usually only happens when their populations have grown large enough to cause them to compete for food sources. If you see one rodent, there are probably plenty more where that one came from.
If you are seeing--or hearing, the signs of a rodent infestation, the pest professionals here at Hoffer Pest Solutions are here for you. Contact us today for your free estimate!