Whether they’re in your basement, attic, crawl space, or even your living space, discovering rodents is never ideal. They carry diseases that can be harmful to you and your family and also cause damage to your home. It’s important to be aware of the signs and types of rodents that can be found in or near your home.
Types of Rodents
- Norway Rat: One of the largest species of rats, they can measure from 13 to 18 inches in body length. They rely heavily on human impact and will search for any food source possible. Norway rats are known to chew through plastic materials or even lead pipes, causing considerable damage to your home.
- House Mouse: These mice are on the tinier side, measuring up to 7 inches and varying in color. These critters will eat anything to survive and get most of their water intake from the food they eat. Being incredible climbers, they can become a threat once inside your home by gnawing on electrical wires.
- Roof Rat: These rats are slightly smaller than a Norway rat but can still measure up to 13 inches in length, including the tail. Roof rats are excellent climbers and prefer to nest in high places, including attics.
Rodents are never an exciting creature to discover in your home, but how do you know if you have rodents? Here are some signs that rodents could be in your home already:
- Discovering droppings in areas such as basements, attics, or crawlspaces.
- Finding nests in your home means it has become a haven for these critters.
- If you hear scratching, tapping, or squeaking coming from the walls or the attic.
- If you begin to notice property damage, including gnaw marks or chewed wires.
If you suspect any of these rodents inside your home, consider contacting your local pest control company for a rodent control plan that will help remove, exclude, and prevent them in the future!
Rodents can wreak havoc on your home, chewing through wires and insulation and contaminating surfaces with their urine and feces. Rodents are also known for carrying and transmitting serious diseases to humans. You may not see a live rodent in your home until an infestation is already established. It is important to know the signs of a rodent infestation so you can identify the problem before it gets out of control. Here are 9 warning signs of a rodent infestation to look for in your home.
- Rodent droppings around food packages, in drawers and cupboards, and under sinks.
- Nesting material such as shredded paper, fabric, string, and dried plant matter.
- Signs of chewing on food packaging.
- Holes that have been chewed through floors and walls that these critters can use as an entry point.
- Stale smells coming from hidden areas of your home such as wall voids, attics, crawlspaces, etc.
- Rub marks, which are oily marks left behind where rodents travel along walls.
- A strong, musky urine odor.
- Scampering, scratching, or gnawing sounds, especially at night.
- Unusual pet behavior such as becoming extremely alert or anxious, excessive barking, or pawing at surfaces under appliances or furniture.
Prevention is critical to keeping rodents and other pests from taking over your home. Keep them out of your home with these rodent prevention tips:
- Seal any holes inside or outside your home with steel wool, lath screen, lath metal, cement, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting. Some common areas to check for holes include in the roof among rafters, gables, and eaves; around windows and doors; around foundations; in attic and crawlspace vents; under doors; around holes for electrical, plumbing, cable, and gas lines; inside and under cabinets; inside closets near floor corners; around fireplaces; around pipes under sinks and washers; around hot water heater and furnace pipes; around floor and dryer vents; in basement and laundry room floor drains; and between floor and wall junctures.
- Remove potential nesting sites such as leaf piles and deep mulch.
- Keep garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids.
- Turn compost piles to cover any newly added food.
- Bring pet food and water bowls in overnight and empty birdfeeders daily. Try to avoid feeding outdoor birds, if possible, while you have an active infestation.
- Fix gaps in trailer skirting and use flashing around the base of your home.
- Store food in thick plastic or metal containers with tight-fitting lids.
- Keep outdoor cooking areas and grills clean.
- Elevate woodpiles, hay, and garbage cans at least 1 foot off the ground.
- Get rid of any old tires, vehicles, etc from your property.
- Keep your grass mowed short and shrubbery well trimmed, especially if it is within 100 feet of your home.
If you suspect you have a problem with rodents or any other pest, your local pest control company can perform a thorough home inspection which will help determine the type of rodent you are dealing with, their patterns of activity, what’s attracting them to your home, and which treatment method is best for elimination and ongoing prevention.
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