If you think you have a rodent problem in your home, you’re far from alone. In fact, an estimated 83% of households have mice allergens in them.
Mice need to find shelter, especially in the colder months of the year. If your house happens to be the closest and you’re always cooking delicious meals inside, then they might see this as the place to set up camp.
Regardless of the type of rodent, they can cause you lots of problems. Let’s talk about how to determine if you have a rodent problem and what you can do about it.
Signs You Have A Rodent Problem: Droppings
Droppings are the number one tell-all for rodents. Mice or rats, like all animals, leave their droppings behind. They will look like tiny little pellets. Fresh ones will be dark and moist, drying out and lightening over time. This will give you an idea of how long ago they were there.
In a new home, it’s important to check this. They could have been from years ago and the previous owners just never cleaned the spot where you found the droppings. Check any dark, concealed places like under the sink, under the refrigerator, under equipment in the basement, and anywhere else they could be hiding.
Do you leave your butter on the counter? Ever noticed a piece missing from it?
Check wires, food that’s left out, drywall, or anything else that you notice. If you see gnaw marks on the stuff you recently brought into your new home, rather than what was already there, that’s a pretty good indicator that the rodent problem is there.
Watch Your Pets
Dogs, but especially cats, will be very attracted to the scent of these little creatures. If you have pets, watch them. They will likely notice these friends before you will, and even sniff them out. If it’s bad enough that you can smell it, then it’s probably an active infestation.
If your cat is sitting close and staring at a hole in the wall or under the refrigerator for a long period of time, maybe even growling, they may have found a snack!
If you’re losing sleep because you’re hearing scratching noises in the night, this is a pretty good sign that you have a rodent problem. We know that can be terrifying in a new home but rest assured, your new house isn’t haunted! Mice and rats both scratch on wood and drywall, and if you’ve heard it, you know it’s definitely audible when there’s no other noise!
Mice will use any soft material to make a nest for their young. Fabric, paper, plant material, cotton, or whatever they can find. You may find it in an old sleeping bag you have in the basement, or you could find it under a panel in your cabinets.
Finding one doesn’t mean the infestation is currently active unless it is found in equipment that you brought into the new home. If you’re still shopping around for a house, look for all of these signs before you purchase and take it into account. Don’t let it be your only deciding factor, as there are plenty of ways to deal with a rodent problem!
How To Handle A Rodent Problem
If you’re still not 100% certain you have a rodent problem, put some flour or baby powder in the regions where you think they reside. They will leave tracks for you to judge later on. Remember, rats and mice are nocturnal. Before you go to bed, just sprinkling some powder down around the fridge, on the counters, or anywhere else you think is necessary. If you wake up and see tracks, that’s a definite.
Well, in that case, it’s time to solve that problem! While rodents are tiny, they often carry diseases that can be harmful or even lethal to humans. They also pose fire hazards as they are known for chewing through things like wires or gas lines. Here’s what you can do.
Traps can work if you don’t mind clearing them! If you want to be humane about it, avoid using glue traps. You may not like your furry house guests, but you don’t want them to suffer. Spring traps and traps that allow you to release them elsewhere (alive) are the most humane and often even cheaper!
Rats are even harder to trap than mice, as they are a lot smarter than mice. The traps have to be a lot bigger and more enticing, and they can’t scare them off!
Rodent repellent can be effective if you use it in the right places. You can try putting mothballs and rodent control sprays in places you think they reside. However, traps are totally inefficient if you have rodents living in your walls.
Honestly, you can lay down traps all day but mice breed really fast. Often a lot faster than you can clear and reset your traps. While rats are often too smart, many mice are even hesitant to use traps, which eliminates the possibility of catching the more clever ones!
If you want the job done right, you have to call in the experts. If you’re only trapping individual rodents, you’ll never stop the root cause alone. Rodent exterminator services can even close the entryways that rodents use to get into your house in the first place.
Say Your Goodbyes
Now that you know how to check for and handle a rodent problem, remember that they breed quickly! The sooner you get help, the better.
Keep up to date with our latest pest control news, and find out what to do if your new home has termites!