Although rats and mice have different defining features, they are both rodents that can occupy your home or business and prove to be quite a nuisance. Once rodents move in, they find cozy breeding spots that are safe from predators and challenging for their human hosts to access. Mice often take advantage of the cover of darkness to scavenge for food and water while staying out of sight.
The presence of rodents may be tough to detect, as these nimble creatures are normally good at staying undetected. They can also leave behind costly structural property damage and pose a serious health risk to the home occupants. To help you take control of the situation, here are the top 6 signs of a rodent infestation to watch out for.
Rodents excrete many pellet-sized or rice grain-sized droppings during their nightly scavenging. The size and shape of droppings may vary depending on the type of rodent. Mice excrement is often less than 1/4 inches in size and has pointed ends. Rat excrement is larger, about 1/2 inches in size. Norway rat fecal matter has uniquely blunted ends.
While fresh feces are shiny and dark and have a moist or putty-like texture, older droppings are dry and gray and can easily crumble when touched. Differing fecal sizes may indicate the presence of adult and juvenile rodents. Many rodent droppings are a sign of a serious invasion that requires your prompt attention.
Rats often leave droppings near food sources like kitchen pantries, food cabinets, cupboards, and food stores. You can also spot rat droppings in secluded areas like under sinks, in drawers, and in hidden rodent runways. You can inspect the areas where you find the droppings to determine if you have an active rodent invasion and place traps or baits for rodent control appropriately.
Mouse droppings often carry harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses like Hantavirus that can potentially cause a life-threatening disease. Inhaling minute fecal particles or ingesting food contaminated with rodents’ urine or saliva can result in the spread of Hantavirus. Avoid sweeping or vacuuming these areas, as disturbed vacuum droppings may emit virus particles and promote their spread. While wearing a protective face mask and gloves, pick up the rat droppings and dispose of them in a plastic bag.
Mice depend on their teeth to source water, food, and nesting materials. Mice have specially adapted teeth that continuously grow throughout their life span and enhanced chewing muscles that allow them to gnaw at different materials. In addition, mice have the instinctive urge to chew, which helps keep their teeth sharp, short, and aligned.
In the wild, mice can create small holes in hollow logs and tree trunks. They can also cut through thick roots when building underground passages. These nuisances can gnaw through floors, doors, walls, and window parts to enter new shelters in your home.
Gnaw holes and teeth marks are signs of mice in your home. These pests can cause some serious property damage using their uniquely sharp and adapted teeth. The larger the teeth marks or openings, the bigger the rodent that’s infesting your home.
Older gnaw marks also tend to be darker than fresh markings. When assessing the age of a mark, you can compare the new mark to another one on the same material. Lighter gnaw marks may point to continuing rodent infestations.
Rats can chew on most types of furniture, resulting in irreparable damage. A rodent infestation may also pose a serious fire risk, as house mice tend to chew on electric cables. The exposed electrical wires may short-circuit and cause an electrical fire.
Unusual Pet Behavior
Pets are wonderful companions that can alert you when there is an intruder in your home. Your feline or canine friends often have heightened senses that are better adapted to notice the subtle signs of a rodent problem. By paying attention to their strange or altered behavior, you can start identifying unwelcome visitors and arrange for extermination.
The natural odor mice emit may trigger cats and dogs to start pacing, sniffing, or pawing at doors and floorboards. Your pets can easily pick up faint noise from wall spaces and begin seeking behavior in earnest. If your pet is showcasing unusual behavior, note these areas and carefully inspect them for other signs of a rodent infestation.
Do you have trouble sleeping at night due to strange noises coming from the ceiling, walls, and joists? Chances are you have a family of rats scurrying around under cover of darkness in search of food and water. The voids in walls and ceilings provide the perfect secluded passageways to various rooms in your home.
The quiet of nighttime may amplify the muffled squeaking sounds mice produce when communicating with each other. Rats like the roof rat are agile climbers and may make scratching sounds when scampering about the attic. Brown rats are especially destructive creatures, producing furious gnawing sounds when chewing on your belongings at night.
Mice aren’t particularly neat creatures. Unexplained floor stains or a lingering musky, pungent odor in your home may signify a rodent infestation. This stale stench may be stronger in enclosed spaces like cabinets or established passageways as the pests settle in your home.
Abnormally foul smells coming from secluded spaces may point to a dead, decaying creature. Promptly discard any dead mice you identify while wearing personal protective gear to prevent the spread of disease. If you notice the stench in almost every room, you can take precautions by calling in professional rodent exterminators.
Rats and mice reproduce rapidly, and female rodents can start breeding when they’re as young as 40 to 45 days. After an 18-day pregnancy, they can give birth to about 3 to 12 pups per litter, which can happen 12 or more times in a year. Under ideal conditions, the rodent population in your home can grow exponentially.
Rodents aren’t particularly picky when building a nest. They can use soft materials from shredded paper, fluff from pillows, torn clothes, sawdust, fibers, cardboard, and dried plant matter to create the perfect cozy nesting area. They tend to inhabit basements, attics, sheds, and garages, where they can pick nesting materials from stored magazines, newspapers, clothes, and fabric.
Stop Rodent Infestation With Budget Bros
Are you from the Phoenix area and looking for experts to help you prevent a potentially serious rodent invasion? Look no further, as the professionals at Budget Brothers are adept at assessing and identifying the common signs of a rat or mouse infestation. We can then apply various measures to eradicate all rodents and help protect you from property damage and avoidable health risks. Contact Budget Brothers today for skilled rodent management.