Homeowners Ultimate Rodent Prevention Guide
January 23, 2020
Signs of a rodent infestationYou may never notice a mouse or rat in your home unless the infestation is severe. If you suspect rodents in your home, look for the following signs:
- Rodent droppings: You’ll likely find rodent droppings around food packages, in drawers and cupboards, or under the sink. They look like small brown or black grains of rice.
- Nests: Nesting material piled together is a sign of an active infestation. Rodents are partial to shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter.
- Chewed packaging: Check boxes and bags of food in your pantry for chew marks, especially at the corners near openings.
- Holes: Rodents can chew holes through walls and floors to create new entry points into various areas of your home.
- Stale smells: Unpleasant, stale, and musky odors coming from hidden areas may be due to rodent urine and waste.
How many rats does it take to create an infestation?If you’ve only noticed one rat in the past two weeks, your problem may not be severe. However, if you see multiple rats or turn on a light at night and see three or four rats scurry to hiding places, that is considered an infestation. Even if you’ve only seen one rat, if they’re pregnant or capable of mating outside your house, there’s still a risk of a single visitor turning into an infestation in a short amount of time.
What is considered an infestation of mice?It can be difficult for most homeowners to determine whether they’re dealing with a full-scale mouse infestation or just one or two wandering mice. Unfortunately, one male and one female are all it takes for a few visitors to turn into a full-fledged infestation. Severe infestations involve a dozen to two dozen mice, depending on their age and the presence of other mice nearby.
Why are rodents dangerous?Rodents can cause both structural damage to your home and physical harm to its inhabitants. Here are some of the most common ways rodents can affect the health and well-being of your household:
- They can make noise at night and keep you up.
- They can make your home smell unpleasant.
- They can eat food from your pantry, leaving messes and contaminating your food and your cooking surfaces.
- They can bite if they feel threatened.
- They will leave droppings and urine everywhere they go.
- They chew constantly and could cause damage to electronics or even cause a house fire if they chew on wires.
Do rodents spread diseases?According to the CDC, rats and mice can carry many diseases. These diseases spread to people through the handling of rodents, contact with their waste or saliva, and breathing air or eating food contaminated with their waste. Rodents can also be carriers of ticks, mites, and fleas, affecting both humans and pets. The most common diseases spread by rodents are:
- Hemorrhagic fever
- Lassa fever
- Rat-bite fever