From the common house mouse to larger rats of all shapes and sizes, there are many species of rodents that could invade your home. While infestations are more common in the winter when these mammals seek a warm place to nest, they may enter your home year round and for a number of reasons. Usually, by the time you see a mouse or rat in or around the perimeter of your home, chances are they have already found their way inside. If you believe you are facing a rodent infestation, here are three signs to look for that may help you discover if these pests have moved in with you.
Your Pets Become Restless
If you have a dog or cat that was previously calm and has recently begun to pace, sniff at the walls or otherwise become restless, it may be because they can smell the pests that have entered your home and possibly even hear them in the walls. If your pets frequently return to the same areas of your home and seem to growl or whine for no reason, you may want to consider having your home inspected for mice or rats. Do not let your pets hunt or kill rodents, as they can carry diseases that may infect them or inflict dangerous bites, especially in the case of larger rats.
New Odors Appear in the Home
No matter if you are dealing with mice or rats, most species of rodents urinate and defecate a great deal, so much so that you may notice new unpleasant odors where they nest. Larger male rodents exude a musky odor that may become noticeable when new colonies start to build in your attic or basement. Rodents also carry a greasy type of oil in their fur that they leave behind on baseboards or walls when they squeeze through, and you may notice this odor as well. This grease may leave stains behind on your home’s paint, so you may catch a whiff of the smell and see the smudges at the same time.
Shredded Material in the Attic
Even if you do not know the difference between rats and mice, the way they nest is extremely similar. In order to build a nest, they chew up cardboard, insulation, furniture cushions and paper and stuff the shreds into small holes, boxes or other hidey holes to make a warm, safe home for their pups. This is why rodents are most commonly found in the attic, as there is usually a jumble of nesting material available to them. If you store furniture or boxes or old clothing in your attic’s home, wrap them tightly in heavy-duty plastic and store smaller items in plastic storage boxes with snap-on lids so that rodents do not have access to them. This is one of the most effective ways to protect your home from a mice or rodent infestation.
Because species of mice and rats can be found virtually anywhere, prevention is key to keeping rodents away from your home. Do not give them the opportunity to nest, and plug up areas where they might enter your home. Keep all food, including pet food, in air-tight containers.
The more you know about the behaviors of mice and rats, the better you will be able to identify their presence and take the proper steps to have them professionally eliminated.