How Do You Know if a Rat or Mouse Has Invaded Your Home? Six Tell-“Tail” Signs
As the air gets chilly and snow flurries spread across New England, mice and rats begin looking for a place to spend the cold winter. During the warmer months, rodents prefer to live outdoors, making burrows in tall grassy areas or amongst hollow logs and tree roots. Once it gets cold and their food sources dry up, rodents will find their way into shelter– such as a shed, barn, or your home–and bundle up for the winter, snacking on the best available food items.
Rodents are mainly a nuisance pest, but they can do damage to wood or wiring, as well as contaminate food. So how can you tell if you have a rodent infestation?
How Can You Tell if You Have a Rodent Infestation
- Droppings. Finding mouse or rat droppings around the home is the number one way people usually realize they have an infestation. Droppings are small and pellet-shaped, and typically found in areas where food is stored, such as the cabinets or pantry.
- Gnaw Marks. Rodents can cause serious damage to your home by chewing through almost any material, including cardboard, wood, even plastic! If you find small holes (dime to quarter size) with tiny teeth-marks around your home, you might have a mouse or rat infestation!
- Nests. Rodents prefer nesting in dark secluded areas. House mice typically make their nests from shredded paper, fabric, or insulation. Look out for these materials scattered around the house.
- Tracks or rub marks. Rats and mice tend to have oily fur, and can leave dark dirt or grease marks along the floor or walls as they make their way to and from the nest.
- Strange noises. If you hear unusual scratching, clawing or scurrying sounds coming from the walls or attic, your home might be infested!
- Seeing a rodent. This one is obvious, but if you see a rodent, there’s a good chance it has friends nearby! Rodents multiply exponentially and continue doing so through the winter, so don’t wait to act if you see one!