Did you know that estimates of the rat population in the UK range from 10.5 million to 120 million, even though the exact number is hard to tell?
Rats and mice are one of the most disturbing kinds of pests. Even though they aren’t as destructive as termites or scary as spiders, seeing a rat or mouse in your home can be very upsetting. Not only are rats and mice distasteful, but their droppings carry germs and can spread disease.
Nip the problem in the bud by knowing the telltale signs of rodent infestation. Many of the signs of a rodent problem are easier to spot than others. Here are the seven most apparent signs of a rodent infestation in your home.
1. Rat or Mice Droppings
When attempting to assess whether you have a problem with rats or mice, the ability to differentiate between rodent droppings is helpful. Look for droppings in and around areas where mice might be looking for a food supply. Especially look at places such as:
- Kitchen pantries
- Kitchen cabinets
- The bottom or behind fridges or freezers
- All drawers
- All cupboards
- Rubbish bins, etc
Of course, as rats are bigger than mice, they leave behind bigger droppings. The droppings are elongated or crescent-shaped and look like large grains of rice. They are black and shiny, which may also depend on the rat’s diet.
On the other hand, droppings from a mouse are much smaller; in fact, they will be the size of a grain of rice. In addition, they are typically thin and pointed at both ends.
It is a known fact that rodent droppings are responsible for the spread of several diseases.
2. Scratching and Squeaking Noises
Rats are nocturnal, so they are usually out of their nests between sunset and sunrise. The fact that they move primarily at night is a safety measure to help them avoid being caught and eaten.
If you hear squeaking and moving around, it could be rats and mice looking for food. Try to listen to where these sounds are concentrated; for example, they could come from:
- The Attic
- The cellar
- Under floorboards
- Even inside the walls
If you have cats and dogs, they may also hear these sounds. In fact, they will probably hear them before you do. So if you see them getting anxious in specific places, investigate as it could be that they attend and smell mice or rats.
3. Look for Tracks When You Suspect a Rodent Infestation
In dusty environments, rats tend to leave tail tracks and footprints, especially in dark and quiet places. So you can do a test if you think you have a pest infestation but aren’t sure if you’ve seen any tracks.
Sprinkle flour or baby powder along the floor or in other places you think the rodents are active. The next day, check for rodent footprints and tail tracks. Then, call a professional pest control company to get rid of rodents if you see any.
4. Greasy and Dirty Marks Along Walls
Nobody would disagree that rodents are dirty animals. But this could help you find them because they tend to leave marks along walls and skirting boards.
Rodents are creatures of habit, so they stick close to walls where they feel safe. They also follow the same routes from their nests to their food sources and back.
When rodents scurry, the grease and grime on their bodies rub against the wall leaving dirty streaks. These marks show they are there even before you see them.
5. Gnawing Marks Are Signs of a Rodent Infestation
When you have a rodent infestation, they will probably leave chewing marks on hard surfaces like the ceiling, floor, ductwork, and places near pipes.
Rats like to chew on wood. So, look for gnaw marks on and around window frames, bookshelves, door frames, and skirting boards.
Marks from recent chewing will be light, while older spots will be darker. Rodents can also damage electrical wires.
6. Holes and Nibbling Signs on Food Packaging
Holes and Nibbling signs are common in food packaging because rodents will try to chew through them to get to the food. They mainly go for:
- Dried beans
- Different kinds of pasta
- Rice grains
- Other grains
A quick warning: rodents particularly enjoy dog food because it has a meaty fragrance and taste. Therefore it’s imperative to store all these foods safely away from the reach of these pesky rodents.
7. Rodent Nests
Rats and mice make nests in warm, dark, unused parts of a housefor example, attics, basements, barns, and garages.
If rodents find a food source in your home, they will probably set up residence in a quiet area nearby and use the same paths to get to and from their food source. They often build their nests from human-made debris such as cotton thread, hair, twigs, and plant material.
Rat nests can differ in size depending on how many rats inhabit there.
What to Do If You Discover a Rodent Infestation
When you see a sign of rodents, it’s best to call a professional exterminator. Rats and mice can multiply swiftly if left unchecked. One female rodent can have five litters a year. That is a lot of rats and mice!
Take the Stress Out of Rodent Infestation!
Rats may seek out sections of your home to live as uninvited visitors searching for food and cozy locations to establish a nest. Regular pest checks are the best method to catch an issue before it turns into a full-blown rodent infestation.
If you notice any of these signs of rodent infestation in or around your home, you must act fast to get rid of the rats. Unfortunately, the longer an invasion persists, the more challenging it may be to perform rodent removal.
Regain control and eliminate infestations by contacting us today!