When the weather gets cooler, rodents like mice and rats seek warmth indoors. According to the National Pest Management Association, 45% of rodent problems occur in the fall and winter. It's important to pay attention to signs of rodents in your home or business.
A rodent infestation can be a nuisance, but these pests are capable of spreading a variety of dangerous diseases, including Salmonella, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, rat-bite fever, and the potentially lethal Hantavirus. You should know how to spot a rodent infestation and take the necessary steps to keep them out.
Signs of a rodent infestation:
- Rodent Droppings: Pellets can often be found under sinks, inside chewed cardboard boxes, along baseboards, and on top of wall beams in areas where food is stored.
- Gnaw marks: Mice can bite through walls, wood, and wires. Mice are notorious for chewing on electrical wiring, which can increase the risk of a fire. Chewing on the wires helps keep their teeth sharp. Because rodents prefer tight and small spaces, they will even sometimes build a nest in an electrical box, where they can chew on the wires and cause a short circuit or fire. One 2012 report attributed 25 percent of fires to rodent damage.
- Nests: Rodents prefer to nest in dark, secluded places where they are unlikely to be disturbed. Mice like to build nests out of shredded paper products, cotton, packing materials, and other fabrics.
- Rub marks: Rats can leave dark markings or grease marks along walls and floors. This is caused by the rubbing of their oily fur as they follow trails from their nests to food sources.
- Strange noises: Scurrying in the walls or in the attic could indicate a rodent problem. Mice and rats are more active at night. Rodents like these areas because they are quiet and likely to be undisturbed. Attic insulation is also used for nest building.
Protecting Your Home from Rodents
Even if your home has not experienced rodent problems in the past, the cold winter months can send mice and rats looking for new nesting locations. A mice problem or rat issue can spring up quickly with no warning. The best plan of action is to have a pest protection plan in place before you have a problem. A pest professional will inspect your home for possible gaps and entryways, prevent them from gaining access, identify conditions around the home that can attract pest issues, and help manage nearby rodent and pest populations.
My Pest Pros can help protect your home to prevent rodents and other pests. If you are seeing or hearing the signs of rodents in your home or business, give us a call and we can help eliminate those pest problems.
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