As the weather gets cooler, rodents like mice and rats look for warmth inside of homes. In fact, the National Pest Management Association estimated 45% of rodent issues occur in the fall and winter.
“Not only is a rodent infestation a nuisance, but these pests are known to spread a variety of dangerous diseases, including Salmonella, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, rat-bite fever and the potentially fatal Hantavirus,” said Dixon Herman, Wildlife Branch Manager at Terminix Service, Inc. “It’s important for homeowners to know how to spot a rodent infestation within their homes and to take the necessary steps to avoid these unwanted visitors.”
Common signs of a rodent infestation include:
- Droppings: These pellets are often left behind in places where food is stored, such as kitchen cabinets or pantries, as well as under sinks, inside chewed cardboard boxes, along baseboards and on top of wall beams.
- Gnaw marks: Mice are known to bite through walls, wood and wires. The damage to wiring within walls can increase the risk for a house fire.
- Nests: Rodents prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas where there is little chance of disturbance. Be on the lookout for shredded paper products, cotton, packing materials and other fabrics, as house mice like to build nests out of these materials.
- Rub marks: Rats tend to leave dark grease or dirt marks — from their oily fur — along walls and floorboards as they follow a trail throughout the home between their nest and food.
- Strange noises: Scurrying in the walls or in the attic could mean a rodent family is present. Rodents are especially fond of attics as it’s an insolated area for nest building.
If a rodent infestation is suspected, it’s best to contact a licensed pest control professional to assess the situation. For more information on signs of rodents and prevention tips, please visit www.trustterminix.com.