Discovering rodents in your home can be unsettling, to say the least. These unwelcome guests not only pose a health risk by spreading diseases but can also cause significant damage to your property. Knowing the signs of a rodent infestation is crucial to addressing the problem early and effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to detect the presence of rodents in your home, covering everything from physical evidence to preventative measures.
1. Identifying Rodent Presence
Rodents, including rats and mice, are not just a nuisance but also a health hazard. They can contaminate food, spread diseases, and cause structural damage to your home. Here are some key indicators that you might have rodents living with you:
Droppings: One of the most obvious signs of a rodent infestation is their droppings. Rat droppings are typically dark, shiny, and about ½ inch in length, while mouse droppings are smaller, about ¼ inch, and pointed at the ends. You’re likely to find these near food packages, under sinks, along baseboards, or in drawers and cupboards.
Gnaw Marks: Rodents have strong front teeth that grow continuously and will gnaw on almost anything to keep them trimmed. Look for chew marks on food packaging, furniture, wires, and even walls. These marks can also indicate the size of the rodent, with larger gnaw marks pointing towards rats and smaller marks indicating mice.
Strange Noises: Hearing scratching or scurrying sounds, especially at night when rodents are most active, can be a sign of an infestation. These sounds are often heard coming from the attic, inside walls, or under floorboards.
Nests: Rodents nest in warm, secluded areas using shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter. Check in hidden areas like the backs of cabinets, inside boxes stored in garages or basements, and in insulation.
Tracks and Rub Marks: Rodents leave footprints and tail marks in dusty environments. You might also notice grease marks along walls or baseboards, which are caused by rodents' oily fur coming into contact with surfaces as they travel along their regular paths.
2. Understanding the Health Risks
Rodent infestations are not just a matter of property damage; they pose significant health risks. Rodents can carry diseases such as hantavirus, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), Tularemia, and the plague, which can be transmitted to humans directly through contact with rodent feces, urine, saliva, or indirectly through ticks, mites, or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent.
3. Preventing Rodent Infestations
Prevention is key to keeping rodents out of your home. Here are some effective strategies:
Seal Entry Points: Inspect your home for any cracks, holes, or gaps larger than a dime. Pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. Seal these openings with steel wool, caulk, or a combination of both to deter rodents.
Proper Food Storage: Store food in airtight containers and avoid leaving pet food out overnight. Regularly dispose of garbage in tightly sealed bins.
Declutter and Clean: Regular cleaning and decluttering reduce hiding spots for rodents and make it easier to spot signs of an infestation. Keep storage areas well-organized and use plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes.
Outdoor Maintenance: Trim vegetation away from the exterior of your home to eliminate shelter for rodents. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep it elevated off the ground.
4. Dealing with an Infestation
If you suspect you have a rodent problem, it’s important to act quickly. You can set traps in strategic locations around your home. There are various types of traps available, including snap traps, electronic traps, and live traps. Bait the traps with peanut butter, chocolate, or nuts, which are attractive to rodents. Check and reset the traps regularly.
For larger infestations or if DIY methods fail, it may be necessary to call in professional pest control services. Professionals can offer more comprehensive solutions, including identifying and sealing entry points, setting up a targeted trapping program, and providing advice on preventing future infestations.
Detecting and dealing with rodents in your home requires vigilance and prompt action. By recognizing the signs of an infestation, understanding the risks, and implementing preventative measures, you can protect your home and family from the dangers and nuisances that rodents present. Remember, the key to controlling rodent populations is prevention, but should you find yourself facing an infestation, there are effective methods and resources available to help you get rid of these unwelcome guests.
Rats and mice in your home are a major health problem. Call (225) 414-2020 today for professional rodent control in the Baton Rouge area.
Rodent activity increases dramatically in the fall and winter since they have reduced food and heat sources. Additionally, stay-at-home orders and restaurant closures have rodents scrambling to find new places to eat. Your house has food, water, and heat, making it a nice place for your uninvited guest. As the temperature drops, be on the lookout for signs of rodents.
How to tell if you have mice or rats in your house?
#1 - Everybody poops
Mice and rats leave a lot of droppings wherever they spend time. Look for them near food packages, in drawers, under sinks, and along any runs where the rodent may walk to get between their water and food sources.
#2 - Lots of bite marks
Mice and rats chew on everything. Look for bite marks on food and on the walls and cupboards of your home. Little marks for mice. Big marks for rats.
#3 - It stinks
Rodents give off a stale smell. If you have a pet cat or dog that takes a sudden interest in a spot in your home they never cared about before, its worth searching for rodents. Pets can smell things you can't, so they will start behaving strangely first. If you can smell it, the problem may be a full rodent infestation.
#4 - Noises and scratches
You can hear scratching, gnawing, squeaking, and chirping. Rodents move around and make a lot of small noises. If you hear new noises in your walls or attic, alert your pest control professionals to handle the rodent problem
#5 - You see their nest
If you see a nest in your home made of shredded paper, plants, and other things, you're staring at a rodent nest. The only more obvious sign is if you outright see one scurry in front of you.
Mice can be invasive and destructive to your home. While they can be a common pest, many people may not know very much about them. By being informed about their habits and abilities, you can be better prepared to keep them out of your home. Rodent control can be entirely possible, but it can’t occur unless you’re aware that your home may have a pest problem. Here are 10 facts you can use to help identify and control intrusive mice.
1. Mice can be found nearly everywhere
Mice can live in almost any type of environment and can be found all around the world. While they can easily survive in the outdoors, they often invade homes to take advantage of the plentiful food they can find there. Mice living outdoors generally burrow into the ground while mice living in a house or other building can nest in the walls or other nooks and crannies.
2. Mice have ever-growing teeth
Mice have large front teeth specially equipped for gnawing. Strangely enough, these large incisor teeth never stop growing, which can be what allows mice to constantly chew through things without wearing their teeth down to nothing. Mice share this trait with many other rodents, including rats. Since they need to keep their teeth from growing too big, mice constantly chew on anything that’s available, making them destructive to homes. Seeing signs of items that have been chewed on can be a red flag that you may need to look into Baton Rouge pest control.
Mice can chew on nearly anything, including:
3. Mice can fit through really small spaces
You may think your home is mouse proof, but it can be important to double check that every small gap has been covered. Mice can squeeze their bodies through tiny holes and, in some cases, are able to fit through spaces as small as the width of a pencil.
Some common entry points used by mice can be the spaces where the wall meets the ceiling, gaps under doors, or even drains in bathrooms. You can use a combination of foam sealant and wire mesh to fill in gaps and help keep mice out. If they still seem to be getting in somehow, you might need to look for help from a Baton Rouge pest control service.
4. Mice can jump incredibly high
While they may be small, mice can still be incredibly agile. In some cases, they can jump as high as 25 centimeters straight up. This ability can help them reach high places, allowing them to get into your home and access seemingly hard-to-get-to food in pantries and cupboards.
5. Mice can climb surprisingly well
In addition to being great at jumping, mice are skillful climbers. Their sharp claws and strong feet can allow them to scale challenging surfaces such as vertical walls. Even food that seems entirely out of reach to mice may not be safe as you think. Their climbing skills can also allow them to access the attic and roof of your home and hide in places where you might not expect them to. Baton Rouge pest control can help you to ensure that mice aren’t hiding out in the top of your home.
6. Mice don’t rely on sight
Mice can have poor eyesight, especially in bright light. Since they are nocturnal, their eyes can work best in the dark, but even then, it isn’t very good. This doesn’t hinder them too much though as their other senses, especially hearing, can be incredibly acute. Mice can hear things that are out of the range of human hearing and can even communicate with each using ultrasound noises. They can also feel vibrations around them and use this ability to sense potential predators coming from a distance.
7. Mice love to eat
Mice are almost constantly in search of food, and they can eat a surprising range of things in your home. They can eat both plants and meats, and this omnivorous diet allows them to devour just about anything they find. From cereals and grains in your pantry to crumbs that fall under the kitchen table, food can be what draws mice to your home in the first place and can keep them surviving there for a long time. It can be important to look into Baton Rouge pest control to stop a mouse problem from getting out of control.
8. Mice have specific habits
Almost all mice can behave in a similar way. They have specific habits that can help you find and catch them. When they move throughout your house, they will generally stay close to walls, traveling along the edges of the room. Mice are mostly active at night and won’t usually come out into the open during the day. While they can be social towards other mice, they are also territorial and can need to have a large area to themselves.
9. Mice are dirty
Mice can not only cause problems by chewing on your stuff and leaving behind droppings, they can also pose a real risk to the health of anyone around them. Mice can carry all kinds of diseases that can be transmitted to humans.
Diseases carried by mice can include:
Some of these conditions can be life-threatening. Risk of disease can be the number one reason why it is vital to get help from a Baton Rouge pest control service if your home has been invaded by rodents.
10. Mice can be gotten rid of
Luckily, rodent control can be accomplished with the help of pest control experts in Baton Rouge. By noticing the signs that your home may have a mouse problem, you can be one step closer to solving that problem. Preventative measures, such as sealing off easy mouse access points into your home, can help lessen the risk of a new problem developing. Being well-informed as well as prepared to get help if needed can the best way to keep your home safe from these scurrying, destructive pests.
There are plenty of things to love about fall in New Orleans. However, while autumn in the city can bring fun times and pleasant weather, it also brings a new group of bugs and pests to worry about. Where moist conditions in the spring and summer create ideal environments for roaches and mosquitoes, the dryer weather in the fall is ideal for spiders, rodents and other insects that like to create nest-like homes in attics and other typically dark spaces. Worst of all, these pests have had the entire summer to breed and build their population before emerging in the fall. Their high numbers mean homeowners must be aggressive when it comes to fall pest and rodent control. What types of pests should you be on the look out for come fall in the city? Here are a few of the worst offenders.
It’s a well-known fact that rodents are some of the city’s most despised residents. In fact, one 2016 report ranked New Orleans top in the nation for rat and general pest infestations. The common house mouse is a main offender, taking up residence in the walls and basements of New Orleans homes in the fall and winter. As the weather cools down, these critters like to sneak into buildings through cracks in the foundation, window gaps and the like. They need no more than a quarter inch of space to get into your home in some cases. Once inside, they can quickly wreak havoc as they chew and shred up everything from paper to furniture to wiring. They can gnaw holes into walls and in extreme cases can even weaken a home’s infrastructure. Take the first steps toward rodent control by:
While those steps can provide a good start, mice can be notoriously difficult to get rid of both because of their rapid reproduction and how tricky they can be to catch. This and the dangers associated with their waste makes it a good idea for homeowners to leave rodent control to New Orleans pest control experts.
Fall is a prime mating season for spiders, which means they are more likely than ever to come out of hiding and cross your path. Southern Louisiana is home to more than 16 different types of spider, including the black widow and brown recluse spiders with bites that can be fatal to humans. That makes a spider problem more than a creepy inconvenience and as important as rodent control.
Spiders typically prey on small insects. When those pests come into your home seeking warmth and food in the fall, spiders have a tendency to follow them. Some of their favorite homes include attics, crawlspaces and basements. Because spiders aren’t much interested in human food, wiping down counters, disposing of trash and other typical pest prevention efforts aren’t likely to work. Instead, focus on:
Because of the unique threats some species of spiders can present, consider asking about experience with spider extermination when choosing a New Orleans pest control expert for general critter and rodent control.
At less than an inch long, the common clothes moth might not seem like a major threat. But it can cause a lot of damage to personal property, as countless New Orleans homeowners discover each year. These cream-colored menaces like to feed on just about any fabric item, especially wool and cashmere. The insects aren’t necessarily more plentiful in the fall, but they are more likely to be noticed around then, as homeowners pull cardigans and other thicker clothing out of storage boxes. When you notice tiny, unexplainable holes in your favorite shirt or fall pants, these moths are a likely culprit. The fall, when you’re likely packing up summer clothes, is a great time to address these pests. You can fight back by:
Like rodent control, moth control can help you avoid damage to your personal property.
Termites are a known problem in New Orleans, particularly in the French Quarter. What many people don’t realize is that termites cause trouble year-round, even when you can’t see them. These wood-chewers don’t hibernate. Instead, they prefer to dwell in a warm area that’s roughly 75 degrees. As the temperatures cool down outside and warm up inside, more and more of these creatures are likely to show up in your home, where they can destroy its infrastructure with shocking speed. Unfortunately, the city doesn’t provide any funding or help with termite eradication in private homes. That leaves it up to you, the homeowner, to take steps to keep them out of your house. Take action by:
Termites present one of the most destructive and challenging pest menaces in the city. It’s a good idea when you are investing in rodent control or other pest prevention to ask your specialist about their specific experience with these creatures.
The fall months can bring a welcome respite from some of the heat and humidity of a New Orleans summer. But the change of seasons may also bring new types of pest headache. When fair-weather pests are ruining your autumn, consider calling a pest management expert to provide the rodent control and general extermination to help you reclaim the season.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.