Your home is the place where you’re supposed to feel cozy and safe. Intruders and unwanted guests can take away that feeling of safety, leaving you feeling uncomfortable. The worst guests of all, are the ones that make your skin crawl – rodents. If you’re not sure if you’re sharing your home with mice or rats (or worse), check for any of these telltale signs:
Droppings and Urine Trails
The most obvious sign of all are droppings, and rodents are not shy about leaving them wherever they’ve crawled. Look for them in the back of your kitchen cabinets, pantries, and cupboards. Basically, anywhere they might find food. If you’ve got any kind of infestation, even just a few, you’ll see evidence. Rodents will also urinate on the go, leaving small puddles and drips along walls.
Squeaks and Smells
In the evening, as you lay in bed, turn off the television and listen. Rodents are nocturnal, and will be waking up as you’re going to sleep, and they are definitely not quiet. You might hear squeaks, rustling, and scurrying sounds behind walls, inside cabinets, and all over your basement. Mice also have an awful, musky odor. It’s an unusual and distinct smell, impossible to confuse with other household odors like a kitchen garbage can or spoiled food. Once you’ve smelled it, it’s hard to forget.
Another sign you never want to see – because it will be too late – is evidence of chewing. You may see it on food packaging, near where you may have seen droppings. Gnawing is a common rodent activity, done to grind down their teeth. They’ll chew on anything, but they prefer wood, which is unfortunate since that’s probably what your cabinets are made of. Occasionally, they will chew through electrical wire, which makes them a risk for fires.
Rodents chew, gnaw and nibble on anything they can smell, so you should check boxes and bags of food in your cabinets and pantry for evidence. Look in the back – way back.
Nests and Tracks
We all love a cozy place to sleep, and rodents are no different. They build nests anywhere they can be warm, like dressers, behind appliances, and even inside computers. They use anything soft, like fabric, quilting, shredded paper, grass and leaves, and they hide away in closets, walls, or the space between ceilings and floors.
You may see footprints or tail marks in dusty spots in your basement or closets, and you may be able to figure out what you’re dealing with based on the size of the tracks. Mice have the smaller feet, about 3/8 inch, and rats measure from 3/4 to 1 inch. You may also see a line between the footprints where the rat drags its tail.
Finally, if your pets are acting strange, sniffing in corners and under the oven or refrigerator, there’s a good chance there’s something Fido knows that you don’t.
At Horizon Pest Control, we’re experts at NJ rodent control. Contact us today to help you with your unwanted guests.