In our most recent article, we discussed five clear signs that you have mice or rats and should call for rodent control in the Georgetown area right away. Rodent teeth are always growing, so they’ll gnaw on your home and damage it for seemingly no reason. You should also watch out for chewed food containers, because rodents are very opportunistic and not picky about what they eat. Unfortunately, if you need a mice or rat exterminator, you’ll probably also be finding their droppings everywhere (and that includes the food containers that we just talked about). The final two signs that you need rodent controls are pretty obvious: either hearing them in the walls or actually seeing them!

But there are actually a few more ways that you can find out whether or not you should call a rodent exterminator for further investigation. If you have the slightest inkling that you might have a rat or mouse problem, keep your eyes (and nose) open for the following.

Tracks

While few of us could track an animal through the forest, finding mice and rat tracks in a controlled environment such as a house or business can be easier. Take a look in pantries and along baseboards to see if you can see the tiny paw prints. They’ll certainly be unmistakable.

“But wait,” you might say, “my home is spotless. There’s nothing for them to leave tracks in.” Well, it might be the case that the rodent is bringing the dust with them, then making tracks in it. If they have gotten into the flour, powdered sugar, or cereal dust, their tiny feet pick up food and deposit it, along with the paw prints, on the floor. You now have two signs at once that it’s time to call a rodent exterminator.

Rodent Nests

If you find a rodent nest, it’s certainly time to contact a rat and mice exterminator. While you’ll probably know it if you see it, there’s nothing clear-cut we can tell you to look for. Yes, different rodents build different kinds of nests, but the real difference comes from the material they have at hand. In the wild they might use straw or grass, but indoors you might look for newspaper or chewed bits of boxes. In attics, insulation will be the most likely used type of nest material.

The problem is that rat and mice nests are often difficult to find. Like most animals, they want to make their nest as hard to find as possible in order to protect their young, and that often means in parts of a home that you have little or no access to. While you might find a nest if you shine a flashlight in the corners of your attic, it’s likely that you’ll need to rely on many of the other methods here for determining if you have a rodent problem.

Grease

“You greasy rat” sounds like an insult you’d hear in a 1940s gangster movie. But the insult is accurate; mice and rats can be very greasy!

Mice fur holds grease that is secreted from their bodies, and that grease can rub off as they crawl through tight spaces or scurry against the baseboards. This causes discolorations on both the wood and the walls, so if you’re ever wondering “where did this grease come from?”…now you know!

Urine Odors

If you have just a few mice in your house, it’s unlikely that you’ll notice any foul smell from their urine. But how often do just a few mice stay just a few mice?

Mice urinate for three distinct reasons. The first is obvious, in that all mammals have to expel their urine. Second, mice use it as a means of navigating a house. Third, it helps them mark their territory and let other mice know where they live.

Once an infestation gets too bad, the smell gets much more obvious. It will have a strong ammonia-like smell, which is just a nice way of saying “it smells like urine.” But long before your nose can pick it up, the smell of mouse urine might cause…

Unusual Pet Behavior

Many pets have better hearing and senses of smell than their owners do. Animals are also quite territorial, which means that any man or beast invading their space is usually going to hear about it!

In general, a pet that lives in a house that has mice is going to be more agitated. They might hear them scampering in the walls, or smell the urine and start barking or clawing at a particular spot for (seemingly) no reason. If you’ve noticed your pet paying extra attention to a spot that they never showed any interest in before, it might be time to get on your knees and take a whiff yourself. Look for dropping and the grease we mentioned earlier. In short, take full advantage of your four-legged early warning system!

Is It Time To Call a Critter Control Expert?

If you find even one of the problems we’ve mentioned in this or the previous blog, you really don’t want to delay calling a rodent exterminator. Two mice can become dozens before you know it, and unless you do something, they can take over the entire house. It’s better to deal with the problem before it becomes worse, and that means calling your Georgetown critter control expert at the first sign of trouble. Contact us today to get the process started!