Do you have a rodent problem? While it might sound like a simple question, it’s not something that everyone notices right away. In fact, rodent control experts sometimes get into attics and find that there’s enough mess to indicate that mice or rats have been living in there for years. And that’s unfortunate, because the longer they’re allowed to run loose, the more damage they’re going to do and the more likely your family’s health will suffer.

So how do you know if you should call a rat exterminator? Get out the flashlight, look in the corners, check your food and…keep an eye on your pets? Yep. Let’s take a look at the signs you can notice that mean you should call for rodent control as soon as possible.

Damaged Parts of the Home

Rodents don’t really care about your home. They don’t care that you’ve done your best to seal the thermal envelope so that you can cut down on your heating bill, and they don’t care that you’d rather keep them out. They just want in, whether it’s because they want shelter or are looking for food. (Spoiler: it’s both.) And unfortunately, they don’t make those perfect half-circles in the floorboard that you see in cartoons. You’ll have to keep your eyes open for fresh sawdust at the back of the pantry, and if you’re in the attic be sure to look for entry holes.

One of the common traits of rodents is that their front teeth are constantly growing. While that might sound like a cool feature if you’re scheduled for dental implants, it can actually cause them to be destructive in a home. Even though they don’t get any nutrition from gnawing on wood or electrical wires, they have to do so in order to wear down their teeth. If you see electrical cords with holes, it’s time to investigate further.

Scurrying Noises

While we’re in the attic, let’s talk about another thing that tips people off to the existence of mice and rats in their home.

Most people are familiar with the regular sounds that can be heard in their home. They’ve grown accustomed to the sounds of the refrigerator cycling or the air conditioner turning on. That’s why a new noise — like, say, the pitter patter of the tiniest of feet — should not be ignored. If you hear it once, you’ll probably hear it again, so keep track of where it’s coming from and investigate.

Chewed Food Containers

One of the primary reasons that mice and rats come into a home is to seek shelter and look for food. So when they get inside and find both, there’s really no reason for them to leave. As long as they can make their way to and from a food source, that’s going to be what they do until they’re “asked” to leave.

Keep an eye on your food. There aren’t many containers that rodent teeth can’t get through, so keep an eye on everything that’s not in a glass or metal container. If you spill cereal even when the box is upright, there’s a good chance that the corner and the plastic sleeve within have been chewed through.

Droppings

No matter what you call it — droppings, feces, excrement — it’s just plain disgusting. And one of the worst parts is that mice and rats have no problem defecating where they eat. So as soon as you notice that your pantry has been visited by rodents, do two things. First, check for droppings and throw away any vulnerable food next to it. Second, contact mice and rat control in Georgetown.

You See Them!

This might sound simple, but one of the most common reasons that people call us is that they actually see the little rodents in their home. Once that happens, they call for rodent control very quickly.

Like cockroaches, the most common time that people see rodents in their home is when the lights are turned on. Mice and rats are very opportunistic and take advantage of our the lack of movement in a house when the lights are off. Also, the beady eyes they’re known for let them see in the dark pretty well. Because they’re prey animals in the wild, they tend to stay out of the middle of the room and scurry along the floorboards looking for a quick escape.

Where do people see rats most often? While rodents can be found anywhere in a home, the garage is certainly a common space. People who leave garage doors up or have garage doors that leave a space due to leaning driveways are just inviting rodents in. They’re also found wherever there’s food, so you won’t be surprised that the kitchen and the pantry are two of the most common places to find them. Unfinished basements are also popular, because the mess that many people leave gives them ample places to hide. An unfinished basement is often not occupied for long periods of time, which means that mice and rats feel more comfortable living — and breeding — there.

But What About…

At the beginning of the article, we teased that the mice and rats can cause pets to respond in weird ways, but you’re going to have to come back next month to discover three more ways that you can be aware of rats and mice in your home. If you already know you’re in trouble, be sure to contact your local Georgetown rodent control experts today!