The sight of a rat scurrying across your floor or the sound of gnawing mice keeping you awake at night can be enough to send anyone into a tailspin. If you’d live in an area that’s prone to pests and rodents, it can be hard to understand how and why these animals are getting into your home. Luckily, keeping rats and other rodents out of your house is easier than you might think. You just need to know what signs to look for and what actions to take if you see them.
Rodents are known for being smaller than most other types of animals, which makes them harder to spot. But if you know what red flags to look out for, detecting their presence becomes much easier.
Check the Exterior of Your Home
The most common way to detect a rodent infestation is by checking the exterior of your home. Most rats are nocturnal and will not come out into the open during the day, so this is when you should be checking for them. Some signs to look for include:
- Rat tracks: Rats leave tracks that are similar to human footprints. These can be seen in tall grass, along flower boxes, or on the edge of walkways. You can also check your garage floor for these.
- Rat nests: Most rats will be out scavenging for food at night, but they also need to sleep somewhere. If you find a nest, there’s a good chance it’s infested with rats.
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- Rodent droppings: these can be found near nests and along pathways where rats travel. Pay attention to the type of droppings you’re seeing. Rat droppings are different from mouse droppings, so you’ll want to know which type it is.
Check the Interior of Your Home
Once you’ve checked the exterior of your home for signs of rodents, it’s time to move inside. Start with the rooms where rodents are most likely to go. Some signs to look for include:
- Rodent droppings: rodents leave droppings almost everywhere they go. You can find these in corners, behind furniture, along baseboards, and more.
- Signs of chewing: rats and mice love to chew on electrical wires. This can cause an electrical fire, so you want to be on the lookout for chewed wires and loose cords.
- Signs of nesting: rats and mice love to nest in warm places near food sources. Look for signs that they’ve made a nest in your insulation or near your heat source.
- Signs of gnawing: rodents love to chew on wood, so you can expect to see signs of gnawing on doors and walls.
- Signs of nesting near food sources: rats and mice love to nest near food sources, so you can expect to find them near your pantry and kitchen.
Check Your Food Storage Areas
Food storage areas are another common place where you can find rodents. You can confirm a rodent infestation by checking for signs of uneaten food, smells of feces, or droppings.
- Uneaten food: Most rodents prefer to eat only what they need rather than storing food, so you can find half-eaten food in places where rodents have been.
- Smells of feces: Rodents poop almost wherever they go, so you can find signs of feces both inside and outside of your food storage areas.
- Droppings: You can confirm a rodent infestation by finding droppings inside of your food storage areas.
Confirm You Have Rodents with Forensic Evidence
Once you’ve found signs of rodents in your home, it’s time to confirm that they’re actually there. You can confirm a rodent infestation with forensic evidence such as:
- Sighting rodents: Rats and mice spend most of their time hidden in dark, warm places. But, once in a while, they come out of their hiding spots. You may be able to see them out during the day or at night near your home.
- Hearing rodents: While rats rarely come out during the day, they do like to make noise at night. You can hear them scurrying around, gnawing on things, and squeaking.
- Finding discarded feathers: Mice love to nest with other rodents, like birds. If you find feathers, you may have a rodent infestation.
Rodents can be a serious pest problem in the home. The best way to keep them out of your house is by making sure you check for signs of an infestation as soon as possible. Keep your home clean and free of debris, check your food storage areas, and look for signs of chewing. Rodents are notorious for spreading disease, so you need to take care of them as soon as possible.
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