While the cold weather, power outages and high heating bills might seem like the worst aspects of winter, it’s important to keep in mind that this is the time of year when rodent infestations start to occur. As the weather cools, mice and rats will be drawn to the indoors where they can find shelter, food and water. However, whether it’s winter or summer, it’s best to know the common signs of a rodent infestation.

1. Droppings

One of the most common signs of a rodent infestation are droppings. Droppings measure around 1/8″-1/4″ in length, and you will usually find them around food storage units such as pantries and kitchen cabinets. They may also be found under sinks, along baseboards, near or inside cardboard boxes, and on wall beams. These droppings are a health hazard since they can carry bacteria and transmit diseases such as Hantavirus and salmonella.

2. Bite marks

Rodents are capable of chewing through almost any material, including lead pipes and plastic. This often leads to extensive property damage. Norway rats and house mice are also known for gnawing through wires inside the walls, which increases the fire risk within a structure. Make sure to keep an eye out for gnaw marks.

3. Rub marks or tracks

Rats in particular tend to leave dirt marks and dark grease stains on floorboards and walls as they rub against them with their oily fur. If you start to spot these marks around the home, it may be a sign that you have a rat infestation.

4. Nests

Rodents will build their nests in secluded areas that are very poorly lit. This makes the nests hard to find. However, you can infer that there is a nest somewhere inside the home if you start to see tiny pieces of fabrics, wall insulation, packing materials, cotton or shredded paper everywhere. Rodents, particularly house mice, will use these materials to build their nests, and they will make a mess in the process.

5. Strange noises

Rodents will scurry around the walls on their way up to the attic, causing noise. They will often choose attics to build their nests because they are filled with dark and secluded spots that provide ample coverage. On top of that, attics are often overlooked when a home undergoes pest-proofing, making them even more attractive to these pests.

Have you noticed any of these signs in your home?

Mice can reproduce very quickly, with a female rodent being capable of giving birth to six babies every three weeks. Soon enough, you will start to see actual rodents when the infestation becomes bad enough. If you have noticed any of these signs, or if you suspect that you may have a rodent infestation, contact us today. It’s best to catch these pests early on, before they do too much damage to the home.

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