Signs, Risks, and Solutions of a Rat and Mouse Infestation
Rats and mice are unwanted intruders in every household and business setting. They have the potential to inflict harm on your property, contaminate your food, and act as vectors for the transmission of diseases. If you suspect you have a rodent problem, it’s important to identify signs of an infestation and take action to get rid of them.
Here are some tips for dealing with rats and mice in and around your home or business.
Signs of a Rat and Mouse Infestation
Signs to watch out for that point to a rat or mouse problem.
- Droppings – Look for dark, pellet-like droppings around baseboards, under sinks, in cabinets, and closets. Mice droppings are tiny, while rat droppings are larger, around 3/4 inch long.
- Gnaw marks – Rats and mice gnaw on materials to wear down their continuously growing teeth. Look for bite marks or holes on food packaging, wood, drywall, wires, and other materials.
- Nesting materials – Shredded paper, fabric, insulation, or other material stashed in out-of-the-way spots may indicate nests.
- Musky odor – Rats and mice mark their territory with urine that gives off a musky smell. The odor is most noticeable in enclosed spaces.
- Squeaks or scurrying – If you hear scrabbling noises in walls, floors, attic, or basement, it likely means rodent activity. They are most active at night.
- Evidence of feeding – Crumbs, shells, seeds, pits, or food boxes left behind may point to rats or mice.
Risks Posed by Rodents
Rats and mice don’t just cause property damage; they also pose health risks.
- Contaminate food and surfaces with urine and droppings, which can spread bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli.
- Chew on electrical wires that can cause fire hazards.
- Gnaw holes in walls for entry points and nesting.
- Spread diseases via fleas, ticks, and mites that live on them. Plague, typhus, spotted fever, and hantavirus are possible.
- Bite humans, which can lead to rat bite fever or other infections. Children or those with weakened immune systems are most at risk.
Getting Rid of Rats and Mice
If you discover signs of rats or mice and think you have a rat and mouse infestation, you must immediately take action and prevent recurrence. Here are some effective solutions.
- Set humane traps baited with peanut butter, chocolate, or cheese near nesting sites, along walls, or in entryways. Check traps daily and release animals at least 10 miles from home.
- Look for possible entry points inside (openings around pipes or cracks) and outside (holes, gaps around the foundation) and seal them. Use steel wool, caulk, cement, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting.
- Cut back vegetation and move woodpiles, debris, pet food, bird feeders, and garbage cans away from the home to eliminate food sources and nesting spots.
- Clean up crumbs and spills immediately and store food in chew-proof containers to remove attractions.
- Use natural deterrents like peppermint oil, coffee grounds, or ammonia in cotton balls around problem areas. Mice dislike strong smells.
- For severe rat and mouse infestations, get help from a professional exterminator who can assess the situation adequately and eliminate the rodents safely and effectively.
Get Help With Your Rat and Mouse Infestation
Rats and mice, while small and often underestimated, should not be taken lightly when they invade your home or business. It requires diligence and patience to deal with these pests to get rid of them, as a rat and mouse infestation can damage your property, contaminate food, and pose health risks by spreading diseases.
Acting at the first signs of activity will help prevent more extensive problems. If you suspect an infestation, contact the pest control professionals at Green Valley Wildlife Solutions for inspection and removal assistance. Protect your home and family’s health by keeping rats and mice out!