Signs It’s Time to Call an Exterminator for Rats & Mice
As a homeowner, the last thing you want to find in your house is a rat or a mouse. Though these rodents usually steer clear of humans, they can still be incredibly dangerous to have in the home. From damage to your house to the spread of disease and the possibility of bites and scratches, wild mice and rats should have no place in your home.
Fortunately, there are a few signs to look for that will tell you when to call an exterminator for mice, rats, and more.
Signs to Look for Before You Call the Exterminator
One of the most obvious signs of a rodent infestation is finding droppings around your home. Droppings may be found anywhere in the house, including the kitchen and bathroom—basically anywhere the rodent can reach. Besides being disgusting, rat droppings can spread disease, making you incredibly sick if you aren’t careful.
Rodents tend to produce up to 40 droppings per night and are usually found in concentrated areas. If you aren’t sure what the droppings look like, the waste of rats and mice are usually small and dark brown, like grains of rice or gravel in shape. If you find these, dispose of them immediately and carefully, and thoroughly clean the area where they were found.
2. Damage/Teeth Marks:
A rat or mouse infestation can lead to damage around your home. Teeth marks are the most obvious form of damage and can be found on wires, shelves, and even the legs of furniture. Other damage may include scratch marks on the walls or shredded materials around the house that rats use to make their nests. This can include insulation, cardboard, and soft items like pillows, blankets, towels, and much more.
3. A Dead or Living Rat or Mouse in Plain Sight:
Perhaps the most obvious and certain sign of a rat or mouse infestation is the sight of one of these rodents in the flesh. If you come across a rat or mouse out in the open, it means that the infestation has reached a very serious point.
Usually, house rats and mice like to keep out of sight by hiding away either in the walls or attic. If you see one of these rodents clearly, it means the rat or mice population has become so crowded that there is no room for them all to hide effectively. This also means that the likelihood of disease and damage are dramatically increased. If you need to know when to call an exterminator for mice and rats, this is the biggest indicator.
4. Dirt and Grease Marks on Walls and Floorboards:
Rats and mice use the same routes to travel throughout a home due to their typically poor eyesight. Over time, the dirt and grease found on their bodies leave smudges, dark marks, and stains on the objects and areas they frequent, giving a clear sign of an infestation. The worse the stains are, the higher the traffic in the home.
5. Scratching Noises:
Since rats and mice are typically nocturnal, they live in attics and like to stay out of sight, and can become very active at night. You may find yourself woken up in the middle of the night by loud, incessant scratching noises. This is an indicator that the rodents are active in the attic as well as moving throughout the ceiling and walls looking for food and supplies to build their nests. The scratching can be loud and can last for hours—as long as the rodents are awake and active in the home.
It is important to know when to call an exterminator for mice and rats because, once an infestation gets out of hand, it can be difficult to repair the damage to your home. In the worst scenarios, restoration can take a long time, up to a few months to get things completely back to normal.
1 Photo Source: Main.gov
2 Photo Source: Allen County Health