Rodents are one of the most successful mammals on the planet in terms of ability to survive. They are highly adaptable and can live in almost any climate or environment. They also breed very quickly and in large numbers, which make them a common problem for homeowners.
While the assumption is that mice only enter unclean houses, the truth is that rodents infiltrate properties of all shapes and sizes. They’re looking for food and shelter, so any home is a potential sanctuary for a mouse. If they cannot access your food, however, they just move on.
This is why keeping a clean and tidy home is the best way to prevent rodent infestations, particularly during the winter. Keep reading for tips on how to spot these unwanted guests.
The Stealthy Visitor
The first thing to remember is that just because you haven’t seen a mouse, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t one hanging around. These animals are extremely quick and easily startled. Normally, they’re gone before you get anywhere the room, which is why getting rid of mice and rats can be so tricky. You have to keep your eyes open for other clues.
For most homeowners, the first sign of an unwelcome visitor is rodent waste.
Mouse droppings are quite small (less than a quarter inch) and dark in colour. Unless you already have a serious infestation, there should only be a small amount. Usually, droppings are left along active trails and pest control experts use them as a guide for bait placement.
Noises at Night
Another sure fire sign of mouse activity is strange scratching noises during the night.
If, when you’re trying to get to sleep, you can hear sounds within the walls, you are advised to call a pest control service. Even if you only have one mouse, it’s important to trap or kill it to eliminate the risk of it breeding in your home. Families with pets (especially cats) tend to see their animals exhibiting hunting behaviours at night.
Gnawed Holes and Marks
Sometimes, the first indication of a mouse problem is a hole in your favourite pack of cereals. Mice will gnaw at almost any kind of material and wood and paper certainly prove no match for a very strong set of teeth. This is why it is really important to store open food in airtight containers and, where possible, keep cardboard packets up high. It is always a bad idea to leave loose garbage bags in the garden because the smell of food will attract vermin.
Oily ‘Passage’ Marks
Identifying all of the signs of rodent activity will help you come up with an effective pest control plan. If you suspect that you have a mouse, look for oily marks low down on the walls. Rodent fur is very oily and it can transfer as they rub against surfaces. As mice stick to the same active trails until disturbed, these marks become darker and easier to spot the longer they are present in the home.
The final sign isn’t a visual one, but it can be a very convincing indication that there are rodents present. If you have a serious infestation and there are mice breeding within the walls, there is likely to be a strange smell. It might be hard to place at first, but it will be musty and unpleasant. The more mice, the stronger the smell becomes. If this sounds like your home, call a pest service right away and invest in a permanent solution.
Why Pest Control Is Easier Than You Think
It is entirely possible to remedy a rodent problem before it becomes a major infestation. However, everybody lives in different circumstances and there are a thousand reasons why it may be allowed to escalate. Whatever the situation, don’t hesitate to call in the experts. There is no type of pest problem which they haven’t seen before and they will help protect your home and your property.