This year, October 20-26 has been declared Rodent Awareness Week, an annual observance to educate individuals about the presence and danger of rodents as a household pest. According to a recent study, rats are the most concerning pest to residents, and for good reason! They can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. They also carry infectious diseases that can endanger you and your family. Here’s what you need to know about them, and what you can do to repel them.
Signs You May Have a Rodent Problem
Rodent nests are cobbled together with whatever they can find: bits of paper shredding, cloth, cotton, insulation, etc. Rodents like to make their nests in dark and secluded places, such as in walls and attics and under or between floors, where they won’t be bothered. If you happen to find one, there is a strong chance that there are or were rodents living in your home.
Tracks or Rubbing Marks
If the rodents in your home have built a nest, chances are they’ve also found food. If you start to find greasy or dirty marks along floors or the bottoms of walls, they may be the result of contact with a rodent’s oily fur as it searches for food.
Nobody likes hearing strange noises in their home, especially at night, and especially not in their walls. But if you have a rodent problem, you will likely start to hear these noises as they travel between their nest and feeding places.
If you have found strange holes in bags or containers or even in your plumbing, you could have a rodent problem. Rodents will chew through just about anything to find food and water, including pipes. They will also sometimes chew through wires in your walls, causing a fire hazard.
Rodents will often leave their fecal matter in areas where they found food, such as in cabinets, kitchens, food containers, pantries, under sinks, inside cardboard boxes and along baseboards. If you find droppings, make sure not to touch them or clean them up without first donning protective gear, such as gloves and masks, as rodent droppings can carry disease.
Seeing A Rodent
The most obvious sign of a rodent problem is seeing one. And where there is one, it’s likely that there are more. Rodents breed rapidly; a female house mouse can have six babies every three weeks, up to 35 per year. With that in mind, don’t wait to do something about a rodent problem, as it can quickly get out of hand.
What to Do About a Rodent Problem
There are numerous ways to help keep rodents out of your home. These include:
- Keep food in rodent-proof containers
- Keep trash in heavy-duty metal or plastic containers
- Seal and caulk any holes outdoors that can lead inside
- Keep tree limbs and shrubbery near your house trimmed
- Keep storage containers at least 18 inches off the floor and flush against the wall to avoid rodents reaching them or building nests around them
- Use concrete flooring in basements rather than wood flooring that rodents can chew through
- Keep plumbing in good condition so rodents can’t access water
- Add metal screening to windows near the ground and make sure floor drains are tightly sealed in the floor
- Reduce clutter in your home, particularly when it comes to things stored on your floor
- Check under your car hood in the wintertime for rodents, as they are known to take shelter near the warmth of vehicle engines
To get rid of rodents, you can also set traps with food bait and rat poison. However, such methods may pose dangers to your household, particularly if you have young children.
To safely and effectively eradicate your rodent problem, contact Dodson Pest Control today! We have over 75 years of experience getting rid of household pests, and we can help you keep rodents at bay.