James Bond novelist Ian Fleming wrote that “once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and thrice is enemy action.” In other words, it’s usually a bad idea to over-react to isolated bits of evidence.
That attitude serves people pretty well in most areas of life, but not when it comes to rats, mice, and other rodents. These creatures are nasty. Before they arrive in your house, they often hung out in sewers and garbage dumps. They track this filth through your living and food preparation areas, dribbling feces and urine as they go. Furthermore, these creatures carry a number of diseases and reproduce rapidly.
If you see any evidence of a rodent infestation, call a professional straightaway. The sooner you deal with a rodent infestation, the better.
Mice droppings look like dark rice grains. They’re usually found in hidden places, like the backs of drawers and behind appliances. Rat droppings are larger and usually in open areas. If the droppings are hard and grey, they have been there for a while. If they are dark or moist, you almost certainly have an active infestation.
An interesting factoid about rodents: Their incisors always grow. So, to grind their teeth down, they gnaw on things constantly. At best, this habit is highly destructive. Moreover, it’s usually only a matter of time before rodents gnaw on electrical wires or gas lines.
Rodents are nocturnal, so you probably will not hear them or see them during the day. But they are quite active at night, especially when they get behind walls and do not feel the urge to creep. Scratching, gnawing, and scampering noises all point to a rodent infestation.
Mice and rats urinate to attract mates. Very romantic, right? Rodent urine has a very high urea concentration, so it’s very smelly, especially in confined spaces.
Rodents almost always come from the outside to the inside. Sometimes they scamper through open spaces or tiny cracks. A mouse can fit through a space the size of a dime. But other times, they gnaw holes through walls. Be sure and look behind appliances and in other dark, hidden places.
Typically, rodents use the same pathways over and over. That’s one reason traps are not usually effective. Unless the trap is directly in their path, they will probably ignore it. So, look for dirt smears, especially around corners.
Torn clothing, cardboard, insulation, or other material is probably a rodent bedding area. Sometimes, rats and mice nest in attic crawl spaces or underneath appliances. But more often than not, they nest in crawl spaces.
If you see any signs of a rodent infestation, call All Solutions Pest Control.