Don’t you hate it when you’re minding your own business and then you hear a strange noise coming from the walls? That’s just one sign you’ve got a rodent problem! Rodents ranging from rats and mice to squirrels are a common sight at our pest control company, and they’re definitely prevalent varmints in the Vancouver and Lower Mainland areas in BC. Some rats and mice are kept as pets, and that’s totally great since they’re domestic ones, but not everyone shares that same appreciation. Some people are terrified of them, while others are restaurant customers who’d rather not find rats near their food (and for good reason).
Not all rats and rodents are dangerous, but most of them are definitely not what you call great chefs like Remy from Pixar’s Ratatouille, nor are they as useful as the rats in The Secret of NIMH (though rats are intelligent animals for sure). Squirrels can also cause their own special series of problems if you let them stay in your house for too long.
Some infestations are so hard to detect that you don’t even notice it’s there…that is, until these signs appear which means it’s a serious one! If you’re not sure you have a rodent infestation, let us illuminate the situation for you. Here are the top signs you may be in serious need of professional rodent control as soon as possible.
Sign 1: Droppings
Feces, droppings…whatever you call them, they stink, and it means a rodent’s around. You’re most likely to discover droppings in your kitchen where they can access food, such as in drawers and cupboards, under the sink, and around any food packages. Not only do these droppings smell bad, they’re also disease-ridden! Humans are at risk of contracting respiratory diseases such as hantavirus, as well as leptospirosis in animals and pets.
Sign 2: Nibbled food and holes
What’s as bad as finding droppings? Finding out a rodent’s in your kitchen. You’ll know something’s been sneaking from the cookie jar if you find nibbles of food in the pantry as well as (yuck) more droppings.
Check the packaged cereals and other bagged items too, which rodents can and will chew through in order to reach food. Some rodents may also try to eat their way through hard plastic, leaving claw and teeth marks where there were none before (never underestimate the power of being hangry!).
Sign 3: Shredded materials
Rodents who have decided to make your home their new one will make nests for the babies (and their babies, and their babies’ babies…you get the idea). The materials we speak of include newspapers, cotton fibres, papers of any kind, and thread to name a few. They love to make nests that are close to food and water sources but out of reach of predators, especially in the winter.
Sign 4: New holes
Some rodents may be so desperate for a way to get in that they’ll make new entryways! They usually target the walls and floors. If you’re not sure whether it’s a mouse or rat, here’s how to tell the difference. A hole gnawed by a mouse is usually the size of a dime, with clear-cut edges. In comparison, rat holes are about the size of a quarter, larger, and have rough-torn edges. Don’t be surprised if you find gnaw and scratch marks on wood, as well as oily rub smears where rodents will travel along the walls (if these smears are fresh, that means they’re nearby).
Sign 5: Stale or weird smells
Anything that smells stale or off and even unpleasant means a rodent infestation is present. Usually it’s a musky, stale smell that grows over time if the infestation is left alone. As for the origin of the smell, it’s likely you’re either smelling their urine or (and this is scary!) a rotting dead rodent. We don’t recommend removing a dead rodent yourself; that can be really hazardous to your health. Let the Pest Boss handle that kind of a job!
Sign 6: Fluffy’s hyperactive
Cats, dogs, and even pet mice and rats will become a little more active than usual if rodents are nearby. This is usually due to the smell the rodents will leave behind. The extra activity is most likely to occur if the rodents have entered your house’s structure. If you see your cat or dog pawing or clawing at an area where they usually don’t take notice, grab a flashlight and examine the spot where they’re hyperactive. You may encounter the weird smell we discussed in our previous point while looking for rodents.
Sign 7: Shredded refuse
Garbage is one of pests’ favourite foods regardless of what type of infestation it is. Rodents may be experts at staying out of sight, but their ability to clean behind themselves is terrible. After feeding, they’re most likely to leave piles of debris.
All of these signs spell bad news, in that you’ve got a rodent infestation to deal with. Leaving it for too long can result in hundreds and thousands more! Give us a call at Pest Boss if you want to get some professional rodent control taken care of and you’re in Burnaby, Vancouver, and the Lower Mainland (we service all those places!). We’ll get you, varmints!
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