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  • Writer's pictureDave Kuikstra

Oh Rats! The 6 Warning Signs You Have a Rodent Problem

Updated: Jan 7, 2022

Like people, rodents need food, shelter and water. With weather changes (think colder and snowier or hotter and wetter) rodents are moving inside our homes in increasing numbers to meet those needs. Once inside, a rat or mouse infestation can go on for months before you realize it. Could you have a rodent problem? Look for these 6 signs to know for sure:

  1. Scattered pellets or dark grains: Have you noticed pellets or small dark grains that look like rice scattered inside a cabinet, under the sink, near your indoor kitchen trash can or along baseboards? These are mouse or rat droppings – one of the easiest tell-tale signs that your home is hosting rodents.

  1. Rub marks along baseboards and walls: Mice and rats tend to use the same pathways throughout your home. As rodents scurry along the baseboards or up close to where your walls meet floors, they leave rub marks that help signal to other rodents. The marks are caused by the oil in rodents’ fur.

  1. Gnaw marks: To keep their incisor teeth worn down, mice and rats chew on hard, inedible material like wood, plastic, and even on wires. Check for bite marks on wooden baseboards or the backs of wooden cabinets.

  1. The appearance of chewed paper, fabric, or insulation: Rodents prefer soft, comfy nests and will chew up paper, fabric, insulation, and packing material to make their hidden abodes cushy. While you may not find the nests, you can often find their handwork in unexpected holes in cushions, bedding, and stored cardboard container.

  1. Nighttime noises: Rodents are nocturnal so just as you may be settling in for the night, you could be hearing scratching and scurrying noises inside your walls. These are signs that rodents are using the joists in your walls as super-highways to other parts of your home.

  1. House pet fascination: Dogs and cats have a superior sense of smell. If your dog or cat is suddenly super interested in a particular part of your home (like the bottom of your stove or an out-of-the-way cabinet), they may be picking up on the scent of rats or mice.

As rodents’ needs for food, shelter, and water become more acute, so too does the possibility that your home can become infested. To curb rodent activity, the Centers for Disease Control recommends the following: seal cracks, holes, and entry points outside the home; remove debris and heavy vegetation from the foundation; store garbage in tightly covered bins; and remove pet food from yards.

If you see any of the signs listed here, call a pest professional and ask for an inspection. The professional will quickly be able to identify the source of the problem and provide you with treatment options and recommendations for preventing their return.

Keep your home free of mice and rats. Shoreline Pest Solutions can help. Give us a call at 215-767-5730 or contact us online.

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