Common Causes of Rodent Infestation

common causes rodent infestation

There are a few larger pests that no one ever wants to see in their homes, and rodents like mice and rats are key examples here. There are a few common causes of rodent infestations in homes, and knowing these general causes – and how to steer clear of them – can be very helpful for avoiding such issues.

At A-1 Exterminators, we proudly offer wide-ranging pest control services to clients around Salt Lake City, Sandy, West Jordan and West Valley City, including comprehensive rodent control solutions. Here are some of the most common causes of these infestations, plus some of their common signs and how to avoid them.


One of the more common and well-known causes of rodent infestations is warmth. Rodents, like many other pests, are attracted to warm environments with plenty of food and water sources. That’s why the warmer months often bring an increase in these types of infestations.


  • Droppings in dark corners or closets
  • Scratching sound coming from walls or attics
  • Teeth marks on furniture, wires, and other materials

How to avoid: To steer clear of warm weather rodent problems, make sure that rodent access points are blocked off with adequate sealing methods. Make sure to trim back tree branches and shrubs near your home as well.

Food and Water

The other most common cause of rodent infestations is an abundance of food and water sources. Rodents can easily access these through garbage cans, pet food, bird feeders, and other outdoor areas.


  • Water marks on walls or floors
  • Food remnants scattered throughout the home
  • Grease trails left behind by rodents as they move around

How to avoid: To decrease the risk of infestations due to food and water sources, make sure all garbage cans have tight lids. Pet food should be cleaned up daily, and bird feeders should be placed far away from your home.

Furthermore, if you’ve had a rodent issue in the past, make sure to clean up any droppings or nesting material that may be left behind. These will attract more rodents if the problem isn’t fully taken care of.

Clutter and Strewn Items

Another common attractor for rodents is clutter and strewn items indoors or outside. This includes objects like boxes, paper piles, cardboard, and other materials that provide shelter for the pests. They will often make nests or other hiding places out of these materials, which only increases the chance of increasing infestation.


  • Chewed through boxes or containers
  • Rat droppings near a pile of objects or in cabinets
  • Rodents seen running around your home during day or night

How to avoid: Clutter and strewn items should be regularly cleared away from both inside and outside your home. Make sure all boxes and containers are sealed properly, as rodents can easily chew through them given the chance. Additionally, keep any piles of objects off the ground if possible – this reduces access for rodents even more.


Finally, another significant cause of rodent infestation that sometimes isn’t considered closely enough is the absence of people in a home or other building. Rodents are attracted to vacant places because they can nest and forage without fear or disturbances. This is a concern to look out for if you’ve just purchased a home or if you are planning to leave the property vacant for an extended period of time.


  • Rodents seen running around during the day, when they would typically be inactive
  • Droppings noticed in unusual places like appliances and cupboards
  • Musty smell coming from areas where rodents may have been nesting

How to avoid: To decrease the chance of a rodent infestation due to an empty home, make sure there is always someone living in the residence or that it’s regularly inspected. If you plan on leaving your home for an extended period, make sure you arrange for regular check-ins by either yourself or a friend. This will help keep those pesky critters away.

With proper prevention and regular inspections, you can keep your home free from the nuisance of rodents. By taking steps now to implement prevention methods and educate yourself on the signs of infestations, you can save yourself time, money, and frustration down the line.

If you think that your home may have a rodent problem or if you need more information about how to ensure your property remains pest-free, contact us at A-1 Exterminators today. We would be happy to assist you with this or any other pest control need around SLC, Sandy, West Jordan, West Valley City or nearby parts of Utah.

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