While many people naturally think of insects and other kinds of bugs when they hear the term “pest control,” there are actually several species or types that fit this description – including some larger concerns. Rodents, particularly rats and mice, can create significant pest issues in and around your home, and knowing the signs that this is happening is often one of the first key steps to remedying the situation.
At A-1 Exterminators, we’re happy to help with a wide variety of rodent control and other pest control services across Salt Lake City, West Jordan, Sandy, West Valley City and other nearby areas. Here are some of the basics on where both these pests will hide and make their habitats within or around homes, plus some of the major signs that will help you identify them so you can contact our team for extermination services as soon as possible.
Why Rats and Mice Are a Risk
Before we dig into the necessary spotting signs, it’s important to understand why rats and mice can be such a risk. Both species are able to breed quickly, so even if you only see one or two pests at first, there could be dozens – sometimes hundreds – within your walls before you know it. They also carry a range of diseases and bacteria with them, and the droppings they leave behind are also a serious hazard. It’s always best to act fast when you suspect any kind of rodent infestation.
Common Locations for Mice
Both mice and rats are sneaky in nature and good at hiding, and this is part of what makes them so challenging to spot. Knowing a few of their basic qualities can be very helpful, however.
Mice, in particular, are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night and prefer to hide during the day. Common locations in your home for mice include corners, gaps behind large appliances, cabinets, attics or basements, and wall voids. It’s also not uncommon to find them around pantries and other food storage areas as well since they can smell even tiny morsels of food from far away.
Signs of Mouse Infestation
Even if you aren’t directly seeing them in some of the locations we just went over, here are some of the other signs that you may have a mouse infestation in your home:
- Droppings: Mouse droppings tend to be about a quarter-inch long, shaped like small grains of rice. If you find them moist, this means they are very fresh and indicative of a current infestation.
- Gnaw marks: Mice have incredibly strong teeth, so if you see things like wood or fabric that looks chewed, this could be an indication that mice have been around.
- Musky odor: Mice feces and urine tend to have a musky odor, which can be present in particularly active areas of the home.
- Nesting materials: If you find things like fabric pieces, shredded paper, or other nesting material, this may be a sign that mice were building their homes nearby.
- Scratching or scuffling sounds: Even if you can’t see them, mice still make a lot of noise between their scuttling and scratching around your walls. Any kind of sound coming from your walls or floorboards is an indication that you may have a rodent problem.
- Strange behavior from dogs or cats: Both dogs and cats have incredibly sensitive noses, and if they begin to act oddly (like sniffing specific areas of the house more than normal), this could be a sign that rodents are active in that area.
If you suddenly spot any of these tell-tale signs, it’s time to get in touch with A-1 Exterminators for pest control solutions.
Common Locations for Rats
Rats and mice tend to inhabit many of the same kinds of locations, though with some small variations. Rats are larger than mice and less likely to hide in small gaps, so they tend to prefer areas like attics, basements, crawl spaces and other large-scale hiding spots. They’re also more likely to venture outdoors during the day or night since they’re not as afraid of open spaces.
They’re also more likely to chew and gnaw on materials like wood and wires, so if you have any spots in your home where this kind of damage has been noticed, it may be a sign of rat activity.
Signs of Rat Infestation
Many of the signs for mouse infestations hold true for rats as well, though with some varying frequencies or specifics:
- More chew patterns or bite marks: As we noted above, rats are more likely to chew or gnaw on material like wood, wires and other items.
- Larger droppings: Rat droppings tend to be larger than mouse droppings – usually about an inch long – and they may contain small hairs inside them.
- Wall grease marks: Because rats often travel through tight spaces, their fur may rub off onto wood or other materials. If you find dark grease-like marks on walls or ceilings, this could indicate rat activity.
If you have any suspicion of a rodent infestation in your home, getting it taken care of quickly is key.
At A-1 Exterminators, we have the experts ready to help you identify and solve any rodent issues in your home. Contact us today to learn more about our pest control solutions for clients around SLC, West Jordan, Sandy, West Valley and surrounding areas.