Every homeowner dreads the idea of encountering mice or rats in their living space. Unfamiliar sounds or weird odors might raise concerns about the existence of pesky rodents. If you think you have rats in your home, you can confirm this by searching for signs that they are around.
Rats are clever creatures that can trick you. They are skilled at finding food, water, and shelter in various areas around your property, including storage areas and break rooms.
Rats are often found in false ceilings, wall cavities, and other areas like business premises, properties, and schools. It’s common to come into contact with them. Despite their ability to remain unnoticed, even a single sighting can damage your reputation on social media. Therefore, it is important to identify the signs of rats quickly to avoid potential issues.
By following this guide, you will be able to identify these indications with ease. What’s more, the guide also offers effective solutions to get rid of them.
Eight Indications of a Rat or Mouse Infestation
If you suspect rats or mice in your home, there are signs to confirm a rodent infestation.
Discovery of Rat Droppings
When rats invade, their droppings are an unmistakable sign. Their droppings are dark and moist at first, but become dry and gray over time. If you find mouse droppings without seeing the mouse, it’s likely to be nearby. You’re likely to find droppings close to sources of food, so be sure to check kitchen cabinets, pantry, and underneath furniture.
It’s important to be aware of any large amount of rat droppings found in your business. Rat droppings can spread diseases that can harm your health. It’s essential to prioritize your staff’s safety when removing them.
To ensure safety, it’s recommended that gloves are worn while working. In addition, an OSHA-approved respirator should be used to prevent any inhalation of harmful particles. Once the removal is complete, it is important to thoroughly clean the area. To do this, it is recommended to use a spray disinfectant.
Detection of an Unpleasant Odor
If you’re looking for signs of rats but not seeing any droppings, watch out for unexpected bad smells that may indicate their presence. A strong, unpleasant odor could indicate that you have a rat problem.
Rat urine has a musty smell that resembles stale ammonia. If there are only a few rats present, you might not smell anything, but a more powerful odor suggests an infestation. You might notice a strong sour smell of a deceased rat, which can last for days or weeks.
If rats are present in an area, pets may become energized and alert due to the scent of rat urine. Keep an eye on areas where your pet suddenly takes an interest as it could be an indication of rat activity. A strong, ongoing odor of stale ammonia from hidden areas can also indicate a significant rat infestation.
Gnawed Holes or Bite Marks
Rats have teeth that continually grow, and those teeth can cause significant damage to your business. This damage can be expensive to fix. Signs that you have rats include finding chew marks on walls, insulation, wires, flooring, pallets, or products. You may also hear loud scratching noises, which could mean that rats are present and gnawing on things.
If you see gaps in your walls or food wrappers with bite marks, it could indicate the presence of rats. The bite’s measurement can give a clue about how big the rodent is.
Detection of Rat Nests
If you see a pile of paper, fabric, or organic material in your home, this could indicate that rodents have created nests. These nesting materials could have tooth marks on them or even contain droppings.
Scratching or Scampering Noises
Rats are nocturnal creatures that can move around your house silently, making it hard to detect their presence. However, if you hear scrambling in hallways or scratching on walls, it might be an indication that they are around. These rodents are also known to make scurrying noises when they burrow in walls.
If you’re worried about rodents in your home, it’s good to know that they tend to use the same paths. To identify their routes, you can keep an eye out for footprints on dusty or dirty surfaces. If you’re not sure where they’re moving through, you can put down some flour to catch their tracks. Check back the next day, and you may just find the evidence you’ve been looking for.
Unusual Pet Behavior
If you have a pet, like a cat or dog, they could sense the presence of a rat before you do. Your furry friend might pick up on a different smell or hear activity from the rodents. Keep an eye out for unusual behavior from your pet, as that could be a sign of something going on.
If your dog is barking excessively or appears excessively curious in a certain area, it may indicate the presence of rodents. In this case, you should start looking for evidence of their presence.
Rat Grease Marks
As rats move, their bodies leave rub marks commonly known as grease marks on walls and pipes. Frequent activity areas tend to have darker stains. Strategic placement of rodent traps along these commonly used paths can be determined by taking note of these grease marks.
Is Rat Urine Dangerous?
Contaminated food and water can increase the risk of humans getting Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. This disease is caused by specific types of mice and rats. Some of these carriers are the deer mouse, white-footed mouse, rice rat, and cotton rat in North America. It’s important to note that not all of these species carry the hantavirus. Conversely, house mice, roof rats, and Norway rats have never been associated with HPS infections.
To prevent infection with hantavirus, it is recommended to avoid contact with all wild rodents as it can be difficult to distinguish between a virus-carrying rat and a mouse. It’s also important to thoroughly remove any signs of rodents in your place to prevent any possible spread of the virus.
To keep yourself safe from hantavirus infections, make sure to clean rat urine, droppings, or nests thoroughly. It’s important to note that dogs and cats cannot transmit hantavirus infections.
How does HPS Transmission Occur?
Hantaviruses can be contracted by breathing in the virus, making HPS a possible airborne disease. This occurs when rodent droppings and urine are disturbed and the virus enters the air.
Infection can happen in various ways. It can occur through physical contact with rodent droppings, urine, or nesting materials that are already infected with the virus. When such contact occurs, if you touch your eyes, mouth, or nose, you may get infected too. Furthermore, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) can be caused by a rat or mouse bite.
How Can HPS be Prevented?
To avoid getting sick from rodents, there are specific actions you should take.
To prevent rodents from invading your home, it’s crucial to take the necessary steps. First and foremost, focus on keeping your home free of rodents. Secondly, it’s vital to thoroughly clean your surroundings. Ensure to clean up any signs of rodent activity such as urine, droppings, or nests. Use a disinfectant or mixture of bleach and water to clean the areas thoroughly.
Steps to Address a Rat Infestation
Act quickly if you notice any signs of a rat infestation. These pests can spread diseases and cause significant damage to your home. To eliminate the problem, you can try employing one or more of the following strategies:
Secure Potential Entry Points
Mice can enter your home through very small openings that are only one-fourth of an inch long. To keep mice and rats from moving in, check your home’s perimeter and close any gaps or cracks they could use to get inside.
Deploy Rat Traps
The best way to deal with rodents that have invaded your home is through traps. You can bait these with food like cheese or peanut butter, and place them in strategic locations. Just be sure to keep them away from pets and children. Check the traps frequently and dispose of any caught rodents safely.
Remove Trash and Debris
To avoid rats nesting near your home, keep your surroundings clean, store pet food in sealed containers, and use proper food packaging to deter rats. You can start with clearing out the debris and trash in your basements, attics, or any other cluttered areas. Additionally, it’s important to dispose of any accumulated garbage, as this can attract rats to your living space.
Engage Pest Control Services
If your efforts to eliminate rats have been unsuccessful, consider contacting On Demand Pest Control for assistance. We have a variety of methods to make sure that rats will be gone for good.