The dangers of living with rats and mice are extensive because they spread disease all over the world. Even so, many diseases do not cause the rodents to become ill, so you’ll never know by looking at one. Diseases a rodent may carry can be spread directly to people in a number of ways.
How disease is spread
Contact with a rodent’s feces, urine, or saliva (through breathing in air or eating food that is contaminated), rodent bites, and even handling a rodent can be risky. Additionally, rodents may carry ticks, mites and fleas that can transfer disease to humans. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), an infestation of rodents in and around the home is the main reason disease spreads from rodents to people.
Fire hazard and structural damage
Rodents don’t just hang out in your home, they like to eat, gnaw, build nests, and reproduce. Did you know? When house fires are attributed to “unknown causes,” in many cases, mice or rats were the culprits. Rodents’ frontmost teeth never stop growing, and to keep them sharp, they constantly gnaw! In addition to damaging furniture, material, and insulation they like to chew on electrical wires creating a serious fire hazard in your home.
While rodents are working their way through the structure of your home they are simultaneously dislodging insulation and causing damage to weatherproofing products. This can eventually lead to water/structural damage and expensive repair costs.
If you suspect the presence of mice or rats in your home, don’t wait!
Rodents are pretty tricky and often only come out at night. Here are a few ways one might be able to identify a rodent problem:
Droppings are often the easiest way to spot a mice or rat infestation. You are likely to find these near food packages, in drawers or cupboards, under sinks, in hidden areas, and along walls. You will find the highest number of droppings where the rodents are nesting or feeding.
Gnaw marks are another indicator of an infestation. You might notice gnaw marks and holes in food packaging or on the walls. The marks can indicate whether you have rats or mice as larger gnaw marks will have been produced by the larger teeth of rats.
Foul odors that might even excite pets. If an ongoing infestation is present there may be an odor of stale ammonia. It is a different smell than that of a dead rat or mouse hidden in a wall and it will permeate an area. If your pet is pawing at an area, get a flashlight and examine it thoroughly.
Runways and tracks around your home are another indicator of rodent infestation. You might see smudges, footprints, urine stains, or droppings. These tracks and runways are more easily seen with a flashlight held at an angle towards the area in question.
Nests will be an obvious indicator. Rodents will use materials such as paper shreds, fabric, dried plant matter, etc. to make their nests. If you find these areas together with any of the other signs (fresh droppings, gnawing, odor, or tracks), it is likely that there is an infestation in your home.
Sounds that go bump in the night are often an indicator. You may hear a scurrying beneath a floor or above a ceiling, around a cabinet or behind a wall. It’s even possible to put your ear to the wall and hear a squeaking. Oftentimes pets might be paying attention to what is going on behind a wall.
Any of these items are signs that you have a rodent infestation. Southern Pest Control offers pet and eco-friendly home pest control Service When You Need It! Our Customer Service team will be glad to schedule your service or answer any questions. We don’t offer four-hour window service and all our appointments are Exact Time Appointments.
In addition to ridding your home of a rat or mice infestation, we also offer a unique service called Entry Point Elimination. The dangers of living with rats and mice is real. Our trained technicians will inspect and pinpoint the location in your home where rodents and other pests enter your home through holes and cracks in the foundation. We will seal off these entry points which greatly reduces the chance of an infestation.