Have you heard the saying, quiet as a mouse? There is a reason that saying caught on. Mice are quiet. Really quiet. If you're hearing bumping, scraping or chewing sounds inside your walls, you're lucky. Lucky? Yes. It is good to hear mice and other rodents in your walls. Those sounds will prompt you to take care of the problem or alert you when you think you've solved your problem but haven't. Mice and rats can present many dangers when they get into homes. Today, we're going to briefly discuss what these dangers are and give you 5 warning signs (other than sounds) that will help you detect rodents in your Greenville home.
The Threat of Rodents
When you don't hear rodent sounds anymore, you may be tempted to think that you have nothing to worry about. That can be bad for your health, your belongings and your home.
- Rodents chew holes into your home. These holes can allow water to get in and cause damage. They are also entry points for other pests.
- Rodents damage insulation, wallpaper, sheetrock, and other building materials in order to construct their nests.
- Rodents leave their feces and urine in insulation and in all of the many areas they roam. This can lead to bad smells and contamination.
- Rodents often look for a home within your home. If they find a piece of furniture in your attic space, they can chew holes to get in and contaminate that furniture with their feces and urine.
- Rodents often destroy stored items as they chew their way into cardboard boxes.
- Rodents sometimes sever wires when they chew through walls and insulation. This can spark a house fire.
- Rodents are mechanical vectors for harmful bacteria because they get into dirty places such as dumpsters and sewers.
- Rodents are biological vectors for diseases because of the droppings and urine they leave on food-prep surfaces, dishes, utensils and inside food packages.
- Rodents carry ticks, fleas, and other parasites into a home. These can lead to a secondary list of diseases.
We could go on or expound on the list above but you get the idea. It is not good to have rodents in your home. They can present a serious threat.
5 Rodent Warning Signs
When those rodents aren't making a sound, they may be detected in these ways and in these locations.
- Droppings. We've touched on the feces of rodents as a threat but those droppings can also help you detect rodents in your home. Since mice and rats leave droppings as they explore, you may be able to quickly detect their passage. Look in low places, such as under the overhang of cabinets. Look in the backs of your cabinets, especially the cabinet underneath your kitchen sink. Look in the back of your silverware drawer and especially drawers that have food items in them. The fastest way to determine whether or not you have an active infestation is to examine the droppings you find and see if they are fresh. Fresh droppings will be black, not grey, and they will be moist and squishy, not powdery.
- Urine. We touched on urine as a threat but the smell of rodent urine can also be a helpful warning sign. If you have a mouse or rat living in an appliance in your kitchen, you are likely to smell their urine.
- Holes. Look in low places for holes that have been chewed through baseboards, sheetrock, and other materials. Rodents create these holes to gain quick access to areas of food. They will most likely be in your pantry or in a room where food is stored. They are likely to be in your kitchen as well.
- Your cat or your dog acting strangely. Dogs and cats have better hearing than you do. If you see your cat sitting on the floor, staring at a gap between your dishwasher and the cabinet under your sink, you probably have an active infestation.
- Nests. When rodents nest in your home, they may take up residence in your attic. If you go up there with a flashlight, you may be able to find matted-down nests created by those rodents. These nests will have feces littered in them.
Rodent Removal and Exclusion
The best way to detect and remove rodents is to contact a licensed pest professional. If you need assistance in Greenville or our South Carolina and North Carolina service area, reach out to the rodent control experts at Spencer Pest Services. We use field-tested products and methods to control rodents and the dangers they present.