Did you know that rats cost the U.S. $19 billion in economic damages in the year 2000? They literally ate away at buildings and other critical infrastructure.
With a well-documented boom in the rodent population due to warmer winters, it’s terrifying to imagine the sheer breadth of damage they’re causing now. If you’re starting to suspect that you might be dealing with a rodent infestation of your own, then you’ve come to the right place.
Keep on reading for our full breakdown of the top seven signs that you have a rodent infestation on your hands.
Rodent Infestation 101: The Rodent Population
Before we take a deep dive into the critical signs of a rodent infestation, let’s take a closer look at rodents.
In the simplest of terms, rodents are rats, mice, squirrels, and hamsters. They’re critters that tend to be nocturnal in nature and will come out at night to forage for food.
In addition, they form nests at homes, restaurants, and other areas that have a constant food supply.
However, when it comes to identifying a rodent infestation, you might see a slight variation in the common signs depending on the rodent population size.
For instance, considering that rodents tend to be seen at night if you’re starting to see them during the day, then it’s time to call rodent control professional services. As it were, you’re probably dealing with a large infestation with a huge rodent population size.
Top Signs of Rodent Infestation
After learning the basics of the vermin in question, it’s time to go through the main glaring signs of having a rodent infestation.
1. Seeing Gnaw Marks
If you’ve been seeing gnaw marks that are light in color, then there’s a high chance that you have an active rat infestation. In essence, gnaw marks are lighter in color when they’re fresh, and they darken as they age.
Furthermore, you might find these marks on food packaging or even your place’s structure itself.
Moreover, there are ways that can help you determine the nature of your infestation in terms of age or the type of rodent that you’re dealing with.
For example, a simple way to identify age would be to compare a gnaw mark that you’ve just found against an older gnaw mark on a similar material. If the recent marks are lighter in color, then you’re dealing with a continuing infestation.
Also, you can check the size of the gnaw marks themselves to help you determine whether it’s rats or mice that are causing you trouble. If the marks are big in size, you’re plausibly dealing with rats and their larger teeth.
On the other hand, if you used to see smaller gnaw marks, but all the recent ones are larger in size, then you probably used to have a mice infestation. However, rats have now joined the party.
2. Finding Rodent Droppings
Unlike gnaw marks, rodent droppings are dark and moist when they’re fresh. As they age, the droppings dry out and turn grey in color.
Furthermore, you’re more than likely finding droppings near food packages, under sinks, in dark hidden areas like your kitchen drawers or cupboards.
By inspecting the average amount of droppings, you can determine the area where the rodents are feeding or nesting. The higher the number of droppings in an area, the more likely it is that the rodents are either nesting or feeding there.
3. Smelling a Bad Odor
If you’re dealing with a rather bad infestation, you might be smelling a stale foul odor yourself. On the other hand, if you have pets on hand (a cat or a dog), you’ll start noticing that they become rather active in the areas where rodents are present.
Simply put, rodents have a specific odor that your pets can detect rather easily. Therefore, if you see your pet acting in a strange way and pawing at a specific area, make sure to grab a flashlight and examine the place for mice or rats.
4. Detecting Tracks and Runways
Tracks and runways are trails that rodents create as they move. They’re made of smudge marks, urine stains, footprints, or even droppings.
If you’re dealing with an active infestation, then these tracks can be rather distinct. You can easily detect them by using a flashlight or a blacklight held at an angle. They’ll become quite visible when the light is directed towards the suspected area.
A great way to see the trails is by placing a thin layer of flour in the area you’re suspecting on an infestation. If rodents are active, you’ll probably start seeing their footprints in the powder.
5. Locating Nests
A rodent’s nest will be made of materials like fabric, dried plant matter, or shredded paper.
If you’ve found these nests, in addition to a combination of the other signs we’ve previously discussed like droppings or gnawing marks, then you’re definitely dealing with an infestation.
6. Spiking Allergies
Unfortunately, pest allergies can be overlooked. For example, there’s scientific evidence that tick bites can create meat allergy.
In the case of rodent infestations, the fur and droppings of rodents can cause allergic reactions in some people, or worsen preexisting ones.
For instance, if your asthma is suddenly becoming worse and you’re deducting a combination of the previous signs, then you’re probably dealing with an infestation.
7. Hearing Scampering Noises
A concrete sign of having a rodent infestation is hearing a plethora of sounds that are unique to rodents.
Noises like scampering, gnawing, and scratching could all accumulate into a solid indication that you have a rodent problem. In addition, these noises can be heard in ceilings, attics, and even inside the walls.
Ready to Eradicate Your Rodent Problem?
There is never a good time to have a rodent infestation on your hands. However, it’s a rather common problem in U.S. households, and when it comes to the Sacramento area the chances are higher than average.
However, the process doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Thankfully, now you know all about the top signs of having a rodent infestation. By the end of this list, you probably know whether you do have an active infestation or not.
A great way to cut through the doubt, and have professionals handle the issue if it turns out that you do (in fact) have an infestation, is by getting a free inspection. You can schedule one in 20 seconds, and sleep easy knowing that help is on the way.
In addition, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll get you all settled.