Rodents are a pest that no one wants to find in their home. Not only do they carry diseases, but they are destructive and reproduce quickly. But what causes a rodent infestation? How do you know if you have one?
Rodent Infestation Causes
There are several things that can attract rodents to your home and cause an infestation. The first is the most common cause of any type of infestation: food and water. Just like everyone else, rodents are just trying to survive. And, one of the easiest ways to do that is to have plenty of food and water. If you have other pets that you leave a food bowl out for, you may be attracting some unexpected visitors.
The second most common cause is warmth. Rodent infestations can happen any time of the year. However, you are more likely to have an infestation during the winter months as the animals seek shelter from the cold.
Another thing that attracts rodents is clutter. Rodents often build their nests out of cardboard, fabric, and any other soft materials. If you have a lot of clutter in your garage or your attic, you are more likely to attract rodents who are looking for the next place to nest. When mice and rats create their nests, they mark their territory with urine to keep other families of mice and rats away. The smell of their urine can be toxic to humans and other pets.
One other thing that can attract rodents is vacancy. If you are moving into a new house or office building that has been empty for awhile, you can almost guarantee you’ll find a rodent resident or two.
Signs You Have a Rodent Infestation
You find droppings. If you find rodent droppings, it’s likely the rodents themselves aren’t far behind.
There are gnaw marks. Rodents can chew through just about anything… even metal! If you find bite or chew marks around your house, you more than likely have a rodent infestation.
You find tracks or rub marks. Rub marks are a greasy stain left that rodents leave behind when they travel the same area over and over again. If you find a greasy, brownish looking ring or trail on a surface, it may be a rodent rub mark.
You hear unusual noises. If you hear noises coming from inside your walls, it’s more than likely not a ghost, and is probably a sign of a rodent infestation. Especially if you hear scratching, chewing, or movement.
You find a nest. This may seem like an obvious answer, but it’s good to know what exactly a rodent nest looks like. Rodents will make their nests out of just about anything, but common household items are cardboard, fabric, leaves, packing materials, insulation, etc. They will usually make their nests in a dark and secluded area.
How to Prevent a Rodent Infestation
Seal any holes that you may have inside and outside of your home to prevent rodents from getting in.
Remove possible nesting sites (leaf piles, deep mulch, etc.) and store common nesting materials somewhere sealed.
Keep tight-fitted lids on garbage cans.
Cover new food scraps in composting bins and piles.
If you are feeding outdoor birds, temporarily stop or feed them huskless items that are less likely to be a food source for rodents.
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