Call Church Pest & Pool Today – Do You have a Mouse or Rat Problem?
Category: BlogSeptember 17, 2018
Beyond roof rats: How to know how bad your rodent issue is.
When the weather gets cold, mice and rats will invade your attic looking to stay warm. While they set up house in your house, there are ways to determine what type of rodent issue you have, how many critters you’re dealing with and, better yet, how to get rid of them. As a rule of thumb, for every one mouse or rat you see, there are probably ten more that you don’t see.
The distinct signatures of mice versus rats
Be sure to inspect your home both inside and out. Mice and rats have distinct signatures that they leave behind that will give you an idea what kind of pest you’re dealing with and how severe the infestation is.
Check inside, outside and around your house –especially in the attic. Look for signs including:
- Urine smell. Look for a distinct, strong and musky odor that grows more pungent with severe infestations
- Rodent droppings. See below.
- Holes in wood caused by gnawing. Typically mouse holes are small, dime-sized and clearly cut into the wood or drywall. Rat holes are larger, quarter-sized and rough around the edges.
- Rodent runways. You can see these along interior walls, under your foundation, along ledges and pipes. They are also common near electrical wires, conduits, tree branches and fence rails.
- Rodent nests. Mice build their nests inside using shredded paper, string or other available materials. Norway rats build their nests deep in the ground outside, while roof rats nest in dense areas high above in trees, attics or high bushes.
- Marks made by gnawing and rubbing. Rodents will leave oily rub marks along the walls where they’ve been. Fresh rub marks will smear. You may also see gnaw marks on the wood around your house. Rats leave tooth marks about an eighth of an inch long while mice will leave smaller scratch marks.
- Scratching and scampering noises in the walls or ceilings. Since rodents are nocturnal, you’ll hear them scratching and running inside your walls, under the floors in the ceilings.
- Pets acting strangely. When pets hear rodents, they become more alert and may bark or paw under your kitchen appliances or furniture.
Rodent droppings are the best sign that you have an issue. Depending upon the size of the droppings, we can tell the difference between a rat and a mouse and how large the infestation is:
- Mouse droppings are about a quarter inch long and are shaped like a football.
- Rat droppings are larger—about half an inch long.
- Norway Rats have droppings that are flat at the ends.
- Roof Rat droppings are pointed.
- Younger rats have smaller droppings than adult rats.
- If you see shiny droppings that have a texture like putty, they’re fresh.
- Droppings that are older tend to be harder and may crumble.
- The size of your infestation is directly proportionate to the volume of droppings—the more droppings there are, the larger the rodent colony.
If you see these signs—especially when the weather starts to cool off, call your Church Pest & Pools expert exterminator for a rodent inspection. We have professional-grade solutions that both eliminate rodent infestations and prevent them from coming back.