As temperatures continue to drop, pests are drawn to sources of heat and potential food. Undoubtedly, they will find very creative ways to enter your home through cracks in walls, open windows, under doors, through vents and pipes.
The most common pest that can invade your home during winter includes rodents. The risks of having these pests in your home include food contamination, damage to electrical wiring, structural and insulation damage, to name a few.
Sounds of scratching and gnawing are obvious signs that your unwanted guests have arrived. What other signs are there?
Mice can deposit up to 80 droppings a night! They are small and scattered randomly, whereas, rat droppings tend to be concentrated in specific locations. Brown rat droppings are dark brown in a tapered, spindle shape – resembling a large grain of rice.
Check for rodent droppings inside or on top of cupboards, as well as skirting boards.
These are caused by rodents’ bodies brushing against walls, floors and skirting on regular routes, dark smears around holes or around corners. Rats have poor eye sight and use established routes. Mice often leave marks around corners or around holes.
Rodents use easy-to-shred materials and line the nest with other soft materials. These materials can include cardboard boxes and fabric.
Check for rodent nests in ceilings, cavity walls, under floorboards and behind fridges, under stoves and behind cupboards.
Rodents urinate frequently and their wee has a strong ammonia-like smell. This smell can linger even after an infestation has been controlled.
The key here is the stronger the smell, the closer you are to rodent activity.
Scratching and grinding noises
Rats and mice are most active at night. Brown rats make a grinding nose with their teeth. Listen for noises between walls, under floorboards, in the roof and house structures.
Live or dead rodents
This may seem an obvious choice, but the key is that rodents are sociable – so when one is spotted, others are nearby. It’s important to act quickly to avoid infestation. They have incredibly speedy breeding cycles!
Knowing the signs of a rodent problem is just as critical as being able to correctly identify a visible one. This is where a trained, professional pest controller can really help.