In the right environment, The common rat reproduces all year. In this environment, a female can produce five litters a year. A single litter has between seven and fourteen pups. In other words, under ideal conditions, a single female rat produces 70 babies every year. When a female rat is born, she is immediately able to reproduce. That means more litters, more babies, and exponentially larger infestations.
This isn’t process isn’t exactly the same for other rodents, but the numbers stay similar. Long story short: rodent populations can get out of hand fast. If you don’t pay attention to signs that they’re in your house, you could be overrun in no time. If you think rodents may be reproducing in your home, look for any of the following signs. The faster you find your rodent infestation, the faster you can do something about it.
What are the main signs that there are rodents in my home?
No matter how sneaky they seem, all rodents leave behind some telltale signs of their presence. These signs include:
- Droppings: Mouse droppings are small, ovular, dark and dry pellets. They may resemble sunflower seeds. Rat droppings look similar, but they’re slightly larger and darker. You’ll probably find droppings near walls, corners, baseboarding, and door or window frames.
- Gnaw marks: Rodent teeth never stop growing. Rats and mice have to chew constantly to keep their teeth from becoming unmanageable. They'll chew cords, boxes, furniture, door frames, doors, and just about anything else they can find. Given the opportunity, rodents can inflict considerable amounts of damage to your home. Look for bite marks around soft materials in dark, hidden parts of your home.
- Strange noises in the wall: Mice and rats are both nocturnal. They’ll frequently build their nests by burrowing into your walls or beneath your floors. You might hear them gnawing or burrowing through walls at night when they become active.
- Grease marks where your wall meets the floor: Rodents have fairly poor eyesight. When they travel throughout a home, they tend to stick close to the walls for guidance. Over time, they will leave behind greasy smears along the walls they cling nearby. Look for these smudges along the bottom of your walls, especially in basements and baseboarding.
How can I better prevent rodents from getting inside my home?
If rodents can’t get inside your home in the first place, you don’t have to worry about infestation signs as much. There are a number of things you can do to exclude rats, mice, and other rodents from your property:
- Conduct regular perimeter checks: Rodents are very good at squeezing through surprisingly small entry points. Take a look at the outside perimeter of your home. Repair any loose seals, crumbling brick, torn screens, or similar breaches.
- Don't be lazy about taking out the garbage. Rodents are scavengers by nature. They'll eat what they can get when they can get it. That includes the trash. Don't let your trash set - take it out regularly, and clean up spills as soon as they happen.
- Never ignore the signs. We know that life is busy. Sometimes it’s easier to pretend there isn’t a problem, even if we know there is. Don’t do that when it comes to rodent infestations. Call a professional the second you suspect a problem. With how quickly they can proliferate, small infestations grow out of hand quickly. Don’t let that happen to you.
If this post has made you realize that you might currently have a rodent problem, don’t worry. All you need to do is get in touch with the team at Plunkett’s Pest Control. We have the years of experience and expertise needed to help handle your pest issues quickly and effectively.