How to Spot Mice or Rats in Your Home
A survey by the National Pest Management Association found that 45% of rodent issues occur in the fall and winter. I guess you can now add rodents to your list of winter woes. Mice and rats like to go indoors to forage for food and water and to find shelter. The National Pest Management Association put together a list to help you determine whether or not your home has been inviting these unwelcome guests.
What are you looking for?
Nests: Mice like to build their nests out of scraps of paper, cotton, packing paper, wall insulation and fabrics. You will most likely find them in a dark, secluded area where you would probably wouldn't think to look.
Droppings: Most people find the droppings of a rodent before any other sign. Measuring about 1/8-1/4" long, these pellets are often found near your food storage. Homeowners find them in the pantry, kitchen cabinet, under sinks, inside chewed up cardboard boxes, and along baseboards. Rodent droppings can be very harmful because they carry bacteria, transmit serious diseases and trigger allergies. Quick removal with gloves is key to keeping the family safe from health issues, since mice can produce more than 50 droppings a day.
Gnaw Marks: Rodents are in your house looking to obtain water or food so they will chew through anything to get to it. They can cause some serious damage by chewing through plastic, lead pipes and wood. House mice and Norway rats are known to chew on wires in your wall, which creates an increased risk for fire. Tracks or rub marks: Keep an eye out for grease or dirt marks along walls and floorboards because rats tend to follow trail around the home between nests and food. These marks are caused by dirty rodents.
Strange Noises: A family of rodents scurrying around your walls and attics may be what all the ruckus is about. Hearing those strange noises can be concerning. Most mice like to hang out in your attic because it's dark and secluded, prefect for nests. Make sure to keep your attics well ventilated and dry. Maybe even opt to keep your family heirlooms in plastic rather than delicious cardboard boxes.
An Actual Rodent: Mice like to play hide and seek, so if you see one, there are more than likely others since the breed way too fast! In fact, female mice can birth half a dozen baby mice every three weeks, up to 35 a year! That's way too many mice!