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How to spot mice or rats in the home

When the temperature outside drops, it is not uncommon for rodents, such as mice and rats, to look for warm places inside – like in walls and attics in our homes. They breed rapidly and can squeeze though spaces as small as a dime.  

Rodents can spread diseases through direct contact with feces urine or salvia or indirectly through fleas, ticks, or mites that have fed on an infected rodent.  Particles of the feces and urine can become airborne triggering asthma or allergy symptoms.

What to Look For

Droppings:  Mice are capable of producing more than 50 droppings a day - the most common sign of an infestation.  You will usually find them inside cabinets and pantries where food is stored, but also under sinks, along baseboards and even on top of wall beams.

Chewing or gnaw marks:  Finding chew marks on food packages, such as boxes or cereal bags of chips and bread is usually a sign of rodents.  Gnawing is a critical activity for both rats and mice because their front teeth constantly grow.  They can gnaw through doors, floors, windows and walls.  Often, they attack utility wires, computer wires, and automotive wires causing major damage.

Nests:  Rats construct their nests in warm secluded spots using shredded paper products, fabric and wall insulation. 

Tracks or rub marks:  The rat’s oily fur often leaves dark grease or dirt marks along walls and floorboards creating a trail between their nest and food.

Strange Noises:  Rodents are nocturnal, which means they’re mostly active at night.  As they scurry, scratch and gnaw through your home’s walls or attic, they can cause strange-scary noises.