You’ve just awakened to the sound of chewing and scrabbling noises in your walls. Is it your imagination? Or are there rodents living in your home?
Sounds of mysterious chewing and gnawing can be one of the many signs that your home has rodents. Knowing the other signs and what to do if you have an infestation can help you manage this problem. Getting rid of rodents is a multi-step process. Working with an experienced pest control service can help make this easier overall.
Know Where They Are
Look for clues in your house to determine where the rodents are spending the most time. Rodents leave droppings and other signs when they’re around.
What Do Droppings Look Like?
Mouse droppings are approximately 1/4 inch long and symmetrically shaped, like a short grain of rice. They’re dark brown to black in color. If this is not the shape of the feces in your home, you may be dealing with another type of animal, such as a rat. Rats produce droppings that are 1/2 inch long or longer, with blunt shaped ends. Take pictures of the droppings to send to your pest control person and get feedback as soon as possible.
Where Will Droppings Be?
Rodent droppings can be found against walls, in corners, in cabinets, behind your refrigerator, and in dark, warm, sheltered areas. Although you may find droppings in other places, you’ll find them concentrated most in areas where rodents spend the most time.
What Additional Evidence Should You Be Looking For?
Look for holes chewed through drywall and collections of nesting materials like cotton balls, twine, and dental floss. These are all signs of rodents in your home.
Use the Right Bait
Rodents are attracted to high-protein foods and nesting materials. Although the traditional mouse bait is often cheese, other types of foods like hazelnuts, peanut butter, seeds, pet food, and bacon bits are often more effective than hard cheeses. If you do want to use cheese, choose one that is soft, smelly, and high in fat. You can also attract rodents with soft materials like cotton balls.
Choose Traps Wisely
There are a number of traps available for purchase. Traps come in different styles and sizes. Some traps are designed to kill the rodent, others allow you to release the rodent unharmed in a remote location away from your house. Both can be effective.
It’s important to choose traps that are appropriate for the location and type of rodent being caught. Know how the trap operates before picking the one that’s right for you.
Place Many Traps in Favorite Spots
Position traps every 3 feet in areas where you’ve seen evidence of rodents. When placing traps with an entrance that the rodent must run into, place the trap perpendicular to the wall. The best spots to put traps are dark, warm places where they can find food. Behind the refrigerator and near the stove are common areas where rodents spend time. Wear gloves when setting traps to avoid marking the traps with your scent.
Check Traps Regularly
Check traps every day, and replace traps as they are used. Replace bait in unused traps every week or so.
Make Your Home Inhospitable to Rodents
While traps are one way to get rid of rodents, there are other ways to eliminate them from your home. For example, cut off their food, water supply, and supply of nesting materials. The easier it is for rodents to access food, water, and other necessities while in your home, the harder it will be for you to get rid of the problem.
- Keep food in plastic or containers made of glass, plastic, or metal.
- Repair leaks under your sink and in your basement or crawl space.
- Keep loose papers, cloths, cotton balls, rags, and other potential nesting materials in enclosed containers.
Don’t assume the food in your pantry or cabinets are safe. Food must be enclosed in a hard container. Cardboard boxes and chip bags are not safe from rodents.
How Can You Tell When Your Problem Is Solved?
Although rodents are small, they’re not subtle. At the height of your infestation, you may see evidence of rodents everywhere. As they begin to die or leave, you’ll start seeing less new evidence. For example, after cleaning feces from the floor, you will see no more feces accumulate in that spot. Soon, you’ll stop hearing them in your walls, attic, and in the room with you at night. (Note: be cautious when cleaning up after rodents, as they can transmit diseases)
Work With a Knowledgeable Pest Control Company for Rodent Removal
Once you’ve eliminated rodents from your home, use prevention methods to keep them away. Keep your foods in hard containers. Look for access points into your home. Some rodents get into the house through holes in the attic. Use hardware cloth to prevent animals from accessing your home through these holes.
An experienced pest control company can help you identify these access points and implement best practices to help you avoid infestations in the future. At EcoTek Pest Control, we help homeowners with safe rodent removal. We use modern, eco-friendly, effective control measures to eliminate pests from your home and make sure they don’t return. Contact us today for all your rodent removal needs.