Rats, Mice, Voles, Oh My: Do You Have Unwelcome Guests Living Under Your Roof?
You jump into bed, let your head hit the pillow, and start to doze off . . . until you hear a scratching noise coming from your bathroom. You sit up, put on your glasses, and make a beeline for the bathroom. You start rummaging through the cabinets, and there-right in front of you-is evidence in plain sight.
You’ve got a rat infestation. No matter how many cracks you’ve sealed and traps you’ve laid, it seems that once rats move in they intend to stay. If you have any suspicion of a rat infestation in your home, it’s important to look for any signs of a rodent infestation.
Is a Rodent Living in My House?
Unfortunately, many homes in New Jersey deal with rodent infestations every few years. Here’s how most homeowners come to suspect mice, rats, and voles have moved in:
- Noises – If strange scratching noises keep you up at night, you might have an infestation. Fortunately, rodents aren’t quiet visitors. You can hear them scurrying up walls, scratching at food packages, and maybe even gnawing furniture. Keep your ears open and you might have an easy time locating the rodents.
- Droppings (and urine) – Although it’s unfortunate (and smelly) evidence, droppings should be a dead giveaway that your home has an infestation. Rodent droppings are brown and small, less than 1/4 in. long. Look for droppings and urine in cupboards, in the fridge, along baseboards, on high shelves, and behind furniture.
- Sightings – If you see a rodent, you have a rodent infestation. Don’t worry-most rodents won’t bite you when they see you. Instead, mice, rats, and voles will hide. Record the exact sighting location so you can lay traps in the proper place (and tell your local pest control so they can target a specific area).
- Damage – Rodents find their way into everything. Watch for gnaw marks on any wood, metal, or plastic furniture in your home. If a device stops working, look for bites on any wires and cords.
- Punctured packaging – It’s hard to keep rodents away from food. Most rodents will break into anything they can reach. Check jars with loose tops to make sure no creature is living or stuck inside, and don’t forget to throw away any contaminated food.
- Nests – Most rodents construct nests of paper and hair to keep their babies safe. Search for nests in your walls, cabinets, ceiling, and attic.
Keep your eyes out and your ears open to any pesky business involving rodents within the walls of your home.
How Can I Solve the Problem?
If your home has a few unwelcome guests, don’t worry. You can resolve the problem in a number of ways.
- Traps – One of the most popular objects of mouse destruction, traps will lure mice, rats, and voles into a dangerous spot with food (usually cheese or peanut butter). While traps do have a high efficacy rate, traps also pose a serious threat to young children. Keep traps high and out of reach of children.
- Poisons – You can purchase a variety of rodent poisons, including pellet poisons and putty formulations. Place poisons around your home to rid the area of rodents. Like traps, poisons also offer a serious threat to young children. Keep all poisons high and away from children.
- Pest control – Hiring a professional pest control is the most effective way to rid your property of pesky creatures.
Professionals will know what your property needs (baiting, rodenticide, and trapping) and will cater their services to your individual needs.
Whether you have one mouse or an entire family of voles living in your space, it’s important to resolve the problem before it becomes a disaster.
Why Should I Solve the Problem?
Although rodents are small, they pose a big threat to your safety. Many rodents carry diseases that can lead to serious injuries and infections.
- Rat bite fever – causes serious infection
- Salmonellosis – causes extreme bouts of diarrhea
- Rickettsialpox – causes ulcers
- Hantavirus – causes flu-like symptoms, including fever, muscle aches, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea Don’t risk it-get rid of your rodent roommates.
How Can I Prevent Future Infestations?
If you want to be proactive, take steps to prevent future infestations. Try the following:
- Inspect and clean crawl spaces (pay attention to any holes in the wall, floor, or ceiling)
- Check home’s exterior (look for loose vents, open holes, or other easy access points)
- Examine the attic (put traps in the attic as a precautionary measure) Trim trees near the roof
- Regularly take out the garbage
- Frequently vacuum closets and cupboards
- Repair and seal garage door
Once you’ve completed these simple steps, call and schedule a consultation to meet with your local pest control professionals. Pest control professionals have extensive knowledge and will offer terrific insight so you won’t have to worry about rodents in the future.