You may think that you’re safe from rodents during the winter months but sadly, this isn’t the case.
Just like humans, rats and mice seek warmth and shelter as the temperature drops which means that they’re actually more likely to make their way into your home at this time of year.
The good news is that rodents will generally do everything they can to avoid contact with us so you’re actually very unlikely to see them. The problem with this however is that it can make it difficult to know you have a problem.
Aside from physically seeing a rat or mouse, below we’ve listed some of the most common signs of a rodent infestation.
- Droppings. This is especially likely to be in places where they may sit still for a period of time because they’re eating or drinking. Have a good look in drawers and cupboards where you store food and under sinks or around pipes where water might drip down
- You see a nest or nesting material. Rodents will use anything such as shredded paper, fabric, cardboard or dried plant matter to make their nests. You may notice these items scattered around your home if they’ve been dropped on the way back to where they’re setting up their base
- Rodents will often leave greasy dirt stains on surfaces they’ve been in contact with. You may also notice them on skirting boards or at the bottom of doors where they’ve brushed up against
- Food packaging has been chewed
- Wooden furniture has been gnawed
- Holes have been chewed through walls and floors. Rats in particular like to gnaw at things but this may have also been done in an attempt to gain entry into your home.
- There’s a strange stale smell you can’t explain. House mice in particular have a characteristic damp, musky odour
- While rodents are more likely to be inside than outside at this time of year, also have a quick look around your property for burrows
- You can hear scratching noises coming from behind walls or underneath floorboards – especially at night
If you’re noticing the signs of a rodent infestation but haven’t seen one, have a look in areas of your property where they’re most likely to be. Rats and mice tend to settle in basements, attics, near rubbish bins and anywhere else they’re likely to be undisturbed.
If you think you could have a rodent infestation, please take the time to check your electrical wiring or call a professional to do it for you. Rodents will chew through anything including electrical wires and this has been known to cause fires. They can also spread a number of harmful diseases to humans so it’s important to try and contain an infestation as soon as you spot the signs of one.