It’s a busy morning and you’re in a rush. You reach into the cupboard to pull out a box of cereal for breakfast, only to see a small hole in the box and a small pile of cereal left on the cupboard shelf. Uh-oh! Sounds like you might have a rodent problem — and this is likely only the beginning. Of course, gnaw marks and holes are just one sign of mice, rats, and other rodents — all of which are common here in Wisconsin. Some signs are more obvious than others, like the shredded cereal bag, but it’s important that people know what to look out for so they can address a rodent issue before it becomes a costly, large infestation. We’ve put together 8 common signs of mice and other rodents that you should watch out for.
1. Holes and gnaw marks
As noted above, this is a common sign of mice generally found in your kitchen, pantry, or wherever you’re storing food. Mice and rats will gnaw through cardboard boxes, plastic packaging, and garbage bags to get at a food source. Food that’s left out on counters or out in your pet’s food dishes can also attract them.
Mice are nocturnal, which means you’ll most likely hear them moving around at night. Listen for the high squeak noises they make or for scampering and rustling as they move around.
If you notice signs of nesting, like shredded paper, string, and insulation, you may have a rodent problem. Nests are often found tucked away in cupboards, closets, attics, and basements.
This is a clear sign you have unwanted house guests. Droppings are also good indicators of the type of rodent you’re dealing with and the size of the infestation. Mouse droppings are smaller than rat droppings. And, of course, the more droppings you see, the bigger infestation you’re dealing with.
5. Grease trails
Rodents stay pretty close on their pathways between food and their nests. Oftentimes, you can spot their trails due to leaving behind grease and dirt when they rub along the walls and floors as they’re repeatedly scurrying around.
6. Changes in your pet’s behavior
Cats and dogs are often able to sense the unwanted presence of mice and rats long before you are. Notice any changes in your pet’s behavior, such as repeatedly sniffing or prowling around a specific area, barking or whining unexpectedly, or being extra on-edge and alert.
If you start noticing a foul odor but can’t pinpoint the source, you may be dealing with a rodent infestation. Rotting food, urine, droppings, and even a dead mouse that gets hidden in the walls or cupboards can all leave a bad smell that you’re sure to notice.
They tend to be sneaky, but sometimes homeowners are able to spot a mouse in action. Chances are, you’ll spot one along the walls or scurrying around corners, not toward the center of a room. If you do happen to spot one, there’s no denying you have a problem.
What to do if you suspect a rodent infestation
While there are many traps and other methods available, those DIY methods often prove unsuccessful. Unless it’s caught early, the infestation is often much larger than homeowners realize. If you suspect a rodent infestation, your best bet is to call a pest control specialist, like K&C Pest Control. We’re able to evaluate the situation, determine any property damage, seal small entry holes the mice are using to enter the building, and quickly and efficiently eliminate the problem.
If you suspect rodents in your Fox Cities home or business, contact us at 920-582-9000.