Should you see these signs, it’s likely that you have rodents as housemates.
Rodents are a group of warm-blooded animals, including rats and mice. According to the Australian Department of Health, rats and mice are one of the most common pests in the country. These pests are found in rubbish, storage places, cupboards, and holes in the walls. They also live in pipes, ceilings, insulation, and spaces under your home.
Types of Rodents
Native Australian rodents, such as the various types of hopping mouse, are relatively safe and pose no threat to you. They don’t usually live in close proximity to people and are also considered as protected species, so if you do cross paths with them, you can safely leave them alone.
It is the introduced rodents that you should worry about. They are the ones that infest your home and can carry some infectious diseases.
Introduced rodents that you should specifically watch out for are:
- The Black Rat – also known as the roof rat
- The Brown Rat
- The House Mouse
Diseases Caused By Rodents
Rodents can pick up and carry disease-causing germs. They are carriers of diseases, and they can bring these diseases into your home. Some of these diseases can be fatal, like the bubonic plague.
Rodents can transfer these diseases through the following:
- By depositing infected secretions on food and utensils
- By depositing infected secretions in places where people can come in contact with it
- By biting people
- By passing it to household pets, which in turn give it to their human family
The diseases that rodents can pass to humans include rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, and leptospirosis. Aside from bringing diseases, they can wreak havoc in your home. They can chew on your furniture, doors, books, upholstery, clothes, wires, cables, plastic pipes, and food. Rodents can also destroy supplies in your pantry by contaminating it with their faeces and urine.
How to tell if there are Rodents in Your Home
A pest infestation is a nightmare. It can cause a lot of distress and headaches. It can even cost you thousands of dollars, depending on the damage caused by the infestation. Thus, it’s critical to be able to identify the early signs of rodent infestation in your home.
If left unnoticed, rodents can cause a lot of damage to your home. Here are the early signs that can alert you of the presence of rodents:
- A strong, musky smell in certain areas of the house
Rodents urinate frequently. The smell of their urine can linger for a long time. It gives off a strong ammonia-like smell. The stronger the scent, the closer you are to where they hide.
- Chew marks in the walls and furniture
Chew and bite marks are common tell-tale signs of the presence of rodents in your home. You may also find some signs of chewing on your food packaging.
- Rodent droppings
Rodents not only urinate a lot, but they can also leave a lot of droppings. You might find these droppings scattered inside cupboards, boxes, and cabinets.
- Scratching or grinding noises at night
Rodents are more active during the night. When you hear some squeaking or scratching sounds and something running in your ceiling or between your walls, it’s more likely that you have rodents than ghosts.
- Grease marks or rub marks
These marks are caused by rodents brushing against walls or along the path that they regularly travel. Rodents mark their usual routes with scent in this way.
- Signs of nesting
Shredded paper or fabric and dried plant matters are common nesting materials for rodents. Rodents usually use easy to shred materials, including cardboard. If you find a pile of shredded rubbish behind cupboards, or under floorboards, you have found a rodent’s nest. Other signs of a rodent infestation include:
- Bones left in secluded dark corners
- Food debris such as half-eaten fruit
- Burrow holes around your home
- Your cats or dogs seem to run after something you cannot see
Once you see any of these signs, call a professional pest inspection to thoroughly inspect your home for an infestation.
How to Discourage Rodents from Staying
Here are some tips to discourage these pests from taking up residence in your home.
- Keep your home clean and clear of any rubbish.
- Seal holes inside and outside the house. You can plug the hole with something, or you can patch it up from both sides.
- Clean up food and water sources in your home.
- Remove possible nesting sites in your home, such as garden waste.
- Keep garbage in lidded containers.
- Store firewood away from your home, at least 40 cm.
- If you have pets, store their food in an airtight container.
- Keep your pet’s food dish clean.
- Cover vents and rainwater tank openings with wire mesh.
- Remove unwanted undergrowth, such as trees, bushes, and creepers. They can provide rodents access to your roof.
- Dispose of food scraps immediately and clean the kitchen thoroughly after food preparation.
- Block access to cupboards.
- Dispose of any fallen fruit and seeds in your garden as soon as you notice them.
Regular cleaning of storage spaces, attics, basements, and sheds can also discourage rodents from making their home in your home.
How to Protect Yourself if there are Rodents in Your Home
Before you get pest control to totally eradicate these pests, you can take some steps to protect yourself.
- Secure all your food in airtight containers.
- Wash your cookware and utensils in warm water before each use.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before you handle and prepare your food.
- Wear shoes or slippers.
- Do not sleep in the room where you’ve identified the rodent infestation.
- If a rodent bites you, seek medical help immediately.
Call Vital Building Inspection for a Complete Pest Inspection
If you suspect that you have some rodents for housemates, call Vital Building and Pest Inspections immediately. We go beyond the obvious problems and go to the root cause of the infestation.
Our pest inspection will identify other pests that may also be present in your home. We will provide a detailed and informative, yet easy to understand report of the current issue, as well as the past or any future issues. Call us now for any enquiries.