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Spring Checklist for Determining If Rodents Made a Winter Home in Your House

Rodents can take up lodging in your home over winter without you noticing. They can nest in lofts, attics, laundry areas, basements or cold storage cellars, and even in the walls near electric heat baseboards. These places are out of the way sanctuaries that rodents can squeeze into, and as small as at the size of a pencil circumference. Their flexibility allows them to crawl into spaces with fierce agility and make a nest over winter.

A Mouse in the House

Have you heard scratching noises in the night? Are you noticing an ammonia-like smell coming from your basement or crawlspace? Here are some rodent infestation signs:

  • Small, dark rice like dirt particles in mounds or trails

  • Droppings are randomly scattered, inside cupboards or along edges

  • Dark smears or greasy marks around holes near baseboard heaters

  • Mounds of droppings or shredded materials in cupboards, behind fridges or under stoves

  • Mice can even chew through plastic storage containers to nest inside!

A Mouse or Rat?

The basic difference between a mouse and rat is a mouse is 12 to 20 cm in length, where rats can be as long as 40 cm or more. A mouse snout is triangular, and a rat much more blunt. The tail of the rat is considerably longer. Mice are more timid, with life spans of about a year. Even small populations can cause considerable damage, so recognizing the signs of a mouse living in your home through regular inspection is advisable. Since their excrement can cause disease, cleanliness and constant monitoring of your home are recommended, not just before the winter months.

How Rodents Enter Homes

Gaps in windows, foundations, drainage pipes, HVAC lines, cracks and openings in doors are all entry points for rodents. Although most infestations begin in the fall in the cooler weather, mice can proliferate anytime and populations can exceed 200 in a matter of months. If you have detected signs of rodents, there are several steps to take to prevent these pesky creatures from taking up lodging in your home. Every home is different, so ensure you inspect your home thoroughly for entry points.

If You See a Rodent in Your Home

If you see a rodent scurrying across the floor, it may be that it is looking for food. Spotting a single rodent is likely a sign that there are more because a solitary rodent will only come out in an act of desperation. Rodents constantly chew and have powerful incisors. They are able to chew through plastic, wood and electrical wiring. This poses a major fire hazard.

Do you live in the Edmonton, Alberta area? If you have noticed any of these signs, schedule an appointment with a Harlow Pest Control agent if you suspect a rodent infestation. Call us at (780)-757-2999 or toll-free at 1.855.757.2999.

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