Rodent Warning Signs
Is there something strange going on inside your house? Are you hearing soft rustling noises inside your walls? Have you found tiny brown, rice shaped objects in your cupboards or drawers? Maybe you have noticed that the bark is being removed from your trees. Today we will focus on the signs that different rodents leave, and how to tell if they have gotten into your home.
What kinds of rodents might be lurking outside, or inside, of your home?
There are a few creatures that you may need to be concerned about getting into your home this time of year when temperatures are dropping. Flying squirrels, grey squirrels, mice, and rats.
Flying Squirrels grow to be around 12 inches in length (including their tail) and weigh between 4 and 6.5 ounces. Males and females look alike, with brown to grey fur on their sides and back and white fur on their underside. The tail of a "flying" squirrel is large and flattened, and used as a rudder when the animal "flies" through the air. But a flying squirrel does not actually fly, they glide by using a special furry membrane called a patagia that is stretched between the animal's wrists and ankles. Flying squirrels, unlike grey squirrels, are nocturnal. That means they are active at night and sleep during the day.
Gray squirrels have grey fur on their backs and sides. The fur on their underside is light grey or white. Adults weigh around 1 to 1 ¼ pounds and they are usually 18 to 20 inches long. These squirrels, like all rodents, have four front teeth that never stop growing. For this reason, they never stop chewing, in order to wear those teeth down. Grey squirrels, unlike, flying squirrels, are diurnal. This means they are active during the day and sleep at night.
Mice are typically about 2 inches in length and weigh around .03 to .05 pounds. They have long thin tails, pointy noses, and tiny round ears. As a rodent, a mouse, also, will never stop chewing, and they multiply quickly. A female mouse can give birth to up to 12 babies every three weeks. And considering that half of those babies will be females and will also start multiplying, one little mouse in the house can quickly turn into lots of mice.
Rats are larger than mice, but look similar. They have thin tails and pointy noses, but their ears are set farther back on their heads and aren't as perky. Rats are typically about 5 inches in length and weigh between 8 and 12 ounces. These creatures, like squirrels and mice, tend to start looking for a warm place to stay when the weather turns cold. With their sharp teeth, they are able to chew holes through many materials in order to gain access to homes and outbuildings. Rats, as well as mice, are nocturnal.
What are the signs of a rodent infestation in your home?
Noises: If you are hearing scratching, rustling noises inside your walls during the nighttime hours chances are you have either mice, rats, or flying squirrels in your attic or wall voids, since these animals are nocturnal. If you are hearing these noises in the day, you may have a grey squirrel.
Droppings: If you are finding 3-8mm droppings in your kitchen, you have a mouse infestation. If the droppings are larger than mouse droppings, resemble a large grain of rice and have pointed ends, you most likely have rats.
Structural damage: Squirrels, rats and mice can all cause structural damage to a home. Holes chewed in walls, insulation ripped open, chew marks on baseboards are just a few signs you may see.
Rub marks or hair: Mice and rats tend to travel the same routes inside a house and will often leave grease from their fur on corners or on the sides of the holes they are squeezing through. Hair left behind is also a warning sign that you have rodents frequenting the area the hair was found.
Outside warning signs: If you look closely and see claw marks on pillars or decks around your home, this is another sign that squirrels, rats, or mice are hanging around and possibly going into your home. Damaged soffits are another good indication there is rodent activity around your home. If you see that bark is being removed from trees, this is another rodent sign. Garbage that has been disturbed could be caused by rats or squirrels, but also may be the result of other animals such as skunks or raccoons. Another possible sign that you have rodents in your home, is if you see a large population of rodents around the exterior of your home. If they are sticking close to your house, chances are they have found a way in.