Rodents are some of the craftiest pests around. They’re always on the lookout for food, water and shelter. If you’re a homeowner or a business owner (or both), your property likely provides everything they’re looking for in one convenient place. And in an age of heightened health concerns due to COVID-19, a small rodent problem can quickly become a serious one.
While rodents haven’t been shown to be carriers of the disease, they are known to carry other pathogens that can compromise the safety of your home or business. They thrive in filth and clutter, which means their presence is a sure signal that you need to take action. But where should you start? If you suspect there may be rodents around, you’ll want to identify the key markers of their presence.
What Are The Signs Of A Rodent Problem?
Rats and mice can be sneaky, but they’re often rather conspicuous and tend to leave behind signs of their activity. By checking for a few simple indicators, you can quickly determine if you have a rodent problems. These signs include:
- Gnaw marks on walls, baseboards or furniture
- Scratching or biting noises within the walls
- Packages or containers that have been shredded or chewed through
- Stray nesting materials like paper, hay or fabric
- Damaged goods
- Tracks/footprints – clear in dust-coated surfaces. Front foot is with four toes while hind foot has five
- Droppings or urine stains
- Outdoor burrows on or around property
How To Prevent Rodents
The good news is that you can stop rodents before they become a major issue. Here are a few basic tips you can use to keep them out:
Seal Cracks In Doors And Windows
Rats and mice can fit through holes significantly smaller than their bodies, which makes them difficult to keep out. They can easily exploit any vulnerabilities in the exterior of your property. Check for any holes or gaps in the structure of your home or business, and use sealant or other means to make sure they’re promptly covered.
Keep Waste And Food Secured
Rodents can pick up the scent of fresh garbage from a distance and come scurrying onto your property for a free meal. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep waste bins covered and wash them regularly. And since rodents can chew their way into packaging, you’ll also want to make sure food items are tightly sealed. Don’t leave any food lying around in the open.
Set Live Traps
If you suspect there are rodents on or near your property, you can add an extra layer of protection by setting live traps. Different from glue traps and snap traps, live traps are non-lethal options that involve luring the rodent(s) into a cage using food bait and retaining them for later release into the wild.
Your best defense against rodents, however, will always be a trusted pest management provider. Orkin Canada practices Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a holistic approach that focuses on prevention first and chemical treatments last.
Need a quick reference guide for all of this? You can also download our expert tip sheet here.
Reviewed by Alice Sinia, Ph.D., MSc on October 19 2020.
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