Even if you have a well-kept home, it’s still not a guarantee that rodents will not find your home as an ideal place to nest in. To make matters worse, rodents—when they are few—have an innate ability to be as unobtrusive as possible; it’s not easy to find exactly where their nests are unless you see them scurrying around the house. By then, they may have already wreaked havoc in some parts of your home. More often than not, rodents are a sign of disrepair in your home.
In cases like this, the best thing to do is learn how to manage the situation. First off, you need to know why the rodents have chosen your home as their own.
Why are there rodents in your home?
One of the things that attracts rodents is food—food that is left on the table, leftovers in the kitchen counter, pet food, and garbage that’s left out in the open.
If you leave clutter in your home unattended, rodents will be sure to find places where they can hide and build their nests.
Leaks and cracks are entryways for rodents. Look around your house and try to see if there’s structural damage in the walls, basement, or the attic. Even if there are only a few gaps and cracks, they have to be taken care of right away. Holes and crevices may be signs that your home has structural damage.
Rodents also like water, so if there are plumbing problems in your home, they’re guaranteed to enjoy staying there.
Signs of rodent infestation in your home
The rodents in your home are called commensal rodents because they are the kind that likes to be close to humans. The common house mouse is a good example.
Another type of rodent that’s common in the UK is the field mouse. This is the kind that likes to stay and nest outdoors. However, during the cold months, field mice can still infest your home as they seek refuge from the low temperatures.
Identifying them may be difficult, but there are signs you can watch out for so you’ll know there are rodents in your home. It will then be easier for you to find a way to get rid of them.
- Rodent droppings
Rodent droppings take the shape of an olive (oval) if they’re from rats, and they have long pointy ends if they come from mice. If they are dark, shiny, and soft, they are fresh and new. If they crumble quite easily and are grey and dull, they are old droppings. These droppings are typically found behind cupboards, kitchen cabinets, drawers, pantries, and any space that has food.
- A foul odour
If you have a cat or dog and you notice them sniffing around and pawing around an area in your home, it’s possible that what they smell is the foul odour from rodents.
If the odour smells like stale ammonia, then the rodent infestation is active.
The foul odour may also be a result of decomposed rodents hidden between walls, or rodents that are breeding or defecating.
- Urine trails
Rodents cannot control their bladders, so they pee wherever and whenever they need to. It can be behind your kitchen cabinet or inside one of the bedroom drawers. They build small mounds that are a combination of urine, dirt, and grease—and this is what is called their urinating pillars.
Rodent urine trails or pools may be easy to spot if you use a black light or a high-power fluorescent light. Rodents’ urine has a sharp, strong smell, so you can detect them right away even if you haven’t seen the trail or pool yet.
- Teeth marks
Rodents love gnawing on anything that they can find. It’s a telltale sign you’ve rodents in your home if you notice that your wiring, cables, documents, furniture, carpets, and any rubber items have teeth marks on them.
Rodents like to build nests in places they like hiding in. Signs that rodents are in your home include dragged-in and/or piled-up pieces of fabric, dried leaves, or shredded paper.
- Sounds of scratching
It’s no secret that rodents like to scratch, and scratch, and scratch. Be observant; if you hear scratching in the middle of the night—even if just a faint one, it’s time to check if you’ve a rodent infestation.
Chances are, you have one.
Scratching is typically heard under floorboards, in basements, between walls, in lofts, and false ceilings.
Rodent fur is often covered in grease, so if they squeeze through or bump into objects and surfaces, they always leave smear marks. These dirty marks are dark grey in colour.
Disrepair and rodents
If you have rodents in your home and you find out that the infestation was caused by disrepair, it is part of your tenant rights to inform your landlord and request for assistance so they could maybe hire a pest control company to solve the problem. If your landlord continues ignoring your repair requests even after being given 21 days to respond, you can file a housing disrepair claim. Getting in touch with a team of experts, like the ones at Disrepair Claim, is the best thing for you to do.