Rodents are important in many ecosystems and their ability to spread seeds encourages continued wildlife growth. Additionally, they are an excellent source of food for their larger predators due to their prolific breeding rates. Most rodents feed on seeds or plants, although rodents living in urban areas have adapted their diet to feed on human food. Rodents are found throughout North America, and can be incredibly dangerous pests if not dealt with properly.
Recognizing the Signs
Left unchecked, rodents have been known to damage gardens and crops, spread bacteria and disease, and cause structural damage within homes. In these cases, knowing how to spot evidence of rodents is critical. If you see any of these telltale signs, take action quickly:
- Droppings, which range in size and shape depending on the species of rodent.
- Odors of urine, which produces a strong musky smell.
- Small holes gnawed in walls or doors, sometimes as small as a dime.
- Noises of scampering within walls, floors, or ceilings.
- Oily rub marks along walls, as well as gnaw marks and tooth marks.
- Nests in hard-to-reach locations, usually built with paper, string, and other small household materials.
- Unusual behavior from household pets, who will be on edge.
There are a variety of products on the market to help homeowners get rid of rodents, but larger infestations almost always require professional extermination services.