Rodents may be small, but they pose a number of threats to human health and property. Aside from being a nuisance, rodents are vectors of a vast array of diseases, such as Salmonella, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, rat-bite fever and the potentially fatal Hantavirus. They can also chew through drywall, insulation, wood and electrical wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires. Here are a few clues that rodents may be present in a home:
- Noises: Rodents often make scurrying sounds, especially at night, as they move about and nest.
- Gnaw marks: New gnaw marks tend to be rough to the touch and are light colored.
- Burrows: Inside, rodents often nest in various materials such as insulation, and they are drawn to areas that are dark and secluded.
- Damaged food packages: House mice prefer to feed on cereals and seeds, while Norway rats prefer meat, fish and dry dog food.
- Droppings: A trail of rodent droppings is typically found in kitchen cabinets and pantries, along walls, on top of wall studs or beams, and in boxes, bags and old furniture.