Federal Pest Control will always begin all rodent treatments with a thorough inspection of the premises. This is a necessity when conducting any serious attempt to control rodents in buildings. Our technicians rarely have the opportunity to inspect your property at night when the activity may be directly observed, however they will try to gather as much information as possible about:
- the type(s) of rodents present,
- the extent of their activity,
- their routes of travel, and
- the approximate size of the population.
This information will aid in the determination of the proper and effective control procedures the technician will put in place at your property. We will now review the top 9 signs that you have a rodent problem at your property. If you can keep a look out for these signs as soon as you start noticing them you can call us before the rodents have a chance to breed start to infest your property.
The following signs of rodent activity can be of great value in providing such clues:
1 . Droppings:
The droppings left by the rodent may aid in identifying the species present. When shiny, dark and pliable, they suggest very recent activity. Usually within 2-3 days they become dull and hard as they dry out, and after some time they may be attacked by insects like the spider beetle. When we visit our technician may sometimes clean up droppings from particular area’s so that later inspections will more easily indicate the presence or absence of activity.
2 . Gnawings:
You may notice gnawings on a wide variety of materials, including woodwork, soft metal, soap, food containers, conduiting and cables. Rodents display this gnawing behaviour in order to keep their incisors down.
3 . Markings created by high rodent traffic
Runways: Sometimes called rubmarks, runways are markings on surfaces deposited as greasy smears by continual contact with dirty, greasy rodent fur. Usually, they are most apparent on vertical surfaces, and they are very useful for the placement of traps, baited stations and rodent-proofing procedures.
Runs: Outdoors, constant rodent traffic may pat down vegetation to form a rather obvious run. Indoors, you may find dust free runs in otherwise dusty areas again indicates constant traffic.
Tracks: Footprints and tail marks can be used to confirm rodent activity.
Urinating pillars: The long-term activity of mice sometimes leads to a build-up of urine, grease, dirt and dust to form small mounds or ‘urinating pillars’.
4 . Nests and Burrows:
Burrows: Rats burrows are often found near waterways and buildings and will generally have a ‘bolt hole’ hidden under grain or debris. If cobwebs or weeds cover the entrance, it is likely that activity has ceased.
Nests: are often found in hidden parts of the building and are normally made of rags, paper, cardboard, straw or other similar materials, and if fresh droppings are present, they are likely to be active. As rats nests are so well hidden it is uncommon to actually see them, however collections of food such as snail shells may indicate the proximity of the rats nesting areas.
5 . Disappearance of food:
Rats will often carry food away to their nesting sites, so you may notice some food that isn’t in a secure location disappearing, this could include pet food and stored grain.
6 . Sounds:
You may be hearing sounds in the evening and throughout the night that may be described as bumping, squeaking, gnawing, clawing and sometimes fighting.
7 . Odour:
The long term presence of a rodent infestation usually creates a distinct odour not unlike that of acetamide.
8 . Excitements of Pets:
You may notice some change in your pet’s behaviour, this is because most pets are territorial and very sensitive to foreign odours and noises. Pets such as dogs may become very excited about the intrusion of rodents, sometimes clawing and barking at the part of the building where rodents are active.
9 . Visual Sightings:
You may in fact also sight the rodents during the day, while this is rare, it does suggest a large population is present and they may have a food shortage.
If you have been noticing some of these 9 signs that you have a rodent problem, the next piece of information your pest controller will need to identify is the type of rodent that is infesting the property. This is important because each species will display different types of behaviours that effect the types of baits used and where the baits will be placed. There are 3 main types of rodents that infest homes in Australia and we will examine each of them in detail, but first up is the House Mouse.