It's a fact rodent activity the last few years here in western Washington has skyrocketed. Almost everyone you talk to these days has either had to deal with rats invading their home or knows someone who has. Our small company covers from Olympia to North Seattle and I can tell you it's the same pretty much everywhere. So I decided to create a very simple guide to help you identify a potential rodent problem.
Signs of an infestation
Droppings: Usually one of the most basic clues of an infestation. Rodent droppings can be found anywhere activity has been an adult rat will drop 40-60 pellets a day.
Chew Marks: Harder to find typically to the untrained eye a rodents front teeth are constantly growing and they will use them to create a new hole or make a small one larger to gain access to your home.
Burrows: Can be found under bird feeds, along foundation walls, under decks, pretty much anywhere they want thats close to a food source. People will often overlook rodent tunneling thinking it could be something else. Good general rule of thumb if the entrance is smooth and clear of debris its most likely rats.
Grease Marks: Rats are dirty creatures and if there is enough activity at an entrance their greasy fur will actually stain the opening.
Odors: Two main kinds of rodent smells a pest technician learns very quickly. The smell of a dead rat and the smell of a high activity area. We make many call to homes with unexplainable smells that we quickly identify as a rodent problem.
Partially Eaten Food: Rats are like thieves in the night with two main priorities in life, some place to hide, and something to eat. If all of the sudden bird, dog food, or the food in your house shows up missing... Its time to get suspicious and take a look around for some of the other rodent signs.
Sounds: Probably the number one clue we get calls on. If you hear scratching, thumping or anything strange in the ceiling, walls, or under the house when it is dark out. It is more than likely a rodent.
Live Rat: So simple but I had to include it, you would be surprised how many jobs I go out to where the customer says they saw a live rat outside a few months ago. Best rule of thumb is where there is one there are many.