ID Your Rodent Problem
To begin eliminating your rodent problems, start with a good inspection. Inspecting your home, shed or barn is important for determining which type of rodents are present: rats or mice. A good inspection provides three main valuable pieces of information:
- Type of Infestation
- Extent of Infestation
- Location for Control Effort
It may be a dirty job but examining droppings is a necessary first step for determining the type of rodent problem. Victor® can help you identify your problem.
Faecal pellets are the most commonly encountered sign in a rodent inspection and serve as primary evidence to confirm an infestation. Even a small population of mice can produce literally thousands of droppings in a short period of time. Examining the droppings can serve as evidence of an infestation and may help you identify the type of infestation.
Type of InfestationHouse Mice
- Qty: 50 to 75 pellets daily
- Size: 5mm long
- Shape: Small with one or both ends pointed
- Qty: 40 to 50 pellets daily
- Size: 15mm long
- Shape: Larger, rectangular with blunt ends
- Found in small groups
Age of Droppings
Fresh droppings are dark in colour and soft in texture, but after three days they harden and lose the dark colour. The age of the droppings will tell you if your rodent problem is current.
Size of Infestation
This one is pretty simple - the more droppings you have, the larger your infestation, which will help you determine your approach for control.
- Hole Size: 10-15mm in diameter; small, clean-cut
- Gnawed Material: Wires, plastic, wood, corners of cardboard boxes, bags
- Hole Size: 5cm in diameter; rough, torn edges
- Gnawed Material: Wood, corners, floor joists, wall studs
Rodent Nests & Burrows
To verify an active burrow, wads of paper can be stuffed into the opening or the burrow can be blocked in with dirt and rechecked a day or two later.
Mice do not typically burrow, instead they create indoor nests of shredded paper, string, and other similar materials. Nests are commonly located in secluded corners, beneath cabinets, at the base of kitchen appliances, and in cluttered garages.
Common rats' burrows are typically in the ground outside and usually measure about 8cm in diameter. It is common to find burrows along foundations and underneath debris, low-lying shrubbery, woodpiles, and storage sheds.
Runways or Pathways
Runways are usually evident in rodent infestations because rodents repeatedly use the same pathways between their nests and food sources.
Common linear pathways include foundation or sill ledges, tree branches, electrical lines, pipes and sewer lines.
Mice typically travel 2-10m from their nests to a food source. Rats are more adventurous and will venture out 8-30m from burrows.
These grease marks are created from oil and dirt on the rodent’s skin and often appear along wall areas next to runways.
Other Signs of Rodents
Both rats and mice urinate frequently during their daily travels. Research has shown that a mouse is capable of depositing 3,000 droplets in just 24 hours. Rodent urine is often deposited in their runways and other frequented areas.
Rodent odours may be particularly pronounced in larger rodent infestations and may persist for prolonged periods. Also, cats and dogs may excitedly sniff and probe an area where rodents are present.
Various sounds produced by rodents and their young such as high-pitched squeaks, gnawing sounds, scratching and digging noises, and sounds of rodents fighting can commonly be heard during night inspections.
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