A rodent infestation is scary enough, but what about an untreated infestation? Unfortunately, rodents won’t just disappear on their own and can become dangerous as time goes on.
Here’s what New Braunfels homeowners should know about what it means when you spot a single mouse or rat, the health risks of common rodents, how dangerous they are for pets, and when it’s time to use pest control in New Braunfels.
Does One Mouse Mean There Is A Hidden Infestation?
A common mistake that homeowners make when they discover a mouse in their house is assuming there’s only one. Maybe you find a dead mouse in the walls, or your cat leaves you a present on your doorstep.
Unfortunately, house mice and field mice rarely travel alone, and if you discover one rodent in your New Braunfels home, you’re bound to find more eventually. One reason homeowners don’t often realize they’ve got a mouse problem is that mice can be quite sneaky.
These critters are more active at night, but they also don’t spend a lot of time out in the open. Mice like to build their nests in areas where they know they’re not likely to be disturbed – such as your walls, attic, closet, or even the ceiling. You’re more likely to find other subtle signs of a mouse infestation than you are to see live mice, such as:
As the infestation grows, mice produce a musty, pungent odor that lingers around your home or certain parts of the house. This smell can develop from a couple of different things. Urine and droppings can produce a smell, but house mice that die in your home also emit a musty odor.
Scratching In The Walls
Does it ever seem like there’s scratching or squeaking coming from the walls during the night? The culprit is probably house mice. As they scurry around in the walls or squeak, these mice noises can be heard around the house.
Droppings are a big indicator of a house mouse infestation. Mice droppings tend to be small, dark, and about the size of a grain of rice. Droppings left out in the open for extended periods of time may disintegrate into dust.
In addition to droppings, you may also find urine pillars around your home. This happens in heavy infestations, and the pillars are a combination of mouse urine, grease, and dirt inside of a mound. If you find these pillars inside your home, it’s a good indicator of a lot of mice activity in that area.
With enough time, you may also see the extent of property damage in a mouse infestation. Don’t forget that mice likely invade your home because they’re looking for food. Mice are great foragers, so you may find chew marks on cereal boxes, plastic containers, or even furniture. Chewing through wood, walls, or furniture may help them gather materials to build a nest or file down their teeth.
Mice like to use the same routes when they travel across your home, and their oily, greasy bodies can leave grease marks along baseboards and walls when they scurry around.
Live Or Dead Mice
Live mice or dead mice can be another good indicator of an infestation. Even if you just see one mouse, you should assume that there are even more nearby. It’s rare to have just one live or dead mouse in your house. Mice are also nocturnal, so you’re more likely to see live or dead mice at night.
Most of these signs are not specific to mice. Many common rodents act in similar ways, so you may not identify the type of infestation until you see the rodent at fault.
The good news is that it’s extremely rare to have mice and rats at the same time. Since house mice serve as a food source for rats, these critters try to steer clear of places that already have rats. And, if mice do wander into a home with rats, they’re usually hunted down quickly.
Unfortunately, neither is easy to get rid of – both types of rodents have powerful teeth that can chew through most materials and slip through the tiniest cracks and crevices.
The Health Risks That Rodents In The Home Pose
You may already know it’s not a great idea to touch dead or live rodents in your home, but did you know that rodents can make you sick – even if you don’t touch or interact with them?
Can mice carry diseases, and what about other rodents? Yes, rodents can spread dangerous diseases like hantavirus, leptospirosis, tularemia, rat-bite fever, and salmonellosis. Rodents primarily spread diseases and bacteria through their urine and fecal matter. After they leave droppings behind, some of this bacteria-ridden waste can turn into dust, which you or a family member may inhale.
Rodents may also spread disease if they step in their own waste and track it across countertops, cabinets, or other areas.
In some cases, you may not catch a disease from the rodent itself, but from one of the parasites they bring into your home. Rodents can often carry fleas, ticks, or mites, and these parasites may have their own disease that they spread.
Not all rodents carry diseases, but as long as you have an infestation, the risk will always be there. If you do see a live or dead rodent in your home, you should never try to interact with it on your own.
Most rodents won’t be aggressive and will likely try to flee if they feel cornered, but you don’t want to get too close. Instead, if you find rodents in your home, you should contact the pros for mouse removal and more information about how to keep rats and mice away.
Are Rodents In The Home Dangerous For Pets?
You may be nervous about you or a family member getting sick around rodents, but what about your pets? Although some pets, especially cats, may try to ingest rodents, you should never encourage your pets to interact with rodents – and here’s why:
- Rodents may hurt your pet. While rodents aren’t known to be aggressive, they can still lash out or bite if they feel cornered. A mouse may try to attack your cat, and while the rodent is unlikely to win that fight, it could hurt your pet in the process too.
- There’s a risk of toxoplasmosis. When a cat or dog eats a rat, they run the risk of developing toxoplasmosis. This can weaken your pet’s immune system and cause other medical symptoms that will land your pet in the vet’s office.
- Your pet could catch intestinal worms. One way that pets may catch roundworm is by eating rodents infected with it. Without treatment, this parasite will eventually make your pet ill.
- A rodent can accidentally poison your pet. If your pet eats a rodent that’s already ingested poison, the toxin can poison your pet too. This is especially common if you’ve got a rodent infestation you’re trying to solve on your own. If a rodent eats rat bait and then your pet ingests that rodent, that’s when the risk for secondary poisoning is high. The severity of the poisoning can depend on a variety of factors, including how many poisoned rodents they’ve eaten and how big your animal is.
Whether to protect them from a scratch, intestinal worms, or secondary poisoning, you should keep your pets away from rodents. Unfortunately, with rodent infestations, it’s usually only a matter of time before your pet spots a rat or mouse in your home.
Protecting your pets from harm is just another reason to rely on professional pest control for ongoing rodent protection in your New Braunfels home. A professional will be able to provide treatments that are effective but not dangerous for your family or pets.
Professional Rodent Control For New Braunfels Homes
How fast can rodents reproduce? Some rodents, like mice, can give birth to ten litters within a year, so infestations can grow quickly. That’s why it’s important to eradicate rodents in your home, and the easiest way to do this is with help from Gold Star Exterminators.
With years of pest control experience, we’ve dealt with house mice, roof rats, and any other rodents that may invade your New Braunfels home. Even if you’re just seeing one or two signs of a rodent infestation, you should still contact a pest management professional. Since these infestations won’t go away on their own, you’re better safe than sorry.
If you see some of the signs of a rodent infestation listed above, you don’t want to continue putting yourself or your family at risk. Contact us today at Gold Star Exterminators to learn more about our rodent control services and how we can get rid of the mice in your home.