Before you worry about getting rid of your rodent problem, it would be helpful to know if you have a rat problem. I pointed out in the first part of the “Smell a Rat” series that I see rodent problems in more homes than not, which is a big surprise to many. Rats are very unsanitary and poop and urinate all over. You wouldn’t let your dog or cat do that, and a rat is no different. Here are three things that will clue you in that you have a rodent problem.
- Hear or even see them. When my wife and I were first married, we rented an old house in Burien. At night we could hear little mice scampering around in the attic above our bedroom. On occasion, we would actually see them at night as we entered a room and flicked on the light. We even trapped one in a hall closet the morning our son was born. I have video proof!
- Poop on surfaces. Rat and mouse poop look like little elongated pebbles. Rodents in the house are more rare; I mostly see poop in the attic and crawlspace. In most cases poop is seen on vapor barriers and concrete piers in the crawlspace, or right on top of sheetrock or insulation in the attic.
- Insulation tunnels and damage. Rats love the space in the crawlspace between the floor above and the insulation. It’s like sitting on a warm pillow for them. They walk around on the insulation and over time will cause the insulation to fall down. Or in the attic, they will burrow in the insulation where it’s warm and create little tunnels where they can move about out of the cold.
So go check out your attic or crawlspace and look for these signs. If you see one of these signs, refer back to Part I of the Smell a Rat series for what to do next.