As we all go back to stowing away the holiday decorations for yet another year, what better time to sift through and clear out the storage. It’s also good to check for rodents. Seeking warmth, they can gain access through a small opening no larger than a nickel. Rat infestations can create a serious health risk to family members, which is why it’s important to prevent them.
Be sure to look for rodent activity in the attic, garage, guest room, or closets specifically for storage purposes. These areas are relatively undisturbed, jam-packed and rarely deep cleaned. Every year, we receive calls in which clients say their first sign of a rodent infestation was discovered when pulling down the Christmas ornaments. With half the stuff out of the way, this is the best time to investigate and find out if you need to get a handle on a problem before it gets out of control.
Indicators of a rat infestation
- Rodent feces, droppings, and urine – The most obvious sign of a rat infestation is the presence of feces and urine. Check out your space with a flashlight, looking for small, rice-sized droppings. Do not touch droppings with your bare hands as there is potential for disease and bacteria transmission.
- Dirty rub marks on base trim and back of shelves – This is an indicator that the rats are squeezing in and around the area.
- Shredded paper products – Rats are chewers so be on the lookout for wrapping paper and tissue that may be shredded.
- Chewed up box corners or plastic lids – Rats have powerful teeth and can chew their way through almost anything, including your storage boxes and containers.
- Any amount of small debris that appears to have been gathered to a pile particularly in corners –
Get a jump on your spring cleaning and keep an eye out for issues so they can be dealt with while they are still minor ones. It’s important to take immediate action to keep the rat infestation from getting out of control. Because of the potential for disease, they are more than just a nuisance and a mess maker, they are a threat to your and your family’s health.
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