How to Recognize Signs of Rodent Damage


Do you own a business and suspect rodents might be wreaking havoc on your property? Ever since the global pandemic of 2020, rats, mice, and other rodents have adapted to living near humans.

Rats have always made their homes in New York, but now we see them unencumbered in parts of the country that previously never saw any. As these rodents continue to expand their habitat, businesses face the daunting prospect of rodent damage.

But not every case of damage can be pegged as rodent-related damage. How do you know if you have a rodent problem? What harm can rodents cause to my business?

If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. Be sure to keep reading for our complete guide to detecting rodent damage.


Assess Structural Damage Caused by Rodents

Recognizing signs of rodent damage can be a challenge, but it is very important in order to assess structural damage caused by rodents. The most common sign of rodent infestation is seeing the rodents themselves, usually at night.

If you hear scratching or rustling sounds within walls or attics during nighttime hours, then this may indicate a rodent infestation. Lastly, a hole in the foundation or exterior walls leading to an interior space is an obvious sign that rodents have found their way inside your home. By recognizing these signs, it will help accurately assess the structural damage caused by rodents.

Recognize Musky Odors

In order to recognize signs of rodent damage, it is important to be aware of musky odors. This odor is most commonly identified as an amalgamation of wet fur and urine. Generally, this smell is a result of the moisture content in areas inhabited by rodents; as the ammonia in their urine accumulates, it creates an increasingly recognizable, musky smell.

Identify Typical Rodent Damage

Common indications include small burrows, rub marks left behind by persistent and oily fur, and a musty smell that is the result of urine and feces. Piles of shredded paper, fabric, and plastic materials near common entry points, such as gaps beneath wall moldings and windowsills, are also a strong indication of rodent activity.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to begin a proactive effort to mitigate a potential rat infestation. An effective way to identify rodent damage, or to rule out the possibility of one, is to take note of evidence of chewing behind large appliances or furniture in the home.

Rodents tend to hide out of sight. By monitoring for signs of past or present infestation, you can help protect your home from costly damages.

Inspect for Rodent Droppings

Inspecting for rodent droppings is one of the best ways to recognize signs of rodent damage. Depending on the type of rodent present in the area, rodent droppings may vary in size and color. Generally, rat droppings are larger than mouse droppings and black in color.

Common places to look for rodent droppings include basements, attics, and around food packages. When inspecting for rodent droppings, wear gloves and protective gear to avoid coming into contact with infectious materials.

Rodents are also known to drag material from one location to another, leaving behind tracks and trails. Annoying squeaking and scratching sounds from inside walls are also good indicators of rodent activity. Recognizing the signs of rodent damage takes time and observation, but it is an important step in controlling these nuisance pests.

Check for Nests

Rodent damage can be identified in various ways, including the presence of nests. Look for nests in areas where rodents are likely to make them, such as in thickets, woods, and beneath decks, sheds, or other structures. Nests should be large, with multiple materials such as twigs, grass, fur, shredded paper, or fabric.

They often look like a jumbled-up pile of materials. If the nest is still active, look for tracks in the dust or soil around the nest.

Chewed or gnawed-on material may also be found. This could include a variety of organic materials such as food packaging, wooden beams, insulation, and even wiring.

Keep in mind that if the damage is serious enough, it could pose a safety hazard. So make sure to inspect such items more thoroughly, and if necessary, contact a pest control company right away. It’s also important to remember to check for nesting sites periodically to help prevent a potential rodent problem from becoming more serious.

Uncover Gnaw Marks

A common sign of rodent damage is gnawed marks. Rodents like to chew on items such as wood, wires, cables, and clothing, among other things. To identify mouse and rat gnaw marks, look for small chips or holes in wood or around baseboards, windows, and doors.

Additionally, inspect cords, cables, and wires for cutting or chomping. Inspect clothing, towels, books, and other items for signs of nibbling. To confirm gnawing is due to rodents, look for greasy stains or tiny mouse footprints.

Taking the time to observe these signs of rodent damage will help you better understand the seriousness of the infestation and allow you to take the necessary steps to eradicate the pests from your property.

Recognizing Signs of Rodent Damage

Recognizing the signs of rodent damage is essential in order to protect your health, home, and possessions. Inspect your home, attic, and crawl spaces for signs of rodent activity to prevent further damage.

If you suspect you have a rodent problem, contact a professional pest control service immediately.

Would you like to learn about topics that pertain to commercial properties? Check out our site for more commercial property guides.