1. Got Rodents? Know the 3 Secrets to Get Rid of Mice and Rats for Good

MARCH 15 2022 /

Got Rodents? Know the 3 Secrets to Get Rid of Mice and Rats for Good

As cooler weather arrives, homeowners across Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. see tell-tale signs of rodents coming indoors—or do they? Depending on whether you’re unwillingly hosting rats or mice, the signs may not be readily apparent—unless you know what to look for.

If you want to get rid of mice and rats for good, you need to inspect, identify and understand what those signs mean to know which rodent removal steps to take.


1. Inspect for Signs of Rodent Invasion

Mice and rats both leave evidence of invasion, but not the same evidence. Knowing the difference is essential to rodent removal:

3 Signs of Mice in Your Home

  • Droppings—Mouse droppings look like small, brown grains of rice with pointy ends.
  • Mouse urine—Mice use urine to communicate with each other, and it’s got a distinctive musky odor.
  • Gnaw marks—Mice leave small, neatly-cut, dime-sized holes where they’ve chewed to access food or a nesting site.


3 Signs of Rats in Your Home

  • Moving and vanishing food—Rats seldom eat plundered food at the source; they usually hoard food in a secluded spot before consuming. If food items are mysteriously moved or gone, it might be rats.
  • Rat droppings—Rats don’t often leave obvious traces of feces or urine where you’d expect to find them in the case of mice (where you store your food). If you do find them, they’re usually about half an inch or larger. Norway rats have blunt-ended droppings, while roof rats’ droppings have pointy ends.
  • Gnaw marks—Rats are incredibly strong chewers and can chow through almost anything. Unlike the neat holes made by mice, rats leave ragged-edged holes about the size of a quarter.


Pay attention to pet behavior too: When pets sense rats and/or mice, they may suddenly perk up, sniff, bark or paw around potential rodent hangouts like the spaces underneath the stove, cabinets, refrigerators, etc. Rat and mice nesting sites may have shredded paper, string, and other soft materials.


2. Identify Rodent Behavior Signs for Rodent Removal Success

Rodent invasions are more common in the fall and winter as they move in to get out of the cold. Look for rodent tracks and entry ports like these:

  • Smudge marks along baseboards
  • Tiny tracks in the dust
  • Urine stains (detectable with a black light)
  • Small (half-inch or more) openings in the home (especially where wires or pipes enter). Attics and basements are popular entry ports, but there are many others.


Keep in mind, rats and mice respond to different traps, so it’s critical to identify your invader before wasting money on mouse traps that may not be effective!


3. The Best Rodent Trap: Your Expert Mouse Exterminator

Whether you need to get rid of mice or rats, the best trap is to call your mouse exterminator from American Pest. Our rodent removal experts inspect your home from top to bottom to set the right traps for the right rodents—and we also seal up any potential entryways.

More than 30,000 homeowners in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland rely on us to keep their homes rodent free. Contact us now for help evicting uninvited rodents!