Mouse and rat infestations can cause serious property damage, from faulty wiring to issues with structural integrity. The first step in addressing a rodent infestation is determining the nest's location. Once a pest control expert finds the nest, he or she can make removal recommendations based on the species of rodent they find and the development of the nest.
But sometimes, rodent nests appear in places you may not expect. In this blog, we list seven of the most surprising places where you may discover an infestation.
1. Car Engine
Like most mammals, rodents are attracted to areas that offer both warmth and shelter. To a rodent, your car engine looks like the perfect nesting spot, especially if you do not use your car and garage frequently.
Rats, mice, and some other small rodents may nest in your engine compartment and chew on the wires there. To reduce the risk of these infestations, leave your hood up when you plan not to use your car for long periods of time and lay traps in your garage.
Rodents may live wherever they find nesting materials, food, and shelter. Unfortunately, this combination is just as likely to be found in your home office as in your pantry. If you have stacks or boxes of paper, they may encourage an infestation.
Keep your office free of as much clutter as possible. Additionally, avoid eating while you work to decrease any existing rodents' access to food.
3. Firewood Pile
Mice and rats can pose a threat to your property even when they nest outside. Brush and debris can provide enough shelter for some species, but your firewood looks appealing to rodents of all sizes.
Go through your firewood at least once a year and cover the stack during the off-season to reduce the risk of nesting. Best storage practices for firewood is off the ground.
4. Outdoor Burrows
Some rodent species, such as Norway rats, are adept diggers. If these rats do not find an ideal location for their nests, they may create a burrow to live in instead. These burrows often appear along the home's foundation and can cause structural instability.
Watch for any new holes on your property and have them assessed by a pest control professional as soon as possible. These burrows may belong to Norway rats, gophers, moles, or other small pests.
While cardboard boxes offer an affordable and easy-to-organize storage option, these containers also provide rodents with nesting materials. If you have large amounts of storage in your attic, garage, shed, or basement, check the area for signs of an infestation during the spring and fall. Whenever possible, use plastic storage bins instead of cardboard boxes, especially for edible items.
Rodents are particularly likely to nest in areas where you store food, including kibble and birdseed. Nests may appear in the area around your boxes or within a storage container itself. Look for any chewed holes in boxes, food spread around the area, or rodent droppings.
While some rodents prefer to live in or on the ground, others are content to live high up in your trees. These rats like to live in higher areas to protect their nests from predators and other hazards such as foot traffic.
These rats may climb up your trees and make nests near the tree trunk. Rodents that live in trees can threaten the plant itself and gain easier access to vulnerable areas of your home, including the roof and attic space.
7. Your Roof
As their name suggests, roof rats often nest in gutters, under loose roofing materials, under eaves, or in attics. These rats are strong climbers and jumpers. These characteristics mean that roof rats may be able to access your roof, even if your trees and powerlines are not that close.
You should check your roof once a year for any seasonal damage. As you look over the roof, pay attention to any piles of debris that could be rodent nests. If you have a roof rat infestation, you're also likely to hear scratching noises while on the uppermost floor of your house.
If left unaddressed, infestations on the roof or in the attic may spread to your ceilings or walls. Nests in these spaces can be more difficult to eliminate since removal requires access to the space behind the ceiling or wall.
When you suspect a mouse or rat problem on your property, don't forget to check these places in addition to more common nest locations such as crawl spaces, openings under appliances, and unfilled wall voids.
Have you noticed scratching noises, droppings, or other common signs of a rodent infestation? Call Greenleaf Organic Pest Management. We can help you find hidden nests and provide effective rodent control to help you reclaim your home. Call us at 877-524-7336 to schedule an appointment.