Being aware of rodents

Oct 15, 2021, 15:22 PM by Fred Speer

If there is one group of pests that gives pause for concern, it’s rodents. In a study conducted by the National Pest Management Association, 46 percent of homeowners said that if they encountered a rodent in their home, they would be concerned there might be more to follow. Their concern is justified.

The nondescript house mouse can produce up to 12 pups every three weeks. Do the math and it can make your head spin.

Clark, your friendly pest control, termite, and grounds expert, knows what it’s like to deal with mice and their rat brethren. We’ve been working to prevent and eliminate rodent issues in homes in California and northern Nevada for decades.

National Rodent Awareness Week begins on Sunday, and Clark Pest Control would like to prevent you from having an unwanted encounter with these pests.

  • Rodents are associated with numerous health risks, including droppings that can trigger allergies.
  • In addition to spoiling food, rodents can transmit such foodborne pathogens as Salmonella and E. coli.
  • Rodents’ constant gnawing on electrical and computer wiring increases the threat of an accidental fire.

Eight signs of rodents

Even though rodents prefer to remain in the shadows, they can leave indications of their presence in your home or apartment.

1. Rodent droppings: These are a sure sign that rats or mice are present, and will indicate the type of rodent, the size of the infestation, and where they are most active. Mouse droppings are small, less than one-quarter inch long, and are pointed on both ends. Rat droppings are a half-inch long or larger. New droppings are shiny and putty-like in texture, while older ones are hard and crumbly. The size of varying feces indicates that juveniles and adults are present, and many droppings may indicate a large infestation.

2. Urine odor: Rodent urine has a strong musky odor. With large infestations, you can easily smell it.

3. Gnawed holes: Gnawed mouse holes are small, clear-cut, and about the size of a dime. Gnawed rat holes are larger, about the size of a quarter, with rough, torn edges.

4. Run and gnaw marks: Where rodents travel along walls, they leave oily rub marks. If those rub marks smear, you know they are fresh. Gnaw marks on wood around the house also are a sign. Tooth marks about one-eighth inch long are typical of rats, and small scratch marks are a sign that mice have been present.

5. Rodent pathways: Common rodent pathways run along interior walls, building foundations, ledges, pipes, electrical wires, conduits, tree branches, and fence rails.

6. Nesting materials: Mice will shred paper, string, and other pliable materials to build their nests indoors. Norway rats nest outdoors in burrows deep in the ground. Roof rats typically nest above ground in attics, trees, or dense vegetation.

7. Unexplained noises: Rodents are nocturnal. At night, they often create scratching sounds as they run inside walls and along floors.

8. Unusual pet behavior: Pets tend to act unusual when they hear or smell rodents in the house. They may appear extremely alert, bark, or begin to paw at spaces beneath refrigerators, stoves, or low-clearance pieces of furniture

If you suspect your home is being threatened by rodents, call California’s trusted rodent expert, Clark, at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at

Clark Pest Control is committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.

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