Mice! There, Even if you Can’t See Them!

Mouse eating inside wal

While conducting home inspections I often come across signs of rats and mice. Now that the cold weather has set in rodents across Prince Edward Island are looking for a nice warm place to spend the winter.  Unfortunately, even if you can’t see them, or hear them during home viewing, there are often signs that your home inspector will notice. Having a few mice is a manageable problem learning the scope of that problem can help save money in the long run.

NESTS

Mice and rats can build a network of tunnels and burrows near and or under the home. Sometimes this can endanger the structure. For example, if the foundations are shallow, or put the drainage or septic system at risk. Careful examination of the exterior of the home and behind plants can reveal burrows. When walking through the home, look for evidence of nests. Rats and mice will usually choose quiet, dark locations to live and raise their young. Check out  basements, attics, and behind appliances. Some signs of rodent nests are shredded paper, insulation and plastic that has been chewed on. Bring flashlight when possible to look in the hard to reach less traveled and dark areas of a home.

mouse in black and white running across a bed

DROPPINGS

Rats and mice will  leave somewhere between 30 and 180 droppings in their wake every single day. Droppings are typically cylindrical and range from 0.5 to 2 centimeters in length. Any evidence of droppings can be unsettling as it proves that there are rodents in the vicinity. Rats and mice are notorious for urinating on food sources they discover which can leave you with a pantry full of bacteria and viruses.

PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS

This is an easy one for Potential home buyers that are looking at a property. It is always wise to have a look under sinks and through the garage for any pest control products. And ask your inspector to look through the attic for traps and poison too. If the current owner has a large collection of mouse traps and rat poison, it’s safe to say that they currently have rodent issues, or have had a serious infestation in the past. Look for traps with fresh bate as a sign of a current problem.

Be aware that even if rodents have been removed, damage can still remain on the property. Foundation damage from burrowing could still exist, or mouse-chewed wires in the attic or walls could compromise your electrical system.

mouse trap with cheese

GNAW MARKS

The teeth of mice continuously grow. As they grow, mice and rats will gnaw at hard surfaces to reduce the size of these growing teeth. Look for frayed electrical wires and teeth marks or holes in plastic and wood items.

RUB MARKS

Because rodents spend most of their time rooting around in the ground and through garbage, they have dirty bodies and dirty feet. Rodents tend to use the same paths and entry holes all the time, which will leave behind “grease” trails. Dirt from their bodies can leave marks against walls and on the floors. This is less evident in a well kept or staged home.

When it comes to inspecting your future home, Dunn Right Inspections is always on the lookout for signs of pest infestations. Getting your home properly inspected can save you money down the road. Knowing what you can’t see is important.

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