How To Inspect For Rodent Activity
It is critical to inspect rodent activity before any rodent control program. The best time to inspect is during the rodent’s period of high activity(at dusk or just after dark).
Look for these rodent signs:
- Fecal Pellets
- Gnawing Damage
- Grease Marks
- Urine Stains
- Live or Dead Rodents
- Rodent Sounds
- Rodent Odors
Using a flashlight to inspect dark, recessed areas that rodents (mice and rats) frequent would help you discover problem areas.
Tracks: Footprints and tail drags of rats can be seen in dusty areas. Use dust like baby powder or flour and lightly dust the suspicious area to see if rats or rodents are using a pathway. Wet or moist soil will also show tracks. Commensal rodents have five toes on the hind feet and four toes on the front feet. Usually, the hind feet leave the most tracking.
Droppings (Pellets ): When inspecting, keep in mind that you are looking for signs of activity: gnawing, droppings (fecal pellets ) and tracks. A recent dropping is softer in texture than an older fecal material of three days or more. They will also be darker in color than older droppings. This coloration will help you determine if your rodent population is current. The more droppings you have, the larger the rodent population.
Gnaw Marks : Newer gnaw marks will be rougher around the edges than newer gnaw marks. Mice make clean-cut holes and rats make holes with rough and torn edges. The mice hole is about 1-1/2 inch in diameter. The rat hole is 2 inches or more. It is common for rats to gnaw on wooden structural objects such as door corners, joists of flooring and ceilings, and wall studs.
Burrows: Rats(most often the Norway rat) may burrow along foundations and walls, beneath shrubbery or debris. The burrow entrance of a rat looks smooth and compacted. You may find fresh soil near the entrance that has been kicked out. To check to see if a burrow is active, stuff some paper into it and check the following day for its removal. Roof Rats will more than likely be found on the ground in such places as wood piles, bushes, vines or trees. Mice will burrow, but most mice holes are beneath slabs inside a building. The entry points to these burrows at cracks in the slabs, beneath expansion joints, or near support pillar footings.
Grease Marks: The older grease marks can be smeared, at they age they become dry. Look for grease markings around rafters, beams, pipes, vertical surfaces, and active runways that do not have dust or cobwebs.
Their pathways or runways will be between nesting areas and feeding areas. Rats will reuse the same path, relying on kinesthetic memory. The pathway of a Norway Rat is easier to spot than a mouse or Roof Rat’s path.
Outside, look for a narrow path in the dense vegetation or a pathway that has been packed.
Inside, look for their runways along walls. They use the walls for guidance. They can also be found behind appliances or stored boxes and furniture. Look for their grease or smudge marks along walls, pipes, beams, and rafters.
Urine Stains: Rodent stains are visible in a UV black light. You may detect a musky scent.
Pets: Often pets will often begin to get excited or upset. They may start pawing. When the rodent first enters, a pet can demonstrate excitement. The longer the rodent stays, the pet is less excitable.
Most people underestimate the size of the infestation and under-bait or under-trap, without proper and adequate bait and trap placements.
Begin the inspection from the exterior to the interior.
Focus on areas that may provide water, food or harborage: vegetation, refuse or wood piles, bird feeders, waterways, garages, carports, attics, crawl spaces, cupboards, closets and food storage areas. Entry points are important to consider when inspecting: windows, door thresholds, utility lines, rooftops and downspouts.
Rodents have oily hair leaving smudge marks where they consistently travel. Droppings, urine trails and gnawing marks all are signs of rodent activity.
UV Rodent Tracker is an industrial grade professional UV LED light.This increases your ability to detect the animal urine with more efficiency. This ultraviolet flashight, uses 12 ultraviolet LEDs shining at 390 nanometer wavelength, offering a deep UV frequency.
- For Detecting: Animal Urine
- Use with yellow goggles will enhance ability to see urine, but is not necessary.
Use it in conjunction with a detection system that uses cotton balls with fully RodoFiber- non-toxic fluorescent powder that will coat their bodies for easy tracking rodent or animal urine.