rodent on bread

Mice and rats are invasive animals that can create many problems when they get into our Knoxville area homes. But often the problems that arise from having a rodent infestation are not linked to these animals because they are so sneaky. Let's take a look at this pest problem and put it into perspective. 

Things That Go Bump in the Night

If you're thinking that you'll hear mice or rats inside your walls when they invade your home, you're likely to be disappointed. Most of the time, rodents don't make noticeable noise until there are several rodents living in a home, and even then they only make noise under certain conditions. Here are two reasons why they can be silent house guests.

  • Most rodents prefer to be as close to their food as possible. If they're feeding on food in your pantry, they'll prefer to be in the wall of your pantry. If they're feeding on food in your kitchen, they'll prefer to create a nest behind, under, or inside your appliances or inside your walls. They won't make a habit of traveling from your attic to your pantry or kitchen, which is how you would hear them.
  • Rodents are nocturnal animals. If they make noises in your walls or inside your ventilation ducts, they'll usually do it at night. If you hear noises in your attic spaces during the day, you probably don't have a mouse or rat problem. Squirrels, raccoons, and other diurnal (day) creatures make noises during the day.

Rodent Problems That May Not Get Blamed on Rodents

  • Stomach Illness — Rodents get into trash and pick up harmful bacteria. When they get into food-storage or dish cabinets, they can cause contamination. Their feces and urine are also a source of contamination. Mice and rats leave their waste everywhere they roam. This can lead to sickness in your home that can be blamed on the flu or the common cold.
  • Respiratory Illness — Some rodents spread Hantavirus, which can lead to Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. If you don't realize you have rodents in your home, you may think this respiratory illness was picked up from an infected person.
  • Ticks and fleas — Don't be so quick to blame your dog or cat when a flea infestation breaks out in your home or when you start finding ticks crawling on you. Mice and rats bring parasites in with them and spread them around while you sleep.
  • Mold — The holes that mice and rodents create to get into your home can allow rainwater to get in. This sets up the conditions for mold to take root inside your home.
  • Damaged Wood — If you find a hole in a door or window frame or a baseboard in your home, you might think carpenter ants or termites are to blame but rodents commonly chew holes in building materials.
  • Damaged Furniture — Do you have upholstered furniture in your attic? If you start finding holes in your stored furniture you may think that clothing moths or carpet beetles are to blame but mice and rats chew holes in stored furniture and create nests inside.
  • House Fire — Rodent are prone to chew on wiring. If they severe a live wire in your home, it could spark a fire. This is probably the worst outcome of having a rodent infestation.

Rodent Detection

Every Knoxville homeowner should know how to look for signs of a rodent infestation. Catching these critters early can help you address the problem before you get sick or your property gets damaged.

  • Look for rodent droppings in secluded locations such as attic spaces, basement areas, cabinets, drawers, and closets.
  • Look for nests in attic spaces.
  • Look for chewed holes in low, hidden locations.
  • Look for chewed holes in food packages.
  • Look for streak marks on baseboards. Rodents run along baseboards and can leave oily streaks.
  • If you have a dog or a cat, watch for odd behavior when your pet is in the kitchen or bathroom.

Rodent Prevention

  • Learn how rodents get inside Tennessee homes and take steps to seal entry points.
  • Put foods that come in cardboard, paper, or plastic packages inside sealed, hard plastic or glass containers.
  • If you have a dog or a cat, put food down only during meal times.
  • Use traps to reduce the number of rodents in your home.

We could give you a long list of ways you can get rid of rodents, but due to their sneaky nature and the long list of ways they can cause harm, it is best to have a licensed professional handle this pest problem. When mice or rats get into your Knoxville area home, reach out to Russell's Pest Control. We use strategies that ensure the complete removal of all the mice or rats that have infested your home.


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