When you were a child, you probably didn’t give much thought to the little mouse hole at the base of the wall in the Tom and Jerry cartoons. But if you ever saw a rodent in your home, there would be nothing cute about it. The cartoonist borrowed a fact from real life—rats and mice can and do actually chew right through walls, and that’s just the beginning. That “mouse in the wall” scratching noise means trouble.
How a Rat or Mouse in the Wall Can Damage Your Home
Rodents are a talented and sneaky family of animals that are perfectly capable of destroying much of what we build in order to meet their immediate needs for food and shelter. Unfortunately, most mice aren’t as charming as Jerry and most cats aren’t as devoted as Tom.
A Formidable Furry Force
Mice can cause millions of dollars in damages to homes every year. These furry creatures can also spread disease and contaminate your pet’s food, as well as your own food. They chew through insulation, drywall, wood and almost any other building material; this behavior opens the door for their friends and relatives to visit and leave behind contaminated droppings along with extensive destruction. The scary thing is one mouse can easily become well over 100 if the problem isn’t taken care of right away.
Mice are known to chew on just about anything if it will help them build their nests. Once they’ve secretly chewed open a wall and crept into your home at night, your interior is also fair game, including your food storage space, wood, books, your important papers and even your clothes. The more hidden an area is, the more they’re likely to take residence as an unwanted roommate in your home.
As unpleasant as the thought may be, tiny mice feet running across your carpet may not be your biggest problem. Rodents chewing through electrical wiring can lead to devastating fires. Chewed-up roofing can lead to serious water damage. If a tiny mouse finds the slightest opening, even in your electrical appliances, they’ll take advantage of the opportunity and can eventually cause a short in your appliance.
The more mice there are, the more damage they can do in short periods of time. One of the main safety concerns is chewed-up roofing. Enough damage can weaken your roof so that a heavy rain can prove too heavy and lead to serious water damage in your home when you least expect it.
Bigger Rodents, Bigger Problems
Rats are capable of the same damage as their smaller mice relatives but since they are sometimes more than twice the size, it can be even more costly to get rid of these pesky rodents if you don’t catch them soon.
Squirrels are cuter and more socially acceptable than rats or mice, but they do their fair share of damage. Squirrels seem to have a fondness for electrical wiring, especially when it’s in an attic. If they chew their way through your roofing material and get inside, fires and mysterious power outages may occur. You may also find squirrels gnawing on your patio furniture or even the non-metal parts of your car.
Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open
To detect rodents before they can wreck your home, be observant. Look for signs of squirrel damage in neighborhood trees and outdoor structures. Check your attic for signs of invasion. Indoors, look for rat and mice droppings, damaged wood, unexplained holes or disturbed food storage. Listen for scratching or squeaking noises at night. If you hear rodents inside your walls, it’s best to let a professional remove them before they can renovate your home.
When Rodents Cross Your Boundaries, Call ABC
Although you may feel overwhelmed when mice, rats and other rodents start munching on your home without your permission, the rodent control specialists at ABC Home & Commercial Services know exactly what to do. Our experts will start by assessing your problem and then designing a rodent control program that addresses your specific needs. Once the rodents are out of your home, we can identify potential rodent entry points and help identify conditions that may be conducive to infestations, so rats and mice won’t make a return visit. Don’t let unwanted guests nibble away the structural integrity of your home.