5 Signs You Have a Rodent Infestation

A rat peaking out from behind a rock.
A rat peaking out from behind a rock.

No matter where you live, there are expectations you have for your quality of life. We are confident that one of them is not having a rodent infestation. 

Rodents are sneaky characters whose numbers often aren’t known until they are eradicated from their nest or seen. They like to creep around undetected and are biologically designed to do so. 

Most homeowners may have an infestation and not realize it until they see just one rat. Usually, seeing this one critter signifies that there are many more who have not yet been spotted. 

You may be asking yourself, how do I know I may have an infestation if rodents are so stealthy? Consider these common signs of a rodent problem in your home.

Since 1986 we have proudly served the Greater Minneapolis and Twin Cities areas. Contact us today to see how we can help you take back your home from unwanted pests. 

1. Rodent Droppings

Rodent droppings isolated on a white background.

One of the first signs of a rodent infestation is droppings. Both mice and rats leave droppings that are deep brown and pointed at both ends. 

Familiar places droppings are spotted are under sinks and around food sources.

If you do spot droppings in your home, we advise being extremely careful. Rat droppings can trigger respiratory diseases in humans. 

The most common of these is Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). Humans can contract this disease by breathing in particles from rodent urine and droppings.

The Mayo Clinic notes early signs are similar to influenza. They can include muscle ache, fever, and abdominal pain. 

If you do see droppings, wear gloves and a mask while you clean. This will help to prevent you from catching HPS or other diseases from the droppings. 

2. Odor

A rat outside of someone's home.

Another sign of a rodent infestation is odor. Those who have experienced an infestation have described smelling a rotten or musty odor. 

This smell will worsen as the rodent infestation does and can be due to decaying rodents and their droppings. 

The odor can often intensify in areas that rodents frequent and dissipate once the infestation has been cleared. 

Remember, this odor can indicate droppings and dead rodents, which spread their diseases to humans. For that reason, we strongly suggest calling us to clean them and their odor from your home professionally.  

3. Chew Marks

Gnaw marks and a hole where rodents have entered a building. Chewing is a sign of a rodent infestation.

A true telltale sign of an active infestation is gnaw marks. These tiny marks can be seen on food packaging, electrical wires, and points of entry. 

Constant chewing is how both mice and rats keep their front incisors shaped and a good size. They are prone to chewing on baseboards and flooring as well. 

Their constant chewing can turn lethal to humans if they begin to chew on wiring in a home. When the insulation is stripped from electrical wires, an electrical short can cause a fire. 

4. Noise

A woman listening through her wall using a glass for a rodent infestation.

One of the first signs of a rodent infestation can be the sound of scampering or movement in walls or vents. The sound may also resemble scratching or chewing. 

This can happen in homes or businesses and is an indication that you have a more severe infestation. 

Both mice and rats are nocturnal, meaning that they forage for food and move mostly after sunset. This means that you are more likely to hear rodent sounds in the evening. 

Rodents sometimes travel in heating vents because they can fit, and they are drawn to the heat. 

Recently we posted a blog on the damage both mice and rats can do to an HVAC system.  

Potential problems include the spread of disease through vents or fire from chewing through wiring in walls. It is imperative to rid your home of pests that may be in your home in either situation. 


A German Shepard and Tabby cat sitting on a couch together

Housepets are quick to notice if there is something different or scurrying in a home. Odd behavior from your pets can indicate the presence of rodents. 

Dogs and cats are especially sensitive to changes in their environments.

This behavior may translate as scratching at a wall they hear movement in. Also, take note of when your pet’s behavior changes in a particular area of your home where the rodents are. 

Both cats and dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans. This means that they can smell an infestation earlier than we as humans could. 

Cats can not only pick up the scent of pests; they sense their movements through their whiskers. They not only have whiskers on their face but their legs as well. 

Your cat’s whiskers allow them to get a literal feel for their environment and disturbances in it. 

Dogs use their excellent sense of smell to sniff out rodents, which they see as a threat to their environment. 

If You Have A Rodent Infestation, We’re Here for You

A rat in a pest control trap.

Since 1986 our business has been helping families to take back their homes from pests. We take the time to get to know you and choose a method to keep pests away.

Affiliating with the National Pest Management Association and Minnesota Pest Management Association provides us access to our industry’s best minds. 

We can learn from them as well as witnessing the newest methods of responsible pest extermination. 

Methods gleaned from these organizations and our own experience help us treat your home while keeping the environment in mind.  

We treat your home by finding the source of your rodent infestation so that we can keep them away. 

Whether you need services for a house, business, or apartment building, we’re here for you! Visit our site today to learn more about pest management and receive a free quote.


Why You Need to Get Rid of Mice in Your Air Vents

A mouse in an air vent
A mouse in an air vent

Have you heard the sound of little rodent feet in your ductwork at night? If you have mice in your air vents, don’t wait another night to tackle the problem.

Maybe there have been telltale mouse droppings in the corners of the kitchen. You may have even witnessed the tiny creature running across the room and into a sneaky hiding place. 

You are aware there is a mouse in the house. When there is one, there are more, making a home often in your HVAC system. 

Homeowners often find mice in air vents because it is a dark space where they can hide and keep warm. A mouse in your ductwork has access to your whole house.

If you have a mouse infestation, it is time to call in the experts. Environmental Pest Management  offers residential, commercial, and multi-family pest control management. 

Our goal is to solve your problem safely, for the long-term, and at a reasonable price. Contact us today for a free estimate.

Please continue reading for our reasons why you need to get rid of mice in your air vents. 

The Dangers of a Mouse Infestation in Your Air Vents

The two reasons mice are a danger are disease and damage. 


a field mouse on a white background

Mice are in the mammal family of rodents. There are over 2,200 different types of rodents found in the family. 

Altogether, these rodents make up 40% of all mammals. Besides mice, other animals in the family include squirrels, rats, chipmunks, and prairie dogs. 

Unfortunately, rodents carry 35 different diseases for which humans are susceptible. Fleas or ticks can transmit diseases to humans and other mammals, including pets. 

Mice droppings (both urine and feces) can be quite toxic to humans and full of harmful bacteria. 

If you have a mouse infestation, you must be careful about how you eliminate the infestation. Pest control companies are recommended because the dust in mouse nests in air vents can be hazardous to breathe. 

Not only can mice make you sick, but they can cause damage to your home. 


Wire damage caused by mice in air vents

Mice are notorious for causing physical damage to homes and businesses. Mice easily chew through the siding and building materials to get into your home. 

Mice can even chew through electrical lines, which can ignite a fire in your home. 

Additionally, mice can chew holes in furniture, wood, or cabinets. Mice can be anywhere there is food, and you may identify their presence when you find holes in food containers. 

Mice need to “gnaw” to keep their teeth in a serviceable condition.  You can imagine the damage several mice can create in a heating system. 

If mice have found a home in your ducts, it is essential to call a professional to have them removed. 

How to Get Rid of Mice in Your Air Vents

Mouse prevention trap on exterior of home

Professional pest management companies identify where mice nest in air vents. The professionals will also find favorite feeding grounds. 

By eliminating food sources and exterminating nests, the mice will not be able to maintain life in the home. Pest control experts will eliminate the mice and properly clean the infestation area. 

Proper clean up is important to reduce the risk of allergies, illness, and future mice in your air vents. 

Once successfully eliminated, you’ll likely want to assess your air ducts’ damage and clean the air ducts. 

Finally, you may want to install stainless steel mesh vent covers to keep mice out in the future. Pest control professionals can make recommendations on the best hardware to use to keep mice away, moving forward. 

How Air Infiltration Can Affect the Spread of COVID

An air filter for a home HVAC system

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a clean and well-maintained HVAC system can reduce the spread of COVID-19. The rate of air change is increased, reducing the recirculation of air, and increasing the introduction of outdoor air.

Have HVAC systems regularly inspected, maintained, and cleaned. Keeping the vents clean and functioning can help reduce the spread of other viruses in the home or office space. 

Obviously, with a mouse infestation, the heating and cooling system is unable to work as intended. Rather than providing the environment with clean, circulated air it becomes clogged and can spread allergens and disease from rodents. 

Once a pest control company successfully eliminates the mice from your ducts, you will want to have them inspected regularly. Even with the installation of barriers, mice can be drawn back to places they’ve previously been. 

Steps You Can Take To Keep Mice Away

Someone throwing away leftover food from a plate to prevent mice

There are a few suggestions you can do to keep mice out of your home: 

  • Clean your home or workspace
  • Keep food in thick or metal containers with tight lids
  • Clean up spills immediately
  • Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink
  • Use a thick plastic or metal garbage can
  • Keep compost bins far from the home 
  • Never leave pet food out overnight

Take these steps after a reputable pest control company has removed the mice. You will find greater success with keeping the intruders away for good. 

Call in The Best To Eliminate Mice in Your Air Vents

A pest control technician showing a customer an iPad

You want to ensure the mice are removed safely and will not return.  Environmental Pest Management will eliminate the rodents and help you identify the source, so they don’t return in the future. 

At Environmental Pest Management, we address the what, why, how, and when to find a solution for your pest concerns. 

We use what is called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is a practical and environmentally sensitive approach that relies on common-sense practices.

IPM programs use current and comprehensive information on pests’ life cycles, including how they interact with their environment. 

Through the use of IPM, we can manage the intruders ethically and economically. 

Contact us today to book your free pest inspection. We will work to eliminate the mice so you can breathe in healthy air!