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Do You Know the Rodent Red Flags?

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Do you smell a rat? Don’t let these sneaky pests fool you. From stock rooms and break rooms to suspended ceilings and wall voids, rodents have no trouble finding sources of food, water and shelter at your business, property or school. And though they know how to keep to the shadows, just one sighting can make the rounds on social media, damaging your reputation. To help catch the problem early, it’s important to know the breadcrumbs rodents leave behind. (For a comprehensive look at how rodents impact your business, download our free report, RATS! A Guide to Avoiding Rodents at Your Business.)

The best way to get ahead of a rodent infestation is to be proactive with your pest control measures and to include your staff in the effort. Rodent monitoring should be part of your regular sanitation and maintenance routines, and you should educate your staff on pest management best practices. Here are the rodent warning signs that you and your staff should be able to identify:

  1. Droppings – Rodents leave behind a lot of droppings, and seeing these capsule-like pellets around your business should raise a red flag. Rodent droppings are not only unsanitary—they can transmit diseases. Make sure your employees take the appropriate precautions by wearing gloves and an OSHA-approved respirator during the removal process and disinfecting the area with spray disinfectant, like Orkin VitalClean™.

  2. Nests – Rats and mice build nests from shredded material, like paper, cloth and cardboard. They are usually found in dark areas like crawlspaces, between walls and in garbage dumps.

  3. Burrows – While some rodents prefer to scurry along the roof, others take refuge underground. If that is the case, their nests may be hidden in burrows. Rats and mice can create elaborate underground tunnels or just simple excavated holes. Click here to learn more about the differences between common rodent species.

  4. Grease marks – Rodents are so dirty that their bodies leave behind grease marks as they travel along walls. Darker grease stains generally indicate heavier activity in that area. But never fear – rodents’ filth can come back to bite them. Take note of grease marks and strategically place rodent traps along frequently traveled paths.

  5. Gnaw marks – With teeth that never stop growing, rodents can literally take a bite out of your business by causing expensive structural damage. Look for chew marks in walls, insulation, wires, flooring, pallets and products. Also take note of heavy scratching noises, as these could be the sound of chewing rodents.

Rodents can pose serious threats to your business, property or school, so the more hands on deck, the better. Schedule a staff training with your pest management provider so that your employees will know what to look for and how to report rodent activity. With an effective monitoring and documentation process in place, you’ll be able to gnaw away at your rodent problem in no time.

Looking for more information to chew on? Download our free report, RATS! A Guide to Avoiding Rodents at Your Business.

No one likes a rat. Help protect your business - and reputation. Learn everything you need to know about rodents, from their dirty habits to their fatal flaws. Download report now.


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