6 Signs It’s Time to Bring in a Professional Rodent Exterminator

Professional rodent exterminator near me

Are you hearing strange scratching sounds in the walls at night? Or maybe you’ve noticed chewed-up wires or droppings around your home. If so, you might have a rodent problem on your hands. Dealing with pesky rodents can be a frustrating and stressful experience, especially when traditional methods of getting rid of them prove ineffective. That’s when it’s time to bring in a professional rodent exterminator. A professional rodent exterminator has the expertise and tools to rid your home of these unwanted guests once and for all. From identifying entry points and setting up traps, to implementing safe and effective methods of eradication, they have the knowledge and experience to handle the job. Not only will a professional rodent exterminator eliminate the current infestation, but they will also take steps to prevent future ones. By identifying and sealing off access points, as well as providing advice on proper sanitation and rodent-proofing, they can help ensure that your home remains rodent-free in the long run. Don’t let rodents take over your home. If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s time to call in the professionals and regain control of your living space.

Common Signs of a Rodent Infestation

Identifying a rodent infestation early can save you time, money, and stress. Here are the expanded details on common signs that indicate you might have a rodent problem in your home:

Strange Noises

One of the first signs of a rodent infestation is often the sounds they make. At night, when rodents are most active, you might hear scratching, gnawing, or scurrying noises coming from within walls, ceilings, or under floors. These sounds are typically more noticeable during quiet times and can indicate the presence of mice or rats moving around in search of food or nesting materials.


Finding rodent droppings around your home is a clear sign of an infestation. These droppings are often found near food sources, such as kitchen cabinets, drawers, pantries, and under sinks. Mouse droppings are small, about the size of a grain of rice, and pointed at both ends. Rat droppings are larger, about the size of an olive pit, and also have pointed ends. The presence of fresh droppings, which are dark and moist, indicates an active infestation.

Gnaw Marks

Rodents have strong front teeth that grow continuously throughout their lives. To keep them trimmed, they gnaw on various materials, including wood, plastic, and even soft metals. Finding gnaw marks on furniture, walls, or wires is a sign of rodent activity. These marks not only indicate their presence but also pose a fire risk due to damaged electrical wiring.


Rodents build nests from shredded paper, fabric, and other fibrous materials in secluded areas. These nests are often hidden in walls, attics, or behind appliances. Finding a nest or materials rodents could use for nesting is a strong indicator of an infestation.

Footprints and Tail Marks

In dusty environments or rarely used areas of a home, you might find rodent footprints or tail marks. These tracks can often be seen leading to and from potential entry points or food sources. Using a flashlight at an angle can help make these tracks more visible.

Unusual Pet Behavior

Pets often become more alert or agitated if they detect the presence of rodents in the house. If your cat or dog is paying unusual attention to an area where they previously showed little interest, especially if they are sniffing or pawing at baseboards, walls, or under appliances, it could be a sign that rodents are present.


A distinctive, musty odor may be present if there is a significant rodent infestation. This smell is particularly strong in enclosed areas where rodents are active. Over time, as the infestation grows, this odor can become more pronounced.

Recognizing these signs early and taking action can prevent a small rodent problem from becoming a full-blown infestation. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to inspect your home more closely or consider bringing in a professional rodent exterminator to assess the situation and recommend a course of action.

The Dangers of Rodent Infestations

Rodent infestations pose significant health and safety risks to humans and pets. Understanding these dangers can underscore the importance of addressing infestations promptly. Here’s an expanded look at the risks associated with rodent infestations:

Disease Transmission

Rodents are carriers of various diseases that can be transmitted to humans directly through contact with rodent feces, urine, saliva, or bites. Indirect transmission can occur through ticks, mites, or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent. Some of the diseases associated with rodents include:

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome: A severe respiratory disease transmitted through inhaling particles from rodent urine, droppings, or nesting materials.
  • Leptospirosis: Can be contracted through direct contact with or ingestion of water contaminated by rodent urine.
  • Salmonellosis (Salmonella): Often spread by consuming food or water contaminated with rodent feces.
  • Rat-Bite Fever: Transmitted by bites or scratches from infected rodents, or contact with a dead rodent.
  • Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM): A viral infectious disease that can be contracted through breathing in dust contaminated with rodent urine or droppings, direct contact with these materials, or through rodent bites.

Property Damage

Rodents have strong teeth that allow them to chew through almost anything, including wood, plastic, cardboard, and electrical wiring. This gnawing can cause significant damage to your home and possessions, including:

  • Electrical Damage: Rodents chewing on wires can strip away the protective insulation, leading to short circuits, malfunctions, and even fires.
  • Structural Damage: Continuous gnawing can weaken structures, damage insulation, and create entry points for moisture, leading to potential mold growth.
  • Personal Property: Clothing, books, and furniture can also be damaged as rodents search for nesting materials.

Food Contamination

Rodents are known to invade food supplies, contaminating them with their droppings, urine, and fur. This not only leads to the loss of food but also poses serious health risks if contaminated food is accidentally consumed.

Allergies and Asthma

Rodent hair, dander, urine, and droppings can exacerbate allergies and asthma in sensitive individuals. The presence of these allergens in the home environment can lead to respiratory issues and worsen symptoms for those with pre-existing conditions.

Psychological Impact

The presence of rodents in a home can cause significant stress and anxiety for the occupants. The fear of encountering rodents, concern over the health risks they pose, and the stigma associated with infestations can impact mental well-being.

Attracting Other Pests

Rodents can attract other pests into your home, including fleas, ticks, and mites. These secondary pests can further complicate the infestation and increase the risk of disease transmission.

Given these dangers, it’s clear that rodent infestations should not be taken lightly. Effective management and eradication are crucial to protect your health, your home, and your peace of mind. If you suspect a rodent problem, it’s advisable to act swiftly, either by implementing control measures yourself or by enlisting the services of professional exterminators to ensure the infestation is dealt with effectively and safely.

DIY Methods for Rodent Extermination

While professional extermination is often the most effective way to handle a rodent infestation, there are several DIY methods homeowners can try to control or eliminate rodents. These methods can be particularly useful for dealing with small infestations or as preventive measures. Here’s an expanded look at some common DIY rodent control strategies:


Trapping is one of the most direct methods for removing rodents from your home. There are several types of traps available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Snap Traps: Traditional and effective, these traps use a trigger mechanism to kill rodents instantly. They should be baited with attractive food like peanut butter and placed along walls where rodents travel.
  • Live Traps: These allow for the capture of rodents without killing them, enabling you to release them far from your home. However, releasing rodents into the wild may not be humane or legal in all areas, so check local regulations first.
  • Electronic Traps: These deliver a lethal electric shock to rodents, offering a quick and humane kill. They are more expensive but can be effective for repeated use.
  • Glue Traps: These traps use a sticky adhesive to hold rodents in place. While effective, they are considered inhumane by some, as they do not kill the rodent immediately.


Repellents can deter rodents from entering your home or encourage them to leave if they’re already present. There are various types, including:

  • Natural Repellents: Peppermint oil, cloves, and cayenne pepper are natural substances that rodents dislike. Soaking cotton balls in these substances and placing them in areas of rodent activity can help drive them away.
  • Ultrasonic Repellents: These devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to rodents but inaudible to humans and most pets. Their effectiveness can vary, and rodents may become accustomed to the noise over time.

Sealing Entry Points

Preventing rodents from entering your home is crucial. This involves identifying and sealing off any potential entry points:

  • Inspect your home’s exterior for cracks, holes, or gaps. Common entry points include areas where utility lines enter, gaps around doors and windows, and holes in exterior walls.
  • Use steel wool, caulk, or wire mesh to seal small holes and cracks. Rodents can chew through many materials, so it’s important to use rodent-proof materials.

Proper Sanitation

Reducing the availability of food and shelter for rodents can make your home less inviting:

  • Store food in airtight containers and avoid leaving pet food out overnight.
  • Regularly dispose of garbage in sealed containers.
  • Declutter your home to reduce nesting opportunities. Keep storage areas clean and organized, and regularly inspect for signs of rodent activity.

Yard Maintenance

Maintaining your yard can also help deter rodents:

  • Trim vegetation away from your home’s exterior to reduce shelter and hiding spots.
  • Remove debris such as leaf piles, stacked wood, and clutter where rodents can nest.
  • Secure compost bins and ensure they are rodent-proof to avoid providing a food source.

While these DIY methods can be effective for controlling small rodent populations, they may not always be sufficient for larger infestations or for long-term control. If you’ve tried these methods without success, or if the problem persists, it may be time to consult a professional rodent exterminator for a more comprehensive solution.

When to Consider Hiring a Professional Rodent Exterminator

While DIY methods can be effective for minor rodent problems, there are situations where it becomes necessary to seek professional help. Understanding when to call in a professional rodent exterminator can save you time, money, and ensure the health and safety of your household. Here are key scenarios when you should consider professional extermination services:

Repeated Infestations

If you’ve successfully eliminated rodents, only to find they return after a short period, it might indicate a larger or more complex infestation than initially thought. Professionals can identify and address the root causes of recurring infestations, such as hidden nests or unseen entry points.

Large Scale Infestation

When the signs of rodent activity are widespread throughout your home, including multiple sightings, droppings in various areas, or extensive damage, the infestation may be too large for DIY methods to be effective. Professional exterminators have the tools and techniques to manage large-scale infestations efficiently.

Risk of Disease

Rodents are carriers of various diseases. If there’s a significant risk of disease due to the type of rodent or the scale of infestation, professional extermination becomes crucial. Professionals can safely eliminate the infestation and advise on cleaning and disinfection to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

Ineffective DIY Methods

If you’ve tried multiple DIY methods without success, it’s time to call in the professionals. Continuing ineffective treatments can allow the infestation to grow, increasing the risks and potentially leading to more significant damage and higher costs.

Safety Concerns

Handling rodent infestations involves risks, such as exposure to diseases, bites, and the proper handling of traps and chemicals. If you have concerns about the safety of DIY extermination methods, professional exterminators can ensure that the infestation is dealt with safely and effectively.

Damage to Property

Significant damage to your home’s structure, wiring, or insulation not only indicates a severe infestation but also poses fire risks and structural issues. Professionals can eradicate the infestation and help identify the extent of the damage for necessary repairs.

Peace of Mind

Living with a rodent infestation can be stressful and affect your quality of life. If the presence of rodents is causing anxiety or if you’re concerned about the health of your family and pets, hiring a professional can provide peace of mind that the problem is being addressed thoroughly and professionally.

Specialized Situations

Certain situations, such as infestations in hard-to-reach areas, dealing with aggressive species, or concerns about non-target animals being harmed, require specialized knowledge and equipment. Professional exterminators have the expertise to handle these complex scenarios effectively.

Legal and Compliance Issues

In some cases, especially in commercial properties or specific residential areas, there may be legal requirements or compliance standards for pest control. Professionals ensure that extermination methods meet these requirements, avoiding potential legal issues.

Recognizing when to hire a professional rodent exterminator can ultimately save you from prolonged discomfort, potential health risks, and more significant financial costs. If you’re facing any of these situations, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance to ensure the infestation is dealt with effectively and safely.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Rodent Exterminator

Dealing with a rodent infestation can be challenging and stressful for homeowners. While DIY methods may offer a temporary fix, hiring a professional rodent exterminator comes with several benefits that ensure a more permanent solution to the problem. Here are the key advantages of enlisting professional help:

Expertise and Experience

Professional exterminators have the knowledge and experience to deal with various types of rodent infestations effectively. They understand rodent behavior, can identify the species involved, and know the most effective methods to eliminate them. This expertise ensures that the problem is addressed correctly from the start, reducing the chances of recurrence.

Comprehensive Assessment

A professional will conduct a thorough inspection of your property to identify the extent of the infestation, potential entry points, and the factors contributing to the problem. This comprehensive assessment is crucial for developing an effective treatment plan that addresses all aspects of the infestation.

Customized Treatment Plans

Every infestation is unique, and what works for one situation may not be effective in another. Professional exterminators can create customized treatment plans that are tailored to the specific needs of your home and the nature of the infestation. This targeted approach increases the chances of success and ensures that the problem is dealt with efficiently.

Advanced Methods and Tools

Professionals have access to advanced methods and tools that are not available to the average homeowner. These may include specialized traps, professional-grade rodenticides, and equipment for sealing entry points. These resources allow for a more effective and efficient eradication process.


Handling rodent infestations involves certain risks, including exposure to diseases and the safe handling of traps and chemicals. Professional exterminators are trained to deal with these hazards safely, protecting you and your family from potential harm.

Preventative Measures

Eliminating the current infestation is only part of the solution. Professionals also focus on preventative measures to ensure that rodents do not return. This includes sealing entry points, offering advice on sanitation and storage practices, and sometimes implementing ongoing monitoring and maintenance programs.

Time and Cost Efficiency

Attempting to tackle a rodent infestation on your own can be time-consuming and may become costly if DIY methods prove ineffective. Hiring a professional can save time and money in the long run by quickly resolving the problem and preventing future infestations.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that your rodent problem is being handled by experts can provide significant peace of mind. You can trust that the infestation will be dealt with effectively and safely, allowing you to focus on enjoying your home without the stress and anxiety of dealing with pests.

Warranty and Follow-Up

Many professional extermination services offer warranties and follow-up visits as part of their service package. This ensures that if the problem persists or recurs within a certain timeframe, they will return to address the issue at no additional cost.

In conclusion, while DIY methods may seem appealing, the benefits of hiring a professional rodent exterminator are clear. From their expertise and comprehensive approach to the safety and peace of mind they offer, professional services provide a more effective and efficient solution to rodent infestations, ensuring that your home remains safe and pest-free.

How to Choose the Right Rodent Extermination Company

Selecting the right professional rodent extermination company is crucial to effectively addressing your rodent problem. With numerous options available, it’s important to know what criteria to consider to ensure you’re choosing a reputable and effective service provider. Here are key factors to guide you in making an informed decision:

Licensing and Certification

Ensure the company you choose is licensed to perform pest control services in your area. A licensed company adheres to state and local regulations and standards, which is a basic indicator of their reliability and professionalism. Additionally, check if the technicians are certified by relevant pest control associations, which means they have undergone training and adhere to best practices in pest management.

Experience and Reputation

Look for a company with a proven track record of successfully dealing with rodent infestations, particularly those similar to your situation. Experience is crucial as it indicates the company’s ability to effectively solve various pest problems. Research the company’s reputation by reading online reviews, testimonials, and checking their reviews on Google or similar consumer protection organizations.


Ensure the extermination company is insured. This protects you from liability in case of accidents or damage to your property during the extermination process. A reputable company will have general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

Methods and Treatments

Inquire about the methods and treatments the company uses for rodent extermination. A reputable company will employ a range of strategies tailored to your specific situation, including trapping, baiting, and exclusion techniques. They should also be willing to discuss the safety and environmental impact of their methods, especially if they use chemical treatments.

Consultation and Inspection

A reliable extermination company should offer a thorough inspection of your property to assess the extent of the infestation and identify potential entry points for rodents. Based on this inspection, they should provide a detailed plan of action, including the methods they will use, the timeline, and the expected outcomes.

Customer Service

Evaluate the company’s customer service by considering their responsiveness to your inquiries, their willingness to answer your questions, and their overall professionalism. Good customer service is indicative of a company that values its clients and is committed to providing effective solutions.

Guarantee and Follow-up

Check if the company offers a guarantee for their services and what it entails. A guarantee indicates the company’s confidence in their work and their commitment to solving your rodent problem. Additionally, find out if they provide follow-up services to ensure the infestation is completely resolved and to prevent future infestations.


While cost should not be the sole factor in your decision, it’s important to get quotes from several companies to compare prices. Be wary of prices that seem too good to be true, as they may indicate subpar services. Instead, focus on the value offered by each company, considering their expertise, methods, and the comprehensiveness of their services.


Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors who have had similar pest problems. Personal recommendations can provide valuable insights into a company’s effectiveness and customer service.

Choosing the right rodent extermination company involves careful consideration of these factors. By doing your homework and selecting a company that meets these criteria, you can ensure that your rodent problem will be handled effectively, safely, and professionally.

The Process of Professional Rodent Extermination

Understanding the process of professional rodent extermination can help set your expectations and prepare you for what’s involved in eliminating a rodent infestation from your home. While specific approaches may vary depending on the extermination company and the severity of the infestation, the process generally follows several key steps:

Initial Contact and Consultation

The process begins when you reach out to a professional extermination company. During this initial contact, you’ll likely discuss the signs of rodent activity you’ve observed and any concerns you have. The company may provide some immediate advice over the phone and will schedule an in-person inspection of your property.

Inspection and Assessment

A thorough inspection is a critical first step in the extermination process. A professional exterminator will visit your home to assess the extent of the infestation, identify the type(s) of rodents present, and locate potential entry points and nesting sites. This inspection allows the exterminator to determine the most effective treatment plan tailored to your specific situation.

Development of a Treatment Plan

Based on the findings from the inspection, the exterminator will develop a comprehensive treatment plan. This plan will detail the methods and tools to be used, such as traps, baits, and exclusion techniques. It will also outline the timeline for the extermination process and any preparations you need to make, such as securing pets or cleaning specific areas.

Implementation of Treatment

The extermination process itself involves implementing the strategies outlined in the treatment plan. This may include setting up traps and bait stations at strategic locations, sealing off entry points to prevent further access, and applying rodenticides if necessary. The exterminator will use their expertise to apply these treatments effectively while minimizing risks to your family and pets.

Monitoring and Follow-Up

After the initial treatment, the exterminator will likely schedule follow-up visits to monitor the situation, check the effectiveness of the traps and baits, and make any necessary adjustments. These follow-up visits are crucial for assessing the progress of the extermination efforts and ensuring that the rodent population is being effectively reduced.

Prevention and Exclusion

A key part of the extermination process is preventing future infestations. The exterminator will provide recommendations for rodent-proofing your home, such as sealing up holes and gaps where rodents can enter, improving sanitation to reduce food sources, and removing clutter that provides nesting materials. They may also perform some of these exclusion measures themselves as part of their service.

Final Evaluation

Once the exterminator is confident that the rodent infestation has been successfully eliminated, they will conduct a final evaluation of your property. This includes a last inspection to ensure no new activity is detected and that all entry points remain sealed. They will also review prevention strategies with you to ensure your home stays rodent-free.

Documentation and Warranty

Professional extermination services typically provide documentation of the services performed, including details of the treatment plan, the pesticides or methods used, and any guarantees or warranties offered. This documentation is important for your records and can be useful if you have questions or concerns in the future.

The process of professional rodent extermination is comprehensive, involving not just the elimination of the current infestation but also measures to prevent future problems. By understanding this process, you can work more effectively with your exterminator to ensure your home becomes and remains rodent-free.

Preventing Future Rodent Infestations

Preventing future rodent infestations is as crucial as eliminating the current one. Effective prevention involves a combination of good sanitation practices, home maintenance, and vigilance. Here are detailed strategies to help keep your home rodent-free:

Seal Entry Points

Rodents can enter through small gaps and holes, so it’s essential to inspect your home regularly for potential entry points and seal them promptly. Use materials that rodents cannot easily chew through, such as steel wool, metal sheeting, or concrete mortar. Pay special attention to areas where utility pipes enter the house, gaps around windows and doors, and vents.

Maintain a Clean Environment

Good sanitation can significantly reduce the risk of a rodent infestation by limiting access to food and water sources. Keep your kitchen clean by wiping down surfaces, storing food in airtight containers, and not leaving pet food out overnight. Regularly dispose of garbage in sealed containers and keep your yard free of debris and standing water.

Manage Vegetation and Landscaping

Overgrown vegetation can provide shelter and nesting sites for rodents. Keep shrubs and trees trimmed away from your home’s exterior. Avoid using dense ground covers like ivy, and maintain a tidy yard by removing fallen fruits or nuts that could attract rodents.

Store Firewood and Building Materials Properly

Stack firewood and building materials at least 18 inches off the ground and away from your home’s walls. This practice discourages rodents from nesting in these materials and makes it harder for them to access your home.

Use Rodent-Proof Containers for Food and Waste

Ensure that food waste is disposed of in rodent-proof containers with tight-fitting lids. Similarly, store grains, pet food, and birdseed in sturdy, sealed containers to prevent attracting rodents with easily accessible food sources.

Eliminate Water Sources

Fix leaky faucets, pipes, and any areas of standing water around your property. Reducing moisture can make your home less appealing to rodents, who seek out water sources for survival.

Implement Natural Deterrents

Some natural deterrents, such as peppermint oil, can repel rodents. Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them in areas where rodents are likely to enter your home. Note that while natural deterrents can help, they should not be relied upon as the sole method of prevention.

Regular Inspection and Monitoring

Regularly inspect your home for signs of rodent activity, such as droppings, gnaw marks, or unusual pet behavior. Early detection is key to preventing a minor issue from becoming a full-blown infestation.

Educate Your Household

Ensure that all members of your household are aware of the importance of rodent prevention. Simple habits, such as closing doors and sealing food containers, can significantly reduce the risk of infestation.

Professional Prevention Services

Consider hiring a professional pest control service for an annual or semi-annual inspection, especially if you live in an area prone to rodent infestations. Professionals can offer personalized advice and implement prevention strategies that are tailored to your specific situation.

Implementing these prevention strategies can significantly reduce the likelihood of future rodent infestations. By taking proactive steps and maintaining vigilance, you can protect your home and family from the risks associated with rodents.

Conclusion: Taking Action Against Rodent Infestations

Ignoring a rodent infestation can lead to significant health, safety, and financial consequences. Recognizing the signs of an infestation and understanding when to call in a professional can help you maintain a safe and healthy home environment. If you’re dealing with a rodent problem, don’t wait for it to worsen. Take action now to protect your home and your health.

Professional Rodent Exterminators for Raleigh-Durham, NC

If you’re in the Clayton, NC, or the Raleigh-Durham area and suspect a rodent infestation, don’t hesitate to contact Freedom Wildlife Solutions. Our team of professional rodent exterminators has the expertise and tools necessary to eliminate your rodent problem efficiently and prevent future infestations. With Freedom Wildlife Solutions, you can rest assured that your home will be rodent-free. Contact us today to regain control of your living space and ensure a safe, healthy environment for you and your family.

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