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Pests Going Bump in the Night?

Over the years, the Brody Brothers team has become the Hardy Boys of pest mysteries.

Many of our new customers think the first step to solving a pest problem is treatment, but it’s not always that simple; we often have to find clues and put them together to figure out what kind of pest we’re dealing with, so we can choose the most effective, least hazardous treatment available.

That process starts with our very first phone call from a customer. We listen to what they’ve seen, heard and even smelled in their home.

  • Are they hearing clicking inside their walls?
  • Have they found damage to furniture or clothing, or spotted droppings?
  • Have they actually laid eyes on an infestation or animal intruder?
  • Have they smelled animal feces, a musty smell, or something else entirely?

These are the questions we ask to start building our case to solve our clients’ pest mysteries.


The Pitter Patter of Rodent Feet

Recently, we’ve had a lot of clients, particularly those living in older or historic homes, call because they hear scratching, thumps or tiny footsteps in their walls or ceilings. Without any visual evidence to tell us more, it takes a lot of knowledge, experience and a systematic approach to figure out what we’re dealing with.

When it comes to the usual suspects, the most common thing we encounter when our Baltimore-area customers say they hear nails scratching against the walls or a “pitter patter” sound, especially at dawn and dusk, are deer mice. Also called field mice, these rodents nest in wall and ceiling voids.

These tiny rodents might seem cute at first, but they can carry dangerous diseases (Hantavirus and Lyme Disease, to name two).  Typically, they get into homes through cracks and the branches of mature trees that are in contact with the house.

Sometimes, though, the intruder turns out to be something else entirely. If a homeowner hears more noise during the day or early morning, and reports fast running, louder footsteps or even playing or fighting sounds coming from the ceiling, they might have a grey squirrel (or more than one) who has taken up residence in their attic.

We’ve also found flying squirrels when customers have reported hearing similar but more muted sounds at night. And if a customer reports hearing loud running in the ceiling and unrecognizable animal noises, we start leading our investigation toward the possibility of a raccoon as the culprit.


The Next Step

As you can imagine, the method and treatment for mice versus squirrels versus raccoons is completely different.

The one thing they all have in common, though, is that we highly recommend bringing in the professionals to deal with it.

Beyond the potential for being bitten by the animal and having to go get a series of rabies shots, traps and bait can be dangerous or toxic to you and your family.  And after more than 30 years in the business, we’ve had many cases where a homeowner has tried to get rid of a mouse infestation themselves, only to find that they’ve ended up with walls and ceilings full of dead, rotting, smelly rodents.

Believe us—it’s better to call in the experts to prevent that from happening in the first place.