If you think that only human beings need a warm and comfortable shelter, you are wrong. Wild rats will become regular members of your family as long as they find a cozy hideout to build their nest, food, and water.
During winter, the bush becomes unbearably cold, and so these pests start looking for somewhere warm in your home for nesting and breeding. How will you know that you are sharing your property with these uninvited guests?
Rodent droppings, rodent urine stains, gnaw marks, and stale smells are the first signs of rodent infestations. Rats leave droppings in the areas they frequent, such as their nesting sites and food source. You will find feces in the kitchen, hidden dark corners of the house, ceiling, cupboards, and food packages. Since rats and mice move around looking for food at night, you may find holes in plastic food packaging materials, shredded paper of fabric, as well as gnaw marks on electric cables. You may notice a stale smell from their hideouts, originating from feces, urine, and carcasses of dead rodents. EPA. (n.d). How dangerous are rodent infestations?
Rodents can cause considerable losses in your home or office. Since they gnaw on anything, they can chew on electric cables until they cause a fire problem. Similarly, they can chew on plastic water pipes until they burst and cause water damage. The worst effect of rats and mice infestation is the structural damage and destruction of property they leave behind. When they invade your home, these nocturnal pests work at night where they drill holes on the walls, shred clothes, furniture, fittings, and personal belongings, leaving a trail of structural damage. If they invade your store, they will eat both the food and its packaging.
In addition, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has identified about 35 diseases caused by rodents. They transmit these diseases through their feces, urine, carcasses, and the ticks, fleas, and mites they carry. CDC. (2017).
Below are the diseases you can contract from rodents:
Inhaling dust contaminated with rats or mice droppings and urine exposes you to diseases such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, hemorrhagic fever, Lassa, Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis virus, South American Arenaviruses, and tularemia. The Norway rat is notorious for this kind of disease transmission. CDC. (2017).
Both rats and mice can bite you while you sleep or when they feel under pressure. Some diseases transmitted through rodent bites include Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis virus, Plague, Rat-bite fever, South American Arenaviruses, and Tularemia. The most notorious culprits for bites are:
Both rats and mice leave excreta behind as they feed, nest and forage, spreading disease to everyone who comes into contact with the contaminated surfaces. Sometimes, the urine and feces contaminate food and drinking water, exposing you to many diseases. If you eat contaminated food or drink contaminated water, you increase your risk of contracting diseases such as Lassa, Leptospirosis, Rat-bite fever, Salmonellosis, and Tularemia. CDC. (2017).
Some diseases are spread through direct contact with an infected live rat or their excrement. These diseases include Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Hemorrhagic fever, Lassa, Leptospirosis, Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis virus, Plague, and South American Arenaviruses. CDC. (2017).
People who have contracted the following diseases can also transmit them to others: hemorrhagic fever, Lassa, and South American Arenaviruses. CDC. (2017).
Trapping rodents is not enough to keep you safe. Dead rodents can spread diseases such as Tularemia and Rat Bite Fever. CDC. (2017).
Infected fleas, mites, ticks, and mosquitos spread diseases such as Babesiosis, Colorado tick fever, Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis, Lyme disease, Murine typhus, Omsk hemorrhagic fever, Powassan virus, Scrub typhus, Relapsing fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Sylvatic typhus, West Nile virus and La Crosse Encephalitis. CDC. (2019).
Proactive rodent control tips
Rats live in packs. One rat can produce over 20 offspring in a month, depending on the species. Each female offspring being ready for reproduction in just three months. Thus, if you do not employ any pest control measures, you can have the rat population in your home grow from 2 to over 2,000 rats! Bradford, A. (2015). Find out below some of the proactive rodent control measures that can save you time, money, and stress.
Rats get into your house through holes and other openings in the basement, crawlspace, windows, doors, roof, and floor. Seal all holes with steel wool, concrete, or caulk and apply peppermint oil on all the entry points to prevent them from getting in.
Left-over food, food crumbs, and uncovered food in the kitchen are the primary rodent food sources. Leaving food lying around uncovered will be like housing an unwanted guest and fattening them. Control rodent population in your home by limiting their access to food and water. Store all cereals in plastic boxes or metallic containers, clean the pet bowl, refrigerate all left-over foods and clear the sink before going to bed. In addition, dry all water pools in the compound. A hungry or thirsty rodent will eventually move out in search of food and water.
Rodents love fruits, and your garden is the source. Remove fruits as soon as they drop on the ground and ensure no rotting food is lying in the garden. If you notice rodent activity in the garden, place traps around the rodent tracks to catch them as they forage.
Rats chew plastic, and so the best trash can to get rid of rodents is a metallic one. Make sure it has a lid because common house rats love garbage. Food in the trash bin is also to other pests such as cockroaches. Keeping it covered will prevent rats and other unsanitary pests away from your house.
Clutter in the basement provides a good hideout for rodents and other pests, allowing them to breed unnoticed. They will be chewing on the wood, pipes, and cabling material in the house and cause damage. Remove any construction materials, furniture, clothing, and debris from your home. Freeing up your space will relieve you from rodent invasions.
Rats use hanging tree branches to get into your home. For example, a roof rat will find its hideout in the ceiling, while other house mice will find a hidden place in the basement or kitchen. Pruning trees in the compound is an effective rodent control measure as it denies rats and mice entry route into your home.
Wild rodents hide in the bush. If there are shrubs around your house, they are a safe hideout for rats and mice. They will be getting into the house to look for food then return to the bush to hide, but eventually, if they find a safe place inside, they will move in. Clear any shrubs within 3 feet of the house and protect your home.
You do not need to love cat-and-mouse games, but you will always emerge the winner in this duel. Cats are great pets and also natural rodent control agents. Even if your cat does not chase mice, its scent alone will keep rodents away.
A 2-foot barrier wall can prevent mice and rats from getting in. In addition, setting up rodent traps around the perimeter wall to catch any intruder. However, you need to ensure the rodent bait stations are tamper-proof and away from pets. Looking for gnaw marks or rodent droppings when setting up the traps will help you catch them as they get in or out.
A house mouse does not invade alone. If you have a pest problem on your property, it is also likely that you have attracted rats and mice. In addition, rodent predators do not live far from their food. Therefore, the presence of rodent eaters such as snakes could symbolize a rodent infestation in your home. Call a rodent control professional for an inspection.
If you already have rodents in your home, it is time you called a pest control company for help. These professionals know how to identify rodent problems on your property. Whether you have roof rats, common house rats, or larger rodents, they know the right exclusion techniques and rodent control methods to protect your home from current and future infestations.
When you have taken all the preventative measures and have failed, what do you do? You cannot let all your rodent control efforts go to waste. Maybe the live traps, electric shock, and bait system you set up did not work. It is time to try the Sky Mark Pest rodent control program. We offer residential and commercial rodent control services in Florida. Our techniques are safe for both pets and humans, including small children. Call us on 352-552-3290 for a free quote.