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Rodent Prevention and Control All You Need to Know

Rodent Prevention and Control: All You Need to Know

Mickey Mouse, one of the most celebrated cartoon characters in the world, has been a household favorite since his inception in the early 1900s. He is a welcome addition to all homes – a mainstay that manages to keep everyone happy and entertained at all times.

While the idea of having a good-natured mouse at home that you can play with is cute, reality dictates otherwise. In fact, having a pest like this in your home brings with it a multitude of health issues that could lead to serious situations – sometimes, even death.

Luckily enough, there are a lot of ways in which you could prevent it from infesting your home. Here’s a quick guide on the different ways on how you can keep their presence in check, plus a quick overview of what you should know about rodents.

How Do You Identify Rodents?

Before performing measures to get rid of rodents, it is important to identify them first. Commensal rodents (also domestic rodents) lives close to humans. You can easily identify them as those rodents which are active during night and shelters themselves indoors for warmth during the cold season, then goes out again when the summer starts. There are some cases, however, that these rodents will stay indoors if the food source is sufficient. Generally, rodents of this kind have poor eyesight, but in turn, do have a strong sense of smell, taste, and touch. What you have to watch out for them, though, is that they are good jumpers, swimmers, climbers, and burrowers.

Apparently, commensal rodents have three species that you could identify them from:

  • Roof Rat (Rattus rattus)
    Roof rats are common in residential areas, particularly attics, wood piles, and garages, or anything above the ground. Typically, this specie would look slender, with a tail that is particularly longer than the head and feet combined, totaling to a length of 12 to 17 ¾ inches, and would weigh about ¾ of a pound. Most often, they feed on nuts, fruits, ivy, and pet food, and also hoard them to stash supplies of food.
  • Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus)
    Compared to a roof rat, a Norway rat is bigger and more aggressive. It is notably much longer, at about 18 inches, and heavier than the said specie as Norway rats could weigh up to 1 pound. Though, unlike roof rats, Norway rats have shorter tails, and smaller ears and eyes.
    Generally, Norway rats can be found in agricultural areas, sewers, and creeks as they most particularly nest in underground holes. Most likely, it feeds on grains, meat scraps, fruits, vegetables, pet food, and garbage.
  • House Mouse (Mus musculus)
    Comparatively, a house mouse is the most common mouse you’d get to see inside the house – it has a slender and small body, with a tail longer than its head and body combined. However, it is notably shorter in size than the first two species as its body size can only range from 2-1/2 to 3- 4/5 inches long. Hence, it can easily fit through small openings with at least ¼ inches in diameter. Additionally, house mice are active climbers and normally it can travel an area with 10-30 ft. in diameters.

Signs of Rodent Infestation

Now that you can identify these pests, it is also significant to know the signs that could indicate rodent activity. A few of these are:

  • Sightings of dead or alive rodents
  • Damaged or partially eaten foods such as walnuts, avocados, and oranges
  • Rodent droppings, which may be found near their shelters, runways, and feeding locations such as swimming pool heat covers and water heater closets
  • Particular sounds such as gnawing from the attic, wall spaces, and subfloor areas
  • Holes in the ground and those next to sewer lines indicates Norway rat activity
  • Grease marks along the edges or surfaces indicates the travel area that the rodents have previously occupied (these grease marks are from the oil that have stuck into the rodents’ fur and have made contact with the surfaces)
  • Gnawed upon rubber and wood materials

Common Rodent Entry Points

Before you implement rodent control, it is best to determine their entry points so as to know where you would place your trap and other rodent control measures. Below are the common rodent entry points that you should start checking on so as to eliminate rodent infestation.

  • Overlapping roofs
  • Spaces between vent pipe and roof jack
  • Tile roofs
  • Toilet rooms
  • Under garage doors
  • Brick chimneys
  • Broken vent screens or attic vent screens

The Dangers of a Rodent Infestation

Mice and rats are known for their ability to transmit disease. The Black Death of the 1300’s is a clear example of that. They are also to blame for a host of other malaises, most of which can turn fatal if left untreated.

One of the most prominent is Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM), a rodent-borne infectious disease caused by the virus lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCVM) – a member of the Arenaviridae family. It is acquired when a person breathes in particles that contain rodent’s droppings, saliva, urine, and the virus’ primary host are house mice (Mus musculus).

Leptospirosis, on the other hand, is a bacterial disease that is most commonly acquired during the wet season. Generally, one can be infected when he/she comes in contact with infected water, most likely by swimming or drinking water contaminated with urine of infected rodents.

Danger may also come from a scratch, bite, or contact with an infected or dead rodent, also called as Rat-Bite Fever (RBF). This fever, when not treated, may also turn into a serious or fatal disease.

Salmonellosis, which is also a bacterial disease (Salmonella enterica bacterium), is transmitted through eating and drinking food or water that is contaminated with rodent feces. Most likely, those who are infected may experience fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

Along with these diseases, Murine Typhus, also known as flea-borne or endemic typhus, is caused by a bacteria known as Rickettsia typhi. People get infected when they get in contact with infected fleas, particularly when its feces are rubbed into cuts or scrapes of the person, and their primary hosts – of course, are rodents.

Having stated these particular diseases highlights the importance of keeping one’s environment clean; seeing as even the smallest things can have huge ramifications on a person’s health.

How Do I Prevent Rodent Infestations?

Rodent prevention isn’t too difficult as long as you know what you are doing. See the following tips if you want to ensure that your home is as pest free as possible:

  • Manage your trash well
    • Be careful not to leave your trash out in the open air for long periods of time. Not only will doing this cause your home to stink, but it also invites critters of all kinds to feast on its contents.
    • Bag your trash when throwing it out. Outdoor pests often rummage through bins for something to eat, so make sure that your bags are well sealed and that it does not show signs that it is holding organic material of any kind.
    • Segregate when you can. You are better off keeping your organics from your non-organics. Not only will this help your local recycling plant but it will also help keep your trash well-organized.
  • Store your food correctly
    • Keep any possible food sources out of reach. Never leave anything edible on your countertop or on your kitchen table. If you are forced to though, then make sure to elevate your food from the surface and surround it with water to keep anything from crawling its way to it.
    • Food items that could cause crumbs such as breads, rice, chips, and the like should be stored in tight containers. On the other hand, consumption of these food should also be restricted to one area of the house for easy cleaning.
    • Pet food should also be given an ample attention. Never allow it to sit around for long periods of time unattended.
  • Outside your home
    • Keep your outdoor grills and cooking areas clean at all times.
    • Leaf piles and deep mulch can also be a breeding ground of rodents, so as much as possible, remove them along with other potential nesting sites.
    • Avoid planting ivy or any kind of thick vine near walls as they can act as ladders for rodents to access your homes with.
    • Refrain from a having bird feeder because it can also act as a food source for rodents.
    • If you have a compost pile outside your home, make sure to properly seal it to keep everything else out.

How Can I Effectively Control Rodents?

As long as you keep your environment safe and clean, then you are bound to be safe from all kinds of pests and critters, and that includes rodents. Remember that the best prevention is to simply make your home inhospitable to them.

However, despite the most extensive preventive measures, some pests do get into people’s homes. As long as they remain undisturbed, it can even turn into a full-blown infestation.

So what can you do to get ahold of these pests and prevent infestation? One way to get to it is through trapping. Trapping is your first level method in controlling pests. With that being said, here are three specific traps that you could use in trapping rodents.

  • Break-back Traps
    These traps are less expensive and can be purchased according to specific sizes (either of the three species you are aiming for). Rather than placing these traps along the rodents’ runway, place them across as this will most likely be effective in trapping the rodents. Additionally, there are two things that you must remember in using this type of trap: for mice, you can easily bait them and set the trap immediately, however, this may be different when it comes to rats as they are particularly wary and alert when it comes to their surroundings. Hence, it’s best to leave the trap unset for a few days, let the rats roam around it freely until they get used to it – and when they do, that’s when you set the trap and get rid of them.
  • Live Traps
    Although this is considered a trap for rodents, they are not usually recommended as most rodents would most likely be hesitant on entering the cage.
  • Glue or Sticky Traps
    Although this is considered a trap for rodents, they are not usually recommended as most rodents would most likely be hesitant on entering the cage.

Along with the above-stated points, it is also better to conduct inspections and checks as often as you can. There is nothing wrong with being cautious about what is in your home after all. For this reason, here are some additional tips that may help you to prevent these rodents in invading your home.

  • Keep any possible food sources, which can be found in your dining table or kitchen countertops, away from rodents. Rodents are attracted to small food crumbs and can be a start of the infestation.
  • Make sure that all of your food items in the pantry, such as cereals, chips, and crackers are properly stored in a tight container.
  • Do not leave any pet food out overnight.
  • Have a habit to clean your stove tops and kitchen sinks every after use.
  • Choose garbage can or trash bin that has a cover so that it can be sealed tightly.
  • Consistently clean your garbage can or trash bin every after it is emptied with trash.
  • Inspect for any possible leaky pipes. Repair it right away in case you see one.
  • De-clutter any pile of old magazines and papers as this can be a possible nest for rodents. In case that you can’t throw these items, make sure that they are properly stored in a cabinet or shelve.
  • Check for any cracks and holes in your cabinets and walls. In case you see one, make sure to seal it right away since these spots can be an entry point for rodents.

However, if you feel like you need a professional help in carrying out rodent prevention and control, notably in the Philippines, then don’t hesitate to contact us. As pest control professionals, we can guarantee your home’s safety from outside invasion so long as our recommendations our met.

If you want to learn more about our services, then click here.

If you have questions, then contact us and we will get back to you shortly.


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