Rats and Mice
Man creates the ideal environment for rats and mice by providing a constant source of food, water and harbourage. Rodent control is necessary and desirable because:
- Rodents spread disease either through direct contact or as a vector for another organism.
- Rodents cause extensive structural damage with their constant gnawing and
- Rodents damage and contaminate foodstuffs before and after harvest by consumption, gnawing and contamination with their urine, faeces and hair follicles.
- For effective rodent control, the main steps are:
- Inspection, identification, sanitation and rodent proofing. Doors, windows, screens and cracked concrete are easy access for rodents. Look for openings near the top of buildings such as roof vents, eaves, overhangs and roof top air conditioning units. Drainpipes need a screen on the bottom as well as the top.
- Do’s and Don’ts of Rodents
- Stored products contaminated by droppings or urination MUST be destroyed. This can be a very expensive process.
- Look for signs of their existence like well defined runways which show the regular routes the rodents might take. Look for this outside on the soil – their runways will be well packed and free from vegetation. Look inside for pathways free from dust or cobwebs. Also look for droppings, teeth marks and urine stains.
- Sanitation and hygiene are crucial in the fight against rodents and maintaining your home after pest control services. Piles of garbage, old machinery, timber piles, weed growth and general litter should be removed. Garbage must be kept in rat proof bins with tight fitted lids.
- Develop a well organised and supervised cleaning and maintenance plan.
- Proof against re-entry as this is the most effective method when the infestation is widespread across a property.
- Commercial premises should be aware of the importance of storing and the handling of food and the role this can play in attracting a rodent infestation.
Some information about Rodents
For such tiny (relatively speaking) creatures, the damage caused by rodents can be huge, not to mention costly. Not only is the discolouration and contamination from their droppings and constant urination a ghastly thing to look at, it’s also extremely dangerous to the health and well being of your family.
Rodents tend to have razor sharp incisors which can cut through aluminium, lead, cardboard, wood, soft asphalt, mortar and most plastics with ease. This can result in damage to packages and containers. Structural foundations are also at risk by rodents tunnelling in search of food and shelter. Rodents actively forage for food at night using the same routes of movement to and from the food sources.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that rodents have poor vision – this is made up for by the fact that their other senses are extremely sensitive. Their sense of smell and taste are so highly developed they can detect minute quantities of chemical in foodstuffs. Rodents deposit their droppings on all surfaces over which they travel and these, together with stains caused by their almost continual urination, are indications of their presence. Greasy smear marks also become evident along their main routes of movement where they make contact with obstacles.
How can you spot their presence in your home?
It’s possible for you to notice the more obvious signs of rodent infestation; however the slightly less obvious evidence is best spotted by a trained professional pest controller. Treatment is a specialised process as rodents tend to be complicated and sly. Treatment of the problem consists of laying special bait depending on the type, size and food source of the infestation.