Rodents are troublesome pests on many levels. Certain species, such as Norway rats, roof rats and the common house mice thrive around moderate to densely populated areas.
Dangers of a Rodent Infestation
Rodents feed on the same food sources as humans, contaminating the food supply and food storage facilities with their waste products in the process. Rodents may also go after animal feed, garbage and anything they can gnaw through with their specialized incisors. They can cause real damage to building materials and electronic equipment. Many rodents are disease vectors, spreading diseases, including rat bite fever, murine typhus, salmonellosis and leptospirosis.
Norway rats can damage a building’s foundation with their burrowing behavior. These species have been known to chew through materials made of wood, plastic and soft metals such as copper and lead. They can destroy your home’s insulation materials to build their nests, and they can damage landscaping materials and ornamental plants.
Pest Management Strategies
The best defense against an infestation is to make sure that rodents do not find a hospitable environment in your home. Rodent prevention and exclusion strategies include effective sanitation and rodent-proofing.
- Maintain sanitary standards in and around your property.
Keeping your home clean, organized and free of rat attractants, such as open garbage receptacles and accessible food storage areas, will help to keep the population away. Keep debris away from your home to prevent nesting and trim branches that overhang your roof to discourage roof rats.
- Rodent-proof your home or building.
Identify all the possible entry points for rats in foundations, pipes and roofs. Seal every single one, including all openings that are at least one-quarter inch in diameter. Use wire screen to cover vent openings. Windows and doors must fit tightly.
Controlling the Rodent Population
Like most pests, rodents are prolific breeders. The adult female of Norway rats can produce seven litters each year with each litter consisting of two to 14 pups. Females mature in four weeks, so that alone would indicate how quickly the population can grow when rodent infestation is left uncontrolled.
When you see obvious signs of an infestation, such as rat droppings, debris from rat gnawing and damage to vulnerable materials, it is sensible to take a more aggressive approach to eliminate rodents that may have nested inside your home.
- Mechanical Traps
It may be necessary to use baited traps to lure rats and eliminate them from your property. However, the carcasses must be disposed of humanely.
Use of toxic bait to exterminate rats is advisable when evidence indicates that the rat population has gotten out of control.
Call the Professionals
Finding access points around your house and setting the right traps may require assistance from professional pest control experts. Hoskins Pest Control has specialized in eco-friendly practices since 1987. Call our office today to discuss your rodent control options.