Prevention is the Best Medicine
Rodents are comprised of over 2,000 different species making them one of the most persistent and recurring pests known. They are rapid breeders so they maintain often large populations through constant reproduction. Spreading disease and causing damage to agriculture, homes and other structures, these pests are a formidable foe even for professional pest control companies. But homeowners can practice simple preventive measures to make their home a rodent fee zone.
There are steps that can be taken to prevent or discourage infestations before they get out of hand and require professional pest control assistance. Because of their very flexible body design, rodents can squeeze through very small spaces so a good first step is to seal or cover any openings into the home. Keeping debris to a minimum will limit the opportunities for nesting and since they will eat just about anything, keeping food products covered or out of reach is also a good measure to take.
I Smell a Dirty Rat!
If you find that you already have an infestation, there are still steps that can be taken to prevent a full blown invasion requiring professional pest control. It basically comes down to a couple of effective approaches: trapping and baiting.
Trapping: Easy to use and simple in design, traps are very effective if used correctly. Traps should be placed in the areas of rodent activity or where there are signs of infestation. If you have mice, place the traps a couple feet apart in the area of activity. If you have rats, place the traps about 15-20 apart. Be sure to use enough traps. There must be enough traps to get all the rodents or the approach will fail. Rodents tend to avoid the unfamiliar, so placing traps in their vicinity without setting and without bait for a week or two will bring down their guard and make them comfortable. This will increase your chances of success once you start setting and baiting the traps.
Baiting: Bait stations are another effective method of getting rid of rodents. Some poisons kill as quickly as within a few hours while others can take up to almost a week. Poison is very effective but can fall short of eradicating an infestation because not all the rodents will eat the poison or won’t eat enough to get a sufficient dosage. It is poison after all, so it will not only kill these pests but also small children and pets if they ingest enough of the poison. Great caution has to be taken to keep it away from them but readily available to the rodents. Just like using traps, clean up and disposal must be handled with caution to avoid disease.