Rodents can be a big nuisance in a household. They are pesky, overly destructive and, even worse, they pose a significant health problem to family members. As a home owner, it’s vital to know the tell-tale signs of rodent invasion, risks posed by these little critters and, ultimately, some ways to get rid of them if they invade your humble abode. This guide highlights some key pointers to rodent invasion and some common, yet potentially devastating, risks posed by the animals and some useful rodent control skills. Read on.
Common problems caused by rodents
Asthma and allergies
Studies have shown that exposure to rodent allergens such as hair, feces and saliva can trigger Asthma attacks. Generally, rodents leave urine and hair droppings on beds, floors, sofas and chairs in the bedroom, kitchen and dining areas. Since these are the places your family use often, the chances of suffering from allergenic conditions are particularly high. The risks are even more pronounced in children as they often walk bare footed and touch on different items in the compound.
Damage of property
Rats and mice will gnaw on electrical wiring in the house leaving them exposed and in risk of a causing an electrical fire. They will also eat through cardboard, plaster, and even wood causing destruction of walls and structures in the house. This is not mention that rodents can wreak havoc in the granary store, the garage and even in your wardrobe.
Rodents’ urine and fecal material carry hundreds of bacteria that cause diseases once ingested. Some of such disease causing bacteria include Salmonella that usually causes fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Salmonella bacteria is usually found in rodent feces.
Urine or fecal materials of a rodent have that funky smell that can ruin the comfort of any room. The poop odor is especially pronounced if one of the creepy creatures is suffering from a malaise as it makes the smell extra stinky. Worse still, a dead mice will produce a disarming smell can ruin the peace in the compound.
Signs indicating rodent invasion
So, how do you know that your house has been invaded by rodents? Here are some common pointers you won’t fail to notice:
1. Footprints in the compound
Rodents are overly active especially at night hours or any time there aren’t people around the house. A good way to find out if there rodents in the house is dusting decks and floor areas in the kitchen with talc or flour. The rodents will leave behind tracks and tail drags that are easily visible on the dusted surfaces.
2. Gnawing on items
You will increasingly notice signs of gnawing on packaged foods, pipes, vents, and cardboards in the house once rodents invade the compound. More so, there will be holes at some points in the baseboards while cracks in the house will seemingly become enlarged.
3. Droppings in the house
Do you often find small and smelly black solids or some yellow patches of dried up liquid in the house? If so then your house has surely been invaded by rats or mice. Rodents will often leave smelly droppings in the feeding area. The droppings differ in size and shape depending on the size and the type of the rodent.
4. Scampering noises
The early signs of rodent invasion are light sounds of running and scratching in the ceiling, on the floor or on the walls of the house. The sounds are often irritating and can act as a distraction especially where concentration is needed.
Tips to reduce rodent risk
While it is nearly impossible to keep rodents out of your compound, you can devise ways to keep their numbers down and reduce the risks they pose.
Seal openings in the house
A rodent will sneak into your home through tiny openings as long as they can get their heads in. While it is hard to seal every single opening in the house, it’d help to seal the easily accessible spaces. Use steel wool, copper gauze or a screen wire to seal the holes as it is hard for rodents to eat into the materials.
Clean up edibles
Do you leave food remains lying around in the garage and in the tap area? Do your kids leave crumbs strewn all over the dining area and under the couches? You’ll need to clean up the remains if you are to keep the mice out. Rodents have an exceptional sense of smell and will be attracted by food particles from afar off. An area with good food supply is also a good breeding ground for the animals.
Tidy up the compound
You can’t keep the rodents out if the surrounding areas to your house are scrappy and hideous. Clean up the debris in the compound, burn the garbage piles in compost bin, trim the trees and shrubs and ensure that wood piles are preserved on a raised ground where rodents can’t easily reach.
Why and when to call in a professional
The fact that most rodent varieties multiply at a high rate and hide in hard to access areas means that getting rid of them using conventional methods is a tasking affair. Using poison is not an option either since a dead animal in the ceiling can be a source of great agony to your family. It is at such an instant that you should call in a pest control professional to help get rid of the rodents as it will save you the hassle and a probable stinky smell in the house.
Rodents are no doubt a nuisance in any household. The biggest problem would, however, be a lack of skills to handle them and minimize the risks they pose. This guide definitely equips you with some skills to start you off on rodent control.
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