Separating Facts & Myths About Rodent Control
March 11, 2018
Rodents, specifically rats and mice, have been living with people for thousands of years. Like humans, they are opportunistic omnivores. They will eat anything we eat, plus some things we would never eat. So it’s not surprising that this long history of rodent infestation has led to some myths about these furry pests. People’s Pest Control are your Atlanta rodent control experts. So we’re here to separate facts from myths about rodent control.
Rodent Control Myths
There are a lot of myths and misinformation about rodents and rodent control. Some myths go back centuries, while others are much more modern. Knowing the truth about rodents and rodent control can help you make informed decisions. If you have a rodent problem that needs fixing, make sure you know the facts.
Myth: Only Dirty Places Get Rats
This is an old one. It seems that humans have associated rats and mice with filth for a long time. There is some truth to that. Human garbage can be a treasure trove of food and nesting materials for rats and mice. So it’s not uncommon to see rodents running around in places with plenty of garbage.
But mice and rats can also inhabit perfectly clean homes. Mice and rats are always looking for food and shelter. As long as a building is warm and dry, with some access to food and water, it is attractive to rodents. Rodents don’t need food scraps to be lying around to find food. They are just as happy to find their way into your pantry and help themselves. In fact, a telltale sign of rodents is stored food that has signs of gnawing.
The main thing that will attract mice and rats is simply access. If rodents have a way to get into your home, they may choose it for their next nesting place. On the other hand, keeping your business or living place well secured against rodents and other pests will greatly reduce your chances of getting a rodent infestation.
Myth: Cats and Dogs Prevent Rodents
There is some truth to this. Cats and dogs will chase rodents, and sometimes even catch and kill them. Sailors kept cats on board their ships to help protect against rodents, and many other places kept cats and certain species of dogs to do the same.
But in today’s modern dwellings, this is not so much the case. Rodents often make their homes inside walls where cats and dogs can’t get to them. (This was less of an issue when walls were solid.) Also, leaving out a food dish and some water for your pet dog or cat may actually attract more rodents than your pet can scare away.
Unfortunately, if you have a rodent infestation your pet is not going to be able to cure it. That’s why it’s good to have professionals on your side. The experts at People’s Pest Control know how to get rid of rodents, and are happy to help out where Fido can’t.
Myth: After Consuming Rat Poison a Rat Will Go Outside to Die
Would it be great if this were true? Unfortunately, no known rat or mouse poison works this way. Poison can take a few days to kill a rodent. The rodent is mostly likely do die where it spends most of its time. So if your rodents have nested in your walls or some other hidden space in your home or business, most likely that is where they will die.
A dead rodent in an inaccessible part of your home or business can be a real problem. The smell of a decaying rodent can be overpowering. In addition to that, a decaying rodent can harbor and spread ven more disease than a living rodent. Decaying rodents also attract other pest, like flies and maggots.
This is why most professional pest control experts don’t rely on poison. Traps remain the best way to ensure that rats spend the afterlife outside of your home or business. Your pest control expert will likely use traps in combination with other methods to rid your home of rodents.
Myth: The Biggest Problem With Rodents is That They Chew On Your Food
This is a really old one. For centuries, humans have had to work to keep their precious food stores away from rodents. Humans have come up with some pretty good ways of doing this. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the damage caused by rats and mice.
The worst problem with mice and rats is not that they get to your food. It is that they harbor disease. For most of human history, we didn’t have germ theory or really any understanding of how disease spreads. But with modern science we know that rats and mice are just teeming with harmful diseases that can affect humans. When rats and mice make their nests in human homes and businesses, they leave a big mess. Rodent nests are full of rodent urine and feces. These rodent excretions can be very harmful to humans, even just by breathing them in.
Because rats and mice are such virulent hosts of disease, it is very important to keep away form their nests or other places where they have left their droppings. To avoid disease, a rodent control expert like the experts at People’s Pest Control will take special measures. When clearing out a nest or other places rats and mice have dirtied, they will wear a protective mask and other protective clothing.
Never handle rat or mouse nests yourself. If you are disposing of a dead rat or mouse, make sure you wear gloves. Put the carcass in a sealed back and dispose of it immediately.
Myth: There are Some Great Natural Alternatives to Rat Poison
If this one were true someone would probably have already gotten rich selling it. Unfortunately, rat poison is rat poison. It is dangerous not just to rats, but to pets and humans as well. For this reason, it is best to think twice before using rat poison. There are plenty of poisons for sale at your local home improvement store, but you should probably stay away from them. The last thing you need is serious poison sprinkled around your home or business. And if a rat or mouse ingests the poison and returns to its nest before dying, you could be stuck with a rotting rodent carcass between your walls. Let’s just say it’s not a pretty position to be in.
Myth: You Can Tell You Have an Infestation When You See a Rodent
Rodents are skittish and don’t come out when there is any chance of danger. That means that you may have a serious infestation and never actually see a rat or mouse. They are most likely to come out at night when your home or business is dark and quiet.
There are plenty of other ways to tell that you have an infestation. Food that shows signed of gnawing damage is a pretty definite sign of rodents. Another very clear sign is the presence of feces or urine stains. You may also hear rodents if they have built a nest in your walls. You might hear squeaking, feet running around, or both. The presence of chewed up materials, left over from building nests, is another sign.
If you think you have a rodent infestation, don’t wait until you spot them. Rats and mice carry dangerous diseases, so you shouldn’t waste time. Call an expert like People’s Pest Control to diagnose and treat the problem as soon as possible.
Truth: You Need Professional Help
Cleaning up a rodent infestation is not a do-it-yourself kind of job. The risk of disease, as well as the difficulty of accessing rats and mice make this a bad DIY project. Instead, call the professionals at People’s Pest Control and we will have get rid of your rodents and keep your home or business pest free.