So the cold snap has arrived. After an amazing stretch of dry and mild weather we’ve put away our flip flops and swapped them for cosy boots.
Instead of sipping lemonade on the patio in the evenings after work we’ve started curling up in front of the fire with a box set and a cup of tea.
Autumn is well and truly here and with it comes the cold, the rain and of course all of the pesky rodents that also find the thought of snuggling up in a nice cosy house very appealing.
Rats and mice aren’t huge fans of the chilly weather either so they will start trying to sneak into homes, offices and other buildings in search of warmth and shelter.
Good for them, not so good for you!
As soon as the first cold-snap hits, you should start to take the time to proof your home or offices against rodent infestation.
Here are some necessary tips to avoid attracting rodents into your home:
- Seal any holes and fit bristle strip around doors – young rats can get through holes of less than 1cm. Use steel, wool or caulk, not wood, plastic or expanding foam that they can gnaw through.
- Don’t attract mice and rats with food – where possible store food in glass or metal containers and regularly clean under cookers, fridges and cupboards.
- Keep household refuse in closed bins and do not put meat or food cooked in oils into compost bins or heaps.
- Ensure that all pipe-work is in good order – rats can come up from sewers through broken pipes.
- Keep clutter to a minimum to reduce the options for nesting sites and remember that dirty, messy areas can attract pests.”
Did you know that it’s not just rats that can be dangerous to our health, mice have been identified as a potential asthma trigger in children? Mice will also contaminate food and other materials through the droppings they leave behind, spreading bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
Rats do however pose a more significant health risk to humans and pets; common diseases carried by rats include Salmonella, Weil’s disease, E.coli and TB. Rats also carry fleas, mites and ticks and can cause acute allergic reactions.
As scary as that sounds there are tons of ways to identify if you have a problem with rodents, the trick is to keep an eye out for some of the key signs of rodent activity.
If you think you already have a rodent problem, look out for the following signs:
- Scratching noises in walls, attics or under the floor as mice and rats scurry around.
- Droppings – rats leave dark, tapered droppings about 10-14mm long. Mice leave small, dark droppings particularly along walls, in cupboards or under sinks.
- Distinctive smell – both mice and rats leave an ammonia-like smell that will be particularly strong in enclosed areas such as under cupboards.
- Damage – mice and rats have teeth that grow continuously and gnaw on a variety of household objects to keep them trim. Rodents can even cause fires by chewing through cables.
- Ripped food packaging – rodents will tear open food which may leave teeth marks.
- Nests – rats and mice build nests in warm, hidden places using shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics.
- Lay some plain flour along the edge of the floor by the walls or on surfaces close to where you think the nest might be. You’ll notice tracks in the powder within a few days if the nest is close.
If you notice of these signs make sure and call us for a free survey where we can send an expert to investigate your premises and deal with your problem immediately so that you can enjoy your cup of tea in front of the fire in peace.
If you think you might have a rodent problem at home, don’t hesitate to call the experts in pest control today on 1890 666 444.