A guide to keeping the rodents away

Filipinos are acknowledged to be hygienical and clean in terms of washing their hands, taking a shower everyday and laundering garments - and this attribute extends to our homes particularly in sweeping the floors and wiping the dirt off our piece of furniture. however regardless of what quantity we tend to clean our homes, there are sure unwanted guests who try and crawl, gnaw and infiltrate it regardless of what.

These unwanted guests are the rodents from the sewers, who plague our homes, threaten our house structure, sanitation and worse, our family's health. so as to stay the rodents away, I even have listed important info regarding the types of rats that we're managing, high activity areas, signs of rat downside, diseases they bring about, management choices and prevention.

TYPES OF RATS IN THE PHILIPPINES

Both house and roof rats are nocturnal with feeding hours occurring 30 minutes after sunset and  before sunrise.

House Mouse - This type of mouse has excellent sense of sight, smell, touch and hearing; hence, they are highly adaptable to homes and indoor buildings. All they need is a 1/4" opening to be able to enter a building, so they often have access to many places along the building's perimeter.

Roof Rat - If there is plenty of food and shelter, Roof Rats will gladly live in close proximity to humans. They are particularly found in attics, ceilings, or wall areas. Roof rats often gnaw on wires found on the roof and this could possibly lead to fires and outages.

HIGH ACTIVITY AREAS OF RODENTS

House Mouse - Secluded corners, Beneath cabinets, Furniture voids - couches, chairs, dressers, Bases of kitchen appliances - refrigerator, stove, Ceiling and wall voids near corners and heat sources, Top of basement and crawl space foundation walls, Cluttered, neglected office drawers in desks, Storage boxes in closets, Cluttered garages, Bases of water heaters.

ROOF RATS - Attics, False ceiling areas, Within fruit treeS, Wall and floor voids in upper floors, Within dead fronds of palm trees, Among overgrown vegetation along fence rows and utility poles, Within brick foundation wall voids, Beneath low-lying and cavernous shrubbery, Among utility lines connected to exterior of home, Beneath slab walkways.

SIGNS OF A RAT PROBLEM

You'll know that you have rats in your home if you have these signs:

Scratching noises - Rats scurry around in walls or under the floor.

Droppings - They leave dark, tapered droppings about 10-14mm long.

Distinctive smell - They leave an ammonia-like smell that will be particularly strong in enclosed areas such as under cupboards.

Damage - They have teeth that grow continuously and gnaw on wood and plastic to keep them trim. They can even cause fires by chewing through cables.

Ripped food packaging - They will tear open food which may leave teeth marks.

Nests - They build nests in warm, hidden places using shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics. Nests often contain their young.

Burrows - In gardens, they will dig burrows especially in compost heaps or under sheds. They will also build nests under garden decking.

DISEASES DIRECTLY TRANSMITTED BY RATS

Leptospirosis This is a type of bacterial disease that is transmitted by direct contact with infected water either by swimming, wading or kayaking.  It can also spread through contaminated drinking water. An individual may be at risk of Leptospirosis if he/she works outdoors or with animals.

Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome This disease may spread through breathing in dust that is contaminated with rodent urine and droppings, direct contact with rodent urine and droppings and bite wounds.  Although extremely rare, it may also spread thru direct contact from person to person.

Rat-bite Fever This disease may be transmitted through a bite, scratch or contact with a dead rat.

Salmonellosis This disease can be caused by consuming food or water that is contaminated by rat feces bacteria.

CONTROL OPTIONS

Mouse traps - Mouse traps are an effective method of non-toxic mouse control. There are 3 types of traps commonly used: Snap Traps, Glue Traps, and Electronic Traps.

These mechanical traps provide a quick solution to a rodent control problem and can be used many times. One advantage is its ability to "recover" the mouse to confirm its elimination.

The most important technique for effective trapping is good trap placement in areas of high rodent activity. The most common trapping mistake is not using enough traps. Statistics show that more mice are trapped on the first night than on any other night. For this reason, it is essential to use a large number of traps initially.

RODENTICIDES, also known as rodent baits, offer an economical and efficient approach for eliminating mouse populations.

Just as with trapping, it is critical to place rodenticides in the correct location.  Place rodenticides against the wall between their nest and source of food. Also, baits should be placed into areas that appear to be their favorite locations.  This is evident by piles of droppings, shredded paper, tracks, etc..

For mouse infestations, the bait should be placed between 8 to 12 feet apart.

ULTRASONIC MOUSE REPELLENTS - Ultrasonic mouse repellents are an effective method of controlling mice. High-pitched frequency sound waves emit a non-repetitive pattern to prevent rodents from habituating to the sound.

For additional effectiveness, the loudest spike in sound replicates the scream of a dominant male mouse. Rodents are very territorial and will constantly fight to establish dominance. The sound of a dominant rodent will discourage others from inhabiting a territory.

It is important to note that ultrasonic frequencies do not travel between walls. So for the most effective mouse control, ultrasonic units need to be placed in multiple rooms.

The most common repellent mistake is using them alone to control infestation. Traps and rodenticides as well as sanitation and exclusion efforts should be used together with ultrasonic repellents as part of a cohesive pest management effort.

PREVENTION

Rodent population increases when there is easy access to food and shelter. Proper sanitation and rodent proofing provide the best solution to reduce or completely eliminate them.

To adequately keep them out of your home, all openings need to be sealed off. Remember, they only need an opening of 1/4 or the size of a dime to gain entry to your home.

Careful storage of food and elimination of clutter are helpful steps to control mice infestation.

Expect rats in poorly maintained areas.  They grow in overgrown bushes that run along fences or climb the sides of the house.  Always remember that it only takes one poorly managed house or yard for a colony of rats to take over.

BEST MOUSE TRAP BAITS

The best mouse trap bait lures the rodents in for a taste and helps prevent them from taking it without getting trapped. Mice are natural seed eaters, but inside homes they're very attracted to high-calorie sweets and fatty foods.

Tiny bits of peanut butter or soft cheese have always worked well. Stick a pinch or two of marshmallows, gum drops or beef jerky to the trigger and the trap will spring when mice take a bite.

When female mice gather nesting materials in fall and winter, dental floss, yarn and twine attract them to the trap. Tie the fabrics to the trigger, so the trap springs when mice pull on it.

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