There are fewer facts that send more shivers even up the sturdiest of spines than the sobering reality that for every person that lives within the United States, there is also one rat. Rodents can be found invading homes and other structures all across the country. The advent of autumn and its colder temperatures brings increased infestations, as mice and rats seek warmth and comfort.
Whether your residence is vulnerable to infestation will depend greatly upon the availability of food, water and shelter. Even if it seems that fall is still in the future, home owners take note. It is never too early to think about contacting your local pest-control and pest-management specialist – (412) 252-5200 – and start learning how to protect your property from an infestation. In the long run, it is better to be safe than sorry.
According to estimates made by the National Pest Management Association, rodents invade about 21 million homes in the United States every winter, squeezing through spaces as small as a nickel. There are many costly problems they cause in homes and other buildings. They range from food contamination to structural damage. Mice and rats leave trails of urine and droppings wherever they make contact.
This includes: on countertops, inside drawers through pantries and across floors. These droppings can cause illness such as Salmonella and disease carrying parasites. Rats and mice collectively are known to spread more than 35 diseases as well as serve as triggers to asthma and allergies among vulnerable populations.
Due to its collapsible skeleton, a single rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter. Its ribs are hinged at the spine and can actually fold like an umbrella, which means that any hole that’s big enough for a rat’s head is big enough for the rest of him (or her).
Rodents have a constant need to gnaw because their teeth never stop growing during their lifetimes. This can result in major damages to both the structure of the homes that they invade and any personal belongings that are stored inside. They can gnaw their way though wires, wood, siding, food boxes, bags and plastic containers. and anything else they can get their teeth into.
Some Disturbing Statistics About Rodents
According to a new survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), rodents invade approximately 21 million US homes every winter and nearly one-third (29 percent) of Americans have had a rodent problem in their homes at one time or another. In the words of Missy Henriksen, former vice president of public affairs for the NPMA, which is a non-profit organization established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property:
“Rats and mice are commensal rodents and have been sharing our food and shelter for centuries, spreading disease, destroying food and property. To prevent these unwanted pests from using our homes as shelter to ride out the chilly winter months, we advise homeowners to rodent-proof their homes now.”
10 Rather Unsettling Facts About Rodents
Rodent Teeth Are Very Powerful
A rat’s teeth and jaws can gnaw through substances as hard as lead sheeting and cinder block. They are extremely strong because they are coated with a unique dental enamel consisting of intricately crossed crystals of a mineral called calcium hydroxyapatite embedded in collagen.
Rodents Reproduce Very Quickly
A female mouse can have up to 15 litters in one year, and can get pregnant again just 24 hours after giving birth. The average litter size is between 10 and 12. In addition, a female can give birth when they are two months old and they can have up to a dozen babies every three weeks, which can add up to 150 offspring annually. This, perhaps more than any other point, illustrates the need to contact the professionals at Pestco to address an infestation before it gets out of hand.
According to a book written by Robert Sullivan entitled: Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants, during a single six-hour period of receptivity, a female rat may mate as many as 500 times. The author believes this is how a pair of rats can ultimately produce 15,000 descendants in one year and why they are the most common mammal in the world.
Mice Are Good Jumpers, Climbers And Swimmers
Mice have been known to jump a foot into the air, allowing them to easily climb up onto kitchen counters or into pantries to access food. To prevent this from happening, store all pantry items items in hard, plastic containers with tightly sealed lids.
Rats Are Vulnerable To Peer Pressure
Scientists have discovered that rats will force themselves to eat food they don’t like if they know that some of their fellow rats have eaten it.
Rats Are Among The Most intelligent Creatures On Earth
Their intelligence level is often rated as similar to that of dolphins and chimpanzees.They have been known to memorize travel routes and solve puzzles, which means they can often find their way back into a shelter if their “usual” entrance has been blocked off. This is why the highly trained pest-control and pest-management experts at Pestco always keep one step ahead of them, which they do by attending workshops and keeping up with the most current literature about pest control strategies and solutions.
The House Mouse Produces Between 40 & 100 Droppings Per Day
In addition to this most disturbing fact, house mice constantly give off micro-droplets of urine as they travel around their territory every day.
In The Wild, Mice Usually Live For About Five Months
Their short life span is mostly due to predators such as cats, snakes and foxes. Within a laboratory setting, mice can live for up to two years.
Mice Have Enormous Appetites
Despite their tiny bodies and even smaller stomachs, mice eat between 15 and 20 times a day. This is the main reason they establish their homes near available food sources.
Rodents Can Survive A Long Time Without Water
Mice get most of their moisture (water) from the food they ingest. Even though they are dependent upon water for survival, the ways they can go about taking water in can be either direct, such as from natural sources such as: lakes, puddles and streams, or indirectly via the foods they consume. Mice can live a month or more without directly consuming water.
Rats Can Tread Water For As Long As Three Days
This means you should never try to flush rat down the toilet. (They also may hold it against you.) Rats can hold their breath underwater for up to three minutes as well as tread water for three days straight.
9 Tips To Help Prevent Rodent Infestations
With the above-mentioned facts in mind, here are nine simple tips you can easily implement to help protect your home from rodent infestations as the cooler Fall and Winter temps approach.
Take The Time To Enact Prevention Measures
That old saying about an ounce of prevention being worn a pound of cure is an apt analogy when it comes to preventing rodent infestations. Taking the time to enact prevention measures in and around your home now will save you a major headache later in the fall when rodents are actively seeking shelter from the cold. The following are some tried and true tips to keep your home (and office) free from rodents this fall and winter.
Inspect The Outside Of Your Home For Easy Access Points
Seal any cracks and crevices with silicone caulk, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter the structure.
Fill Larger Gaps Inside Your Residence
Due to the fact that mice can enter homes through holes the size of a dime and rats through holes the size of a quarter, homeowners should fill larger gaps inside the residence with pieces of steel wool. This deters rodents because they are unable to gnaw through this material.
Screen Attic Vents And Openings To Chimneys
And don’t forget to replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundations and windows.
Eliminate Possible Nesting Sites Outside The Home
This include leaf piles and deep mulch. Avoid providing pest harborage sites around the home by keeping shrubbery well-trimmed and ensuring that mulch is kept at least 15 inches away from the foundation. No matter how fond you may be of your late uncle’s old convertible and those worn out tires you were going to use one day, get rid of them because mice and rats can use them as shelter.
Keep Bird Feeders Away From The House
While we all love to feed the wild birds, do not do so while trying to control an rodent infestation. You can get bird food that contains items without husks and these are acceptable because they do not become food for rodents once the birds eat the inner kernel. Keep bird feeders away from the house and utilize squirrel guards to limit access to the feeder by squirrels and other rodents.
Eliminate Access To Water Sources Both Inside And Outside
This requires the serious inspection of gutters by making sure they are cleared of any debris build-up. This insures that water can run freely through them. Remove birdbaths from property and always empty wading pools when they are not in use. Finally, fix any leaky hoses or outdoor faucets. Always put pet food away after use and do not leave food or water bowls out overnight.
Remove Bird Or Other Wild Animal Feeders From Your Property
Outside your home you must also store your trash in garbage cans with tight-fitting lids. Remove any wild animal feeders from your property and make sure to pick up uneaten pet food in between feedings. It is also important to pick up any fruits and vegetables that may have fallen to the ground in and around garden areas. Compost piles must be secure so that rodents cannot gain ingress and feed upon them.
Vacuum And Mop The Floors Of Your Home Regularly
Home owners must make sure that all human and pet food is stored in either the refrigerator or in airtight containers. Any and all crumbs and spills must be cleaned up immediately. It may be inconvenient, but those large kitchen appliances must be pulled out and cleaned, which means removing any debris that might have collected behind them. Vacuum and mop the floors of your home regularly and wash dishes on a daily basis.
Pestco Professional Services Pittsburgh Solutions
In addition to employing all of the above suggestions in and around residences, homeowners should also consider engaging the the services of a professional pest-control and pest-management company. Our technicians can insure that your home remains rodent-free through all the seasons of the year. Our integrated rodent pest control program responsibly combines conventional baiting and trapping methods with environmental management and pest exclusionary strategies.
We do sometimes resort to chemical applications, but when we do, our highly skilled technicians always protect the environment and any humans and pets that might be affected. We are focused on the use of green and sustainable solution to control and maintain rodent invasions whenever possible.
We have been in continuous operation for more than seven decades and we provide superior professional pest-control and pest-management advice and solutions based on prevention, understanding rodent behavior and the ability to identify signs of an infestation. Our first step is to thoroughly inspect a home or building for vulnerable areas and reinforce them against invading rodents wherever possible.
There is no substitute ever for the kind of professional judgment that can only be gleaned from years of hands on experience. If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, give us a call and let us help you with any pest-control or pest-management issues concerning your home environment. Even if there haven’t been any problems as of yet, there is no guarantee that there won’t be in the near future. To ensure peace of mind, let Pestco Professional Services transform your personal space into a pest-free setting! (412) 252-5200
Final thought about rodents: Funny sign: Rodents–making surprising athletes out of men and women since the dawn of time ~ Your Ccards.com