Few pests evoke stronger revulsion than rodents. While the manager of an industrial facility may tolerate an occasional rat, not so with homeowner associations. The demand for action is immediate...Get rid of them and I mean Now!
Most people believe that rodents have limited value. Norway rats, roof rats and common house mice live off humans and offer the potential for spreading serious diseases like The Plague by way of fleas and ticks. They consume or contaminate about 20% of the world's food supply. They also like to gnaw on things, causing expensive structural damage and electrical fires.
Rodents are predictable so a control expert can detect clues pointing to suitable control techniques and when to use them. A successful rodent control program features four key elements:
1) Inspection. This determines the cause of the problem, the species and conditions contributing to the infestation.
2) Proper Sanitation. Trash should be kept in tightly closed containers. Debris and possible nesting materials should be swept up and food items stored in rodent proof containers. Weeds and brush should be trimmed back from buildings.
3) Rodent Proofing The best way to keep buildings rodent free is to prevent them from getting inside. Rodents fit through tiny openings and gnaw through wood, lead, aluminum, copper, cinder block and even concrete. Broken screens around foundation walls are common entry sites as well as damaged siding, chimney caps, open fireplace flues and broken windows.
4) Population Reduction. Where allowed, rodenticides provide the most cost effective rodent control. Modern applications provide a lethal dose in a single day's feeding. Correct bait placement is key to protection for children, pets and non-target animals.
Effective rodent control should be part of an integrated pest management program. Maintaining high sanitation and an exclusion program are the keys to success.
Written by Richard Thompson