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Rodent Pest Control: Why Exclusion & Prevention Makes the Most Sense

Rat in Dust Bin at St. John's Church

More than just a squeaky nuisance, rodents carry a variety of diseases. For example, in June 2012, a man in Bend, Ore., was infected with the bubonic plague after he tried to remove a dead mouse from the mouth of a stray cat, according to The Oregonian. This was the fifth reported case of the plague in Oregon since 1995. In addition to the “black death,” rodents carry deadly viruses and diseases like the Hanta virus, leptospirosis, rat bite fever, tularemia and salmonellosis.

Basics of Rodent Control

Any Portland pest control service will tell you that the best control method comes in the form of prevention and exclusion. This means making your home unattractive and impenetrable to rats and mice. This type of rodent control is part of an eco-friendly approach known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM works with nature instead of against it, so you control a pest problem using commonsense techniques instead of harmful chemicals. You can practice IPM by:

  • Never leaving food, including pet food, out in the open.
  • Sealing holes and cracks around the exterior of your home that are 1/4 inch or larger.
  • Elevating garbage cans that are outside or in your garage onto cinderblocks.
  • Storing seasonal clothing in lidded plastic bins.
  • Keeping your home tidy and organized.
  • Keeping your landscape weeded, raking fallen leaves and cutting back branches and shrubs that are close to your home.

IPM versus Traditional Rodent Control Methods

When you practice IPM or hire a green pest control company, rodents are controlled with methods that are the least harmful to you and the environment. Traditional extermination methods can cause more harm than good. Here’s how:

Toxic baits. Rodents don’t always consume baits, and baits can harm other animals or cause accidental poisonings.

Anticoagulant toxins. Some rodent species have built a resistance to such toxins, and the chemicals pose environmental hazards.

Fumigation. This technique is dangerous if the individual fumigating doesn’t have any knowledge of the pest’s burrowing or nesting patterns, or doesn’t have adequate training.

It’s simpler to prevent a rodent problem than it is to get rid of one. If you think you may have a rodent problem, immediately contact a Portland pest control service that practices IPM before you’re exposed to a disease or the infestation gets worse.

[ Photo by: Proxy Indian, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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