PUBLISHED ON March 7th, 2012
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow,” Mark Twain advised, tongue firmly in cheek. Certainly, some things can be put off until a later date, but rodent pest control is not one of them. If you’ve found telltale signs of a rat or mouse infestation (droppings, squeaks and scampering sounds, trails of urine, nibble marks, nests) it’s best to respond immediately by hiring a mouse control or rat control expert to help you eliminate the filthy rodents from your property. In case your natural repulsion isn’t motivation enough, here are three excellent reasons to immediately conduct rodent pest control:
There’s a very good reason to scream when you see a mouse or rat: These animals can carry lethal diseases. Mouse control experts point out that mice can carry any number of maladies, including salmonella and hanta virus. There are also very good health-related reasons to pursue rat control; these rodents are carriers of meningitis, murine typhus and even the bubonic plague. Many of these diseases are deadly. Salmonella, for instance, causes severe gastroenteritis that can be fatal.
Rodents can pass their illnesses on to humans in various ways. Some disorders are transmitted by bite; as its name suggests, rat-bite fever falls into this category. Rodent waste can also carry disease. For instance, let’s say a mouse has infested your pantry. You keep finding droppings, but you’re unsure which food products are tainted with feces and urine. Mouse control is important at this point because rodent droppings and urine can contain tapeworms as well as hanta virus. In this situation, it’s best to immediately call for professional rodent pest control.
Rodent diseases may also be spread to humans indirectly, with fleas or mites acting as intermediaries. This is the case with the Black Death – i.e. the Bubonic Plague – which killed 30-60 percent of Europe’s population in the 1300s. At the time, medical experts believed the disease was spread through “bad air.” However, we now understand that rats were the true transmitters of the Black Plague. As far as historians can tell, the disease spread via Oriental rat fleas living on black rats. These rats were common stowaways on the merchant ships traveling between Europe and Asia. The fleas fed on the rats and then jumped to feast on human blood.
The Black Death isn’t completely relegated to the pages of history; even now, the mortality rate for the modern version of the disease is 30-75 percent. In other words, the diseases carried by rats and mice are no laughing matter.
Here’s another reason why mouse control and rat control are urgent matters: Rodents destroy property. Obviously, rodent droppings can damage belongings. But rodents are the agents of entropy in other ways, as well. Rats’ incisor teeth grow continually, so these shudder-worthy creatures must constantly gnaw on whatever they can find. Mice are also notorious chewers. Rodents will gnaw on woodwork, plastic and even lead pipes. It’s not unusual for rodents to strip the protective coating from electric cables, creating a fire hazard.
If you don’t immediately arrange for rodent pest control, it’s possible that your entire house will require new wiring, or that you’ll have to replace insulation in the attic or any other area that’s become a haven for these mammalian pests. Finally, house fires are more likely if rodents are present. If a rat strips a wire, it’s more likely to short, spark and start an inferno.
Rodents make any space more habitable for other pests. One way they do this is by making it easy for pests to obtain water and food. For instance, after a rat gnaws through a plastic pipe, pest populations are likely to soar as water leaks into the surrounding area. All creatures need water to survive, and any extraneous moisture will naturally attract pesky insects such as termites. Similarly, after a mouse has chewed its way through the foodstuffs in your pantry, it’s much easier for other insects to lay their eggs in opened food packaging.
To protect the health of your family and the durability of your home, and to avoid compounding pest problems, it’s best to address mouse control and rat control problems immediately.