Abd El Aleem* and Saad Soliman Desoky
Received: August 29, 2018; Published: September 06, 2018
Corresponding author: Plant protection Department (Agriculture Zoology), Faculty of Agriculture, Sohag University, Egypt
Rats and mice are not only a nuisance but can also cause property damage and transmit diseases. You’ll know they’ve arrived if you see rodent droppings near a food source or shredded fabric or paper. If you identify rodents, there are several steps to take to ensure permanent removal of these pests. Removing rodents with traps or poisons will not keep rodents out of your home in the future. To permanently keep rats and mice out of your home or business, you will need to prevent access by sealing all possible entry points. It is equally important to eliminate rodent attractions such as food and water by keeping food in tightly sealed containers and repairing leaky pipes.
All rodents require food, shelter, and water. The shelter provides protection from predators, inclement weather, and a favorable place to bear and rear their young. Although rodents require water, those water requirements vary greatly by species. Because rodent food and cover (i.e., vegetation) can be influenced by human activities, there has been considerable development of strategies to reduce populations and damage by manipulating vegetation [1,2]. Use exclusion and sanitation tactics to get rid of rodents in a safe and cost-effective way. The most effective long-term solution is to keep rodents out in the first place. Measures such as sealing entry points prevent rodents from entering buildings and help you avoid a fullscale invasion. Follow the tips in the sections below and you will be one step closer to keeping your home permanently free of rats and mice (SRC).
Three Guiding Principles:
Seal entry points to prevent rodents from entering your home or business. Be sure to use 1/4” x 1/4” metal mesh to seal off existing entry points.
Remove rodent attractions such as food or shelter by ensuring that food is securely stored and that surroundings are clean.
Look for signs of rats and mice such as rodent droppings round food, kitchen corners, inside cabinets or under sinks.
Also, look for nesting material such as shredded paper or fabric.
Remove rodents by using snap or electronic traps. Be cautious with live traps as rodents might urinate which increases the risk of spreading disease (SRC).
Natural predators such as cats, snakes, hawks, and owls can help to control rodent populations by feeding on rats and mice (SRC).
If you confirm that rats or mice are present in your home, you will need to use a combination of preventative measures and treatment options to get rid of them. The preventative measures include, removing food, water, shelter, and access to your home. This section will focus on the treatment options available and provide an overview of traps (SRC).
Benefits of using traps: Using traps instead of rodent poisons gives you clear confirmation of a captured rodent and allows you to better gauge the effectiveness of treatment. You are also able to dispose of rodents immediately rather than dealing with the foul odor of rotting carcasses from poisoned rodents inside your walls or otherwise out of reach. Most important, using traps allows you to avoid rodenticides, which pose a greater threat of exposure to children, pets, and non-target wildlife, including natural predators (SRC).
Live-animal trap: This is a catch and release system that avoids killing a rat or mouse. Some states prohibit releasing rodents into the wild. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns that captured rats or mice might urinate and increase risk of spreading disease.
Snap trap: This is the oldest type of trap and uses a springloaded bar to kill a rodent on contact. Some modern snap traps prevent risk to children and pets by enclosing the device in a plastic box.
This is a catch and release system that allows for capture of multiple mice.
Glue traps are not recommended because the adhesive plate that is used to capture rodents can also trap birds, baby animals, lizards, and even pets. These traps also cause undue suffering to rodents. The CDC warns that captured rats or mice might urinate and increase the risk of spreading disease. Enclosure boxes are plastic boxes that can fit a single snap trap, sometimes more, in order to provide an additional layer of protection for kids and pets. These boxes also hide the dead rodent, making for easier disposal of rodent, and can be re-used (SRC).
This battery-powered trap delivers an electric shock that kills rodents quickly. This is a newer type of trap, and models are available for both rats and mice.
Be sure to place traps in locations where children and pets cannot access them or place traps in safety enclosure boxes.
Cleaning up after trapping rodents: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following safety tips:
Preventing and treating rodent infestations requires a combination of eliminating access points rats and mice might use to enter your home, removing food sources and shelter that attract rodents, and using traps to get rid of existing rats and mice in or around your home. Using a multi-tactic approach to manage rodents decreases the risk of dealing with future infestations since a significant piece of the puzzle is adopting preventative measures such as blocking access and eliminating food and water sources that attract rats and mice (SRC) .
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