Rodents are the most numerous order of mammals. Distinguishing feature is the presence of representatives of group the diastema and one pair of large incisors in the upper and lower jaws. There are many species of rodents, more than about 2 277. But the most harmful to people and their homes are mice and rats.
Rats and mice are unwelcome neighbors, they spoil the food and things, spread the infection, create noise, bring dirt and are simply unpleasant. Usually they do not live in the same space, so you have to get rid of rats or mice separately.
Rodents for many of us are associated with insanitary conditions and dirt, perhaps because they settle near the human – in basements and barns with not very hygienic conditions. Most rodents are small in size. Rodents are mainly herbivorous animals. Depending on the species, habitat, time of year and the behavior rodents consume all parts of the plants – stems, leaves, fruits, seeds, bark and roots. But when they feel a lack of food, they can intrude into your home, so you should know control methods of rodents.
Main habitats of rodents are fields, woods, in a word – the natural environment. However, they can live in the basement, in ceilings, and other places, and their goal is to survive and produce offspring. Hence, obligatory condition for selecting nest locations is the presence of sources of food, water and safe environment for rearing of posterity.
It sometimes happens that rodents get into the apartments. It is especially true for old buildings with wooden floors and walls, where rodents can easily make holes, thereby destroying the wood cover. But the residents of modern high-rise buildings are not immune from the appearance of rodents in homes. They can get into the apartment through a refuse chute or ventilation shaft. So, today the problem of the appearance of rodents is real for such cities as Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston and New York.
Harm to human
Rodents are carriers of dangerous diseases such as scabies or plague. In economic terms, they also bring a lot of trouble for the owners of the house – rodents can destroy food and things. Apart the food, they can easily destroy telephone cables and wiring, and in urban areas can bite human that, again, can contribute to the development of serious diseases.
Rodents can also become a source of fleas and ticks which can get to your house with their arrival.
Rodents are intelligent animals, and to deal with them is not easy. Scientists from Oxford claim that rats are able to think abstractly. Except them only human has this property. Mice and rats cause such harm, restoration of which requires a lot of material and moral costs. They consume a bit of food, but they poison all the food to which touched. Furthermore, rodents leave excrements and traces from the teeth, they spoil various materials and constructions.
Causes, why appear such insects in the houses
As a rule, the appearance of mice and rats in cottages occurs in the autumn, when in the street becomes cold enough. They need some food and that’s why rodents run across to the villages and cities from the fields in search of food. If it is building with wooden floors, then for rodents is convenient to make hole.
Rodents penetrate not only into the wooden houses, but into the houses of brick. However, in multi-storey buildings mice and rats are also frequent guests. Rodents can get in apartment by garbage disposal, ventilation, sewer pipe, and even through the toilet. The point is that rodents are very survivable and may be under water for a long time.
Period of activity of the pests
Usually rodents appear in the house during the autumn off-season, when it gets cold. Meanwhile, with the onset of cold weather rodents tend to move into safe shelter. In late summer and autumn rodents begin to move in secluded places: houses, granaries and vegetable storehouses, warehouses. The range of autumn migrations can reach 3-5 km. With the arrival of the spring they leave “winter homes” and return to the natural habitat – fields and gardens. Therefore, if you have a cottage and live close to fields, the rodents can penetrate into your house.
In the wild, rodents are crepuscular and nocturnal animals, but in human habitation they adapt their diurnal regime according to the human activities. Under artificial light sometimes rodents keep activity round the clock, reducing it only during the period of human activity.
If we talk about the life of rodents, it is not so long as, for example, cats or dogs have. Mice live 1-2 years, although there are cases where some individuals live 5-6 years. The life expectancy of rats is 2-3 years. Sometimes there are long-lived rats that live up to 6 years or more.
Rodents are very fertile, some species in nature can breed throughout the year. The gestation period of female is about 19–21 days. After that we could see 3–14 little mice or rats (average 6 to 8). One female can have 5 to 10 litters per year. Breeding occurs throughout the year. Under favorable conditions and abundance of feed are possible situations, when the number of rodents is enormous. They could form large colony. All the urban rats and mice living in premises reproduce all year round.
Methods of dealing
Among the methods of rodent control, there are those that you can perform independently and those which require the involvement of specialists in the fight against rodents. You could use the next:
- Ultrasonic method – to use the repellent. This is a very effective modern device for rodent control. Today there are electronic ultrasonic repellents, which operate at a frequency, which causes in various kinds of rodents feeling of fear, therefore they leave the place.
- Biological method – to use help of cat. You can get a cat, which is the main enemy of rodents.
- Physical method – to use mousetraps and sticky traps. The use of mousetraps is the oldest and effective way to combat against rodents. You need to buy one or more mousetraps and put them in places where you saw rodents. Operating principle of sticky traps is very simple. Rodents falling into the trap due to potent adhesive stay there until people will not find them.
- Chemical method – to use poisonous baits, pollination and gassing.
If you can not destroy rodents, you need to call the professionals.
Preventive measures should be performed before the moment when the rodents settled down in your territory. Do not forget that the reproduction process in rats and mice is very fast. The penetration of two individuals through the short period can have catastrophic consequences.
The most effective prevention method of rodents is cleanliness. They feed on garbage and consume any food that is available for them. After determination of reliable source of food they begin to nest within the immediate vicinity, and their number is growing rapidly. Therefore, you need to keep garbage and food waste in tightly closed containers. You should isolate from rodents any possible sources of food. Also you need to wash the floors more often and make sure that you have blocked all cracks and holes.