Living in urban areas has its perks, you have more job opportunities, more resources, easy access to departmental stores on your daily route, and so on. However, there are also some drawbacks when living in such fast-paced bustling cities.
There is a common problem of rat and mice infestations, especially if the area is not clean. These pests are quite annoying but more importantly, they carry infectious diseases. Besides damaging your furniture and chewing out all your cords, they also eat and contaminate your food, increasing health risks.
Infestations are on a rise, especially in urban regions. The increased incidence has been confirmed by pest control experts. These professionals have encountered an escalation of rat and mice infestation. This article will shed some light on this issue.
Urban Problems: Rat and Mice Infestation on the Rise
Adding on to the Covid pandemic, some cities have been encountering a plague of rats. The 311 hotlines of New York have received more than 21,000 calls about rat sightings in November. In the most recent fiscal year, health inspections looking for signs of “active rats” nearly doubled up.
A deadly bacterial disease known as leptospirosis causes severe liver and kidney damage, which has also been reported 15 times this year. According to health experts, it is mainly transmitted via rat urine. One such case resulted in death.
Rats had to scavenge more outside trash when restaurants were closed. Due to financial limitations in the Sanitation Department, gutters and street-corner baskets were blocked with waste. Illegal dumping has been on the rise. Since most individuals were confined to their homes throughout the quarantine, household garbage piled up.
Why Is There an Increase in Rat Infestation?
There are multiple reasons why there is a growing incidence of rat and mice infestations. The main reasons are discussed in the following segment.
Increasing Suburban Population
The population has been increasing in the urban and suburban areas especially in regions like Massachusetts and New York. This rise in population has been corresponding with the escalating rodent infestations.
The increasing suburban population and its resulting rise of garbage dumpsters and other public waste containers have been a plentiful supply of food for the rats. Some made speculations that smaller cities and towns where authorities are conscious about their budget are unfamiliar with rat infestations. They may have scrimped on eradication initiatives in the past, stopping minor issues from escalating into major ones.
There are many consequences of climate change and one of them is mild winters that are being experienced in some areas. Winters are usually warmer than normal, and it provides a longer reproductive period for rodents like rats and mice. Calculating how rapidly a rodent can reproduce and how often have catastrophic results.
For example, the gestation period of rats lasts only a few weeks and the size of the litter can be up to 14. After a little more than a month, these newborn rats grow up and are ready to breed. One pregnant rat can produce around 15,000 to 20,000 rats!
Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic
The majority of the people are witnessing a unique phenomenon as a result of COVID-19, in addition to the rise of suburban hubs and warmer winters. Mice and rats had no option but to look where the next meal might be when businesses and restaurants started closing down during the lockdown due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Bars, restaurants, and other common gathering places are not nearly making as much trash as they were in the past years. The rodents have learned to migrate in search of their next food. Unfortunately, that might be your residence. As business establishments gradually return to in-person employment, they may realize that their once-large rat population has relocated to the suburbs or areas where waste is more plentiful.
How to Prevent Rodent Infestation?
The easiest strategy to avoid a rodent infestation and contact with rats is to eliminate food, and water sources, and anything that offers rodents some form of refuge. Here are the three effective methods to prevent rat and mice infestation.
Keep Your Homes Clean
If rodents do not have access to food, they have no motive to enter your house. You need to ensure that no food is left out in the open in and around your home. Make sure trash cans and pet food are kept in rodent-proof containers and the lids should be tight.
It is best to clean up spilled food as quickly as possible. Wash cooking utensils and dishes soon after each usage. You should always keep the grills and outdoor cooking areas clean. Compost bins should be kept as far away as possible from the home (100 feet or more is recommended).
Seal Gaps and Holes in Your Home
Mice can squeeze through a nickel-sized hole, while rats can pass through a half-dollar-sized hole! Check for cracks or openings inside and outside the house to prevent rats from entering. Steel wool can be used to fill small holes. To hold the steel wool in place, apply caulk around it. To repair big holes, use cement, a lath screen or lath metal, metal sheeting, or hardware cloth.
These supplies are available at any local hardware shop. Gaps in trailer skirting should be filled, and flashing should be used around the base of the home. Rodents will continue to enter your home if you do not close the entry holes. To keep rats out, outbuildings and garages should be sealed as well.
Set Rat Traps
It is best to steer clear of using live traps or glue traps. These traps are agonizing and can cause the rodent to urinate. Since their urine is toxic and hazardous to health, it will increase the risk of contracting a disease. It is best to use proper snap traps to get hold of any rodent pests.
How to Get Rid of Rats and Mice?
Apart from keeping your house clean, sealing all the entry points, and setting traps, you can try natural home remedies. You can spray peppermint oil or solutions containing water and cayenne pepper around the exterior of your home to ward off rats from entering.
You can also sprinkle crushed pepper near holes and rat openings. These spices irritate the rodents’ noses and airways, discouraging them from getting into your home. If you do not have enough time or are overwhelmed, it is best to call professional pest control companies. Their expertise will help you get rid of rats efficiently.
The increased incidence of rat and mice infestations is quite alarming. It is best to adopt the right prevention methods before it gets too late. If you are overwhelmed by the number of rats contaminating your property, reach out to reliable pest control experts.
Click here to read our past blog, How to Identify and Get Rid of Asian Lady Beetles