How to Deal With Invading Rodents in the Home

Wildlife can often cause property damage or spread disease, even in today’s advanced society, and rodents such as squirrels, rats, and mice can be a problem for a household or even a public building such as an apartment or a restaurant, and squirrel families may build nests in air ducts or attics where a person would not want them. Wildlife takes many different forms for various species ranging from coyotes to cougars to bears, and where smaller animals like squirrel families are concerned, homeowners and building managers are urged to turn to professional help like rodent control crews to get rid of these destructive animals. Unwanted rodents are more than unsightly; they can cause property damage and even spread disease, even with modern technology and medicine. Squirrel families or rat colonies should be removed as soon as they are found, and there are some methods for both homeowners and professional crews to use to get rid of squirrel families and more.

The Problems

Why should a homeowner or a restaurant manager be concerned about squirrel families or rats? Animal removal has often been done throughout the centuries to keep such rodents away from food stores, to begin with. In the past, stores of grain, fruits, and vegetables were often ransacked by rodents, and to a lesser extent, this is still true today. The National Pest Management Association has estimated that rodents contaminate or consume as much as 20% of the world’s food supply every year, which represents billions of dollars’ worth of food lost to these rodents. But without anti-rodent methods, this figure could climb as high as 50%. It is for this reason, among others, that wildcats were integrated into human societies in centuries past: as rat and mouse catchers. Cats naturally hunt such animals, which helps protect food stores.

A homeowner will not have a stockpile of grain at the home, but rats and mice are a problem for other reasons, as are squirrel families. These rodents often bite when frightened or cornered, and bites can harm people or pets alike. These animals may also spread the deadly rabies virus, and the contagion does not end there. Rats and mice often carry fleas that transmit disease with their blood-sucking bites (this is how the Black Death spread in medieval times). These fleas, and the diseases they carry, pose a threat to people and pets alike.

Property damage is also an issue. Rats, mice, and squirrel families often chew on anything they can find, and intruding rodents will often keep their teeth in check by chewing on electrical cables or plastic pipes in the home, which damages these utilities, an expensive repair job and a hassle the whole time. Squirrel families also build nests in air ducts, which impedes air flow and hampers an air conditioning or heating system constantly. But these troublesome rodents can be dealt with.

Rodent Control

Rats, mice, and rodents often break into homes or public buildings by either finding openings or chewing their way in (especially through wood), and they often hide and make nests where people and pets can’t easily find them. But there are still ways to deal with them. A number of commercial products are available for homeowners or restaurant managers to use for smaller cases, often involving bait. Classic mouse traps can be set across the floor and lure in rodents with bait. Then the traps snap shut, either injuring or killing the rodent, which can then be disposed of. Another option is poisoned bait pellets, which will kill a rodent that ingests them. Homeowners should be aware that mouse traps and especially poison pellets can be a serious health hazard for small children or pets who find them, so great care must be taken.

Meanwhile, larger infestations or rodents call for animal control services, who may use professional grade equipment to find, flush out, and sometimes even kill rodent populations found in a building. Such methods might even render a building unsafe for human habitation for some time due to chemicals and poisons, but for larger infestations, this may be the only way to fully remove a growing rat colony where mere mouse traps or poison pellets might be insufficient.

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