The Rodent Pest

Controlling rodents -rats and mice

Rats and mice are a common problem in all parts of the world.

Identifying rat and mice problem

You will identify rodent problems by their activity and by seeing them. Rodents will chew on items such as clothes,electrical cables and shoes. You will also hear noises on your roof, ceiling and attic. On close examination ,most often you will see their stool.

Control

There are various methods of controlling rats and mice. These include;

  •  Chemical
  •  Mechanical
  •  Biological and
  •  A combination of two or all of them.

Chemical control

The most effective way of controlling rodents is the use of anticoagulant baits. BASF, Bayer, Syngenta and other companies that manufacture pest control products have these types of baits. These can be put in bait stations to protect the baits themselves from the elements of weather and to protect pests. Keeping them out of reach of children is extremely important.

As much as possible, avoid knockdown chemicals such as Zinc Phosphine commonly referred as rat and rat. They do not work as well because rodents soon learn to avoid them. Similarly, they leave the area smelly and are dangerous poisons.

All rodent control products must be used with great caution. Consult licensed pest control professionals for proper assessment and treatment.

For the roof attic and difficult to reach areas, the bait blocks can be thrown in these areas. In general however, proper control of rodents in the compound will eliminate the ones on the roof too because rodents do move around.

Mechanical control

Two types of mechanical control of rodents can be used

1.   a) Entry proofing

By blocking rodent pathways and entry ways rodents can be controlled effectively. Consider this method for drains, ducts, doors, windows and any other entrances that can be used by the rodents. Use of wire nets and ensuring that all windows and doors have no gaps is a good measure. Start by preventing them from entering the compound first if possible and follow up with blocking entrances to stores. For grain stores, poultry houses and other elevated areas, rodent deflectors made of simple sheet metal placed on the supporting posts will effectively prevent rodents from entering.

2.      b)Trapping

Many types of traps exist. The most common are trigger traps, cages and glue traps

Trigger traps

 The trigger traps trip when a rodent walks on them and the quick tripping action hits and traps the rodent. Large rodents have been known to drag these traps to their hideouts.

Cages

The cages work by luring the rodents into the enclosure that has a trap door. This means that once the rodent is inside, it cannot be able to leave the cage. The rodent is then allowed to die or starvation or killed by any other means.

Glue traps

Glue traps are place on rodent pathways. They are most effective against mice due to their small size. A rodent bait can be placed on the glue to encourage the rats or mice to walk on the glue. Once trapped, the glue plate has to be discarded. Glue traps can be bought or can be made by smearing rodent glue on cardboard pieces

For all mechanical traps, it is important to inspect the traps regularly to remove the trapped rodents, to replenish the bait, to clean the trap and to reset the trap.

Biological control

For proper biological control, one needs to understand the rodent ecosystem. Rodents are part of a food chain that involves their food and their predators. They also flourish in certain environments. Some of the natural predators to rodents include cats, birds of prey and snakes. If they are absent in the ecosystem, rodent populations can explode. This is common in urban centres. Rodents thrive in environments where they can hide, breed and where there is plenty of food. Eliminating these factors minimizes problems associated with rats, mice and other rodents that are of public health concern.

 

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