Arable farms are collecting produce from the fields and this results in rats and mice being evicted from their usual habitats. As the weather is becoming damper as the Autumn progresses, and the ambient temperature gradually decreases, these rodents seek out warmth, dryness and shelter within our own domestic and commercial premises. It is, therefore, time to be vigilant about the possibility of an infestation of rats or mice in and around our houses and business premises. At Pestcotek, we are equipped with years of experience and the latest technologies for dealing with these pests On discovering an infestation of rodents your house or business premises, it would only be natural to react with some distress. Many people suffer with phobias relating to rats and mice, and generally speaking the idea of an infestation is an invasive and unpleasant one. An infestation of rats can end up being very expensive, both in terms of financial expenditure and in terms of the potential for ill health caused. Rats have incisor teeth and can chew through electrical wiring, mild steel, plastics and even concrete. They are, therefore, easily capable of gaining access to a building. Humans can pick up very serious diseases from rats. They can contaminate our food and cause damage to our buildings. A pairing of rats sheds over a million hairs from their bodies within the space of a year. One rat has the capacity to leave up to 25 000 dropping within the same period of time. If you are vigilant and act swiftly a rat problems can be solved quickly. When mice enter our domestic and commercial premises, they do so in order to gain shelter and sources of food. Most types of building will satisfy their living requirements. Behaviourally, mice are known to seek out food sources and undisturbed areas within your property suitable for them to build a nest. Preventative measures include the removal and sealed storage of food that is within attainable reach of mice. Simply doing this greatly reduces the risk to us of food contamination and disease transmission. When we are tucked up in our beds at night, between dusk and dawn, the rats come out to play this when they are most active. It is very unlikely that you will ever set eyes on a rat. At this time of rodent vigilance, it is easier to notice the signs of a rat infestation. These include: scratching noises in places like your loft; footprints – these might be seen in dusty, unused areas of your property along with tail marks; rat droppings – shaped like a grain a rice and dark brown in colour; rub marks – greasy smudges on walls made by their greasy, dirty bodies; rat nests – they shred whatever materials are available, whether it be cardboard or fibreglass loft insulation materials; rat holes – these are made by brown rats, which dig extensive burrows. Signs of an infestation of mice include an ammonia-like aroma and droppings The transmission of diseases to us from rodents is a real danger, as has been mentioned. They have the capacity to spread pathogens and diseases such as Salmonella, Hantavirus and Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is caused by leptospira: a strain of bacteria. This is generally found in certain animals and it can be transmitted to us. A wide variety of animals have the capacity to carry this bacteria. It is most commonly associated with rats, mice, dogs and certain livestock. Hantaviruses are spread to humans through contact with rodent urine, saliva or faeces. They do not cause disease in the rodents. Hantaviruses are single-stranded, negative sense RNA viruses in the Bunyaviridae family. Salmonella is a group of bacteria. We tend to become infected with it mainly through ingesting contaminated water or foods (especially meat, eggs and poultry). This group of bacteria causes gastroenteritis, enteric fever, food poisoning and typhoid fever.  Don’t have nightmares though. Pestcotek is here if you suspect an infestation of rats or mice – and it is more likely at this time of year given the weather and harvest – call Pestcotek. We will deal with the problem employing the latest technologies and methods.