Winter is here – Rats and mice are moving indoors: Keep Watch

Feeling the cold? It’s likely that you are. We certainly are here at Pestcotek. Yes – Winter is upon us. We humans feel naturally inclined to stay indoors at this time of year in order to avoid the cold and gain greater warmth and to shelter from the inclement and, at time, tempestuous weather. The same can be said of many mammals; indeed, certain mammals enter a state of torpor and go into hibernation mode at this time of year. Rats and mice, like us, seek warmth, dryness and shelter during the winter months and when denied their natural habitats they migrate towards our domestic and commercial premises. It is quite possible that this will result in a preponderance of rat and mice infestations. At Pestcotek, we are equipped with the latest technologies and trained in the most current methods for dealing with this phenomenon. If you suspect an infestation of either rats or mice at this time of year – and it is more likely – contact Pestcotek.

When people discover an infestation of rats or mice in their domestic or commercial premises, the reaction can quite naturally be one of great distress. A large proportion of the population fear rats, indeed many have a phobia of the creature, as do some of mice. A fear of rats is more common however. A rat infestation can be costly both financially and in terms of health. Rats are endowed with incisor teeth, which enable them to chew through electrical wiring, plastics and even mild steel. They would employ this capacity in order to gain access to a building. They can also transmit very serious diseases to us. If they gain access to your commercial or domestic premises they can contaminate food and cause physical damage to the fabric of your buildings. A pair of rats sheds more than a million body hairs in a year and one individual rat can leave up to 25 000 droppings within that time. Prompt action will quickly remedy an infestation.

Mice seek to gain access to our properties in the interest of acquiring shelter and food sources. Any kind of property will be sufficient to meet their needs. Their tendency is to search out food sources and undisturbed sites within your properties in which to construct a nest. A preventative measure in this matter simply involves the removal of readily available food that is within easy reach. Immediately, your commercial or domestic premises is less attractive to mice. In carrying out this preventative measure you are also reducing the risk posed by the possibility of food contamination to the transmission of disease.

Rats are active between dusk and dawn when we are usually inside and asleep. Spotting the signs of a rat infestation is therefore easier than spotting a rat as an indication of infestation. The signs include: scratching noises, for example in your loft; rat droppings – dark brown and shaped like a grain of rice; rat footprints – you might find these, along with tail marks, in dusty and unused parts of your property; rat nests – they shred whatever materials – cardboard, loft insulation – are available to make nests; rub marks – smudges on walls etc. made by grease and dirt on their bodies; rat holes – brown rats dig extensive systems of burrows for food storage, shelter and nesting

Signs that would indicate that you might have an infestation of mice include an ammonia-like aroma and droppings

As previously mentioned, the transmission of diseases is a real danger that comes with an infestation of rodents. 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 can be found in certain animals and can be spread to us. A broad variety of animals can carry this bacteria. It is most commonly associated with rats, mice, dogs and certain livestock. Salmonella is a group of bacteria. People 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. Hantaviruses are transmitted 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.

It may be cold, but we would still as you to be vigilant about the signs indicating a problem either with mice or rats. If you suspect that you have such a problem, contact Pestcotek.