Rodent infestations are a huge problem for American homeowners. According to a National Pest Management Association survey, a whopping 29% of Americans have had a rodent infestation in their home at some point. About 21 million homes are invaded by rodents every single winter, and yours could be next. If rats or mice move into your home, it's important that you don't make any of these three serious rodent control mistakes.
Not wearing personal protective equipment
One of the biggest rodent control mistakes that you can make is not wearing personal protective equipment while you're dealing with the infestation. If you're cleaning up dead rodents or sweeping up rodent feces, you need to protect yourself. This is because rats and mice can spread a lot of diseases to people, and if you don't protect yourself, you could get very sick.
You need to wear gloves made of rubber, latex, or vinyl. Dust masks don't protect you from viruses, so you will need to wear a mask with a HEPA filter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using either a half-mask air-purifying respirator or a powered air-purifying respirator. You also need to wear protective goggles, rubber boots, and coveralls. If possible, choose coveralls that are disposable so that you can throw them out after you're done cleaning up.
Using rodent bait stations
Rodent bait stations are commercially available and are an effective way to kill rats and mice, but using them is a big mistake. These bait stations contain poisoned food that is attractive to rodents. The rodents eat the bait, but the poison takes a while to take effect. Rat poison can take as long as two weeks to kill a rat or mouse after the animal has consumed a fatal dose. This extended period is why bait stations are a very bad idea.
After the rodents have been poisoned, they crawl back into their hiding places inside your walls, in your attic, or beneath your floor boards, and once the poison takes effect, they're out of your reach. You'll know your bait stations were effective when you start to smell dead, rotting rodents in your walls and floors.
The horrible smell isn't the only problem. In the period between ingesting the poison and finally dying, a rat or mouse can become a snack for your cat or dog. After eating the poisoned rodent, your pet may also die. To avoid these problems, you need to use traps, not poison. Glue traps or snap traps are both good options.
Not addressing the cause of the infestation
If you don't address the root cause of your rodent infestation, killing the rodents that are already in your home won't be enough to stop the problem. More rodents will just move in to replace them. If you have a rodent infestation, your house is easy to get into, provides easily accessible food and water, and provides lots of hiding places.
Keeping rodents out is difficult since they can squeeze through tiny openings. Rats can get through a hole the size of a quarter, while mice can get through an opening the size of a dime. You need to inspect the exterior of your home for gaps and seal them with caulk or other filling materials.
Cleaning up your home and kitchen is the next step. Make sure to get rid of clutter that rodents can seek shelter in, and deep-clean your kitchen to get rid of all traces of crumbs. Transfer your food to rodent-proof containers (like glass bins) to make it harder for them to get a meal.
A rodent infestation is bad enough without making mistakes that make it worse. Make sure to wear personal protective equipment, avoid using bait stations, and deal with the root cause of the infestation. If you need help, don't hesitate to hire a pest control company. You can click here for more information about pest control services in your area.
As a teenager, I joined my local swim team and soon became a champion swimmer. I have been swimming my entire life, and my love for water pushed me to purchase a home with a large in-ground pool. Strangely enough, after years of swimming I had no idea how to take care of the pool. I knew that I needed to add chemicals to get rid of potentially dangerous bacteria, and I also knew that chemicals kept algae at bay. I didn't know how to choose from hydrogen peroxide, salt, or chlorine additives. I definitely had no idea about shock, and I didn't know how many chemicals to add. After some trial and error, a very green pool, and a necessary draining, I figured it out. I have compiled for you a number of blogs and resources so you do not have to make costly mistakes like me.