September 19, 2020

Coronavirus Shutdown Increases Rodent Activity in More Areas

One of the more unpleasant realities caused by the coronavirus shutdown is that rats and mice are moving into suburbs in search of food as restaurants close. The rodents rely on food and waste that those venues generate. With more restaurants closed down, the animals have had to search further afield to find something to eat. Rodent activity will likely increase in areas where it hasn’t happened before.

Coronavirus Shutdown Increases Rodent Activity in More Areas

That means that homeowners must guard against rodent infestation. If you do find evidence of rats in or around your home, call an exterminator. Rats can be dangerous in and of themselves and have been known to bite people and animals. In fact, 9,000 Americans are treated in emergency rooms every year for rat or mouse bites.

They can also carry serious diseases such as hantavirus, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), Tularemia and Salmonella.

First of all, go around your house and try to identify areas where rodents could get in. Mice can get into an opening the size of a dime, and rats can center through an opening the size of a quarter. Seal all cracks and crevices around your foundation, and ask your exterminator to check too. Use cement mortar or expanding foam.

Second, you need to remove debris and vegetation around your home. Rodents love cluttered areas because it’s easier for them to hide. There should be a clear space of a foot or two between your home’s foundation and any shrubs or bushes. Also store woodpiles at least a foot above the ground and as far away from your home as possible. Tree limbs are another possible traffic pathway. Trim any limbs that overhang or touch buildings.

If you are having an issue with rodents, think about not feeding birds. Rats and mice love bird food, and it will naturally attract pests. In addition, make sure that your garbage cans close tightly and are completely sealed. And dispose of garbage regularly.

Make sure that you clean up after every meal and store food in thick plastic, glass, or metal containers with tight fitting lids. Take care with pet food too. Keep that food in a rodent-proof container with a tight fitting lid, and don’t leave dishes of pet food around, especially overnight.

Signs of rodent activity can include droppings, rub marks, and tracks. You may see rat hair, urine spots, and hear noises, especially in the ceiling and walls.

If your home needs cleanup after rodent infestation, it’s a good idea to use a professional service, otherwise you could expose yourself to rodent-borne diseases from their poop or urine. Feces and urine can also cause allergic reactions in some people.

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