Rodents will seek out food and shelter inside homes, especially in the winter months. Once they are inside, their quick reproduction rate can exacerbate the problem and before you know it, you can have property damage and subject your family to health risks.
Ways to prevent rodent infestations
- Some ways to keep rodents out of your home are:
- Seal off all access points. They can easily get in through any cracks or crevices.
- Repair any damaged doors, windows or screens.
- Keep all food and pet food in tightly sealed containers.
- Keep all crawl spaces like attics and basements clean and well ventilated to make sure rodents don’t take over.
Store firewood well away from your home.
It can be very difficult to deal with a rodent infestation. You can use mouse traps or poison to eliminate some of them but new babies will have their own babies in a few weeks, and it can be hard to keep up.
You may need to contact professionals to help remove infestations and prevent future infestations. For a Kansas City pest control service, contact Advantage, a family-owned and operated company that services both residential and commercial properties.
Rodent infestation health risks
Rodents can be a health risk. One virus associated with rodents is hantavirus. Only some kinds of mice and rats can give people hantaviruses that can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). The disease begins with a fever but if it’s not treated right away, it can cause shortness of breath and eventually even result in death.
The problem is that it is difficult to tell if a mouse or a rat carries a hantavirus. This is why it is best to try and keep rodents out and if you find any droppings, urine or nests inside your home, you must clean them up safely. People can become infected by touching the urine, droppings or nesting materials and then touching their mouth, eyes or nose.
Salmonella is another possible health risk because rodents are often found in a kitchen and carry dirt and bacteria with them. Food left out or in cabinets can be touched and bitten by rodents which can lead to salmonella poisoning. This has similar symptoms to food poisoning.
When humans are exposed to urine, droppings or nesting materials of rodents, they can suffer from serious neurological problems, such as inflammation of the meninges and brain. This is called Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV).
Rodents will chew to maintain their teeth length and they will chew through all kinds of different materials, including rubber, plastic pipes, wood, drywall and even aluminum. They can destroy the insulation in attics and chew through electrical wiring, which increases the risk of a house fire. If they cause a leak in a gas line, the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning increases.
How do you know if you have a rodent infestation?
Rodent nests are typically found in pantries, drawers and cabinets. If you spot a rodent nest, it is best to call in pest control services to deal with the problem.
Rodents tend to hide away and you may not see them. However, it is common to hear the sounds of rodents at night when they are most active. You could hear high-pitched squeaks and scurrying.
One of the telltale signs that they’re around is when you see their droppings. You need to handle these small feces with gloves and a protective mask to ensure your safety. You may spot urine on fabrics like curtains and you need to wash them thoroughly if you do.