With the cold season coming in we expect a rise in rodent activity on premises, this is because much like us, rats and mice prefer to get cozy during winter.
Wherever you’re located, be it the city, suburbs, farms or ekasi, rats and mice have the propensity to proliferate if given the chance. Knowing how to handle a rat or mouse problem before an infestation occurs is the best way to limit the potential damage and remain safe – more on that on our page on rat prevention.
In this blog we will share insights on how to get rid of rats and mice.
4 Main reasons why mouse and rat control is important
- Disease: rodents are known to carry a long list of diseases.
- Contamination: the longer you ignore a mouse or rat problem, the greater the risk of food or water contamination that can lead to Salmonella.
- Fire Risk: rats and mice constantly gnaw on anything and everything, meaning they pose a genuine fire hazard.
- Home insurance: standard home insurance policies do not always cover accidental fires or property damage caused by rodents. Cost for expensive repair bills may be unclaimable.
For all these reasons and more, a professional solution in getting rid of rats and mice is often the best way to ensure you minimise risks of damage and keep you and your family safe. But, how can you you be sure you are choosing the right mice and rat control service or solution?
Professional rodent control solutions in getting rid of rats and mice
Like any other service industry, pest control is highly regulated. Things like what chemicals are used in the rodenticide (rat poison) used and the steps taken to ensure safety for all involved is what usually sets apart DIY pest control and professional pest control providers
What you should look out for in choosing a reputable pest control company
- Expertise: in the use of professional products – i.e the correct rodenticide (rat poison) and bait stations are used – and understanding of rodent behaviour.
- Recognised training: look for signs of investment in their own training
- Association memberships: to show compliance in the use of registered professional products, in the right manner
- Research & development: look at how the company is innovating and developing products to always ensure it has access to the most effective pest control tools
If you can find all of these, then you can be sure you’re dealing with a company that’s serious about mouse and rat control.
Did you know? Rentokil runs its very own Technical Academy which delivers professional industry-accredited training courses to employees across the globe.
Do rat and mouse traps work for a rodent infestation
There are many kinds of live and lethal traps – everything from snap traps to glue traps to electric to homemade mouse traps. These are mainly used by DIY enthusiasts hoping to get rid of rats on their own.
Whilst some professional companies might use glue traps, there are voluntary codes around regular checking to minimise any time an animal may spend trapped or suffering.
Snap traps are also used by professionals and can be very useful for catching rats and mice – especially those that appear to evade other control measures and bait stations. They can even be used on vertical surfaces for catching black rats as they climb inside a building.
Did you know? Since mice are very selective and cautious, relying solely on the use of traps is risky!
As mice breed at an alarming rate, sometimes mouse traps are just not enough to catch a fast growing population and more extreme measures are required.
Best practice is to use rodenticides or more proactive methods like rodent proofing and inspections for effective mouse control and prevention.
Using mouse and rat bait
People do not like to use the word rat poison but, essentially the rodenticide used by professionals as a bait for mice is exactly that. Rat bait can be very effective and there are different variations of rodenticides, which differ in how quickly they take effect.
What are anticoagulants rodenticides?
The overwhelming majority of rodenticide baiting is carried out using one of a group of compounds called anticoagulants (AVKs). These compounds block the blood clotting activity of Vitamin K. One of the reasons for their effectiveness is that AVKs deliver a delayed reaction – taking at least 3-4 days to take effect, during which time the rodent learns that bait is safe and continues eating it.
What are alphachloralose rodenticides?
This is another rodenticide with a speedier mode of action. Alphachloralose is capable of killing a mouse within 24 hours by acting as a sedative and attains its desired effect in very small quantities (as little as 0.1g of bait).
Compared to anticoagulants, Alphachloralose is more humane and has a greater margin of safety for larger non-target animals, but is best applied as a short term knock down treatment, followed by the use of anticoagulants or some other control method to control surviving mice.
Did you know that rats are unable to vomit? If they eat something that disagrees with them – tough!
What are rat bait stations?
Commonly used by pest controllers, bait stations are units that house the bait which attract rats inside. It is not a rat trap.
These rat bait stations are specifically designed to be tamper-proof making them safe for use in areas where children or even pets may be present, and is only accessible by rodents, causing no harm others. In addition, many of the rodenticides used in these stations contain Bitrex. Bitrex is the harshest taste known to the human tongue. If it is accidentally consumed by humans, the taste will cause you to spit it out immediately.
What is integrated pest management?
Having the most effective pest control products at your disposal is important, but you also need to ensure the pest controller knows the best ways to use them. For example, if you place rat bait stations in an area of your home where rodents won’t come into contact with the bait, you have little hope of attracting them.
You need to be able to rely on a professional, who has a clear tactical approach and understanding in how to get rid of rats and mice that infest your home. Strategic placement of traps and baits is vital.
When it comes to rodents, a problem can quickly escalate, so it is imperative to take action as soon as possible once you have noticed an infestation.
Look for tailored solutions
Since every rat and mouse problem is unique and every location differs, a professional should be able to offer a customised solution.
Seek an integrated rat and mouse control approach
Every professional company should be able to offer you a rodent control service that not only controls an existing problem but also helps to prevent future re-infestation.
An integrated strategy to get rid of rats and mice, such as the one offered by Rentokil provides this requirement, based on 4 key principles:
- Exclusion: Best in class suite of mice and rat proofing materials and expertise to prevent rodents from entering the premises
- Restriction: Pest awareness advice and knowledge to restrict access to food sources and potential harbourage areas
- Destruction: Including innovative control methods to manage infestations effectively and efficiently
- Monitoring: Regular checks and monitoring with MMUs (Mouse Monitoring Units)
Professional mice and rat proofing solutions
The role of a reputable pest controller should also focus on providing helpful tips and / or rat control solutions to proof your property against an infestation.
What’s the benefit of mice and rat proofing?
- Improved rat proofing ensures the infestation remains contained
- Quicker resolution of existing infestation as easier to target
- New infestations less likely to happen from neighbouring areas
- Best range of proofing products used, so your proofing will be effective
- Right proofing solution for each type of problem
- Complete proofing solution to reach even inaccessible areas
Next steps to get rid of rats and mice in your home
Choose a company that you believe is able to demonstrate and provide all of the above in getting rid of rats and / or mice – and of course tending to the problem as soon as possible! When it comes to rodents, there is no time to be wasted since a rat and mouse problem can quickly escalate.
Thanks to research, investment and training taking place every day around the world, pest control companies can aim to ensure we humans always stay one step ahead of all pests, not just rats and mice.