The two main pest species in the UK are the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), and the house mouse (Mus musculus domestics), and between them they account for the majority of vermin control work a pest controller is likely to undertake.
Rodents carry diseases that pose a threat to people’s health and hygiene in animal husbandry. The most common which can be spread to humans through rat urine is leptospirosis, or Weil’s disease, a bacterial infection that can cause heart, liver or respiratory failure.
Mice on the other hand can spread diseases such as salmonella/listeria to humans on their feet as they walk along worktops which can cause severe food poisoning.
Rodents also need to gnaw to control the length of their teeth, which continually grow. Their gnawing habits can easily puncture wood and aluminium, can cause serious damage to electric cables and water pipes as well as damage to commodities and stored food.
House mice by their very nature will seek out the warmth of buildings, nesting in wall cavities and under floorboards.
All to often though particularly where rats are concerned we make our homes inviting, inadvertently providing access to food, harbourage and water; allowing populations to develop. If you are seeing any evidence, such as gnawed materials, runs, burrow or damaged foodstuffs it quite probably indicates rodent activity.
It’s important to understand rodent biology and behaviour in order to be able to treat them effectively. Pest control for rats and mice within our company consider all available controls because no two rodents are the same, and each site is also different and will require a different set of measures.
Pest control for rats in particular is not straightforward, rats can display signs of bait box aversion, trap shyness, resistance to some rodenticides and a fear of objects that appear in their territories (neophobia).
As a company we would identify and be sure of the species we are targeting and whether any non-target species such as bats are present. We then establish a treatment plan to remove the current rodent population considering the risk hierarchy. We use a variety of measures to control vermin.
Our aim is to use the least toxic solution that will provide long-term resolution of the issue.
Small infestations of rats/mice can often be removed using physical means such as traps, particularly where mice are concerned. However, rodent infestations can increase at such an alarming rate that an application of rodenticide may be necessary.
It should be noted that killing rodents can only provide short term control of populations. Sustained control can only be achieved by reducing the rodent carrying capacity of the environment they exist in by improved house-keeping at the site in question.
Control of rodents should usually be achieved in 25-30 days once a vermin control programme is in place and contributing factors have been addressed.