How to protect your home against rodents


Rodents are mammals and include pests like mice, rats, and squirrels. Rodents are one of the most problematic pests. You have to be smart and proactive to successfully keep them out of your home. Smart homeowners are always on the look out for any sign of pests in their property. 

In Kenya, the most common rodent pests are mice and rats. Some people don’t know the difference between mice and rats. The biggest difference is size. Rats are much bigger than mice. While rats can weigh between 350 to 650 grams, mice only weigh 30 to 90 grams.

Why you should protect your home against rodents

Rodents are one of the most destructive pests. Some fires in Nairobi have been attributed to rats. Rats have a habit of chewing on anything they come across. They can chew the insulation of electrical cables, dangerously exposing the cables. When the exposed wires come into contact, the result is a spark that can cause a fire. Another reason to keep rodents away is that they transmit diseases. Rodents can carry many diseases into your home. Rodents indeed pose a health hazard to humans. That’s why some governments have initiated control measures for rodents. Rodents are associated with diseases like Salmonella, hantavirus, Lujo Hemorrhagic Fever (LUHF), lymphocytic choriomeningitis, leptospirosis, Rat-Bite Fever, Tularemia, and many others. Lujo hemorrhagic fever (LUHF) is a disease caused by Lujo virus. Humans can contract LUHF through contact with an infected rodent. Contact can be direct or through inhalation of aerosolized Lujo virus from the urine or feces of infected rodents. Symptoms include headache, muscle pain, face and neck swelling, diarrhea, and sore throat. Humans can get Salmonella through ingestion of food and water contaminated with rodent feces or urine. You can also get salmonella through direct contact with infected rodents. As they look for material to build their nest, rats and mice can chew on many things around your house. They can chew clothing, books, wood, plastics, and many other materials around the house. It is thus important to keep rodents out of your house.

Protecting your home against rodents

To protect your home against rodents, the first question to ask yourself is: what brings rodents to your home?

Rodents come into your home because they are looking for food and shelter. Armed with this knowledge, you will know that to keep rodents away from your home, one of the most important things you can do is to make sure that they do not easily get food and shelter in your home. Secure your food stores well, making them rodent-proof. Ensure that dustbins are tightly closed. Dustbins usually contain lots of waste food that can sustain a high number of rodent populations, therefore, ensuring that rodents cannot access it is good practice.

Rodents like rats and mice breed rapidly. Female rats reach sexual maturity at 8 to 12 weeks. The heat cycle is every 4 to 5 days. After giving birth, the female will be in heat again within 48 hours. Typically, female rats birth six litters a year consisting of 12 rat pups, although a litter of 5-10 pups is more common. If two female rats and one male rat enter your home and start breeding, the rat population will swell to more than 2500 rats in one year! Quick control is essential if you don’t want to be overrun by rodents.

Baiting and trapping are some of the most effective methods you can use. Use tamper-resistant to exterminate rats and mice. Tamper-resistant bait stations ensure the safety of children and pets as you deal with rodents.

Snap traps are usually reusable and are very effective at killing rats and mice. Place the snap-traps in paths that these rodents use and inside structures where they have infested. Not everyone wants to kill rodents. Some people prefer to trap and relocate rodents to other areas. Live-catch traps are the best option for such people. Live-catch traps are reusable no-kill traps. They have release options that enable you to release the rodent if you want to.

Rodents use openings and holes around your house as entry points, hiding places, and breeding grounds. Seal off all openings and holes around your home.

A house with clutter is attractive to rodents. As they are afraid of humans, rodents like rats and mice like it if there are places that they can quickly run to and hide if they see a human. Remove a rat-friendly environment like a cluttered house.

What will run rats off?

Some substances work as rat repellants. Others are natural while others are synthetic. Eucalyptus, peppermint oil, citronella, and chili powder are effective at repelling rats. Put a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and place it in areas frequented by rats. Chili powder irritates the nasal passage of rats when inhaled by the rodent. Hit with such irritation, the rats will consider that environment hostile and will move away to another area. Dilute eucalyptus oil in a concentration of 20% and sprinkle this solution on paths used by rodents. Its scent will act as a deterrent to rats. Citronella can repel both mice and rats. Rodents avoid areas sprayed with citronella oil.

Some of the chemicals you can use to deter rats and mice include ammonia and bleach. Ammonia mimics the scent given off by rat predators like cats, therefore, the rats will move away from that area thinking cats are around. Mix two cups of ammonia with 200 ml of water and 2 spoons of detergent. Pour this solution into areas infested by rats. Apart from disinfecting surfaces made dirty by rats and mice, bleach acts as a deterrent to these rodents. Mix one cup of bleach with two liters of water and apply it to areas where rodents are a nuisance.

The presence of cats will make rodents run away from that area. Rodents can detect the scent left by cats and will move as far away as possible from the scent. Apart from being an adorable pet, a cat acts as a strong deterrent to rats. Acquire a cat to keep the rodents away.

Need professional rodent control?

Call Agile Pest Control company for help. Our team has the experience and the resources necessary to develop a customized rodent control solution for your home. We will quickly and permanently exterminate all rodents causing you problems.

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