“Aww Rats!” Information and Prevention Tips

22704306 - brown rat, rattus norvegicus, captive, august 2009In a season that celebrates things that make you “Eww”, rats fit in just perfectly in an October, Halloween month.

Due to several factors such as mild winters, the availability of dwelling locations and ease in acquiring food sources, the population of rats in rural areas in Wisconsin is on the rise.

The most commonly found rat in Wisconsin is the Norway rat (also referred to as the brown rat, house rat and sewer rat). The Norway rat is typically 7-10 inches in length and colored brown with scattered black hairs and a white or gray underside.

Rats have been responsible for much human suffering throughout history and the spread of many diseases through fleas or by contaminating food sources. Some diseases include Rat-Bite Fever, leptospirosis, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), Salmonellosis and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. One disease, which was historically devastating, was the bubonic plague, which killed millions during the Middle Ages.

The best form of protection is to take action to prevent rodents in and around your home.

Take Away Their Home and Food Sources

  • Get rid of outdoor food sources such as garbage, open compost bins, left out pet food, fallen fruit, bird feeders (keep feeders and bird food up off of the ground).
  • Stack fire wood 18 inches off the ground and away from all buildings to prevent rodent nesting and hiding locations.
  • Keep areas that provide cover trimmed such as bushes, vines and tall grass. Rodents can enter your home from tree branches that hang over your roof. Keep trees and bushes cut back to prevent access.
  • Remove any places of harborage in your yard, such as old appliances or vehicles.
  • Find and eliminate any entrance openings to your home.
  • Regularly clean out sheds and storage areas.
  • Regularly clean up trash in and around your home and property.
  • Prevent rodents from entering the home by checking indoors and outside of your home for gaps or holes and sealing them up. Rats and mice can fit into very small spaces.
  • Occasionally inspect your home for signs of a rat infestation, including checking for rodent droppings, gnaw marks, damaged goods and greasy rub marks caused by their oily fur.

Protect Your Family’s Health

If you believe you have rats and/or mice in your home take the following steps to protect your health:

  • Secure all food in sealed containers.
  • Throw away all food and drinks that may have come in contact with the rodents.
  • Clean cookware and cutlery before use.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing and eating food and drink
  • Wear shoes around your home and refrain from laying on the floor.
  • If you are bitten by a rat or mouse, contact a physician immediately.

The pest specialists at Safeway Pest Management are knowledgeable and ready to help with your rat or mouse problem. Give us a call at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800.  

Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

 

*Some information obtained courtesy of the CDC and Wisconsin Department of Public Health
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Filed under Fleas, Pest Prevention, rats, Rodents, Uncategorized

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