Getting Rid of Unwanted Rodents in the Home

Some species of rodents or other animals have long since established themselves as troublesome for human society in the past and present, and unwanted rodents can at best be a health hazard and at worst be a cause of major damage to a home and its delicate components, and squirrels in the attic are another issue to watch out for for homeowners. Animal removal crews may have to be contacted, or rodent control can take the form of baited traps or other items that can be used to get rid of squirrels in the attic, rats in the kitchen, or raccoons in the yard. If left alone, these animals may reproduce in vast numbers and will continue to be a nuisance and a health hazard in any home or commercial building that they occupy. When squirrels in the attic arrive and are discovered, or when mice start sneaking into the kitchen, it is time for a person to take action to contain them.

Rats and mice are small, but they have always been a threat to human efforts ever since the agricultural revolution. For many millennia, these small mammals have devoured stockpiles of grains, fruits and vegetables, and more in human settlements around the world, and in fact Neolithic settlements domesticated wolves and wildcats into today’s cats and dogs with pest control in mind, among other uses. For many millennia, cats have been human companions and effective rat catchers, and this helps keep rat populations under control to protect farm produce. Even today, this is still an issue; various experts and agencies have determined that rodents, mainly rats and mice, consume or contaminate an estimated 20% of the world’s food supply, and without the pest co0ntrol industry in place, this figure could easily be as high as 50%.

There are plenty of rats and mice to go around, and some major American cities have experienced a sharp rise in complaints a bout these animals. In Chicago, for example, rodent-related calls have gone up 61%, and similar calls in New Yo9rk City have risen 129% and San Francisco has had a 175% rise in rodent-related calls and complaints. After all, a city offers Dumpsters and a lot of thrown away food for these animals to feed on, and a city has endless hiding places for rats to protect themselves from predators and breed and set up nests without being disturbed.

Why are mice and rats such an issue? For one thing, they may easily transmit dangerous diseases such as the rabies virus when they bite people or pets, and the same is true of raccoons. Worse, such animals carry fleas that harbor deadly diseases, even the infamous Black Death. During the Middle Ages, the Black Death spread rapidly due to the massive rat population at the time (and a relatively low cat population due to witch hunts), and even today, with modern medicine and understanding, rats and mice still carry the danger of contagion wherever they go. Rats and mice may also chew on plastic pipes or electric cords in the home, damaging these utilities. Squirrels in the attic may do much the same, and when they chew their way inside, they create hole that allow rainwater to leak in.

Wildlife Control in the Home

A number of solutions exist to take care of rodents in the home, and rodent removal takes various forms. One is to set classic-style baited rat traps that snap shut when a mouse or rat sets it off, and a lever may break their spines to kill them humanely. Another option is to set out poison pellets that attract rats and mice, and the poison will kill them when ingested. However, homeowners should take extreme caution when there are pets or small children in the home that might eat them too. A non-lethal way to get rid of rats, mice, and squirrels in the attic is to set up baited cages that shut when these animals go inside them, and these animals can be relocated and release elsewhere if a homeowner does not want to have to handle dead mice and rats. Crews can be hired to remove squirrel nests from air ducts and fix the holes they chewed.

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