Prevention Is Key to Rodent Control
What is the best way to prevent pest infestation?
The best way to control a pest infestation is to prevent it from happening. There are two main ways to prevent and control the presence of insects, rodents, and other pests:
- Block entry points (exclusion)
Eliminating entry points for pests will help keep them out of your establishment. This could include patching holes in walls and keeping doors closed as often as possible. In addition to this, inspecting food shipments for signs of pests and rodents can help keep pests out of your establishment.
- Eliminate sources of food, water, and shelter
Pests are always on the hunt for food, water, and shelter. Denying pests those necessities will deter them from entering and staying in your restaurant. Some common ways to keep food and shelter from pests include:
- Storing food away from walls and at least six inches off the floor
- Sealing workplace equipment to the floor or raising it at least six inches above the floor
- Maintaining a sanitary work environment by cleaning and sanitizing preparation areas immediately after use
- Disposing of trash carefully and regularly
- Keeping dumpster areas clean
Check out Any Pest’s simple fall rodent control steps
STEP 1: REMOVE FOOD & WATER SOURCES.
Mice and rats are opportunists, meaning they will eat basically any food left by humans. In order to successfully control rodents, removing their food and water source is critical. Do not leave open containers of food in the pantry or kitchen. Clean up food spills immediately. Make sure all food containers and packages are properly and tightly sealed. And don’t forget, clean up crumbs! Seal food in airtight containers and remove garbage regularly.
STEP 2: REMOVE CLUTTER.
Mice and rats love disorganization and clutter. To prevent rodents from having a place to live, clear out boxes and clutter in dark areas, such as your basement, attic, closets, and storage areas. Employ shelves in rooms and closets when possible. Keep materials and belongings off floors.
STEP 3: SEAL CRACKS AND HOLES.
It is important to prevent rodents from entering your home through crevices. Thoroughly seal and block cracks using caulk or steel wool to keep rodents out. Focus especially on the areas where utilities and pipes meet the home. Replace mortar and weather stripping around foundation.
STEP 4: ELIMINATE MOISTURE SITES.
Moisture is ideal for rodent breeding. Eliminate any and all sites of moisture, including leaking pipes and clogged drains. When storing firewood, make sure it is at least 20 feet away from the house. Keep shrubs and bushes around your house low during the fall.
Disposal of dead rodents
The following procedures can be used for handling dead rodents found:
- using tools such as tongs to put the dead rodents into a tough plastic bag (e.g. rubbish bag);
- spraying the carcasses with general household disinfectant or diluted bleaching solution until they are soaked thoroughly;
- sealing the bag tightly and placed it into another plastic bag. The second plastic bag should also be sealed;
- putting the bagged material properly in covered rubbish bin or disposing of it to the nearest refuse collection point.
When handling dead rodents, attention should be paid to personal and environmental hygiene. Wear gloves and face mask, if necessary, when handling dead rodents and avoid direct contact with them. All areas, clothes and items contaminated by the dead rodents should be disinfected thoroughly using general household disinfectant or diluted bleaching solution. Before taking off gloves, wash them with water and then cleanse with general household disinfectant or diluted bleaching solution. Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water after removing the gloves.
Mechanical rodent control as a rule is not very practical. It is cumbersome, labour intensive, and often not very efficient. Mechanical techniques are more appropriate in households, and can be used if the owner has no access to poisons or is averse to their application
The method most commonly used in buildings is trapping. Often local traps are available and in some cultures people are very good at using them. They should be placed where rats move regularly. If placed along a wall, the trap should be perpendicular to it and the treadle with the bait should face the wall.
Sticky or glue traps are another way of catching rats and mice (Prakash 1990, Meehan 1984). They are boards made of wood, hard- or cardboard covered with very sticky material. There are different types of glue available and they should be checked for suitability (stickiness, and usability in humid or dusty conditions) before large quantities are ordered. The boards are placed in the same way as traps, and normally there is no need for bait to attract rats. These traps should be checked daily, but are not regarded as very ‘humane’.
Flushing rodents out of their burrows, with smoke or by flooding them with water, can be very effective and suitable in some situations. Ultrasonic devices are mentioned regularly, particularly by manufacturers of these devices, as a good repellent of rats and mice in buildings. However there is no scientific evidence of their effectiveness.
When using traps, take the following safety steps:
- Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Always read and follow the label instructions on the rodent control product.
- Be sure to place traps in locations where children and pets cannot access them or place traps in safety enclosure boxes.
Cleaning up after trapping rodents
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following safety tips:
- Use gloves when disposing of dead rodents, nests, or any nesting material.
- Spray the dead rodent or nesting material with a disinfectant solution and allow them to soak for 5 minutes before disposing of rodent or materials in a secure plastic bag.
- Spray and wipe up the area surrounding dead rodent or nesting material with a disinfectant.
- Place the plastic bag with rodent or nesting material into another plastic bag along with any wipes or rags that were used to sanitize the surrounding area.