Tips to identify and control rats and mice in Birmingham homes
June 04, 2021
Having pests or rodents in your home or business can not only lead to property damage but could also pose a serious health risk. Among the many kinds of rodents that are commonly found in Birmingham homes, rats and mice are present in greater numbers.
While there are DIY methods to control pests and rodents these may not be successful in the long term and hiring the services of a Birmingham pest control company would be the better option.
They tend to proliferate in numbers during the warm season and seek shelter indoors in homes, barns, garages, roofs, beneath floorboards and other areas of a property.
The easy availability of food, water and warmth make these spots an attractive dwelling for them. Once they infest any property in large numbers the best solution is to contact a pest control Birmingham company.
Let us examine the risks, ways to identify them and methods to try and control and protect any property from them.
Risks involved: Rats can be carriers of highly infectious diseases and can carry a variety of pathogen and bacteria. Since they are territorial and mark areas with their urine, they pose a major health hazard. Some of the dangerous disease and viruses they can carry include Salmonella, Hantavirus, Toxoplasma gondii and Leptospirosis etc.
Apart from that, they can cause serious damage to properties because they tend to gnaw. These can include gas pipes, electric cables, plumbing and other items at a home or business.
Kinds of rats:
The two species of rats found in the country are the Common or Brown Rat technically called Rattus Norvegicus. Brown rats look for areas that provide food, shelter and water and favour the space below floorboards, wall-cavities, roof spaces etc along with sheds and grassy spots in gardens and sewers.
While Ship or Black rats are rare and are normally found in warehouses at ports. Because of their exceptional agility, they may also live-in attics, crawlspaces etc.
You may also be able to hear the rats scratching, gnawing and scuttling around. Brown rats are prone to grinding their teeth and chattering when stressed, both very distinctive sounds. But correct identification is key, as these sounds can also be attributed to a squirrel infestation.
Treatment for a rat bite
While they generally are non-aggressive, if they are cornered, they will bite in self-defence. In case of a bite wash and disinfect thoroughly and get medical advice at the earliest.
Ways to prevent rat infestation on your property
1. Ensure to fill in all empty spaces beneath the floorboards, pipes and other spots on the property. Search the basement and attics for entry points and fill them with quick setting cement and steel wire wool.
2. Remove all debris including woodpiles and clear overgrown spots in the garden.
3. Make sure the sewage system is well covered and any vents sealed.
4. Do not leave food for birds scattered in the garden and use a feeder basket or a table.
5. Always check that the trash bins have a secure lid that cannot be easily pried off. Clean the bins regularly with soap water and disinfectants and empty them daily. Keep them at a sizeable distance from the home.
While mice may be cute in appearance, the fact is they can be a health hazard besides causing severe damage. They are carriers of diseases like Listeria and Salmonella and spread infections through their litter and urine contaminate food sources leading to food poisoning. Because of their habit of nibbling, they can damage electrical lines and pipes, apart from leaving bacteria and dirt in their trail.
Kinds of mice:
The two common kinds of mice species seen in the UK are:
1. The house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus)
2. The wood or field mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus).
While house mice as the name imply live amongst and close to human inhabitations. Field mice are mostly found outdoors although when the weather gets cold, they seek shelter indoors.
House mice have a pointed nose, ears with less hair, big eyes and small feet with the tail around the same length as the body. They give off a strong odour that makes it easy to know their presence with grey or light brown coloured fur.
Field mice have larger eyes and ears than house mice since they stay outdoor to protect them from predators. Their fur is brown and their undersides are a lighter shade in colour with bigger hind feet, ears and tails. Their long tails make them adept climbers.
Mice bite treatment
While mice rarely bite, they can if they feel under threat. The first thing is to wash the wound and apply antiseptic. If the wound is deep it is best to consult a doctor.
Preventing mice infestation
1. Even a 5 mm gap is sufficient to give mice entry so seal up all potential entry points. Look for vents and crevices at the lower and upper levels as mice are excellent climbers.
2. Keep a tightfitting lid on the trash bin so that mice cannot get access.
3. Do not leave food debris unattended on the kitchen counters or tables.
4. Clear all woodpiles and debris from the garden and cover compost to ensure mice do not build a nest underneath.
5. All food items should be placed in containers with well-fitting covers.
While these measures may not completely prevent mice and rats from inhabiting your property, these steps will make it less attractive an option for them to seek shelter.
Remember in case of a rodent infestation in your home or business call a rodent control Birmingham company at the earliest.
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Having rats, mice and squirrels in your property or place of work can be traumatising, not only for the effect on your health, but also the damage that can be caused to personal property, belongings or stock.