Rodents are revolting and spreads disease

Rats are incredibly hardy animals who have never shown any problem adjusting to change. Usually that change is the introduction of a new poison, as humans constantly work harder and harder to exterminate these animals. But perhaps no other animal resists such attempts better than the rat.    They have very poor vision and are color blind, but they have extremely strong senses of hearing, smell, touch and taste. Rats have four to six litters a year and each litter has 6 to 12 babies in it. These rats are only pregnant for about 21 to 23 days and they can start reproducing when they are three months old.
Rodents expose humans to dangerous pathogens that have public health significance. Rodents can infect humans directly with diseases such as hantavirus, ratbite fever, lymphocytic choriomeningitis and leptospirosis.
Rats will eat anything a human will, and more. But worse damage is done by their urine and feces which are left behind on any uneaten food.
Tolerating rats is not something many people want to do. For many reasons people and rats are unlikely to coexist peacefully. But coexist we will, as perhaps more than any other wild animal, rats have adapted to living among humans. That we do not generally tolerate their presence does not mean that we need to use dangerous and inhumane methods to destroy them—or accept a no-holds-barred way to controlling their numbers.

Trapping rats may not address the full problem. The best way to control rats is to discourage them from taking up residence in the first place. Typically, conditions that support high rat populations are left until there is a real crisis at hand. Then the poisons are used or trapping employed to reduce the population, only to leave unaddressed the cause of the problem in the first place. Any effort to limit rat populations must be followed by taking the necessary steps—exclusion and sanitation—to make sure the same problems never happen again.

There are no truly humane ways to kill rodents, only methods that are less inhumane. Rats are killed with poisons, snap traps, glue -boards and maze-type traps that drown them. Based on what is known about these methods, the traditional snap trap, and perhaps the newer traps that use an electrical charge to stun and kill, seems to be the least inhumane. This doesn’t mean that rats won’t suffer in these traps—they almost certainly will.

With the use of lethal control, animals will suffer. So keep in mind, the need to control rats is largely the result of a lack of cleanliness in the immediate environment.

Good sanitation is the best and most economical way to control rats. Follow these steps to keep rats away or to keep their numbers in check:

  • Clear away any rubbish piled close to buildings to expose burrows and openings that rats might use to get in.
  • Store food in rat-proof containers, such as galvanized cans with tight-fitting lids. This includes birdseed, grass seed, and other possible foods kept in garages and/or outbuildings.
  • Store and dispose of garbage properly, so that rats can’t get into it.
  • If you feed your pets outside, leave the food out for just long enough to be eaten, and then remove it.
  • Clean up pet droppings from the yard every day.
  • Remove old wood or rubbish from the property since these are regular rat hangouts.

Where rats continue to be a problem around buildings, you can use an L-shaped barrier of either hardware cloth or concrete to prevent burrowing along foundations long-term. Bury the footer about 12 inches deep and extend it out from the foundation about 12 inches. When a rat tries to dig into the foundation he won’t be able to get past the barrier.





Leave a Reply