Rodents Pest Control
Rodents are distinguished from other mammals because their incisors continually grow throughout their lives. This is why they spend so much time and effort gnawing to keep them sharp and at the right length. These teeth are so strong that they can penetrate wood as well as soft metals such as aluminium and lead. I have seen at first hand thick mains cables gnawed to the core!
Rat skull showing long incissor teeth!
In the UK the three main pest species we deal with are the Common or Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) the House Mouse (Mus domesticus) and the Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).
The Black or Ship Rat (Rattus rattus) is now actually rare and mainly confined to port areas. Since 1986 neither I or my colleagues have had to deal with any.
These species are well adapted to living with man and have follwed us all over the plant-I guess that when we colonise space they will follow us there!
Some good reasons for rodent control:
- Prevention of economic loss; the cost of damage by rodents is difficult to estimate, but it is huge!
- Prevention of damage; almost every type of food commodity whether in production, store or use is subject to rodent attack. Damage is also caused to the fabric of buildings, electrical/data cabling and plumbing.
- Elimination of contamination; in addition to foods consumed, a vast quantity is fouled and contaminated by droppings, urine & hairs.
- Prevention of loss of goodwill; articles damaged by rodents and fouled by their droppings are unacceptable to the trade & public
- Prevention of disease; rodents carry a number of diseases injurious to man and domestic livestock.
- Conforming with the law; it is an offence under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act (1949) to knowingly harbour rodents in any premises. In food premises it is also an offence under the Food Safety Act etc. Under the Health & Safety at Work Act all work places must be kept free of health hazards.
- Relief from fear; the presence of rodent’s cause’s unnecessary distress and psychological harm to some people.
- Improved employee-employer relationship; working conditions are an important consideration in keeping employees.
Diseases carried by Rodents
- Salmonellosis-rats & mice carry salmonella bacteria which cause typhoid like intestinal infections, which can be passed to man through contaminated food.
- Weils disease (Leptospirosis)-This is the most serious UK disease carried by rats. Agricultural and others who work in wet environments are most at risk (as are inland waterway users, canoeists, anglers and swimmers) Humans become infected by contact with water or goods recently contaminated with rat urine, by eating contaminated food or by being bitten. In England it is thought 26-30% of brown rats carry this awful disease.
- Trichinosis-this is a disease caused by a minute round worm (Trichinella spriralis) and is spread by rats and mice to pigs and from them the man. Rare!
- Plague-once very popular in the UK particularly in the 1600’s! Still kills lots of people in Africa, Asia & South America and its why ships still have to be de ratted
- Call our surveyors Dan & Rob to see how we can help you 01242 517237