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How to prevent or stop a rodent infestation

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Rodents, like other pests, can cause serious problems for people's home and business life. Not only can rats and mice damage buildings and contaminate stores of food, an especially costly issue for farmers and food producers, storers and distributors, but they also carry and spread diseases and bacteria in their saliva and excrement that can seriously threaten the health and safety of you and your family. Whether you live in a rural area or in the suburbs of a big city, knowing how to prevent and get rid of rodent infestations can ensure your wellbeing and save you a lot of money. The following tips outline some of the basic methods and measures you should know about. 

Preventing a rodent infestation:

To discourage rodent activity in your household or business, you need to control your environment. This involves making sure that food scraps and crumbs aren't left out in the open and that your bins are properly sealed and emptied regularly. Storing any food, like grain, fruit and vegetables, in sealed containers ensures your food won't be contaminated. This, in turn, reduces your likelihood of contracting any diseases that rodents may carry. Furthermore, you should also remove any empty cardboard boxes and other garbage from easy to reach locations as rats like to chew into these to create their nests. This is particularly true for businesses that produce a lot of waste and surplus boxes. Regularly examining your property is also important. Be sure to not ignore small cracks, gaps and openings, as rats and especially mice like to hide here. The space below the fridge is quite a popular hiding spot.

Getting rid of rodents:

Much like cockroaches, rodents can reproduce extremely quickly. If you spot even just one or two rats near your property, you need to act quickly to prevent a total infestation. The most effective option, short of calling a professional exterminator, involves the combined use of rodent baits and rodent traps. The former is used to draw the rodents out from their hiding places. This is most effective if you remove other sources of food first to limit their options. It is also important that you do not disturb rodents in their original nesting spot as this may cause them to disperse and find somewhere else on your property to hide. After you've baited them, you can use a variety of traps to catch and/or kill them. Be sure to differentiate between mice traps and rat traps as rat traps are usually too big for mice. 

If these methods fail and there are simply too many rodents to deal with, your best bet is to call pest control professionals. Although you'll have to pay, it's worth it. They may well save you from paying for contaminated food or hospital bills in the future.