The 1, 2, 3’s on Controlling Rodents

by jteaton

The 1, 2, 3’s on Controlling Rodents

There are three components to ridding a rodent from your home or business that professional exterminators use to solve a problem quickly:

1. Locate food source:  Rodents’ sense of smell is about 10 times greater than a dog, so make sure customers don’t leave food out. Where possible, remove or control outside food sources. Involve your customer in this process as to avoid future problems. Inspect how trash is stored and other sanitation conditions. Offering rodent bait in bait stations is a great tool for sheds, garages and around the exterior of the home or business, and can help control the population before rodents get inside. Be sure to use caution with all rodent baits when children and pets are present.

2. Harborage and entry points:  Following air movement and heat is easier than looking for rub marks, droppings and nesting locations. Inspect areas where warm air escapes from vents, around pipes, roofs & under doorways. Excess debris from trash, leaves and over-growth from groundcover provide protective cover and warmth for nesting areas. Seam lines of buildings (along concrete or asphalt) hold heat from the sun, and are great run paths for rats and mice. Follow those lines! Heat-sensing cameras are useful, and give a good overview of potential entry points, especially in winter. Sealing and preventing heat from escaping a building helps prevent rodents.

3. Eradicate Rats and Mice:  Rodents are very cautious, so using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach can increase your success. Pairing various traps with bait in stations is a great way to approach your rodent infestation.

Use multiple snap traps along the areas where rodents run. It is also important to use a trap cover in sensitive areas to prevent children and non-target animals. JT Eaton’s JAWZ™ MOUSE DEPOT™ and RAT DEPOT™ trap covers are perfect for sensitive situations. These snap trap covers effectively conceal the traps and help reduce the chances of non-target triggering. Selecting the right food to put on the trap is simple: peanut butter (if no one has allergies) and fruit snacks work well because they don’t spoil as fast as other foods. Use a very small amount of foods on traps, about half a dime works for rats and mice. Check your traps regularly.

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Pair traps with rodenticides to help eliminate an infestation. Use JT Eaton Bait Block® and Nectus™ Soft Bait 2G Second Generation Rodenticides™ in your favorite bait station. These Second-Generation Anticoagulants with Bromadiolone have an antidote of Vitamin K1 and contain Bitrex® for added safety. Bait Block® 2G is wax blocks designed with sharp edges for easy gnawing/feeding. It contains food-grade ingredients such as grain, oils and fats. It is moisture and mold resistant. Nectus™ Soft Bait is great for nearly all weather conditions, including extreme heat. It is effective in controlling rodents whose food preferences are difficult to predict. *Always read your label for specific placements and amount. Be sure to use bait in stations appropriate for the environment. Stronger bait stations are needed in areas open to hoofed livestock, other destructive animals or in areas prone to vandalism. Always anchor your stations properly and check your stations regularly.

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A final note:  Rodents and their droppings can carry diseases and contaminate surfaces. Use caution when approaching any live or dead rodent. Always be aware that rodent droppings pose some hazard, big or small. Salmonella, Leptospirosis, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and Plague are still common rodent diseases. Protecting your customers, pest technicians, the public and yourself begins with knowledge:

  • Log on to http://www.CDC.gov to find rodent diseases in your area.
  • Have a program to identify areas where rodent droppings accumulate.
  • Entering confined spaces with rodent evidence requires use of respirators and decontamination procedures.
  • Removing rodent droppings requires understanding of decontamination procedures.
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