RODENT FACTS AND MYTHS

Having a rodent in your house will always be a stressful and unpleasant experience. In this article, you’ll understand all of the facts about mice and rats, including:

  • How to figure out if you have an unwanted “guest”
  • The answers to some regular myths related to rodents

When you are going through rodent infestation there are certain principles you should keep in mind:

  • Before purchasing a product, there are certain quick and easy steps one can take to help rodent-proof your house
  • Certain products should be kept out of reach of children and pets
  • Certain products are only made for indoor use and should not be used outdoors.

 

Know the signs

  •  Droppings
  • Footprints
  • Gnawing
  • Rubmarks
  • Unusual Pet Activity
  • Sounds
  • Burrows

 

Problems Rodents Pose

Rats and mice pose serious health risks as they carry and contribute to asthma and allergies and a plethora of diseases.

Asthma and Allergies:

A study conducted by The John Hopkins Center shows rodents are a leading cause of asthma in inner city children and also have been shown to aggravate allergy symptoms – Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Dec, 2000.

Diseases:

  • Salmonella, commonly called as “food poisoning”, is caused by consuming food contaminated with salmonella bacteria which is often carried by rodent feces.
  • Trichinosis is result of the infestation of muscle tissue by trichinae, an intestinal parasite spread by rodents
  • Leptospirosis is the name of an infectious bacteria that “drills” itself like a corkscrew inside human skin and embeds itself inside vital organs, namely kidneys. Humans get it by walking barefoot on wet, contaminated floors where infected particles float in rodent urine

Moreover, studies have proven that mice and rats carry fleas, lice or ticks. This can act as a serious risk as the fleas can potentially be carrying diseases for instance, the plague.

Rats and mice are extremely vicious creatures, they:

  • Chew through cardboard, wood, plaster and even plastic.
  • Gnaw in electric wiring, which can  potentially lead to an electric fire
  • Contaminate food

Some rodent myths are:

Myth: Rodent can get as big as cats

FACT: Adult Norway rats don’t generally exceed 225g with a body close to 20cm long, with a tail nearly as long. That’s way smaller than the average cat. The fear many people have towards rodents, combined with night settings, often leaves you with exaggerated stories.

Myth: Rodents can live for a long time

FACT: Mice living in a wild habitat generally do not live for more than a year. In fact, the average mouse has a lifespan of approximately six to twelve months. Diseases, harsh weather, competition and predators cut many rodent lives short.

Myth: Rats and mice don’t have bones, so they navigate through tiny holes.

FACT: Rats and mice have an internal skeleton just like any other mammals, however they have very flexible ribs which lets them squeeze through any gap into which they can fit their head.

MYTH: There is one mouse dedicated to one person living in a city

FACT: After humans, mice are regarded as the most common mammal found in most cities. But, mice population keep fluctuating due to factors like food, weather, supplies, control efforts and shelter – not the amount of people. There are lot of mice living in the city, but their distribution is irregular and the exact numbers are unknown.

MYTH: Only people residing in unhygienic areas in poor neighborhood gets rodents.

FACT:  Rat or mouse problem can present itself in front of anyone. – even in the most posh neighborhood. Rodents head towards food and shelter wherever it can be found – regardless of economics.

MYTH: If you witness rats or mice during daytime, that means there is a big population around.

FACT: Although naturally nocturnal, rats and mice roam around about any time of day or night. They are easier to sight during daytime as it is easier for people to notice them. Sightings during any specific time of the day is not a good indicator of how many rats or mice are living close by.

MYTH: Rats and mice absolutely love eating cheese and thus it is the best bait for mouse traps.

FACT: Mice and rats do not have any specific soft corner towards cheese. Cheese historically were used as bait as it was easily available and easy to fasten to a trap. Nowadays, depending on the species of the rodent present, people usually use peanut butter, fruit, chocolate or bacon.

MYTH: Rats and mice are not aggressive in nature and they wouldn’t bite or attack humans

FACT: When cornered, rats have the tendency to charge or leap at a person, and when handled, wild rats and mice will end up squealing and biting you. Their bite can easily pierce through your flesh and lead to puncture wounds. Rats also bite people who are sleeping, especially children, when food odor is lingering.

MYTH: Having cats is a good solution to keep rats away

FACT: Every cat is not a good “mouser,” and very few ones end up challenging rats. Although some cats hunt down rats, many cats simply let them go, especially the ones who are well-fed. It can be fair to say that more rats and mice have been fed by cat food than killed by a cat.

 

 

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