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Archive for the ‘Rodents’ Category

Why You Shouldn’t Treat Mice Infestations Alone

If you are amidst mice infestation in your house, you probably want to do everything you can to get them out of your home. While mice infestation can cause serious problems to your health and property, it is very difficult to detect the presence of mice because of their sneaky nature. Moreover, even if you find mice in your home, getting rid of them on your own is hard and can become dangerous, making the problem even worse. 

If you are planning to treat mice infestation alone, hold your thoughts and keep scrolling to know why DIY methods could be counterproductive.

Let’s begin!

  • Mice traps are ineffective: Mice are very sly and cautious creatures. They can sense danger. If you place mouse traps in the wrong place, mice will not bother approaching them. Moreover, if they smell the scent of a mouse that you caught earlier on the same trap, they will never approach it. Even if you are successful to catch a mouse, there is never just one mouse in your house. The chances are high that more mice in your house are still undetected.
  • Mouse poison is extremely dangerous. If you want to eliminate mice using poison, you have to be extremely cautious. Mishandling the poison could put yourself and your near and dear ones at risk. Also, keeping it in the wrong place could risk your family or pets. At times, mice end up dying deep inside your walls, and as they begin to decompose, a lot of other problems, including health problems, will start.
  • Mice are dangerous: Don’t fall for their cute looks. Mice carry parasites and bacteria and transmit deadly diseases. Apart from spreading disease, they can bite and scratch you if they feel threatened, which can cause more harm.
  • Mice are never alone: As we already mentioned, if you find one mouse in your house, it’s highly unlikely that it is the only one. Even if you successfully catch a couple of mice, there’s still a good chance that there is much more as mice, as they can breed and multiply at a rapid speed. Therefore, eliminating one or two mice will not take care of the mice problem.

Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate Mice problem?

If you think catching or killing mice is an easy task, think again! The internet today is flooded with DIY videos that promise to eliminate mice problems with just a mousetrap or poison. Sadly, a mouse is not driven by hunger. They can go hungry for days, and if they suspect a trap, they will go to great lengths to avoid the food placed to trap them.

Do not underestimate their ability to hide and multiply at a ferocious rate. Mice never come alone. If mice start to roam freely around your home, be sure that their family is with them, who are increasing in numbers with time. Mice are social creatures who prefer to travel in groups.

What Should You Do?

While we understand the urge to get rid of mice the moment you spot it, the above blog explains why it is not a grand idea. Instead, the best route to take is to reach out to licensed pest control professionals, who can perform detailed inspections and exclusion services to ensure that mice don’t make a comeback, once they have been eliminated from your house safely. 

Norway Rats And Their Social Life

The Norway rat has a big impact on the life of many Americans. Not only are they widespread pests, they are also one of the most commonly used research subjects. These rats are closely associated with humans and our environment, a relationship that often has adverse effects. However, despite the prevalence of this species, little is known about its lifestyle and behavior in the wild.

It is expected that 75% of the human population will live in cities, and this will increase our contact and interactions with rats. As such, more effective rat control methods have to be researched, and in order to do this, scientists are looking to gain insight into the individual and social lives of these pests.

Despite their filthy nature, rats have been very useful, and in certain situations, domesticated. Every year, over 20 million lab rats are used around the world for research, and in 2019, there were around 100,000 pet rats in the UK. Rats have been used for research purposes ever since the 1850s and they have been instrumental to many scientific advances.

So given all of this intermingling with humans, it is surprising that so little is actually known about their social interactions in a natural setting. One of the reasons for this phenomenon is the “shy” nature of the rat – it is a nocturnal creature that prefers to live underground. Despite this however, the reigning assumption is that rats are not very prosocial creatures, which is contradictory to their observable behavior in laboratory studies, where rats are highly social and cooperative.

These two views have to be reconciled through further investigation. One of the theories for this divergence is that since rats have been domesticated in the 19th century, specimens with prosocial behavior were chosen for breeding, thus separating them from their natural behavior that can be found in wild rats. Another theory is that rats are highly adaptable to their environment. Wild rats are more aggressive in laboratory settings, and they dominate domesticated rats easily. However, when a domesticated rat is placed in a semi-natural setting, it manages to survive and reproduce, despite the presence of predators. With this trait in mind, researchers may be able to draw accurate conclusions by mixing laboratory and field studies in order to better understand rat behavior for population control purposes. Whatever path the researchers choose, one thing is certain – they will have to move fast. If we are going to see a large increase in human urban population, we will likely see a surge in rat infestations within human settlements, and new control methods have to be established.

The House Mouse Poses Serious Health Hazards

We are still fighting with the deadly coronavirus pandemic and amidst this battle, staying healthy is necessary. However, the presence of house mice can prove to be dangerous. The chief concern regarding mice is that they can turn from nuisance to threat as they carry lethal diseases that can lead to death in some scenarios. Yes, that’s right. 

No, we don’t want to throw you under the bus here, but even though mice don’t usually bite, they carry and spread bacteria and diseases that are deadly to humans.

This blog sheds light on some of the dangerous diseases that mice carry and spreads wherever it goes.

Let’s explore.

Mice-Borne Diseases

Listed below are the diseases carried and spread by a house mouse:

  • Hantavirus: A life-threatening disease transmitted to humans by rodents, especially the attic mouse and the white-footed deer mouse. It is transmitted to humans when they breathe in virus-contaminated air or are exposed to the virus-containing particles stirred into the air, such as rodent urine, saliva, droppings, or nesting materials. According to trusted sources, the mortality rate of hantavirus is 38%.
  • Salmonellosis: An food poisoning infection that is caused by the salmonella bacteria found in rodent droppings. House mice naturally carry the bacteria in their digestive system and release it through their feces. According to WebMD, approximately 40,000 cases of Salmonella are reported annually in the U.S. alone.
  • Plague: Infamous as the Black Death that wiped out one-third of the population in Europe during the Middle Ages, the plague is a highly contagious and deadly disease transmitted to humans by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. It spreads through the bite of an infected rodent. Without timely treatment, it can get worse and lead to death.
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis: LCM is a rodent-borne endemic disease that is highly infectious. It is caused by the Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV) of the arenavirus family, whose primary host is the house mouse. They carry the virus and excrete it in their droppings, urine, semen, and nasal secretions. Humans get infected after coming in contact with the food, or dust particles contaminated by the infected house mouse. It is estimated that around 5% of the house mice present in the U.S carry 
  • Rat-Bite Fever: Rat-bite fever (RBF) is an infectious, febrile, and lethal human illness caused due to bacteria spread by infected rodents. Humans get infected after coming in direct contact with the rodents who carry the bacteria. Even indirect contact like the consumption of contaminated food or water can infect humans. Lack of treatment can prove fatal and lead to death. 

Wrapping Up

To sum it up, the disease discussed in this blog has one thing in common; urine and feces from mice carry and spread viruses, bacteria, and deadly diseases mentioned above. That is reason enough to plan mice eradication at the earliest as their presence in your home can soon lead to a health hazard. Plus, with the crazy reproduction rates of mice, they can quickly grow into a full-blown infestation.

While mice-proofing your house should be your first line of defense, do not hesitate to seek the help of a professional pest control company to eliminate house mice and breathe in fresh disease-free air.

Do Mouse “Repellents” Work?

Do Mouse Repellents Work?

There is a large product selection and a wide range of advice out there that will claim to help you get rid of mice. However, it’s best to keep a skeptical view of these things, because, while they may not be harmful, they may not be that effective either. The suite of repellent products and solutions currently available are presented as an alternative to poisons and traps, and their main selling point is that they are safer and more humane. In this article, we’re going to go over some of these mouse repellents and their effectiveness.

The effectiveness of mouse repellents

When we say mouse repellents, we think of a variety of items and products, from moth balls, to peppermint, cayenne pepper, tabasco pepper, ultrasound machines and even cats! Although some of these deterrents may even be somewhat effective, it’s important to keep mice infestations in perspective. A female mouse can give birth to more than 60 mice every year, and the mice take a handful of weeks to reach sexual maturity. With that knowledge, how much time are you willing to spend on solutions that are “somewhat” effective? Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly recommended mouse repellents.

Mothballs

Naphthalene is a solid white substance with a strong smell that is found in mothballs, and when it is ingested in large quantities, it can lead to a condition where blood cells can longer carry oxygen. Naturally, you can draw the conclusion that naphthalene is a good mouse repellent, and some homeowners will place mothballs near a mouse nest in order to force the pests to leave the building.

Mothballs have a very small amount of naphthalene in them however, which is enough to deter insects, but not enough to deter mice. In fact, you would need the same amount of naphthalene to kill a mouse, as you would need to kill a human.

Even if mothballs are unpleasant to mice and you place them near their nest entrance, they will either walk over the mothballs or create a new entrance.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is another popular home repellent, but does it actually work? It is a pleasantly smelling substance, and it’s nice to have around your home, but, unfortunately, it does not do a lot against mice.

This substance is considered to be a repellent, because in high concentrations, peppermint can be very strong, and it can drive rodents away. However, rodents are used to living in sewers and garbage, so a little peppermint will not phase them. Peppermint will also evaporate and float upwards, which has a lesser effect on rodents, because they are close to the ground.

Ultrasonic repellents

You may come across ultrasonic repellent devices on the market, and they may sound like a good idea. After all, ultrasounds work on dogs right? For rodents however, this is not the case, at least no in the way that we’d wish. Ultrasounds may keep them away for a while, but in the long run, the rodents will adapt, especially if they really like your home. Not only that, but ultrasounds strong enough to actually be very effective against rodents would also be effective against you and your pets.

For small infestations, it’s best to stick to trapping and baiting in order to deal with mice. If you have a persistent infestation and you can’t get rid of it no matter how hard you try, contact us for a free inspection.

Rodents at Thanksgiving…

You may have enjoyed the recent viral video hit, “Tiny Hamster Thanksgiving”, in which a few lucky pet hamsters and a rabbit were all (adorably) treated to a miniature Thanksgiving feast. The cute video is fun to watch, but surely most homeowners don’t want to host their own ‘Tiny Rodent’ holiday for unwelcome rats and mice! Following these tips, and enlisting the help of J&J Exterminating should help you keep your home free from unwanted guests of the furry variety.

  • Apply weather stripping around foundation and windows. You can purchase weather stripping fairly inexpensively at most hardware and home improvement stores and do it yourself. It’s an easy fix that will not only help keep pests out, it will help keep heat in and reduce your home heating costs.
  • Install door sweeps as well, which will help keep out drafts and pests.
  • Rats and mice are notoriously flexible and can squeeze their bodies through the smallest openings. Seal any remaining cracks or holes in the walls or foundation of your home.
  • Store food in airtight containers to minimize the allure of food to hungry rodents.
  • Clean out your attic, garage and extra rooms. Cluttered, rarely disturbed areas make an attractive nesting spot for mice. Keeping these areas neat and clean will send a signal that these spots are not open for business to rodents!
  • Tend to your yard and surrounding vegetation as well, as these can be a literal ‘bridge’ for mice and rats to jump onto your roof and enter your home. Trim back tress, bushes and hedges.
  • Contact J&J Exterminating for Alexandria, LA rodent control to help prevent, eradicate, and keep rodents out of your home or business. Our comprehensive approach to pest management employs smart strategies and reduced chemicals for long term relief from pests.

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