It has come to my attention recently that not only do rats invade our living spaces, but in some cases they can become quite aggressive… This does not bode well for my fellow blogger, Jason, as you must know by now that he has a rodent phobia. He mentioned to me this morning that he once saw “a pack of rats attacking a pigeon”. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a huge lover of pigeons as they regularly “bomb” my patio, but the idea of being attacked by a whole pack of rats is not my idea of revenge!
Even worse, a week ago it was reported that a rat attacked a one-month old baby in Alexandra, Johannesburg, having bitten off 3 of her fingers and part of her nose. The baby girl underwent a minor surgical procedure, but it is yet to be determined if she needs to undergo reconstructive surgery. This was not the first time such an incident has occurred in this area. “It [rats] is a health hazard, because we do see cases; one to two cases a week where especially small children are bitten by rats – their little toes and little fingers and are brought to the clinic for assistance,” says Legora Maruma, Nursing Services Manager (reported by EWN, 1st Sep 2014).
“The rodent problem was first noticeable in the CBD and informal settlements, but it has now worsened, with residential areas also noticing an increase in the number of rodents seen in homes, gardens and nearby parks,” says Rentokil’s Technical Manager, Mario Pluke.
The presence of rodents in urban areas is exacerbated by litter and poor sanitation. Action needs to be taken by the municipality to improve sanitation and cleanliness when it comes to waste management, and communities need to tackle littering and rubbish disposal. Rodents will inhabit areas where they can find food and shelter. Without practicing good “housekeeping”, rats will continue to take their chances with residents.
Below see some tips to get rid of rats in your home:
- To get rid of rats before they decide to enter your home and become a permanent live-in menace, close up any openings to prevent them from coming inside; such as sealing openings underneath doors with bristle strips, or caulking any cracks or fissures . (Did you know that mice can squeeze themselves in spaces the width of a pencil, while young rats can squeeze through openings less than 25 mm?!).
- Another way to prevent rodents from entering homes is to ensure low hanging trees are properly trimmed as rodents can enter roof areas via trees.
- As mentioned previously, good housekeeping will help to get rid of rats that try and make themselves at home. Be sure that any waste is done away with, and make sure that rubbish bins seal tightly so as to avoid attracting rodents.
- Clean up any food spillages and store leftover food in sealed containers is also a good way of exercising rat control. Also make sure to frequently clean underneath refrigerators and other kitchen equipment.
- If you do decide to use rat bait, please take great care to not leave rodenticides in areas where children or pets can gain access to it, and ready the label carefully before applying. Read these tips before making use of any pesticide.
If you still experience a problem even after employing DIY rat control, it is always a good idea to call in the pest control experts to take care of an infestation before it escalates. As the incisors of rodents never stop growing, this will mean that they will constantly keep gnawing which can cause fire hazards and damage to property. In addition, rodents spread diseases that can be harmful to your family and pets.
After hearing about the rat incident in Alexandra, we must all be very vigilant of these critters, as it seems they are trying to take revenge on us humans and take over the world! At least I know I can always count on Rentokil to get rid of rats. After they have done rodent control at my house, the eerie scuffling and squeaking sounds have gone and I can now rest in peace knowing that the “boogie-rat” won’t come and attack me during the early hours!