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February 13, 2017
Spring weather may invite unwelcome guests to homes
Action should be taken soon after discovery
MURPHY (February 13, 2017) Humans and rodents have been sharing space on earth for millennia, but keeping enough space between the two species is important for many reasons, most especially health and wellness.
“Murphy is blessed with an abundance of nature, adding to the quality of life we all enjoy,” says Customer Service Manager Candy McQuiston. “And, while we take great pride in our natural surroundings, we also need to pay special attention to some of the associated hazards.”
One of these is the intrusion of rats and other rodents into our living spaces, mainly because rats and field mice are known carriers of rabies, fleas and some harmful viruses. Rodents are naturally fearful of human interaction and will avoid direct contact. However, because of either the loss of their habitat due to construction or in order to gain access to food and water, they will sometimes intrude into our homes and yards.
“At the first sign of infestation, residents should take appropriate action,” said McQuiston. “Calling a pest control professional or taking the necessary steps to prevent rodent intrusion should be the first order of business.”
Maintaining yards and material can also be used as a deterrent. For example, stacking firewood or lumber at least 12 inches off the ground and keeping properties and yards free of trash and debris can be extremely effective in keeping rodents at bay.
Also, elimination food, water and shelter sources can also be effective in controlling rodent infestation. Rats and mice will eat almost anything, preferring grains. Seal trash and garbage in metal, thick rubber or plastic containers. Keep lids on recycling and refuse containers closed at all times.
Do not leave pet food and water out for extended periods of time. Eliminate water sources by repairing leaking plumbing and not over watering yards and landscaping. Put items to be stored in the attic in rodent-proof containers instead of cardboard boxes.
“Rat droppings and gnaw marks in areas around the house or garage are signs that action should be taken,” she said. “Baits, traps and other do-it-yourself pest control measures can be purchased at home improvement stores, gardening centers or feed stores, and of course, licensed professional pest control companies can provide quick and effective solutions.”
Common areas in neighborhoods where maintenance is handled by a homeowner association should also be carefully monitored for rodent activity.