As Autumn approaches, we have seen an increase in rodent activity.
Rats and mice are normally quite happy to remain outdoors and avoid human contact when the weather is good, but as the temperatures drop and an increase in rainfall levels they are forced to seek shelter indoors. This will threaten their nests, breeding sights and of course their offspring.
Rodents will also be attracted to the areas of human habitat for their food at this time of the year, as the colder conditions take hold with their normal food supply becoming less abundant.
Now, therefore, is the perfect time to be on the lookout for an impending rodent infestation in the home or workplace.
Telltale signs of a possible infestation include:
- Droppings: these are normally bullet-shaped and anywhere between 5mm and 25mm in length
- Dark smears on walls from the grease and dirt in the rat’s coat
- Gnaw marks on woodwork
- Holes or burrows in gardens or green spaces, perhaps accompained by heaps of earth or debris
- Damage to food and property
- Unexplained disappearance of food
- Scratching noises in cavity walls, ceilings, attics and eaves
A rodent infestation in the home or workplace can potentially have very serious consequences threat to human health and well being.
Rodents and your home
An infestation in the home poses a wide range of risks. Rats and mice have known to cause fires by gnawing through the insulation around electrical cables. They have also caused severe flooding by puncturing water pipes with their razor- sharp teeth. Rats in particular pose a substantial health risk to humans, carrying potentially fatal diseases such as E. coli, salmonella, Weil’s Disease and tuberculosis (TB). Rats also carry ticks, fleas and mites which can cause severe allergic reactions in humans.
If you have a rodent problem in your home, it is strongly recommended that you avoid the DIY route and employ the services of a pest-control professional instead, since many common over-the-counter solutions- such as rat poison- can easily contaminate food and food-preparation surfaces if deployed incorrectly. Furthermore, when treating an infestation. it is also very important to ensure that all of the rodents have been eradicated and preventative measures put in place to avoid an infestation re-occurring.
Rodents and your business
For any business, the risks of a rodent infestation are precisely the same as those described above. However, in enterprises involved in the preparation or processing of products designed for human consumption – food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, etc. – the risks are significantly greater. In such cases, a rodent infestation of any description can lead to enforcement orders, closure orders (both temporary and permanent), fines and/or criminal prosecutions. Such actions are likely to make local and national headlines, ruining your commercial reputation and depriving you of your business and livelihood.
If you run any kind of business connected to the preparation of food products – such as a hotel, restaurant, cafe, takeaway, licensed premises or convenience store – it is strongly advised to familiarise yourself with the relevant legislation. For more, visit the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) website at www.fsai.ie
If you suspect you’ve a rodent issue in your home, business or workplace, contact a qualified pest-control professional without delay. Many firms nowadays offer free initial assessment, so you really have nothing to lose. Put simply, a phone call today could save you innumerable problems – both health-related and financial – in the future.