As sure as night turns to day, the warm weather we’ve all been enjoying this summer will also turn in due course, and, before you know it, we’ll be back to the cool, wet conditions for which our little island is famous. And as Autumn approaches, with it’s good friend Winter just behind it, the threat of rodent infestation is at its highest.
Rats and mice – which are usually quite happy to remain outdoors and avoid human contact when the weather is fine – are forced to seek shelter indoors as temperatures drop and rain and groundwater levels rise, threatening their nests, breeding areas and, of course, their offspring. Rodents will also be attracted to areas of human habitation for food at this time of year, as the colder conditions take hold and their normal food supplies become less abundant.
Now, therefore, is the perfect time to be on the look-out for an impending rodent presence in the home or workplace, which can potentially have very serious consequences and pose a significant threat to human health and wellbeing.
Telltale signs of an 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 accompanied by heaps of earth or debris
- Damage to food and property
- Unexplained disappearance of food
- Scratching noises in cavity walls, ceilings, attics and eaves
Rodents in your home
An infestation in the home poses a wide range of risks. Rats and mice have been 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 the 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’s 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 in your business
For any business, the dangers of a rodent infestation are essentially 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 Central Pest Control
without delay. A simple phone call today could save you innumerable problems – both health-related and financial – in the future.