How to deal with rats

Lesotho Times - - Property -

UN­COL­LECTED rub­bish at­tracts ro­dents, as it pro­vides an easy source of food. Flood­ing can fur­ther in­crease the risk of ro­dent in­fes­ta­tions, as it flushes rats out of their ex­ist­ing dwellings.

Rats can swim great dis­tances and they can find their way through drains as well as cracks in ma­sonry to avoid ris­ing wa­ter, en­ter0ing prop­er­ties in search of food and shel­ter. Rats carry a par­tic­u­lar health risk in flooded ar­eas, as their urine con­tains lep­tospires which can sur­vive out­side the ro­dent’s body for longer pe­ri­ods in wet con­di­tions. Lep­tospires within rat urine can cause

Lep­tospiro­sis or Weil’s dis­ease in hu­mans. If you are liv­ing in a flood-af­fected area, take these pre­cau­tion­ary steps to pre­vent catch­ing any dis­eases. Ren­tokil shares some tips…

1. Cover cuts and grazes with wa­ter­proof plas­ters

2. Wear wa­ter­proof cloth­ing, in­clud­ing gloves 3. Do not swal­low con­tam­i­nated wa­ter 4. Wash hands thor­oughly be­fore eat­ing, drink­ing or smok­ing

Here are few sim­ple tips to help de­ter rats from en­ter­ing your property af­ter the wa­ter­levels have re­ceded:

1. Proof your property - use steel wool or caulk to seal any holes or gaps. Wood, plas­tic or ex­pand­ing foam won’t help as ro­dents will even­tu­ally gnaw through them.

2. En­sure pipework is in good or­der — rats can nav­i­gate their way up from sew­ers through bro­ken pipes.

3. Don’t of­fer easy food - where pos­si­ble, store food in air­tight con­tain­ers and clean un­der cook­ers, fridges and cup­boards to re­move tasty crumbs. If you feed birds in your gar­den, make sure that you use squir­rel proof bird feed­ers, they make life more dif­fi­cult for ro­dents too.

4. Clean up pet food — rats will hap­pily eat your pet’s food, so clean up af­ter feed­ing and store the pet food in sealed metal con­tain­ers.

5. Se­cure house­hold rub­bish - en­sure that your refuse is bagged and stored in bins with se­curely fit­ted lids as rats can eas­ily gnaw through plas­tic bin bags. Do not put meat scraps or food cooked in oils into a com­post bin.

Be­low is a check­list to help home­own­ers deal with mice…

1. In­stall door sweeps on ex­te­rior doors and re­pair dam­aged screens. 2. Screen vents and open­ings to chim­neys. 3. Seal cracks and holes on the out­side of the home, in­clud­ing ar­eas where util­i­ties and pipes en­ter the home by us­ing caulk, steel wool or a com­bi­na­tion of both.

4. Store food in air­tight con­tain­ers and dis­pose of garbage reg­u­larly.

5. Keep at­tics, base­ments and crawl spa­ces well ven­ti­lated and dry.

6. Re­place loose mor­tar and weather strip­ping around the base­ment foun­da­tion and win­dows.

7. Elim­i­nate all mois­ture sites, in­clud­ing leak­ing pipes and clogged drains that pro­vide the per­fect breed­ing site for pests.

8. In­spect items such as boxes, gro­cery bags and other pack­ages brought into the home.

9. Store fire­wood at least 6 me­tres away from the house and keep shrub­bery trimmed and cut back from the house.

10. If you sus­pect a pest in­fes­ta­tion in your home, con­tact a li­censed pest pro­fes­sional to in­spect and treat the pest prob­lem.

If you spot ev­i­dence of a ro­dent in­fes­ta­tion, do not hes­i­tate to act. Ro­dents are known to re­pro­duce quickly, and a small prob­lem can turn into a big is­sue overnight if left un­­dent con­trol and man­age­ment are im­por­tant for health and safety rea­sons.

— Prop­erty24

se­cure house­hold rub­bish — en­sure that your refuse Is BAGGED AND stored In Bins with se­curely fit­ted LIDS As rats can eas­ily gnaw through plas­tic bin bags.

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