While the recent drop in temperatures means seeing less of the pesky bugs that have bothered Canadians all throughout summer, it means the opposite for one of the most troublesome household pests – rodents. Mice, rats, and squirrels are expected to invade homes in droves this winter, searching for a warm place to spend the frosty season.
In order to raise consumer awareness regarding the health and property risks posed by rodent infestations, the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), part of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), has designated the week of November 15-21, 2015, as Rodent Awareness Week. Greenleaf Pest Control is proud to take part in this campaign by educating homeowners and businesses across Canada about the threat of rodents and the importance of adopting a proactive approach to rodent management in the following months.
Although rodents are active all year round, the months of October and November are especially problematic, with declining temperatures forcing them indoors to nest and forage for food. Once inside a structure, mice and rats can be much more than just a nuisance. Bacteria-laden and armed with continuously growing teeth that are remarkably efficient on gnawing on just about any material, rodents can spread a large number of diseases to both humans and pets, compromise the structure of a building, and even start fires by chewing through wires.
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The damage rats and mice cause by chewing through wiring, timber, pipes, and even brickwork can amount to several thousands of dollars, cost which is NOT covered by regular home insurance policies. Not even vehicles are safe from rodents’ destructive habits. According to a news report, more rodents than ever are seeking refuge from the cold inside cars, causing damages of millions of dollars and rendering the vehicles unsafe to drive.
For business owners, particularly those in the food service and hospitality industries, a rodent infestation can cost them dearly. A rat sighting in a restaurant or hotel is likely to damage a business’s reputation severely and result in loss of customers. In an even worse scenario, a severe infestation could prompt the health department to impose hefty fines or even close the establishment temporarily or permanently.
Although small in size, rodents can create serious problems in any structure they decide to call their home. Aside from the many health and property risks they pose, mice, rats, or squirrels rarely travel alone, often introducing other pests such as fleas, mites, ticks, and lice into your home. All they need is a tiny opening the size of a quarter (or a nickel, in the case of house mice) to gain entry and start wreaking havoc.
To prevent rodent infestations during fall and winter, NPMA offers the following prevention tips:
If you find rodent droppings or hear sounds of scurrying in the house, you should immediately seek out professional help. A licensed pest control company can correctly identify the species invading your property and suggest the proper treatment to safely eliminate them from your home.
About the Author
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.