Ever since the agricultural revolution millennia ago, humanity has built permanent settlements and cultivated crops and livestock. This certainly transformed humanity and made civilization possible, but some species of wildlife were quick to exploit this. Stored grain and fruits and vegetables were often raided when rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons, and other species broke in to eat whatever they could find. In fact, this rodent problem was a major reason why dogs and cats were domesticated: to hunt and kill rats and other small mammals in human settlements. Even today, some farms employ cats to hunt mice and rodents, and until recently, ship crews brought on board cats to hunt rats and mice.
Today’s technology makes rodent control easier than ever, and rodent removal services can be found in nearly any city or town in the United States today. Estimates show that as much as 25% of the world’s food supply is eaten or contaminated by rodents or other unwanted wildlife, and without modern animal removal companies and rodent control, this figure could be as high as 50%, which is unacceptable. In other contexts, such as a house or restaurant, intruding rodents are a real issue, and rodent control services may soon be called upon to help out.
The Problem of Rodents
What exactly is the threat that these intruding rats, mice, and squirrels pose? Very rarely will such rodents even threaten to kill pets, let alone a person, but they can be troublesome in other ways. For one, these rodents may transmit deadly viruses such as the dreaded rabies virus when they bite people or pets, and raccoons or opossums may do the same. Meanwhile, these various mammals also carry fleas, which in turn transmit yet more deadly contagions when they bite to suck blood. The infamous Black Death in medieval Europe was spread when out-of-control rat populations spread around fleas that transmitted the plague with their bites. A relative lack of cats at the time due to witch hunts made the problem only worse. Today, there may not be a Black Death epidemic, but flea bites are dangerous all the same.
These intruding animals also warrant rodent control because of the property damage they liable to cause. Squirrels may chew their way into attics to build nests in the air conditioning, and those holes admit rain water that may damage the property. Rat and squirrel nests also disrupt air flow, straining the heating and cooling system all the while. What is more, intruding rodents tend to chew on cables, wires, and plastic pipes or wood surface to keep their tooth growth in check. They do this in the wild too, and is perfectly natural. But it can result in extensive property damage, and entire utilities might shut down due to damaged pipes or cables. Finally, there is the sanitation issue not only from these animals’ rabies bites or their fleas, but from their excrement and urine as well. Rat and mouse populations are therefore strongly associated with poor sanitation and disease, and a public building with a noticeable rodent population may soon be shut down, especially food establishments. A restaurant with rats or mice in it may stay shut down until rodent control services arrive.
Rodent Control Work
These rodent control services can be hired to remove any unwanted rodent or mouse population. For smaller infestations, these professionals may set up live capture traps with bait if the homeowner doesn’t want to deal with rodent corpses, and captured rats, mice, or squirrels can be relocated to a remote area and released. Otherwise, classic rat traps may lure in rats with bait, then break their spines when a lever snaps down. What is more, poison pellets may be set out, which entice rats to eat them. These pellets will contain a deadly poison that kills the rats, but great care should be taken so that pets and small children do not eat or swallow them, too. Larger infestations may require that the building is made airtight, then flooded with poison gas that will kill all living things inside. Later, the tarps and cover are removed and dead rodents can be removed at will.