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Rat Infestation

 Rodents Pest Control in Tampa, FL Rats are responsible for the transmission of many diseases. Their feeding habits are destructive, and their nesting behaviors can compromise the structure of infested buildings. However, rats are secretive and not seen by humans when populations are low. Therefore, an infestation may prove difficult to confirm. 

The most obvious sign of a rat infestation is the presence of dead or living rats. Rats prefer to hide, given enough space, so if rats are observed in plain sight, it is likely that a full-blown infestation already exists. When space becomes limited due to increased population, rats are forced out into the open. Rat droppings may be present, indicating a healthy, feeding rat population. Rats also tend to leave dirt or grease marks along walls and floorboards.

If these obvious signs are not present, examine the surroundings for rat runs. These tracks are left in grass and low vegetation and act as foraging paths for rodents. Rats tend to follow the same paths after they have been established. Norway rats dwell in burrows found in grassy embankments, beneath the roots of trees and at the edges of paving and drain covers. Roof rat nests may also be found inside in lofts, attics, beneath floorboards and in other dark, infrequently visited locations. Rat in Kitchen Pantry.

Rats gnaw incessantly on materials such as plastic and wood. The presence of damaged materials and large holes in floorboards and walls are sure signs of infestation. Rat teeth marks are large and rough in appearance.

In the event of an infestation, it is best to consult a pest control professional. Although various traps are available, they address only individual specimens and will not prove effective in the face of an infestation. Additionally, rats tend to be wary of unknown objects in their established foraging paths, rendering many traps initially ineffective. 

Rat-Borne Diseases

Rat bites and scratches can result in disease and rat-bite fever. Rat urine is responsible for the spread of leptospirosis, which can result in liver and kidney damage. It can also be contracted through handling or inhalation of scat. Complications include renal and liver failure, as well as cardiovascular problems.

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), a viral infectious disease, is transmitted through the saliva and urine of rats. Some individuals experience long-term effects of lymphocytic choriomeningitis, while others experience only temporary discomfort.

One of the most historically dangerous rat-borne diseases is the bubonic plague, also called “Black Plague,” and its variants. Transfer occurs when fleas from the rats bite human beings. Fleas transported on rats are considered responsible for this plague during the Middle Ages, which killed millions. From the transmission of bubonic plague to typhus and hantavirus, rat infestations can prove harmful to human health.

Rats also are a potential source of allergens. Their droppings, dander and shed hair can cause people to sneeze and experience other allergic reactions

House Mouse Diseases & Hantavirus

Mice House Mice - Pest Extermination Tampa, FL
The house mouse (Mus musculus) is considered one of the most troublesome and economically important pests in the United States. House mice live and thrive under a variety of conditions in and around homes and farms. House mice consume food meant for humans or pets. They contaminate food-preparation surfaces with their feces, which can contain the bacterium that causes food poisoning (salmonellosis). Their constant gnawing causes damage to structures and property.

Droppings, fresh gnawing and tracks indicate areas where mice are active. Mouse nests, made from fine shredded paper or other fibrous material, are often found in sheltered locations. House mice have a characteristic musky odor that identifies their presence. Mice are occasionally seen during daylight hours.

Hantavirus
Some species of rats such as the cotton rat or rice rat are known carriers of hantavirus. Norway rats and roof rats are not known transmitters of hantavirus. Victims may be debilitated and can experience difficulty breathing. 
Hantavirus is transmitted to humans when they inhale airborne particles from rodent droppings, urine or carcasses that have been disturbed. 

The first symptoms of the virus can be mistaken for the flu. Patients then suffer breathing difficulties that may prove fatal if not treated effectively and immediately.

In order to avoid hantavirus, all mouse feces, nest materials and dead rodents must be removed from the home. Spray suspected areas thoroughly with disinfectant before sweeping to avoid having anything become airborne. Use gloves to handle rodent carcasses or droppings and a respirator must be worn with functioning cartridges. Buildings should be aired out following an infestation. Not all rodents have been found to carry hantavirus. Deer mice, cotton rats, rice rats and white-footed mice are the most common transmitters. However, everyone should use caution in dealing with rodents or rodent infestations and contact a pest control professional.

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