5 tips to keep your homestead rodent free
Often our homes are infested with rats the presence of which causes grievous losses in the form of disease manifestation. Rats are probably the only mammals that have the ability to spoil food, spread viruses and chew your electrical viruses too. In short, they can create havoc in your house in a matter of few days only.
As much as you would want this menace to end, understand that rat poison is not the correct way of doing so. Instead, most experts recommend the “seal up, trap up and clean up strategy” for getting best results in the quickest time possible. Here are some easy survival tips which would help you in keeping your homestead free of these little pests.
1) Getting the predator
If you are based in a rustic setup with a farm to handle cats is advised as being the best form to handle and curb the rat attack. The grain split near and around the farmhouses is a huge attractant for rats and hence their number grows in quick proportion. However, make sure to feed the cats in the morning itself and then clean the leftovers quickly as more rodents get pulled towards them. If the number of attackers is huge then maybe getting the cat may not be helpful. You could in that case set up boxes for barn owls as they are much more effective in hunting the rats, mice, and gophers.
2) Improved rat traps
The moment you start noticing rat droppings and chewed wires it seems that the manifestation has already started. The issue with using rat poison is that you cannot be fully sure that only rats will consume it. At times even other animals like dogs and pet cats become the prey of the same. Apart from that if the rat consumes poison and dies at a strange location which is not easily discoverable the ensuing stink causes a lot of health hazards.
When you feel that this problem cannot be handled well by dogs and cats and even barn owls is not something you would like to invest in then a mouse trap is the best resort. However, you might have to think over which method of trapping is going to suit your kind of requirement. Glue traps are considered to be merciless as they do the killing only after some time.
You could opt for snap traps as they are the most commonly available but you might have to understand its basic setup methodology. Multiple traps could be set up for catching many rodents at a time however you might have to figure out what to do once they are caught.
3) Rodent proof your home
In case the manifestation has not yet happened you could avoid it completely by sealing all the cracks which are more than one-fourth inch dimension. You might have to use thick cloth, mortar or metal sheet to do so effectively. If there are trees near your house trim their branches such that none of them come within reach of the roof or any window of your house. The areas near your house need to be kept clean of any garbage or waste stuff. These are ideal places for rats to start rummaging for food.
Try to keep things at a slight height i.e. on shelves etc. and leave open space near the base of each wall. In your house, there might be places where you store your grains or any other kind of feeding items. Make sure that the room is properly sealed and there is no scope for any entry. Same applies for any containers and boxes where you store food items.
4) Tips to trap them
Trapping the little ones are not going to be easy hence use the correct baits to entice them. You could use peanut butter with oats or even attach sunflower seeds to the trigger plate. It is advisable to put many traps together as the number of mice caught on the first day is always the highest as compared to any other day. The rule is mostly to add twice the number of traps as the numbers of rodent you expect are present. Always maintain a record of where all you have placed the traps so that you can check them accordingly. Also after two to three days remove the traps and then repeat the process after a week. Using talcum powder to track the movement of these pests would give you a fair idea of which places are the most suitable to place the traps.
5) Doing the clean-up
In case the rodent gets eliminated during the process of trapping it would become your duty to dispose him off. In a gallon of water mix about one and a half cup of bleaching powder. Mix this well and spray it on the rodent as well as the trap with it. To avoid any infection make sure to wear rubber gloves while doing so. Carefully pick the rodent up and place him in a plastic bag. Use double bag and then dispose of in a garbage can.
Make sure to clean the areas where the maximum rat manifestation has been seen with the same liquid. Not only will this clear all the bacteria present there it would also reduce the chances of hantavirus being spread around. In barns and farms where there are many rodents, it is suggested that a rubber mask is worn before starting the entire procedure.
The presence of rodents in your homestead can clearly rob you of your peace of mind as it can be really very tough to get rid of them. Following the above tips may give you a clear perspective on how to get the same done. However, do take care to follow all the safety precautions as any negligence on your part can lead to you falling prey to bacterial infections. Since mice are extremely fertile you can expect them to multiply into 20 little beings within a period of some months. In such a case being prompt in taking the above steps will save you a lot of trouble later on.