Rodents on Long Island
The most common rodents on Long Island are the Norway Rat and the House Mouse. Although in some ways they are very different, the following are signs that indicate a rodent infestation.
Droppings and urine are left wherever rodents travel or rest, especially in corners.
Damaged foodstuff or other materials, which they use for nesting.
Dark smears or rub marks are left on surfaces, caused by the oil from the rodent’s hair.
Gnaw marks to wood, wallboard or other surfaces.
A distinctive, musky odor may be present.
House pets, such as cats and dogs, may become agitated because they hear rodents gnawing, digging, running or fighting.
Other differences are outlined below:
Rats explore their territory of 100 to 300 feet daily. Neophobia, or fear of new objects, makes rats extremely cautious about changes in their territory. It takes several days before a rat will accept a new object as part of its environment. Rats are color blind. Rats visit fewer food sites than mice. However, rats eat much more at each site than mice.
A house mouse’s home range is rather limited, ranging approximately 10-30 feet. Mice are extremely curious and will explore their territory daily as well as any new object introduced into their home range. They frequent many feeding sites during their activity period.
There is no dormant period for rodents. However, they will attempt to enter into structures more often during late fall and early winter looking for new nesting areas in which to spend winter.
Rats reproduce year round in stable environments that have adequate food, water and harborage to support additional animals. About 30 percent of the females may be pregnant throughout the year in these conditions. Less favorable conditions limit reproduction to spring and autumn. Rats are capable of breeding at 3 months of age. Female Norway rats average 3-7 litters per year of 6-12 pups. After giving birth, they are capable of being in heat again within 24-48 hours. The average lifespan is one year.
Mice are prolific breeders, producing offspring year round under ideal conditions. The young mouse can be sexually mature and capable of mating in as little as 5 weeks. The female can still be lactating her young and be pregnant with a new litter. A female will have an average of 8 litters per year containing 5-6 pups each. Mice live approximately one year.
Rats and mice attack our food while it is in farm fields, orchards, and livestock facilities; they will attack during its processing, in storage and transport and while it is in our supermarkets, restaurants, and homes. They spoil tons of food by contaminating it with their urine, feces, or fur. The loss of food worldwide to rodents is staggering. Experts estimate that rats and mice destroy enough food each year to feed 200 million people. In our buildings, rodents damage doors, floors, ceilings, and walls as a result of their burrowing and gnawing activity. In today’s’ high-tech production facilities, rodents are capable of abruptly causing millions of dollars in production loss due to shutdowns of complex computer systems when they gnaw, nest, or excrete wastes inside computers and other highly sensitive equipment. Rodents have been associated with various diseases ranging from the Plague, Murine Typhus, Rickettsial Pox, Salmonellosis, Rat-Bite Fever and Hantavirus.
The bottom line to long-term rodent control is the fact that rodents must have adequate food and shelter to live and thrive. Therefore, wherever there is an over population of rodents, there is usually an abundance of food and shelter available. Good housekeeping practices are an absolute must in rodent control.
Tips for increased sanitation measures include:
Eliminate harborages by removing debris from around the building and grounds.
Clean up any food debris and spillage daily. Keep food, including pet food in secure containers.
Clean up any areas of standing water and fix leaks.
Equally important to sanitation is exclusion. Excluding rodents from your building is not always easy and can be a time consuming effort.
Any openings or holes larger than 3/8 inch should be sealed using gnaw proof materials such as sheet metal, hardware cloth and concrete.
All doors should be tight fitting and kept closed as often as possible. Garage doors deserve special attention, as they are usually the ones in need of new weather stripping.
There are various methods and techniques utilized today to eliminate rodent infestations. However, you can be sure that A&C Pest Management will custom suit any program specifically to your needs and situation with the focus being on safety.
Baiting – All bait is placed in areas inaccessible to your children or pets insuring that they will not contact any materials. Tamper Resistant Bait Stations are utilized when needed. Bait is secured within the station and the station then secured to the ground. A special key is needed to open these stations.
Tamper Resistant Bait Station With Secured Rodenticide
Trapping – Glue Boards and mechanical or snap traps can also be utilized depending on the situation. All traps will be placed with safety in mind first. Your health and well being is important to us.
Chemical Application – Application to wall voids may be made with tracking powders if the situation warrants. Rodents travel through this material, picking it up on their hair follicles and then ingest it during grooming practices.
For more information on rodent control and to schedule an appointment, call A&C Pest at 1-800-322-1404.