HOW TO STOP MICE AND RATS FROM RUINING YOUR RIDE
Rats and mice are quite unique animals. They are pests to most households, but they are also pets to many and are in fact recommended for young kids. These rodents for a fact, are highly intelligent creatures, and they look cute too. No wonder many people love them, despite their shortcomings.
Still, we would not want them running around our house. They are not only known to be nuisance pests but also transmitters of diseases. They can bring damage to property and ruin our food. Their need to nibble constantly bring damage to our boxes, papers, cardboards, clothes, books, and even wooden furniture.
And of course, the main reason rats and mice attack our homes is to search for food. They are nocturnal scavengers, so they look for food at night. Once they get to our food, they can easily contaminate it with their droppings, saliva, or urine. Once we ingest these contaminated foods, there is a chance that we would be getting diseases. We are so far only talking here about the damage they cause when in the house. Just imagine what they can do to your car too.
My closest encounters with rats and mice in my car is finding corn bits and avocado seeds on my engine after opening my car’s hood. It is shocking to see – and yucky too – knowing that rats were the ones who put them there. They are pests in my house, and they are pests in my car. That is how bad it could get with these rodents.
Rats and mice are almost similar in appearance, except that rats are much bigger. Rats are about 9 to 11 inches in length, with long tails that are almost as long as their bodies. They have incisors that are constantly growing, thus the need for getting something to chew on so that it would not grow any further.
One of the reasons rats have survived over the centuries is because they are highly intelligent. They are inquisitive, yet they avoid confrontation. Then they are nocturnal so we do not get to see them during the day. They simply sneak in while we sleep. They can survive without water for 20 days, getting hydration from the food they eat.
Mice can be described as small rodents with light brown to greyish colour. They are just like rats, only smaller. They weigh about ½ ounce, they have long tails that are as long as their bodies, and small black eyes. Their lifespan is from 1 year to 3 years. They can be found not only in houses but anywhere there are humans because somehow we feed them with the food and refuse we have.
Both rats and mice are highly social creatures. They live together in a nest and cannot stand to be alone. They need companionship always, and they feel lonely and depressed when left alone, and get depressed when they lose a loved one.
Rodents transmit diseases
Both rats and mice are more than just a nuisance. They can be deadly to humans because of the diseases they are capable of spreading. Below is a list of some of the diseases they spread:
- Leptospirosis – Infection of humans can come from contact with urine from infected animals, including mice. Bacteria can enter through breaks in the skin. Symptoms of this disease include headaches, chills, muscle aches, high fever, vomiting, rashes, and jaundice or yellow skin and eyes.
- Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome – This is a severe and at times fatal respiratory disease transmitted by rodents. It is spread by inhaling dust that is contaminated by rat urine or dropping; or direct contact with mice droppings; or through a rat’s bite. Early symptoms include fever, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, dizziness. For late symptoms, coughing and shortness of breath would appear. This disease could be fatal. Seek immediate health care if you have these symptoms.
- Salmonellosis – Infection happens by ingesting food or water that is contaminated by mice droppings. This illness can last from 4 days to one week. There can be diarrhea, and in some cases, diarrhea can be so severe that immediate care from healthcare providers may be needed. In most cases, salmonellosis resolves by itself and no treatment is needed. Symptoms are diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. In the United States, the Centres for Disease Control estimates that food is the source of 1 million cases for this disease.
- Murine typhus – Symptoms for murine typhus include fever, headache, myalgia, vomiting, stomach pain, and cough. This disease can be treated with antibiotics.
- Rat-bite fever – Rat-bite fever can occur from mice. Ingesting food and water that are contaminated with mice urine and droppings can transmit this disease. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, vomiting, rash, and joint pain and swelling. These symptoms usually appear after 3 to 10 days after being contaminated.
Rats and mice in the car
We all now know the destruction they can cause in the house, but is it possible that they can do damage to our cars? The problem is, yes they can. If they could not enter your house, another thing they do is to look for another shelter. Unfortunately, they find our cars very cozy and warm, especially when it is raining or very cold outside. Like in our houses, these rodents only need a tiny hole to sneak in, and once inside they can do damage to wires, insulation, and upholstery. Just imagine the cost of repairing all these damages. Worst of all, the threat of disease will also be there, so it is just as important to prevent rats from invading your vehicle as much as getting them away from your house.
How to keep them out of the car
If you have a garage, seal off entry points for rats and mice. Using traps and baits can also work. If you do not have a garage and just park your vehicle outside, keep the shrubs and long grasses near it pruned. This will make the surroundings of your car less rodent – friendly. It also goes on without saying that keeping the windows and doors closed is very important.
Leaving food wastes lying around your car is an invitation for rats and mice to infest your car. You, or probably your family members, like to eat inside the car on a very long road trip. Whenever this happens, watch out for crumbs or pieces of potato chips on the seat of your car or on the carpet. Vacuum your cars and regularly clean it to remove any food residue.
There are rodent-repelling plant oils that you may use. This is much better than the commercially bought rodent repellent spray that may contain harmful chemicals. Plant extracts like eucalyptus oils can definitely repel rats and mice. Put some of this in your car to protect it from rodents.
Keep your car dry. Rats and mice are constantly looking for water sources too. Moisture easily accumulates under air conditioning vents and leaking heaters. Regularly inspect these and fix any leaks you may find. Damp clothes and rags can also help build up moisture, so keep these items out.
The engine compartment is where they may cause dangerous damage. There is a danger that they may go straight to the wires and nibble on them, which could lead to different kinds of electrical faults. They may also chew on brake cables and gas lines. All told, rats and mice could be the cause of a lot of vehicular accidents on the road. Rats and mice also drag food materials into your engine compartment, as they did in mine, and all these can interfere with the mechanisms of the engine.
To keep them out of the engine compartment, simply keep your hood up when parked. Rats and mice like dark, hidden places. Keeping the hood up means they will be exposed for everyone to see. Of course, you can do this only when you have an indoor garage.
Block any entry points they can use, especially at the front wheel arches. Seal it off with wire mesh. Leaving mouse traps around your car can also be very effective in stopping them right in their tracks.
Why Go-Forth Pest Control?
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned company that utilizes the latest and most advanced technology in the business while using only family-friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination. We have a team of expert professionals who can provide the best pest control services to residents and business establishments all throughout North and South Carolina. Our expert experience in exterminating pests like cockroaches, wasps, weevils, mosquitoes, mice, flies, termites, ants, and spiders can really make you say goodbye to these pests in your home.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years. For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.