Rodents such as mice and rats are opportunistic creatures. They are instinctually drawn to areas where food scraps, trash, and pet food are left within reach, either outdoors or indoors. They will also look for weatherproof, hidden places to build their nests, especially places that seem to have a ready food supply for their young. This includes houses, sheds, barns, or areas of dense foliage.
Rodents carry a host of diseases through their fecal matter and parasites such as fleas. Mice and rats may carry salmonella, typhus, rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, or even plague. Curious pets can be especially at risk when exposed to areas with rodent activity or to the pests themselves.
1. Use Defensive Action
In spite of your best efforts, you may still experience an infestation at some point. If this happens, take every precaution to protect your pets both from exposure to rodent diseases and from the potential harm of poisons and traps.
Your best defense is a good offense. Take steps to make your home and yard less appealing to mice and rats. Some suggestions include:
- Keep outside areas clear of debris
- Keep lids on outdoor trash cans and empty indoor trash frequently
- Block any possible entrances such as around pipes or wire mesh
- Completely seal gaps around windows and doors.
- Keep bushes trimmed and remove dead leaves or other debris beneath them
- Don’t leave pet food out to tempt hungry rodents
- Properly store all food and dispose of unused food quickly
For the protection of your pets, keep them inside in the evenings and secure pet doors at night. The cure can be as dangerous as the problem, so take steps to prevent your pets from being exposed to poisons and traps.
2. Don’t Mix Pet Food With Poison
Never mix poisons, such as rodent bait, with pet food or other treats that will appeal to your pet. Unfortunately, your pet cannot tell the difference between poison and potential food sources, which can lead to a very dangerous situation if you’re not careful. Although you may be trying to entice the rodents to take the bait, there’s always a chance your pet will accidentally ingest some of the poison.
Even small exposure to some poisons can be harmful or deadly to pets. If you suspect your pet may have been exposed to or consumed a poison, contact your vet immediately.
3. Use a Natural Repellent
There are a variety of repellents available on the market in both spay or powder form. However, it’s important to note that some of these are unsafe for animal or human exposure. If you want to avoid these, there are also some natural, herbal repellents that are marked as safe for kids and pets.
You may also experiment with your own herbal repellents such as cayenne pepper, black pepper, or garlic. Mice are repelled by these spicy scents and the irritation they cause to their nose and eyes. One of the most effective natural repellents for both mice and rats is peppermint, an odor that most people find pleasant and will not harm pets.
4. Use Safe Traps
Don’t underestimate your pet’s curiosity and ability to find and investigate any rodent traps you may set. These traps are most effective when placed directly along any regular pest routes you can identify, but be aware of potential danger to pets. Make sure your animal friend cannot reach them.
Also, keep in mind that some traps may be mistaken for toys. To avoid potential injury, use live traps and place them where they will be inaccessible to pets. You will need to set several traps for them to be effective. Check traps frequently and dispose of dead or trapped rodents immediately.
5. Technology to the Rescue
You may also try electronic traps that will humanely dispose of mice or rats. These traps will generally shut off once they have been tripped, preventing pets from being accidentally zapped.
There are also plug-in or battery-operated electronic devices which emit high-frequency signals to repel pests. These devices are eco-friendly and pet-safe. However, the reviews for their effectiveness have mixed results.
6. Limit Exposure
Be careful about where you allow your pets to run free when you’re experiencing a rodent infestation. When traveling, ask about potential traps or poisons being used around rental units or camping facilities.
Create a safe, fenced-in area where your dogs can play and explore safely. Cats may need to be kept inside in potentially infested areas, especially urban or compacted environments such as apartment complexes.
Also, make sure any new pets are healthy and have not been exposed to rodent or other pest-borne diseases. Some of these diseases can be passed from one pet to another or even to humans by physical contact.
7. Awareness is Important
Know the potential invaders in your area. In the Las Vegas area, field mice and roof rats are some of the most common rodents and can cause serious damage if not controlled. These rodents can contaminate large areas with fecal matter, hair, and urine. Their nesting habits can also cause direct property damage through burrowing and gnawing.
These rodents also carry a host of diseases and other potential hazards. If you suspect an infestation, you should contact a professional extermination service immediately to ensure the safe handling of any poisons or traps.
Keep your pets safe during a rodent infestation is essential and should be taken seriously. Without the help of an expert pest control company, there may be some unfortunate accidents involving poisons, traps, or a direct encounter between your pet and a dangerous rodent. To help avoid this, contact Fischer’s Pest Control to learn more about our services and precautions we take to keep you, your family, and your pets safe during the extermination process.