Rat - Pests

What are they?

Rodents are the largest order of mammals. Of the order ‘Rodentia’ meaning “to gnaw”, these rodents will chew on wood, wiring, and even steel. Household rodents in Jamaica come in two forms – rats and mice.

There are two common types of mice in Jamaica: house mice and field mice. Active year-round, house mice live in furniture, cabinets, floors, walls, ceilings. Field mice are a big threat to agricultural pursuits as these mice eat seedlings.

Why are they pests?

Rodents multiply quickly. They can reproduce multiple times per year with each litter carrying numerous young. Your home, business or farm could be overrun in a short time and these rodents are dangerous to humans.

Are they dangerous?

The main reason to get rid of rats and mice is that they spread diseases. Most of these diseases are caught from food/drink contaminated with rat/mice urine or droppings, or breathing in dust contaminated with urine/droppings, or being bitten or scratched by an infected rodent. Diseases include leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), plague, salmonellosis, rat bite fever.  It is believed that their droppings trigger asthmatic reactions in children.

Rodents are also a fire risk given that they can chew through electrical wiring.

In addition to these threats and risks, rodents can introduce other dangerous pests such as ticks, fleas, and lice into your home once they gain entry. Rodents, therefore, pose a high risk to human health, buildings & furniture, electrical wiring, personal effects, books, clothing, and more.


Why do I have them?

Rats have become partially dependent on humans for food. As such, you will find rats venturing into homes and businesses seeking food and water and setting up their nests. It does not mean that your house or home is dirty. It is just that there is the possibility for food, water, and shelter.

Where are they found/how do I know that I have a rodent infestation?

If you do not see a rat on the premises – they tend to hide from humans during the day and come out at nights – then the most visible sign of a rodent infestation are droppings. If you do notice rats, then that means you have a very serious problem which will require professional help to fix.

Rodents may also leave footprints or dirt marks along walls or the floor. You may also notice gnawed wood, paper or plastic which can also be an indication of infestation.


How can I prevent them?

Rodent prevention and control involves three aspects:

  1. eliminating the reason, i.e. all food sources – such a pet waste, easily accessible food – and shelter;
  2. eliminating entry routes, and finally
  3. eliminating the rodents themselves.


How do I get rid of them?

Once a rodent infestation has been identified (e.g. droppings, strong urine scent), it is best to have treatment administered by a professional company. They can identify the location of these pests and undertake the best solution to ensure their complete eradication from your premises.

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