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Rodents and the pests they become in urban environments

Small, furry, cute(?!) and sneaky. What's not to like about rodents - right? Some people even keep them as pets! But - if rodents are not managed correctly - what can at first be a small, furry and cute pet can also easily turn into a pest!
Rodents and the pests they become in urban environments

Why do rodents become pests?

Rodents are smart. They know that humans create a reliable and a constant source of food and shelter. This is especially easy in the urban spaces we have created where everything is close together and as conveniently accessible as possible. The “easy way of living” has given rodents the perfect breading environment, allowing them to reproduce safely and productively.

For example: a population of two rats can easily become 1,250 rats in just one year!

Rodents and the pests they become in urban environments

Did you know:

  • Rodents have large front teeth that don’t stop growing. This continuous growth forces them to constantly gnaw at objects so that they can keep their teeth short enough to be able to eat.

    A “hotspot” activity for rodents is to gnaw on vehicle wires. Vehicles that are parked in undercover spaces for long periods of time are usually targeted because these area are dark, warm and quiet - giving the culprits protection as they munch through your wires! Ultimately resulting in hundreds, if not thousands, of rands worth of damage!

    Rodents and the pests they become in urban environments

  • Rodents are highly adaptable to their surroundings and can survive on most types of foods – fresh or decomposing. This is why it is so important for garbage areas to be cleaned regularly. Naturally, we rely heavily on our municipalities and don’t make an effort to clear away the debris after municipal collection (we have all seen it!). If we want to keep the rodents at bay, we all need to play our part in protecting our neighbourhood from a rodent infestation. Not only can rodents cause a lot of damage to our properties, but they can be a huge health threat to our families and children as well.

    Rodents and the pests they become in urban environments

    Which type of rodent usually becomes a problem?

    There are three main species of rodents that are regarded as pests in South Africa:
    • the black rat - usually found in roofs and ceilings in urban environments,
    • the Norway rat (or brown rat) – the most common species which nests just about anywhere, and
    • the house mouse – the more shy species that is shy of us, but not of each other! (they breed extremely quickly).
    Where to look for signs of rodents?
    • Lofts, ceilings and attic spaces,
    • Food-handling areas and material storage areas,
    • Crawlspaces, suspended ceilings and wall cavities,
    • Decks, Sheds and Garages; and
    • Garbage areas/compost heaps.
    How to prevent rodents from becoming a problem:

    The best way to prevent a rodent infestation is to remove food and water sources that would be easily accessible to them, as well as any items that could provide shelter. Sometimes you just have to think like a rodent!
    • Store food in sealed containers,
    • Maintain clean storage areas,
    • Maintain strict and clean garbage management practices,
    • Seal gaps in your home; and
    • Clear away clutter.
    SMARTSENZ IPM® believes in protecting the environment from the ever-increasing chemical footprint left by the pest control industry. Our Team offers permanent solutions that will prevent and/or improve the infestation over time. The use of chemicals and baits is the very last resort!

    We are different to any other pest control company. Just like rodents, we are innovative, sustainable, and smart!

  • 10 Aug 2021 14:59

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