It’s that time of season when the cooler weather has all of Earth’s creations looking for warmth, including cute, little, furry disease-carrying critters. Today’s guest blogger, Nicole, let’s us know why it’s unhealthy to live with these unwelcome house guests and how to get rid of them.
Why having rodents in your home is dangerous:
The answer to this is threefold:
1. Droppings/urine and air quality.
When rodents take up residency inside your home, they make it their territory by urinating and defecating over everything, this is very difficult to clean and more importantly it can be severely damaging to health. Rodent urine and feces reducing the quality of the air on and around your home, anyone suffering from respiratory problems such as asthma may find that their symptoms are worsened which may result in them having difficulty breathing.
When rodents breed in your home there is an increased chance of the people within the household developing the disease ‘Q fever’. Q fever is an air borne disease which is contracted by inhaling dust contaminated with the placenta and birthing tissues of rodents. Sufferers of Q fever will develop flu like symptoms which could worsen and develop into infections or even pneumonia.
Rats carry and can transmit a range of diseases, such as salmonellosis, hemorrhagic fever, hanta virus and leptospirosis among others, these diseases can cause serious illnesses in humans and have the potential to be fatal. Further to the rats carrying diseases, the fleas that have fed off rats and go on to bite humans can also transmit some harmful diseases such as Typhus, or Murine Typhus fever. Most people who contract a disease such as this will recover with a course of antibiotics, however, without antibiotics the chances of surviving this disease are greatly lowered.
3. Fire Hazard.
Rodents start to build nests in your home when they have decided to settle there, to do this they will shred and gather up various bit of materials to use for their nest. While gathering material it is not uncommon for rodents to chew through electrical wires, wood and insulation which if left unnoticed and not repaired, could start a fire in your home.
How to clean up after rodents have been in your home:
Before you start cleaning up after a rodent infestation, be sure that the rodents are completely gone. Set some traps, if after a week has passed you haven’t caught anything you can start the cleaning process. Waiting for a week also allows any infectious diseases from the urine or feces to dissipate enough so that it is no longer infectious to you.
Removing urine and droppings:
Before you start cleaning, open all windows and doors to allow the space to become well ventilated. Make sure you have all the cleaning tools, such as rubber gloves and scouring pads/sponges etc, bleaches and disinfectants that you will need. Using a paper towel, remove all of the droppings that you can find (avoid sweeping them up as you do not want to stir up the dust covered in rodent urine and droppings) and dispose of these straight away.
Removing dead rodents:
Ensure the space is well ventilated and wear rubber gloves. Spray the dead rat and the area it is in and leave it for at least 10 minutes. Place the dead rodent in a bag and seal it immediately, dispose of the dead rodent in the outside rubbish bin protected in a few bags. Wash the bin once the rodent has been collected by the garbage-collectors.
Disinfecting the area:
Thoroughly disinfect all areas where the rodents have been, mop floors and wipe over walls and ceilings just to be sure. Disinfect or dispose of anything you used, such as rubber gloves or mops, that may be contaminated, wash your hands thoroughly and change your clothes.
How to prevent a rodent infestation in your house:
- Secure any holes that may be letting the rodents into your home, even holes as small as a coin are big enough for some rodents to get through.
- Store food in plastic, tight lidded containers, i.e. a container a rodent can’t chew or find its way into.
- Clean spilled food as quickly as you can.
- Wash plates and cutlery as soon after eating as you can.
- Don’t leave pet food out overnight.
- Store full bin liners in plastic bins and away from your home.
About the Author
Nicole is a passionate writer, devoted mum and adventurer. She enjoys writing about healthy lifestyle and travelling. Take advantage of her ideas how to refresh and clean the house.
I heard moth balls are good rodent deterrents… anyone try this?