It’s not always easy to cope with rat and mouse populations, and that problem can become especially pronounced as the creatures seek warmer confines when the fall and winter months set in.
Mice and rats are carriers of disease and can damage property and are definitely something you don't want to encourage around your home or in your neighbourhood.
The Town of Bridgewater has a bait/trap program in place, which sees bait stations placed on Town-owned lands throughout Bridgewater, but we can't do it alone -- private home and land owners are resposnible for doing what they can to help control the mouse/rat population as well.
What can you do?
Health Canada has a number of suggestions on how to address issues related to rats and mice, including the following:
Prevention is key in controlling rat and mouse problems in your home. The first line of defence is to get rid of easy entry points. Mice can squeeze through cracks as small as a dime, while rats can enter through a quarter-sized hole. Even the small gaps created by worn thresholds under doors will allow mice access to your home.
Use metal weather stripping under doors, and weather strip windows. Patch cracks in foundations; stuff steel wool around pipes before caulking or plastering; cover dryer vents, attic vents, and soffits with fine mesh metal screening.
Make your home less appealing to rodents by removing cosy nesting sites in unused clutter around your house and garage. Consider cutting tall grass and weeds back from your house and secure garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids.
Raise any woodpiles about 30 centimetres (one foot) off the ground and place them away from your house. Also, avoid placing fatty or oily food waste, eggs, or milk products in the composter and make sure your garbage is secure.
If you already have rats or mice in your home, there are several options for control:
There are several types of traps that can be used to control rats and mice. Snap traps and electronic traps are easy to use and very effective if well positioned and set properly. They generally kill rats and mice instantly. Live traps have trap doors that are triggered when rats or mice walk over them.
Ultrasonic devices give off sound waves or vibrations that rats and mice dislike. Rats and mice may, however, adapt to the devices and return. It is recommended that ultrasonic devices be used along with other pest control options.
Important − if you use a pesticide to control your pest problem, read the label to make sure you are choosing the right product for the right pest. Follow all label directions and warnings carefully.
Always look for a Pest Control Products (PCP) number on the label so you know the product has been approved by Health Canada.
Anticoagulant rodenticides prevent the clotting of blood. These products are sold to the general public in a solid form such as a paraffin block. Anticoagulants are usually highly toxic. Keep away from children and pets.
Other products containing non-anticoagulant poisons available to the general public include the active ingredients cellulose from powdered corn cobs and bromethalin.
For more information, please visit Health Canada’s website, www.canada.ca/health.
What do I do if I find a dead rat on my property?
While wearing protective gloves or using an implement (for example, a shovel), put the rat carcass in your compost/green bin for waste collection.