Most people do not know much about rats and mice except that they chew on anything they can land their incisor teeth on. While you do not need to earn a degree in rodents, it is important to have the basic facts right. Here in this post, we will shed light on the top five misconceptions about rats and mice. Read on.
Misconception #1: It Is Okay to Approach Rats and Mice
Many people think that rodents such as rats and mice are harmless. They think it is okay to approach and touch a rat or mouse with bare hands.
Well, it is not.
Rats and mice can carry disease-causing bacteria. You or a family member can get infected with either one of the 35+ rodent-borne diseases if –
- You ingest food/water contaminated by a rat or mouse
- You ingest air contaminated by rat/mouse urine, droppings, or fur
- You get bitten by a rat or mouse (yes, they can turn violent if pushed to a corner)
- An open wound is exposed to contaminated particles
In the middle ages, rats happened to be one of the leading carriers of the plague. While modern-medicine and living conditions do prevent similar outbreaks from happening, rats and mice are still effective carriers of many potentially life-threatening diseases.
So, maintain a safe distance from these pests and let a trained rodent control technician deal with them.
Misconception #2: Clean Environment Is Never Prone to Rat Invasion
It is true that poor sanitation can aggravate a rat problem. If you have loosely-sealed food containers, unattended pet food/water bowls, piles of trash, debris, dry leaves, etc. on your property, it is pretty much like holding a ‘welcome’ sign for rats and mice looking for a warm shelter with food and water.
But, proper sanitation is a preventive measure at best. It does not guarantee complete protection against rats and mice.
Once inside a building, rats can chew on anything they have easy access to.
Misconception #3: Catching a Rat or Mouse Means you’ve fixed the Problem
Many DIY enthusiasts like to believe that catching a rat or mouse with a trap or killing one with rat poison is the beginning and end of the problem.
This is not true.
Controlling a rat or mice infestation is a lot more complicated than that. You never know how many more rats/mice there are in hard-to-reach areas such as attics, basements, HVAC vents, plumbing lines, etc.
Misconception #4: A Cat Will Effectively Control the Rodent Population
It’s a common belief among homeowners that a cat can keep rats and mice away. Some even believe that cats will have rats and mice for a meal as many times as they get a chance.
The reality is that cats cannot do much to control the population of rats and mice.
First, rats and mice breed at a rapid pace.
Second, rats and mice can easily escape to hidden areas of a building that a cat just cannot enter.
Third, you cannot expect domesticated cats to have superb hunting instincts. When cats are well-fed, they grow more tolerant of rats and mice. So, your cat may at best show some interest in the smell or rodent movement but make no serious effort to catch it.
In fact, rats and mice can have a great time feasting on pet food if you leave it unattended inside or outside your home.
Misconception #5: Rats and Mice Are Primarily Nocturnal
Rats and mice generally move about when the perceived threat of danger is low. This is why you may hear squeaking noises during the night.
But, rats and mice can also move around during the day. Rats and mice do not move in groups.
In case rats or mice have infested a basement that isn’t frequented by humans or pets, they are likely to carry on their activities during the day. They sleep only for a short duration of time and start searching for required supplies as soon as they are awake.
Rats and mice generally stay in one place and move around only in search of food, water, or shelter – three things they love about your house.
Wrong or partially inaccurate information on rats and mice can prompt you to make the wrong decision. Remember, rats and mice can breed pretty quickly and grow in number. So, it is really important to tackle a rodent problem early on.