Rats are a big menace in both rural and urban areas. They can flourish in a wide range of climatic conditions. They will eat and contaminate food with their droppings, urine and fur. They serve as the vectors to a number of diseases like plague, typhus, spirochetal jaundice, Leptospirosis, rabies, ratbite fever etc. They create problems in warehouses, orchards, processing industries, livestock facilities, super markets, restaurants and farm field. They can even cause harm to our buildings by gnawing the electric wires, cupboards, clothes etc.
Control Measures for Rats
Rat infestations can be discouraged by good sanitation. It requires proper and neat storage of food, fire wood, crates, garden equipments and other house hold goods. Proper and timely disposal of garbage is essential.
2. Rat Proof Construction
It is better to restrict rats from entering into the buildings rather than controlling them. Plug each hole bigger than ¼ inch with coarse steel wool, wire screen or lightweight metal sheet to block the rats. Metal sheets can be used to protect the edges of doors and windows from gnawing.
This is the best method for areas having a few numbers of rats. It can be used again and again and is less expensive too. It provides quick results and is safer than the hazardous poisons. If we use rat poison rats consume the poison and then may die in different location. This will create a health problem as well lead to foul order. This can be eliminated using rat traps. Different types of traps are now available, they are Glue traps, Sticky boxes, Snap Traps, Live Traps, Runway traps or tube traps.
4. Poison Baits
They are the hazardous chemicals used to kill the rats. Tamper-resistant bait stations have to be placed in areas inaccessible to children and pets. Keep them close to the wall where rats are active. They are available in many forms like treated meal, seeds, or parafinized pellets. The active ingredients in most of the baits are warfarin, chlorophacinone, diphacinonene, brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, bromethalin, cholecalciferol or zinc phosphide.
5. Cats and Dogs
Cats and Dogs will help us to control the rats, but to a limited extent only. Cats kill the young ones but are scared to handle the adults. This is not an effective control measure.