The Agricultural Revolution was a major milestone in the advancement of human society, and this was a time when people transitioned from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to embracing agriculture and permanent settlements. This was a major step forward, though it did come with some consequences. Humanity was producing and stockpiling vast amounts of grains, fruits, and vegetables at these farms and settlements, but this attracted some unwanted guests. Wildlife such as mice, rats, and others would often break into food stores and eat everything, so humanity found ways to fight back. Domesticated dogs and cats often served as a rodent control service, and these destructive animals were hunted at grain silos and farms across Europe and elsewhere. Today, some farms in fact still use cats to hunt rats and mice, but rodent control services are largely professional companies who can help any client clear out squirrel families and rat colonies. Why might rodent control services be called upon today?
The Hazards of Rodents
Rats and mice are not a major threat to a person’s bodily health; they are not “man eaters,” even if desperate. But even if rats and mice don’t kill people, they are still a real problem. In houses and businesses alike, intruding rodents tend to chew their way into the building and then continue to chew on anything they can find, usually to keep their tooth growth in check. Rats, mice, and squirrels are known to chew constantly on wood, plastic pipes, and electrical wires, which damages hardware and utilities. Many homeowners may find a family of squirrels in the house, who chewed their way through the attic’s wooden walls and built nests in the air conditioner ducts. The chewed holes may also admit rain water in the house, which is another problem entirely.
It goes beyond property damage. Rats and mice aren’t lethal on their own, but they carry diseases that might be. Rodents such as rats and squirrels may transmit the deadly rabies virus with bites, and may attack pets and people alike. Worse yet, such rodents often carry fleas, and these harmful insects may transmit various contagions with their blood-sucking bites. Fleas may transfer from rodents to people or pets, and the same is true of ticks. Lyme disease, rocky mountain fever, and even the infamous Bubonic plague may be spread this way. The infamous Black Death case of medieval Europe was cause largely by unchecked rat populations which carried fleas that spread the disease. A relative lack of cats due to witch hunts only made that problem worse. Today, there is no full-scale Black Death plague, but this disease still exists, and it and others may be spread by rats and fleas.
Such rodents are unsanitary because of not only disease but their excretions, and these waste materials may cause allergies or bad smells in the house and its occupants. Such rodents may be distressing to see, and they are of course highly symbolic of poor sanitation. A restaurant will be quickly be shut down if rats and mice are found inside, and it won’t re-open until those intruding rodents are cleared out.
Hiring a Rodent Control Service
Rats and mice are common in urban areas since trash provides food for them and there are countless hiding places in cities and towns, so homeowners and business owners alike may need to call upon local rodent control services. They may find such services online and view their websites, and hire a team that suits their needs. For smaller infestations, baited traps or cages may be set out. Traps will kill rodents, but live capture is also possible and may be preferable since there won’t be a dead body to deal with. Live, captured rodents may be relocated and released elsewhere. Poison pellets may be used, but only with great caution so that children and pets don’t eat them.
Larger infestations may call for shutting down the entire house or business, then sealing it off and using poison gas to kill all rodents found inside. Rodent control services may then collect all the bodies, remove the poison gas, and then allow the house or building to be reopened for its occupants. Such buildings might be shut down for days at a time.