Rats and Mice are most common vertebrate pest around buildings, because they adapt well to people’s habitats and destroy or contaminate food and fabrics. They also cause structural damage and their gnawing on electrical wiring, water pipes, and gas lines can cause fires and other forms of serious damage. Several human diseases are associated with rat infestations such as Salmonellosis, leptospirosis and Plague etc.
The senses of rodents are adapted for their secretive lifestyles. They rely on their senses of touch and smell for most explorations, but also possess excellent hearing and taste sense. Rat’s have poor vision adapted for night activity and is highly sensitive to motion. In general rodents are active at night, establish territories according to resources, and are opportunistic in their feeding and selection of harborages. Inside buildings, rodents select areas that provide concealment, warmth, and a close proximity to food and water. They squeeze through small openings to get to food or escape from danger.
It is important to identify the species of Rats, because every species has a peculiar behavior and habits that influence the type of management methods to be used and locations where control efforts be emphasized The three most economically important commensal species of rodents are the House mouse, the Norway rat, the Roof rat.
House Mouse (Mus musculus)
The mouse can infest many areas in the buildings and live in close proximity to people due to its small size and secretive behaviors. Under conducive environmental conditions, the house mouse is prolific breeder. Indoor populations of mice have relatively short home ranges, with nest constructed in many different structural locations
• The mouse is dark gray above. Ears are moderately large and distinct; the tail is as long as the body and head combined.
• A female is reproductively mature within 8 weeks, can produce between 6-to 10 litters spaced between 30-50 days apart, accounting for 42-60 offspring in a year. Female life span is about one year.
• A typical home range of mice in buildings is within 10-30 feet in any direction.
• A house mouse produces at least 50 droppings per day.
Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus)
The Norway rat exists in both commensal and field environments. Rats construct nests in ground burrow systems as well as utilizing the many different types of structural elements of buildings and city utility systems. The Norway rat exhibit neophobic behavior and avoid traps, new bait containers, and even new food that suddenly appear in their environments. It is also known as Brown rat, sewer rat.
• The Norway rat is robust rat characterised by relatively short ears, a blunt snout, and a tail that is shorter than the head and body combined.
• The Norway rat is relatively large rat, with the average adult measuring about 16 inches in total length from its nose to the end of its tail and weighs about 340g.
• The females is reproductively mature by 3 months and can produce 7 litters and produce 19 to 56 youngs per year. Female life span is about 1 year.
• The Norway rats are ground dwelling mammal, digging and constructing its nest within subterranean burrows.
• Norway rats require water on daily basis and thus must locate sources of water. Generally they consume 29-59ml of water per day.
• An average home range of an established rat in urban areas is 8 to 30m from its nest.
• A single adult produces about 37 droppings per day.
Roof Rat (Rattus rattus)
The Roof rat prefers to dwell in upper areas in and around buildings. It is a sleek, agile animal, well adapted for climbing and moving along narrow overhead wires and ledges.
• The roof rat is medium sized rat weighing 150-250g.
• It is characterised by the long tail, longer than the body, slender body, large ears and pointed snout.
• The roof rat is slightly less prolific than the Norway rat, female is reproductively mature by 3 months, she can have 4-7 litters, each containing 4-8 pups and produce 12-56 youngs per year. Female life span is about one year.
• Typically roof rats forage in family groups of up to 10 rats.
• Neophobia in roof rat is more pronounced than in Norway rat.
• The roof rat requires water daily and will consume 29-59 ml. in every 24 hours.
• The roof rat commonly travels up to 100m away from the nest, while foraging.
• An adult roof rat produces about 50 droppings per day.
• Roof rats prefer to nest above ground, along rafters, false ceilings, and in attics.
INTEGRATED RODENT MANAGEMENT SERVICE
At GEPCS we provide total and effective control of Rat and Mice. The new age Rodent treatment is based on the type of the rodent species, extent of infestations and its spread. It is a scientific combination of baiting, trapping and proofing methods
The IPM approach is especially important for managing rodents, and involves integrating following steps:
• Rodent Inspection
• Rodent proofing
• Population Reduction
a. Trapping Programs
b. Rodenticide programs
Follow Up : GEPCS experts shall continuously monitor the effectiveness of control strategy at regular intervals of 15 days throughout the contract period.