October 18th marks the start of Rodent Awareness Week in the U.S. It provides an opportunity to educate the public about rodents and the risk they pose to public health. Rodents can carry a variety of diseases and parasites. Diseases potentially transmitted by rodents include the food borne illness, Salmonella. Rodent activity has increased in some areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurant and other business closures can equate to less available food for rodents. As previous food sources deplete, rodents will seek alternate sources. Vacant buildings can also provide undisturbed areas for rodents to harbor and may go undetected for a long period of time.
What Can You Do To Prevent Rodents?
- Keep food spillage to a minimum and clean up promptly. This includes food outside around dumpsters and break areas. Food outside can attract rodents inside.
- Make sure all doors and other openings are well sealed. This includes front entrance doors, cart doors and dock doors. A mouse can enter a structure through the crack ¼” in height. They can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime. A rat can enter a structure through a hole the size of a quarter or a crack ½” in height.
- Keep all doors closed while not in use.
- Inspect incoming shipments, including seasonal items like firewood, pumpkins, and corn stalks. Items like Indian corn are a food source for rodents.
- Check automatic self-closing doors for proper timing and closure. Doors should not be open any longer than necessary to allow pedestrians to enter.
- Rodent proof compressor vents to make sure they will exclude mice and rats.
- Notify your pest management professional if you see rodents or rodent droppings. It is important for your pest management professional is alerted regarding all activity.