Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 by Stephanie Adams
When it comes to mice and rats, there are countless myths, rumors, and half-truths surrounding everything from their behavior to how to remedy infestations caused by them. We would all like a quick fix for getting rid of rodents, but unfortunately, these are not easy pests to eliminate from your home or business. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most commonly heard myths about rodents along with the cold hard facts to debunk them. If you’ve been having trouble eliminating rodents or at a loss for what to do next, this blog may have the answers you need.
Cheese is a mouse’s favorite food.
This myth has a few holes in it. Cheese is not available in the wild, so it is not a food that is typical to a mouse’s diet. Mice are much more accustomed to eating fruit, seeds, and insects. If you are using cheese as bait, you may want to switch it up. Some people have had success with peanut butter. Chocolate or even bacon would be helpful alternatives. Female mice are on the search for nesting materials, so using cotton balls or bits of cloth could even be effective for baiting.
2. Soda will kill a rat.
This has been a circulating urban legend for many years, based on the fact that rats are unable to burp. While the chemicals and carbonation in soda aren’t generally good for rats, it would take nearly a whole 12 ounce can of soda to cause any real serious damage to the rat. Rats are also attracted to sweet, sugary treats, so using soda to remedy a rat problem would likely only encourage them to stick around.
3. You only have one mouse, it’s nothing to worry about.
With pests, it’s never just one! With mice, in particular, this fact rings especially clear. If you see one mouse, you’re bound to eventually find more not far behind. Mice will have mates and can produce litters as soon as every six weeks year-round in stable, comfortable environments. In one year, a single female mouse may produce as many as 60 offspring. With reproduction so rapid and frequent, you may be sharing your home with more than a few mice sooner than expected.
4. Rats cause disease.
This myth likely stems from the bubonic plague that happened from 1447 to 1450 across Europe. Contrary to popular belief, rats are not the culprits for causing disease. However, the fleas that the rats carry are. Bacteria and other microorganisms are found on rats, especially in their mouths. Because of this, it is extremely advised that one does not chase, corner, or otherwise approach a live rat, as they will likely scratch or bite to defend themselves.
5. Mice don’t have skeletons.
While mice may be able to fit into some surprisingly small spaces, this does not mean that they lack a skeleton. Some people believe that their bones are made of cartilage, but this is false as well. Mice also do not “flatten” themselves. Mice only need a quarter of an inch of space to easily slip through. The reason they are able to fit through such small openings is that their skull is small for their size and they do not have a collarbone. Once they can get their head in, the rest of their body will easily be pulled through.
6. Having a cat will help control your rat problem.
If you think bringing your cat into your home will be a viable rat solution, you will definitely want to reconsider. Cats have all types of tendencies and personalities, so while some cats may be interested in hunting, others much prefer being on the couch at home. Cat food is also a big attractor for rats; if you already have a cat, make sure their food is sealed tight and stored away! Most importantly, you wouldn’t want to risk your pet getting hurt or diseased from coming into contact with a wild rat.
7. The presence of rats means poor sanitary conditions.
We often associate rats with dirt and uncleanliness, but the truth is that rats can be found in virtually any type of environment, from streets and alleyways to pristine and luxurious homes. Rats are attracted to food sources and comfortable places to nest. Make sure to seal all entry points, and don’t give them any food, as this will discourage rats from infesting.
While there are many opinions about rodents and what do about them, it’s always important to stick to the facts and know the right information so that you have the most success in treating your rodent problem. These aren’t the easiest animals to treat because they are so highly adaptable, so even common DIY methods may not be effective. However, contacting your local pest control expert will ensure that your home stays rodent-free.
Connecticut Pest Elimination, Inc.
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