Every year, the National Pest Management Association leads a national awareness campaign called “Rodent Awareness Week”. The fall season marks the beginning of cooler temperatures, causing mice and rats to seek refuge inside a wide variety of structures, including commercial businesses like restaurants, hotels, and educational institutions.
This week-long initiative aims to highlight rodents and the health and safety threats they pose to people and properties. In this article, we will discuss five facts about mice and rats that are sure to surprise you. If you find this blog interesting, be sure to share it with your network. Follow along on LinkedIn for other Rodent Awareness Week information!
Fact 1: Stronger than iron
Rats’ incisor teeth, which are the front teeth they use to gnaw on things, never stop growing. Consequently, they must constantly gnaw and chew to wear them down. Their incisors are also incredibly strong and are rated a 5.5 on Mohs Hardness Scale – iron has a lower rate at 5.0. This is why these long-toothed creatures are able to chew their way into even the most advanced buildings. They can also chew through IT equipment, fleet truck wires, food packaging, and building insulation.
Fact 2: No water? No problem
Mice can get all the water they need, about a tablespoon per day, through their food consumption. However, if there is a water source available, they will take advantage of it.
In addition, mice will eat almost anything left out in the open, not just cheese, which is an age-old misconception. This is why mice can cause serious issues for restaurants and supermarkets that provide a plethora of meal options available to them.
Fact 3: Family affair
A female house mouse can have up to 10 litters a year, each containing anywhere from 3 – 14 offspring. This rapid breeding process is why a singular mouse problem can very quickly evolve into a mice infestation. It is wise to learn the signs of mice early on to save your business from costly structural repairs and prevent diseases from spreading.
Fact 4: Virus spreaders
There are 4 species of rodents in North America – cotton rats, rice rats, deer mice, and white-footed mice – that carry hantavirus. In humans, this virus can cause a sometimes deadly respiratory disease in humans known as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. Not only do rodents spread bacteria and disease, but they can also trigger asthma and allergy symptoms or carry with them fleas and mites. Any of which can heavily impact the well being of your customers and employees.
Fact 5: Trained athletes
Black rats (Rattus rattus) are superior climbers and can thrive in the upper parts of buildings – earning them one of their other names, the roof rat. However, they can adapt to live in just about any environment. An increase in empty spaces during the pandemic – whether temporary or more long-term – created new shelters where rats could nest and reproduce relatively undisturbed, leading to an influx in rat issues for businesses.
Many of these facts may have alarmed or even disturbed you. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent a mouse or rat infestation in your business. Check out our website for prevention tips and more information about our solutions. If you are currently experiencing a rodent problem or need help identifying a rodent on your property, call the experts at Rentokil at 866-403-5320 or contact us online today.