If you've seen evidence that rodents have invaded your place of business, you may be tempted to set out rat or mouse poison to eliminate the problem. Although rats, mice, voles, chipmunks and other rodents are unwanted vermin inside a building, placing poison where they can get it and then escape is not a good idea. Commercial pest control services sometimes use poison to kill rodents, but they do so by placing the substance in secure confinement traps. Here are some pest control techniques that you should avoid:
Cross-Contamination in Food and Other Products
A rodent may survive for several days after eating rat poison. The animals still have time to track through places they like to go, which might include areas where food is stored. Now they're not only bringing fleas, lice or disease with them, but the poison as well.
After eating poison inside a building and becoming ill, rodents tend to crawl up into walls and under floors to expire. Disgusting odors develop, which is not reassuring to current or prospective customers, and is unpleasant for employees. You're faced with trying to figure out where the stench is coming from and dismantling part of the building to get to the dead animal.
Poison Kills Other Animals
A cat or dog may never get into your building and eat a container of rat poison you've bought at a hardware store or elsewhere. However, a mouse, rat or chipmunk that ingests that poison may wander back outside. Someone's cat or dog may kill and eat it. Now that pet may become ill or even die because it ingested rat poison.
In fact, some states prohibit the use of poisons to kill chipmunks for this reason. Unlike mice and rats, these creatures are often seen scampering about in wooded lots and in people's yards. A person's dog may never run across a mouse or rat, since those animals tend to be reclusive. But it might get hold of a chipmunk.
Wildlife and birds that eat rodents also are at risk of being poisoned. This includes eagles, hawks, owls, foxes and coyotes, just to name a few.
In addition, some rodents are instinctively motivated to hide food in many places. They may take that bait outside and bury it around your property, where other animals can dig it up and eat it.
The Risk of Getting Bitten
Anticoagulants and additional lethal ingredients also cause rats, chipmunks and other rodents to become weak, confused and mentally impaired. All these symptoms make them easier to catch -- not just by pets, but by young children who are curious about the little creatures. This puts kids and other customers at substantial risk of being bitten.
What You Can Do Now
You may want to try some other methods of eliminating the rodent problem, such as setting out snap traps or electronic traps where you've seen evidence of activity. However, if you don't tackle the problem at the source, new rodents will move in after you've gotten rid of the other ones.
Consider hiring a commercial pest control service. Technicians use methods such as sealing up all possible entry points and setting up traps in the most effective locations. They may use electronic confinement traps that electrocute the rodent almost instantly or baited confinement traps from which the animal cannot escape.
They also can advise you on strategies to stop attracting rodents, such as making sure all food sources are completely contained.
Act quickly, since rodents do a lot of breeding. All the subsequent offspring that started with one pair of mice can total more than 15,000 per year. To find out more about commercial pest control services, click here for more information.