Houston is home to several rodent pests that regularly infest structures of all types. The most common rodent pests in Houston include roof rats, Norway rats, house mice, and deer mice. In addition to damaging property and being a nuisance, rodents are medically threatening pests that carry dozens of disease-causing microorganisms. Rats and mice carry bacteria that cause E. coli and Salmonella, deer mice spread Hantavirus, and studies have shown that an average rat is always carrying at least two species of parasites that can be transmitted to humans. Rodent saliva, urine and excrement also contain a number of pathogens that contaminate indoor surfaces and foods, which is why homes that are or were infested with rodents should be thoroughly sanitized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that residents use classic snap traps to eliminate rodent pests from homes. Traps should be placed along runways, which are the paths rodents take to reach food sources. Since rodents have bad eyesight, they rely on tactile contact with walls in order to reach established food sources within homes. Rodent runways are located at the junction where walls and flooring meet, and traps should be placed directly against the wall. Once rodents stop turning up in traps for a period of at least one week, the infestation has likely been eliminated, and all indoor rodent excrement and urine is no longer infectious. Before cleaning an indoor space, all windows near the space should be opened for ventilation, and gloves should be worn while scrubbing surfaces with disinfectant. All rodent fecal pellets should be promptly taken to outdoor trash receptacles, and soiled bedding or clothing should be washed in hot water. Once all surfaces have been sanitized, the area should be mopped, and steam cleaning furniture upholstery is sometimes necessary. When starting to clean, it is important to avoid kicking up dust, as dust may contain particles of rodent excrement and urine.
Have you ever needed to sanitize your home due to a rodent infestation?