Protect Your Pet from a Rodent Infestation

Protect Your Pet from a Rodent Infestation

girl fondly playing with beloved pet in a rodent-free home
  Image courtesy of Terminix

Rodent infestation can cause serious damage to your living space, but it can also pose lesser-known dangers to pets living in the home. Protect your pet from rodents! Follow this guide to learn more about pet and kid friendly pest control.

Pets are undeniably an important part of the family. As a pet owner, you try to do all you can to keep your furry loved one safe, healthy, and happy. While you’re focused on picking out the most nutritious food and vetting dog sitters, you might not have even considered a real threat lurking close by- pets and rodents. Here’s the scoop on how to protect your pet from rodents and pests-

Rodents and Pets

Pets and rodents have a predator-prey relationship. It is natural predatorial instinct for cats and dogs to hunt and catch small prey, including mice and rats. While this might seem like a convenient form of pest control, you should discourage your pet from tracking and killing rodents. Mice, rats, and other vermin carry infectious diseases. Often, pets don’t just stop at catching the pest- they eat it. This puts them at risk.

However, pets can give you your first warning sign that you may have a rodent infestation. If you are in-tune with your four-legged family member, you know when something is bothering them or when they are trying to alert you that something is wrong. Cats and dogs are territorial, protective of their home and family. Rats are also highly territorial, but in this case, they are the squatters. This puts the two creatures squarely at odds. 

If your pet seems on edge, irritable, restless, or even usually aggressive, they could be trying to warn you about the rodents. Follow their instincts and contact your local professional rodent control team immediately to investigate.

Rodent Diseases

The habits that rats and mice practice on an everyday basis make them the perfect vehicle for anything from parasites to zoonotic diseases that can be severely damaging to pets and humans. These health risks are mostly presented through food contamination and rodent feces. Possible infectious diseases include:

  • Weil’s Disease
  • Leptospirosis 
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome 
  • Murine Typhus 
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis
  • Rabies 
  • Salmonella
  • Trichinellosis
  • Rickettsialpox
  • Tularemia

Hantavirus is one to be especially wary of if you have rats in the attic. Rats excrete the virus in their urine, saliva, and droppings. Breathing contaminated dust after disturbing or cleaning rodent droppings or nests, can cause a person to contract Hantavirus which is a very serious pulmonary disease, and can be deadly.

Salmonella is another common issue with rodent infested households. The bacteria, which can cause disease in pets and family members, is transmitted by eating foods contaminated with rat and mice feces. Unfortunately, rodents love dog and cat food. If left out unattended, or poorly stored there is a good chance that it could get contaminated!

Other Pet Pests

a dog and a cat thinking about pests
Image courtesy of grandstandhumanesociety.com

Rodents aren’t the pests that plague pets. Watch out for these nasty critters!

  • Fleas: Flea infestations can be not only a nuisance for our furry friends, but they can also be dangerous. Adult fleas cause problems such as mild to severe itching and discomfort, skin problems, and infections. In extreme causes, Anemia may also result from flea bites!
  • Ticks: Ticks can harm your pet by attaching and inserting their mouthparts into their skin. Ticks are associated with Lyme disease and can cause arthritis and swelling of your pet’s joints, resulting in painful lameness. In rare instances, if a mass infestation of ticks occurs, their saliva can cause toxins to enter your pet’s bloodstream and can result in paralysis. 
  • Bed bugs: these creepy pests have not been known to transmit disease. However, they feed on blood and will bite your pet. Bed bug bites can cause skin irritation, allergic reaction, and even anemia.

Keeping Your Pets Safe

Keep a calendar and be sure to make bi-annual visits to the vet’s office. Proper preventative care can help protect your pet from contracting dangerous diseases posed by rodents.

Vaccinations

Just as you would for your children, keeping up to date on vaccinations for your pet should be a top priority. Take time to consult with your veterinarian about what standard or additional vaccines your pet needs to guard themselves against disease pathogens carried by wild animals and rodents. Your vet can also consult with you on an effective plan for preventing fleas and ticks. These vaccinations are a must for pest free cats and dogs:

  • Rabies
  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus
  • Panleukopenia
  • Calicivirus
  • Rhinotracheitis

Food Storage

a dog eating out of his bowl in a pest-free home
  Image courtesy of Business Insider

Rats and mice will gnaw through bags and cardboard with ease. Pet food is one of their favorite snacks! Protect your pet from their transmittable diseases by keeping pet food in a large, sturdy plastic storage container with a tight lid. Store pet food up off of the ground, on the shelf of a pantry for instance.

Keep Clean

Wash your pet weekly and give them a good brushing. This will help keep the fleas, ticks, and other bugs away! While you’re at it, wash the pet bedding too. Washing and drying everything on high heat will kill any stray bedbug and keep infestation away.

Pet and Kid Friendly Pest Control

Hiring a professional green pest control service will help you secure high quality, safe care for your family, property, and the environment. Keep in mind that you are at risk of coming into contact with any control products used in your home during rodent control procedures. The health and safety of your family is your top priority. 

Pesticides and toxic chemicals often used to kill rodents can cause serious problems for the people and pets living in the house. According to the Pesticide Action Network, exposure can happen by way of ingestion, inhalation or skin contact. The National Pesticide Information Center advises that children are even more vulnerable to the toxic effects of pesticides than adults because they are still growing and developing.

Rodent control is an urgent matter, and the good news is that you can get results quickly and safely using the methods that professional green pest control specialists provide.

The term “Green” indicates that the service offered is working with non-chemical measures and the use of naturally occurring pesticides. Using products that only come from “earth-based” materials such as borates, and botanical insecticides and pesticides classified, are how truly “green” pest control companies operate. This is not the same as Diatomaceous Earth which, although the name implies eco-friendliness, is actually an insecticide.

Environmentally friendly pest control uses an integrated pest management approach. Integrated pest management (IPM) is a process, not a one-and-done operation. The goal is to diminish risks to people and the environment while solving the rodent or pest problem. What can you expect from an IPM approach?

  • A thorough inspection of your home for external weaknesses
  • Professionally sealing all possible entry points and keep rodents from getting in
  • Creating conditions that are uncomfortable and displeasing for the pest
  • Correct pest identification and monitoring
  • Professional pest removal if needed

Integrated pest management is all about the long-term prevention of pests. Instead of focusing just on the pest you have right now, IPM is a holistic approach that considers the bigger picture. Green pest control specialists evaluate what environmental factors you have going on at home that allows rodents to thrive in your space.

The genius of IMP is it combines methods that are often used separately in isolation- biological control, cultural control, mechanical and physical control, and chemical control- but actually work better together. It’s what makes the approach so effective and successful.

You can rely on your local experts at Green Rat Control to use green products that will get you effective results, without dangerous methods. Team up and confidently tackle your rodent or pest infestation!

Get your free estimate today!