If you have ever heard constant scratching and squeaking noises coming from the walls and floors of your property, you may be experiencing a rodent infestation. Commonly referring to the rats and mice that live in urban areas, rodents can not only cause structural damage but also damage to human health due to the number of pathogens they carry on their bodies.
Since they are one of the most common pests to infest properties in Brunei, it is critical to understand how much damage rodents can do so that you can protect your property and loved ones. Rentokil shares in this article the pest profile on rodents in Brunei: why they are attracted to urban environments, how they can get into properties so easily, how much damage they actually cause, and essential rats control tips to handle a rodent infestation.
Rodents species in Brunei
As highly adaptive creatures, rodents can live in a variety of habitats – from cold tundras to hot deserts, from farms to cities. In the wild, rodents play an important role in maintaining the delicate balance of our ecosystems while in urban environments they are either pets (hamsters and guinea pigs) or pests (rats and mice).
In Brunei, there are 3 rat species that can be considered pests. They are the Rattus norvegicus (Sewer Rat), Rattus rattus species (Roof Rat), and Mus musculus (House Mouse). Pests are attracted to homes and commercial buildings with an abundance of food, water, and shelter. Moreover, they can easily gain access to our premises thanks to their extremely flexible bodies, which enable them to slip through gaps as small as 2 centimetres. Not only that, the Sewer Rat lives within our sewerage systems and can easily enter your property through the plumbing pipes and toilets in your property.
Firstly, these rats tend to scavenge around places that bear poor sanitation and housekeeping standards. Secondly, they feed on almost anything including food waste, debris and available food sources in your premise. Thirdly, water and moisture that comes from poor facility maintenance, compromised structure integrity, environment activities, and lifestyle habits. Fourthly, cross infestation through travel and spread of their presence is common. Particularly, in premises with inadequate proofing that allows rats to pass through. In summary, rats are highly associated with poor hygiene and urbanisation, which attracts them to a specific location or causes them to seek refuge due to weather and environmental conditions.
What kind of damage can rodents cause to your property?
You may be wondering how and what kind of damage they are capable of inflicting on us. Mice or rats infestation in your property can result in 3 types of damage: structural, health, and financial.
Rodents have sharp incisors that are constantly growing. Their teeth grow, which makes food consumption difficult. As a result, they are always chewing on something so that they can keep their incisors short. Rats and mice will gnaw on just about anything on your premises. This includes wooden furniture, wall plaster, and the insulation around wires. Moreover, they burrow within walls and upholstered furniture to nest and breed. This can result in substantial structural damage to your premises and render them unfit for human habitation. Furthermore, their chewing through wire insulation exposed live wires, increasing the risk of electric appliances short-circuiting and causing fires. Hence, it is important to engage regular pest control services, who can perform essential inspection checks for your business.
Rats and mice that live as pests in our properties are often carriers for a whole host of pathogens (disease-causing organisms) such as Hantavirus, Leptospirosis, Rat Bite Fever, Salmonellosis, and Typhus. Pest travel through premises and contaminate food with the left behind urine, droppings, saliva, and hair – which is mainly how the diseases spread to humans. This is especially bad news for businesses in the food retail, and hospitality industries. As they have a zero pest tolerance policy, having a rodent infestation in their property will not only cause health problems for their occupants and also result in a loss of reputation. Hence, homes and businesses should always practice good quality hygiene, housekeeping and sanitation standards, especially in food preparation and consumption spaces, where food contamination and poisoning can take place through a cross contamination process.
Rat infestation not only causes emotional stress and fear among people, but also causes financial damages and consequences. Firstly, you need to pay for professional pest control services to handle the rodent infestation and activities taking place. Secondly, invest in renovation and repair to fix some of the damages and gaps caused by rodent activities. Thirdly, food establishment businesses and high dependency industries, financial implications on reimbursement, operation disruption, product recall and closure can cause financial stress. However, perhaps the more detrimental damage that can indirectly lead to financial loss is the negative brand image and social media crisis arising from the infestation, that can huge the brand reputation, impacting in patronage, retention and business growth.
Essential pest control tips for preventing rodent infestations
Rats and mice are capable of causing damage. They reproduce and grow very quickly, and a few rodents in your premises can quickly result in an infestation. This is especially if you do not take enough precautions. Consequently, professional pest management is crucial for managing the rodent pest population.
Besides regular housekeeping to clean up food crumbs and water spills, it is also important to reduce the clutter on your premises. In addition, do not forget organic waste in your gardens (if any) as they provide the ideal environment for rats and mice to nest in. Be sure to seal up any cracks in your walls and floors so that they have fewer entry points inside. It is advisable to store human and pet food in airtight metal and glass containers. As rodents are unable to chew through such materials. In addition, clear away unwanted boxes, piles, junks and cartons lying in hot spots. This includes the storeroom, front pouch or courtyard that becomes a hiding ground for rodents to rest and hide.
Firstly, you should also take note of the signs of a rats or mice infestation. Secondly, you can consult a professional pest control company to handle the situation. They are equipped with expert solutions to differentiate between rodent species and administer treatments accordingly. Signs of an infestation include:
● Brown droppings shaped like rice grains
● Bite marks on wood, electrical wires, and plastic
● Smudges from the grease and dirt on rodents’ bodies
● Rats nests made from insulation, cardboard, and other soft materials
● Constant scratching noises
Take charge with rats control solutions today
At Rentokil, our qualified local service technicians are backed by global knowledge and innovation. If you have spotted signs of a rat infestation, such as droppings or an unpleasant urine smell as mentioned above, it is time to get professional treatment. With Rentokil’s years of experience in pest control, we can offer you a range of expert pest control services for homes and businesses to deal with your infestation.
There are preventative measures you can undertake to get rid of rats. Besides having Rentokil’s professional pest control programme in place, such as housekeeping, and proofing may also be done by the client.
However, those who do their own DIY remedies to deter rats would eventually realise that it is a short term solution especially if they are applied incorrectly, it may result in worsening of the rat infestation by inviting more rats. It is important to talk to your pest control company for professional advice and recommendations. This can help in keeping rats and mice away with effective rats control services.
Contact us at +673 2430309 or WhatsApp to our hotline at +673 7297131 for a professional rat control solution today.
This article was first published on 28 May 2022 in our Weekly Epaper issue 195 | More stories here
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN