Pest Control The Talk of Town As Rodent Pressures Rise Amid Health Crisis

05/04/2020


Cockroaches    Fleas    Flies    General Pest Control    Mosquitoes    News    Rodents    Ticks   
graph comparing rodent leads for american pest from march and april 2018 and 2020

Hopefully, we all know at least a little bit about how the lack of pest control can contribute to the spread of disease. Probably the most famous example in history is the Black Death which spread across Eurasia and North Africa from 1346-1353, killing up to 75-200 million people. That was roughly 30-60% of Europe’s population at the time. It was one of the two great disasters of the Late Middle Ages and one of the defining moments in world history. It took about 200 years for the population of Europe to recover to previous levels. Pest control not really being a thing at the time, the plague was widely blamed on the conjunction of three planets in 1345 – they believed that the plague was due to this celestial event.

A far cry from the modern germ theory of disease we follow today!

Rodent Pressures and Quarantine 2020

In reality, we now believe it was rats – specifically fleas on rats – that were the culprit, helping to spread this invisible killer. Various rodents fled grasslands in Asia as climates changed and brought with them fleas carrying a bacterium called Yersinia pestis. When those rats hit population centers, the fleas jumped off and found humans were just as tasty, the bacteria spread. As these outbreaks began to ravage the populations of Europe, we saw the development of something we are all familiar with today – the quarantine. The word itself comes from quarantena meaning “forty days”, the amount of time ships and people were isolated when arriving to Venice.

Today of course, the time frame of quarantine is a much more fluid thing, adapting to changing circumstances every day. More people than ever are working from home, students are e-learning from kitchens and dining room tables, and many businesses and restaurants remain closed or have cut back and modified their approaches to serving customers. Everyone is having to adapt to this “new normal”.

That includes pests.

All of these changes are naturally having ripple effects. In many urban areas such as Los Angeles, the air is cleaner than it’s been in years. Pollution levels dropped across Asia and the rest of the world. The canals of Venice are clearer than anyone can remember, and villages in India – more than 100 miles away from the Himalayan mountain range – can see the famous snow-capped peaks for the first time in decades.

Not all these ripple effects are positive, however.

Rodents Adapting To The New Normal

house mouse on counterRats in search of food are marching the streets in broad daylight and invading homes and businesses.

With restaurants shut down and park trash bins standing empty, primary sources of food for rats and mice – the discarded trimmings, unwanted leftovers, and general food waste – has all but dried up sending them out to forage for new sources with some even resorting to cannibalism. Just as a famous cartoon cereal mascot would advise, rats will follow their nose to find food and if that smell is coming from your house, they will search high and low for a way in.

house mouse on counter

And since rats can fit under doors a mere half-inch off the floor (mice can limbo lower at just a quarter-inch!), there is a good chance if they want in, they will find a way.

The smell from your grill or oven, the food in the pantry or root-cellar, the chips and crumbs left everywhere by kids not in school, or even the snacks left in employee lounges, lockers, and desks…all provide attractive sources of food for rats and mice desperately looking to survive. Beyond the nuisance they themselves can be, as history has shown us, they can also carry with them a variety of other problematic pathogens – those rats scurrying through sewer pipes aren’t likely to wipe their feet before making themselves at home! That's why it's more important than ever to consider rodent control for your home or business. In fact, we're offering a SMART solution to rodent control so we know about mice or rats being in your facility before you do!

Other Pests Related Diseases 

It’s obviously not just rats and mice that are major concerns when it comes to the spread of disease. There are, of course, the more common threats of pest-related diseases we should all be familiar with:

  • Ticks are the most common carriers of encephalitis, not to mention Lyme disease
  • House flies are known to help spread at least 65 diseases all over the world
  • Fleas (obviously!) can carry plague, encephalitis, helminthiasis, and tapeworms for you and your pets
  • Mosquitoes are notorious for carrying West Nile, malaria, and zika virus – as one of the deadliest animals in the world they are responsible for millions of deaths every year
  • Cockroaches have been connected to the spread of 33 kinds of bacteria including E. coli and salmonella – not to mention their allergens that can trigger asthma and allergies, the last thing you need to worry about when already concerned about a spreading respiratory virus!

Controlling Pests during 2020 Health Crisis

COVID-19 has impacted all our lives and changed the fundamentals of our day-to-day. We keep a watchful eye on our social distancing, we’re washing our hands now more than ever, we wear masks when distancing might be an issue, we might even wipe down groceries and packages before they come into our homes. But it’s certainly not the time to take our eyes off these more common vectors for disease we might have simply grown more used to by now – especially as they could be making a hard press for your kitchen at this very moment.

Now that you’re probably spending more time in and around your home, there’s a chance you might notice an increase in pest activity in and around your home. And since summer vacations might be spent in the back yard this year, you might even want to do more to keep your lawn clear of ticks and mosquitos. We even offer the peace of mind of professional disinfectant and sanitization services to homeowners as well as business owners who remain open to serve the public!

Whatever your need, American Pest will be there to help. Call us today to learn how you can protect your home & family or business, employees, and customers.






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