Pest Control  Pest Library Rodents


Rodents are a group of mammals that include squirrels, dormice, mice, rats, gerbils, beavers, gophers, kangaroo rats, porcupines, pocket mice, springhares, and many others.

They are mammals of the order Rodentia. All rodents possess a single pair of chisel-like incisor teeth that grow continuously throughout their lives. These teeth are kept sharp by rodents continuously grinding (gnawing) their teeth against themselves and also on other objects

There are 3 types of rodents that are of public health concern;

  • The House mouse
  • The Norway rat
  • The Roof rat

Rodents are major carriers of disease-causing organisms such as Salmonella bacteria, viruses, and parasites. The common rodent transmitted diseases include plague, Murine Typhus, Salmonellosis, Rat Bite Fever, and Weil’s disease.

Rodents can also be very destructive to the fabric of buildings i.e cables, pipes, furniture and other fittings. Construction of domestic and commercial spaces must thus be done to deter the entry of rodents

How to reduce infestation

  • The use of rodent traps has proven effective in reducing rodent populations. Traps must be kept clean and in good working condition
  • Use of Rodenticides; chemicals which disrupt the normal physiology of the rodent causing death (NOT TO BE USED IN EATING/FOOD STORAGE PLACES AND PLACES FREQUENTED BY PETS AND CHILDREN)

Quality assurance tip

Always ask your pest control provider to provide an integrated pest management (IPM) plan for your property

Health tips & safety

Rodents must have adequate food and shelter to live and thrive. Thus, wherever there is an abundance of rats or mice, there is usually also an abundance of food and shelter available to rodents. The removal or reduction of these factors alone via sanitation practices will have a tremendous impact on reducing rodent populations, even without the use of any traps or poisons.

Environmental tip

Regularly clear out the drain traps and gutters. Cut and clear grass and surrounding vegetation. Dispose of waste appropriately to eliminate breeding sites for the rodent

Regulatory tip

Commercial pest control is regulated by Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries (MAAIF) and all pest controllers must have a license issued by MAAIF. Even though public health pest control is not regulated yet, MAAIF license may suffice.

Fun facts

  • Rodents have a poor vision beyond 3-4 feet but sensitive to motion up to 30-50 feet They are colorblind and active at night when light is low.
  • Rodents have a very developed sense of taste. They can reject bait laced with poison. Fresh grain must be used in baiting.
  • The smell is one of the most important senses for rodents. They mark pathways with urine or secretion and use their sense of smell to track paths to their harbours, food and even mating partners
  • Rodents use their sense of touch to manoeuver through spaces and home ranges. The reason as to why they move along walls. This fact is very useful when designing rodent control programs
  • Rats and mice have a frequency range of 50 kHz or more which is more than that of humans (20Hz)
    – Can swim for 3 days
    – Can jump up to 3 feet
    – Can climb steadily
    – Can drop up to 50 ft downwards without injury
    – Can squeeze through a small opening
    – ½ inch-rats, ¼ for mice