Rats: Prevention and Control

Rats: Prevention and Control

The Philippines is one among other countries where rats abound and continue to multiply in numbers despite of the prevention  and control measures every Filipino does. In the Philippines alone, especially during rainy seasons, children especially those who live in slum areas are prone to several diseases and a number of them were reportedly diagnosed having infected with leptospirosis - a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. Leptospira organisms are reported to be found in rodents (including rats), horses, cattle, pigs, dogs, and other wild animals. Humans can be infected with these organisms through contact with water, food, or soil that contains urine from these infected animals. The bacteria may infect humans when contaminated food or water are swallowed or through skin contact especially those with open wounds.

Symptoms of leptospirosis

The symptoms can take 2 - 26 days to develop (average 10 days), that may include the following:
  • Dry cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Shaking chills

The following are considered less common symptoms:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal lung sounds
  • Bone pain
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Enlarged lymph glands
  • Enlarged spleen or liver
  • Joint aches
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Skin rash
  • Sore throat

What rats can do
  • rats transmit diseases such as leptospirosis, typhus fever and rat-bite fever
  • rats generate unpleasant odors
  • they contaminate food with their hair, droppings and urine resulting in food poisoning
  • they carry ticks or fleas which are harmful to humans and pets
  • rats eat rubbish, pet food, food scraps in composts, fallen fruit and nuts, bird seed and dog feces and will travel up to several house blocks to find water and food

Where do rats live
  • in walls, ceilings and under floors
  • behind or under cupboards or bathtubs
  • near hot water heaters
  • behind boxes, machinery and furniture or in paper or cloth
  • in rubbish heaps, wood piles, thick vegetation or animal enclosures
  • in holes under buildings
How to keep rats away from your home
  • do not give food and shelter to these most unwanted guests
  • stack firewood 18 inches off the ground and away from all buildings or structures
  • birdhouses and seed should be on poles and in trays unreachable to rats
  • rats can come up the sewer pipes (if there is a rat in your toilet - flush it and keep the lid down)
  • cover all openings to your house because rats can get into very small holes or openings
  • do not leave pet food outside - this will invite the rats
  • roof rats get into your house from tree branches that hang over the roof (keep trees cut back and cover any openings in the eaves)
  • keep garbage can always closed tightly
  • keep yard and alleys clean (dump the junks)
  • the time to act is when you see the signs (droppings) of a rat or mouse

Protecting yourself when rats are present
  • secure all foodstuffs in sealed containers
  • throw away food or drink that may have come into contact with rats
  • wash cookware and cutlery in warm water and detergent before using
  • wash hands thoroughly before preparing foods, eating or drinking
  • don’t sleep on the floor or ground

Chemical control
  • chemical control is short-term and rats will return if food and shelter are still available
  • extreme care must be taken when using rat poisons to prevent the children or pets being poisoned
  • rat baits should be placed in locations away from open spaces

Using rat traps
  • do not set traps near food preparation areas
  • place across “runways” for a few days before setting to allow rats to get used to the traps
  • traps can be successfully set with bacon, peanut butter, fish, meat, bread or chocolate
  • check traps daily, remove any dead rats and refresh the bait 
If you are bitten by a rat, consult your doctor promptly. So how would you prevent and control rats in your own homes? I would appreciate if you will post some comments here.

Related article:

Heavy rains cause flood all over Metro Manila
Aug. 7, 2012 - 9am: The weather bureau has issued a red warning signal over Metro Manila saying that heavy to intense (15-30mm/hr) rainfall may be expected within the next two hours with occasional torrential (over 30mm/hour) downpour. Read more...

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About lamberto inquig, jr.

a simple and yet full of sense of humor guy who loves to travel and learn more knowledge in the ICT
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  1. Be careful with that deadly leptospirosis virus, Here's the latest news:

    The Department of Health (DOH) said water purification tablets were being distributed, while mass immunizations were being carried out to prevent an outbreak of colds, flu and other diseases.

    Of particular concern is a possible outbreak of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease caused by exposure to water contaminated by rat urine.

    More than 3,300 people were infected and 249 died of the disease in the aftermath of similar flooding in 2009, the biggest casualty figure for leptospirosis in the world, health authorities said.

    Source: http://ph.news.yahoo.com/disease-alert-flood-deaths-hit-89-163420371.html

    1. Thank you so much for this information. Very well appreciated.

  2. Really love your blog with all these interesting topics about pests. More power to you!

    1. Thanks for dropping by and for that very nice comment. More power to you as well.

  3. a very good and interisting article. You gave a lot of instruction not only on prevention but also on danger of using chemical product and poison.

    There are still a lot of houses where this rats are roaming around specially in the slum and provincial area. Hoping that your article will be publish also on several newspaper, school newspaper, where students will be informed about this as there are still parents who still let this pests roam around thier houses, especially those who cannot afford to uy chemicals and poisons.

    1. We need to educate the populace to prevent such diseases that rats bring to us. Some schools are also giving massive info about the chaos these rodents bring to humans but here in the Philippines we cannot control floods as well as totally eradicate these pests, thus the occurrence of diseases mentioned in this article cannot be prevented as well. Thank you for your comment. It is highly appreciated.

  4. I hate to start off a new blog with what is essentially a cribbed story, but it fell right in line with my fascination with rat control, so I figured I'd share. The story, which I found at the Mother Nature Network, details the making and release of a new series dealing specifically brown rat population.

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  5. Thanks Marcus for sharing your links. Keep it up and good luck!

  6. Latest news update:

    A bacterial epidemic caused by water contaminated with rat urine has hit a flood-ravaged region in the northern Philippines, killing six people and overwhelming local hospitals, a health official said Wednesday.

    At least 132 people were infected with leptospirosis in and around the northern city of Olongapo, following deadly flash floods in the area last month, health department epidemiologist for the area Jessie Fantone told AFP.

    "This is a bacterial infection caused by exposure to rat urine in flooded urban areas," Fantone told AFP in a telephone interview.

    Source: http://ph.news.yahoo.com/six-dead-philippine-epidemic-caused-rat-urine-060537997.html

    1. Thanks for the info. Keep it and more power to you.

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    1. Thank you Sir for the comment. Well taken and highly appreciated.

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