New York is in the midst of a record-shattering rodent infestation this year. The city’s Parks Department has documented more than 24,000 phone calls related to rats swarming subway stations and overtaking entire parks. As the furry pests begin to cloud every available living space, the rats have even begun exhibiting human characteristics. Camera footage taken during this time shows a rodent, now dubbed “Pizza Rat,” dragging a full New York slice down the subway stairs. We may not be in the throes of a rodent invasion the size of New York’s, but as we head into cooler temperatures, the phone calls at Wil-Kil Pest Control are starting to center on one thing – rodents!
With the changing climate, rats and mice will begin to seek shelter from the harsh winter elements. They will do everything in their power to find a suitable living space and continue breeding. This may mean migrating into your home and damaging your belongings. In this installment, we explore the potential damage rodents may cause and how preventative measures can ultimately save you thousands of dollars.
Rodents will inhabit spaces that offer protection and insulation, something your car does very well – especially those cars living in nice, warm garages, protected from the elements. Needing less than an inch of space, rats, and mice will crawl through your car’s tightest spaces in order to find a hospitable environment. Not only will these creatures scurry through the car’s interior and spread urine or feces on your fine Italian leather, they will chew through any obstacle. Indeed, a rodent’s dental structure constantly builds up enamel and requires frequent sharpening in the form of gnawing. In your car’s engine exist endless opportunities for rodent destruction: the catalytic converter, the purge line of the EVAP system, the door’s insulation, and even the entire electrical wiring; all of this could require thousands of dollars to repair. Even more infuriating is the fact that your auto insurance policy may not have a clause on wildlife damage! Although most comprehensive plans would account for this, be sure to check your agreement’s language. While you’re at it, schedule a pest control appointment to prevent this from ever happening. Your pest control provider can help keep rodents out of your garage and away from your car.
Your home is the most likely candidate for a rodent outbreak, as its walls and attic spaces provide ample opportunity for mass breeding. Once settled inside your home, these creatures will find their way into your food storage and defile your newly purchased groceries. This may seem benign until the infestation becomes much more established. Spreading throughout the walls and insulation, their economic damage becomes much more severe. Mice can happen upon your home’s electrical wiring and chew away the protective rubber sheath on cables, exposing a live electrical current within your walls. The electricity pumping through those wires could very well meet with a conductive surface that sparks a fire, with the possibility of causing incalculable damage. Much like your auto insurance policy, it’s difficult to assess whether your homeowner’s insurance would cover these damages. Whatever the case, these electrical fires could be prevented with a simple pest control inspection.
The most worrisome aspect of a rodent home invasion is the potential illnesses and diseases that many rodents are capable of passing along to humans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes 35 specific diseases that one can directly or indirectly attribute to rodents, with Hantavirus being one of the deadlier viruses transmitted to humans via rodent pathways. Not only are these creatures able to pass along harmful pathogens through contaminating your food, their dander can spread throughout the air and cause allergic reactions in some individuals. While it may be considered unlikely to contract a serious virus, you should be aware of the possible medical complications these rodents may cause. Save yourself a trip to the hospital and outrageous medical bills with a home inspection by Wil-Kil Pest Control! Contact us today.