Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 8:15am
"Protect Your Home from Rats"
Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) has just released a video, “Protect Your Home from Rats.” The video was created in response to an increase in reports of rat infestations in some Madison neighborhoods. While we might think of rats as being a problem only in large, densely populated cities, our area is not immune.
Rats are not new to our area. Sometimes the population of rats surges. These surges are related to the access to food and shelter that many of us are unknowingly providing in our yards and our homes. By getting rid of food and shelter, we can control rat populations and prevent infestations.
“Madison is a clean city and residents really take pride in their homes, but the reality is that rats are out there. We made this video as a resource for members of our community to learn what to do to prevent rat problems,” says John Hausbeck, Environmental Health Supervisor for PHMDC.
The video shows examples of food sources in our yards, like fallen fruit under trees and birdseed on the ground, and ways rats can get into our homes, like holes as small as a golf ball. In addition, the video gives advice about the safest way of getting rid of rats, should you already have them in or around your home.
Coming into contact with rats, their urine, or feces has been linked to disease. They can cause significant property damage with their gnawing and digging, including damage to insulation and electrical wiring, which can increase risk of structural fires.
And it’s not just homeowners who need to take action to prevent rat problems. According to City of Madison Building Inspection, people living in apartments should be sure trash is put into dumpsters, not left on the ground, and that the lid securely closes. Leaving upholstered furniture outside is also a prime source of shelter for rats.
“Rat infestations can take hold in neighborhoods quickly. You can prevent a rat problem in your neighborhood by making sure your property is not rat-friendly. Encourage your neighbors to do the same, or their rat problem will eventually become your rat problem. Fall is an especially good time to be taking preventive action, as this is the time of year that rats and mice look to move into our homes,” advises Hausbeck.
We’ll be using the hashtag #ratfreeMadison when talking about the video—join the conversation!
- Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302, firstname.lastname@example.org