These Rodents Can Cause A Real Threat Of Fire
There are usually cases of mystery fires that start without any obvious cause and for no apparent reason. For instance, there have been cases of electric fires where the affected occupants were certain that they didn’t leave any of their devices on when you left the house.
Fires that are difficult to ascertain the root cause. More often than not, these cases are ruled off, given other tags, insurance pays for the damage if you’ve got a plan, and the case is closed.
These fires remain a mystery and since they do not occur very often, there is rarely ever a pattern to follow. In addition, since these fires begin to spread from the very source where they originate, there would most likely be no form of evidence to work with.
But what if there was another angle to the entire scenario that nobody considered? One that is pretty irregular yet feasible and in a single word, rodents.
Statistics show that up to 20% of unexplained fires in the US are believed to have been caused by rodents. The fact remains that rodents are a major source of danger in the home and this danger might be stepped up a notch beyond petty damages.
Rodents are known to roam literally every surface in the home and multiply rapidly if they are not controlled early. Similarly, their body size allows them to get into crevices that may be pretty hard for humans to reach.
The basement of any home may contain some very essential set-ups that are vital to the home. For instance, you could have your water pipes or electricity cable running through your basement and this makes it a very sensitive place.
And it doesn’t take so much to guess where rodents carry out much of their activity. As a matter of fact, they love to dwell and multiply in dark places such as your basement before spreading into the brighter areas of the home.
The most common class of pests that can be linked to fire threats are rodents. And of the rodent class, the most prevalently found in the home remains rats and mice.
As mentioned earlier in this article, rodents are well known for their roaming activities. They basically roam wherever they can within the home in search of what to eat.
This is why they are mostly found in areas such as the pantry or the kitchen. From these areas, they could then continue their exploration until they get into other rooms that are not necessarily linked to food storage.
Similarly, it may be quite difficult to detect the presence of these rodents especially since they mainly carry out their activities at night or when the home is completely quiet.
In most cases, rodents easily identify the places that have food and frequent such places. However, in the event that the food source is no longer available, they don’t just up and go.
Apart from real food, rodents also eat other stuff that you may consider strange. Rats feed on just about anything while mice are known to nibble on just about anything as well.
This would typically include electrical wiring. Electrical fires are caused by a single spark in most cases so having rodents around your wires puts them in jeopardy.
Furthermore, their activities can be very gradual such that you do not notice until it is too late. In order to check whether there is any rodent activity on your wires, you should look out for teeth marks and scratches.
The wires or cords may not be chewed through, but instead, have scratches and teeth marks.
This is one of the major ways that rodents in general can pose a major fire threat. Although this could sound like a bit of a conspiracy theory, these are actually very possible and feasible occurrences.
Therefore, protecting your electrical wires is of utmost importance and the best way to do this is by limiting access to them. Specifically, the best way to protect your wires from rodents is to prevent them from invading in the first place.
How Exactly Do These Rodents Pose a Fire Threat?
Detrimental Effects of rodents on the Home
Rodents leave detrimental effects behind on the home and this is mainly physical. Here are some of their most common effects:
Mice leave a very significant amount of fecal matter and the number typically ranges from about 70 to 150 droppings per day.
This automatically creates an atmosphere of dirt in your home which is both physical and psychological. These droppings are commonly found in places like the back of your pantries or under your kitchen sink, the back of your silverware drawer.
When they nibble on things, they could also leave pieces of the things that they nibbled on strewn around.
When rodents come in contact with food, they inevitably contaminate it and such food is no longer fit for human consumption. Rodents are opportunistic eaters, for instance, mice typically consume just about anything.
However, they prefer to eat cereals, removing their husk so that they can consume the endosperm. At other times, they may urinate or leave their feces in the food easily ruining all of it.
For food in packaging, rodents would usually gnaw through the packaging until they get to the food and if not detected early, they can finish up a whole store-room full of food.
They are generally unhealthy to have around the home.
Apart from being a fire threat, rodents also constitute other threats which are equally serious as well. Here are some of these threats that they may pose:
Rodents are a major health threat in the home and are well known for carrying pathogens that can cause some serious diseases. Some of these include:
- Salmonellosis: this disease is transmitted when contaminated food substances are consumed. Consuming food or drinks that have been contaminated by rodent feces could result in fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
- Other serious diseases: according to Centers for Disease Control, other diseases that can be directly transmitted by rodents include hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Lassa fever, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, Omsk hemorrhagic fever, South American arenaviruses, tularemia, and plague.
When it comes to building their homes or nests, rats, mice, and other rodents are not very choosy. Common spaces that they often make use of include attics, walls, and insulated areas.
In some cases, a bid to make their homes could lead to structural damage of such a site. Also, they may open up spaces that allow other rodents to enter your home.
Gnawing on pipes and other fittings in the home are some of the basic actions that these rodents carry out. In addition, they may also gnaw on wooden boards or things that you wrapped up and stored.
Rodents can wreak havoc on some of the things that you hold dear to your heart without any conscience.
Most of the damage caused by rodents is usually on items that cannot be repurchased such as photographs, certificates, artwork or heirlooms. Since these items are typically found in places where rodents love to reside such as garages, basements, attics, and sheds.
Items stored in cardboard boards or polythene bags are a lot easier for them to chew through and gain access to.
As a tip, for items stored in such spaces, using a sturdy, lockable storage bin would be a lot safer.
Other Threats that rodents can Cause
How to Prevent and Control the Spread of rodents
Preventing rodents from infesting your home in the first place is one of the best ways of winning the war against them.
Rodents typically prefer dirty and dark places, so eliminating spots like this in your home can help you prevent infestation. Here are the main ways of preventing and controlling rodents.
Hygiene is a very effective method of preventing and controlling rodents. When houses and yard are kept sparkling clean, rodents do not have access to food and also have nowhere to live and breed.
This basically implies that there would be very few rodents and you can literally have no invasion.
On the other hand, if you already have rodents in your home, here are some of the ways that you can control them by practicing good hygiene.
- Clean up after meals. Uneaten food, as well as scraps, should be put in the bin and cutlery used should be washed.
- All food scraps should be securely wrapped before placing them in the bin
- All surfaces should be clear of good scraps
In summary, general hygiene should be maintained.
For rodents such as rats and mice, getting a cat to tackle the problem is a great idea. Cats are natural predators and would take care of your rodent problem in no time.
Similarly, the ones that are not killed would be scared off and maintaining good hygiene would ensure that it stays that way.
Chemical control involves using chemicals such as pesticides to get rid of your pest problem. While this is pretty effective, the downside is that it could have an adverse effect on human health if not properly handled.
For chemical control, you should involve a professional.