ORLANDO – The Orange County Health Department (OCHD) is reminding families to take important steps to control rodents in and around their homes. OCHD has experienced an increase in the number of calls and complaints relating to rodent activity in various locations across Orange County.
Rodents can spread disease directly through handling, contact with feces, urine, saliva, bites and inhalation of dust contaminated with urine or droppings and indirectly through vectors such as ticks, fleas and mites that have fed on an infected rodent. In addition, rodents can damage property and contaminate up to 10 times as much food as they eat with hair and droppings.
The most effective way to control rodents and prevent illness is achieved by avoiding contact, eliminating any food sources, sealing even the smallest entries into homes, and successfully trapping rodents in and around the home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following:
•Seal Up! Seal up holes inside and outside the home to prevent entry by rodents. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel, and rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a half dollar!
•Trap Up! Trap rodents around the home to help reduce the rodent population.Choose an appropriate snap trap. Traps for catching mice are different from those for catching rats. Carefully read the instructions before setting the trap and keep out of reach of children and pets.
•Clean Up! Use personal protective equipment to clean up food sources and nesting sites. Do not leave pet food out for an extended period of time, monitor and minimize the use of bird feeders.
If you believe you have an infestation, it is recommended that you consult with a professional pest control company.
For more information on rodent control go to http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/ or http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/zoonoses/rodent_zoonoses.html