Rats! 2013 Rains May Account For Growing Rodent Problem

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Rain, rain go away… It appears the large amount of rain we experienced last year made a great environment for rats, and now the furry night-roaming vermin’s population is exploding in the Rocket City.

The Vector Control Division of the Madison County Health Department reports it has received numerous complaints about the presence of rats recently in the Huntsville area.

“We started getting a lot of calls last summer and they have not stopped,” Public Health Environmentalist Cheryl Clay says.

To combat these pests, the Vector Control Division of the health department has issued tips you can use to keep rats and mice away from your home.

According to Vector Control, the best way to discourage rats and mice from inhabiting your home is to eliminate sources of food, water, and shelter. The following are a few examples of ways you can help:

  • Do not leave pet food out overnight;
  • Do not scatter excess food for birds and other animals on the ground around your home;
  • Regularly remove pet feces from your yard because this can be a food source for rodents;
  • Store animal food and garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids;
  • Keep your property free from tall grass and weeds where rodents might shelter;
  • Keep your property free of junk piles, discarded pieces of furniture, etc.;
  • Screen, plug up, or cover all openings to your home that are larger than ¼ inch.  Use sheet metal and steel wool to fill and cover holes.

Rodent baits can help, but should not be used as a substitute for cleaning up areas where rodents feed and nest, says Vector Control. When using rodent bait, always read instructions carefully and follow the directions.

For more information on rodent control and a link to EPA approved rodent bait, visit www.huntsvilleal.gov/vectorcontrol. If you live in the city limits of Huntsville within Madison County, and would like a consultation or additional information, please call (256) 532-1915.

The Vector Control Division also released a pamphlet with more information about mice, rats, and rodents. View that here: Rats & Mice brochure

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