Do cats attract rats?
What Attracts Rats and Other Rodents to Your Home? (And What to Do About it)
There’s nothing positive about a rodent infestation. When rats, mice, and other rodents make their way into a home, they wreak absolute havoc, eating food, destroying furniture, and making a general mess. For this reason, you need to take rodent infestations seriously.
While you can deal with rodent infestations after they’ve already occurred, it’s much easier to just prevent them from happening in the first place. How do you do this? By doing away with things that commonly attract rodents.
Below, we’re going to discuss not only what attracts rats and other rodents, but what you can do about those things. Let’s go!
What Attracts Rats and Other Rodents?
There are a number of different things that can attract rodents to your home. However, the most common of these things are the following.
Left Out Food
Rodents love all manner of grains, seeds, and fruits. If you have any of these foods laying out around your house, you are making yourself prone to mice, rats, and similar pests.
Unsecured Trash Cans
Mice, rats, and other rodents are fiends for food scraps and other trash. They are attracted to both the tastes and the smells. Because of this, unsecured trash cans are exceedingly vulnerable to them.
Do you have cats, dogs, birds, or other pets in your home? If so, you need to keep their food secured as often as possible. If pet food is left sitting uncovered in your house 24 hours a day, rodents will try (and probably succeed) to get to it.
Though you may not realize it, the fact of the matter is that rodents are actually quite smart. They’re not going to go into your home without a plan. Instead, they’re going to try to hide as much as they possibly can.
Where do rodents like to hide? In cluttered areas such as closets, pantries, and basements.
Mice and rats are small creatures. They don’t need to eat an entire cookie to satisfy their hunger. Just a little crumb will do.
In essence, if you let food crumbs lay on your floor, countertop or table for an extended period of time, rodents will eventually let themselves into your home.
Holes in Walls
Like most living beings, rodents like to work smarter, not harder. They don’t typically try to scheme their ways into homes. Instead, they look for existing holes and gaps.
A big part of keeping rodents from coming into your home is keeping rodents away from your home. For this reason, you need to be very careful with the gardens in your yard. If you have fruits, vegetables, or other plants growing in your garden, rodents will be attracted to it.
One more thing that attracts mice is firewood. This is particularly true of stacks of firewood. Firewood stacks make great hiding places for mice, and also provide them with shelter from sun, rain, and snow.
How to Do Away With Rodents
Keeping rodents away from your home can not be done through one simple measure. In order to stave off rodents, you must perform a variety of measures. The most important of these measures will be reviewed below.
Close Up Gaps
When rodents make their way into a home, they do so through small gaps which have formed on the home. These gaps can form on a number of different home entities, including the home’s roof, foundation, and siding, to name a few.
Your responsibility is to inspect for gaps often and to close them up upon discovery. By blocking off entry points, you keep mice and other rodents from making their way in.
Make Sure Your Trash is Covered
As was noted above, rodents are attracted to trash. If you want to keep rodents away from your trash, you need to keep it covered. Make sure to use a trash can with a cover on it.
Want to prevent rodents from pursuing the food crumbs that exist in your home? The only surefire way to achieve this is by picking those crumbs up as soon as they appear. Clean your home as often as you can.
Keep Everything Organized
We have already noted that rodents love clutter. How do you prevent clutter? By storing your possessions in a neat and organized manner.
Don’t give rodents any place to hide.
Take in Cats
While it might not be the most practical thing for you to do at the moment, you might consider scaring off rodents by taking in pet cats.
Cats are natural predators and strike fear into the heart’s of mice, rats, and other rodents. If rodents know your home houses cats, they probably won’t even try to enter.
Trim Tree Branches
Believe it or not, mice love to make their way into homes via tree branches. Therefore, if you want to keep mice out of your home, you need to keep your tree branches away from your home.
Keep Your Food Secured
As was noted above, rodents love fruits, grains, and seeds. If you leave these foods uncovered in your home, rodents will attempt to get to them.
However, if you keep them secured in plastic containers, cupboards, and drawers, rodents will more than likely stay away. At the very least, you’ll keep these foods from being eaten.
Keep Firewood Away from Your House
Rodents love using piles of firewood to make their way into homes. However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop stacking firewood. It just means that you should stack it at a reasonable distance away from your house; At least 25 feet, but the further, the better.
Need Help Repelling Rodents from Your Home?
Now that you know what attracts rats, you can set out to do away with them. Need help repelling rodents from your South Florida home? If so, Command Pest Control is the company to call.
Our team is well-versed in the repelling and eradication of all types of household rodents. Regardless of what rodents you’re dealing with, we can help you to combat them.
Contact us now to schedule an appointment!
Cat poop parasite controls minds early — and permanently, study finds
A parasite that changes the brains of rats and mice so that they are attracted to cats and cat urine seems to work its magic almost right away, and continues to control the brain even after it’s gone, researchers reported on Wednesday.
The mind-controlling parasite, called Toxoplasma gondii, might make permanent changes in brain function as soon as it gets in there, the researchers report. They aren’t sure how yet.
“The parasite is able to create this behavior change as early as three weeks after infection,” says Wendy Ingram of the University of California, Berkeley, who worked on the study.
T. gondii has captured the imaginations of scientists and cat lovers ever since it was learned it can control the behavior of rodents. It changes their brains so they lose their innate fear of the smell of cat urine. In fact, it precisely alters their fear reaction so that they love the smell of cat pee.
This makes infected rodents much more likely to be caught by cats, which eat them and their mind-controlling parasites. T. gondii can only reproduce in the guts of cats, so its behavior directly affects its own survival.
It doesn’t just affect cats. People can be infected too — pregnant women are told to stay away from cat feces for this very reason. It normally doesn’t bother people, but it can cause brain inflammation, called encephalitis, in some — especially those with compromised immune systems like pregnant women.
“More than 60 million men, women, and children in the U.S. carry the Toxoplasma parasite, but very few have symptoms because the immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says on its website.
Studies have linked toxoplasmosis with a range of human mental diseases, including schizophrenia, bipolar disease, obsessive compulsive disorder and even clumsiness. This study doesn’t answer questions about people, Ingram points out.
“It does not necessarily explain crazy cat ladies or why there are LOLCATS online,” she says.
But it does begin to hint at a potential mechanism for how and when the parasite changes the mouse brains.
“I want to know how the behavioral change is happening,” Ingram says.
Her team used a specially genetically engineered version of the parasite, made by a team at Stanford University.
Normal T. gondii parasites form a cyst in neurons. “It was assumed that the cysts … were doing something biologically that is actively changing the behavior,” Ingram told NBC News.
But the genetically engineered parasite wasn’t able to make cysts. And it was so weak that the rats’ immune systems were able to clear it from their brains. But even so, rats infected with this weakened form of the parasite just loved the smell of cat urine, Ingram and colleagues report in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.
“This suggests the parasite is flipping a switch rather than continually changing the behavior,” says Ingram.
She suspects it’s somehow activating the immune system in a way that then alters brain function. “That’s one of the very first things I am going to be checking,” Ingram says.