Why are mice and rats so hard to get rid of?

A rodent infestation is a scenario which no one wants to have. If you happen to see a mouse or a rat in your facility, that means there is already an active infestation going on and effective, remedial measures should be put into place immediately. But have you had situations where despite all that you do - be it removing food sources or deploying traps and baits - you seem to be having trouble keeping these pesky intruders at bay? Why are mice and rats so hard to get rid of?

You are not alone in your thoughts; rodent control seems to be an area where so many businesses seem to be faltering. And there are reasons as to why. Rats are the ultimate survivors; evolution has made them adaptable and resilient. Believe it or not, they have even left fossilized bite marks on the ribs of the mighty dinosaur! Like they coexist with humans, they have also coexisted with dinosaurs but unlike the dinosaurs, they survived asteroids, ice ages, atomic bombs, mass extinctions and what not! Long story short, we should not underestimate the capabilities of these tiny but mighty creatures.

These resilient pests come with an impressive set of physical and behavioral capabilities which helps them thrive even under the most extreme environment conditions. Hence removing rats from your facility or preventing them from entering in the first place is not an easy job. This is the reason why you should always look for experts while tackling a rodent infestation. EcoBloc has effective, humane, and environmentally sustainable solutions that have been deployed by many businesses to curb their rodent population.

Now, let’s look at the portfolio of remarkable characteristics rodents possess to better understand them. Be prepared to be surprised!

Reasons why it is hard to get rid of rodents.

Rodents are smart, perhaps way more than we give them credit for. There are studies that determine that in areas such as information integration, rat brains may perform better than human brains. This translates to applying what they learnt in a quicker, more efficient way. No wonder they evade traps or baits after initial exposure. There are multiple studies on rodents, and each facet of theirs starting from their brains to the physiology to their behavioral characteristics is mind blowing! Let's explore each one of them.

Evasive abilities of rodents
  • Anatomy of the Body: Rats can squeeze through tiny holes, basically a space that is roughly ¼ - inch across, the size of a dime. The skeleton of a rodent is well suited for its lifestyle, as if it was made to squeeze through small openings. For example, the clavicle or the shoulder bone of a mouse is positioned differently from humans, in a sloping position and wouldn’t prove to be a barrier as it would in humans while squeezing through tight openings. Once the rodent’s head passes through a small hole, the body will easily follow. In short, you must make sure that all the openings to your facility are sealed properly.
  • Excellent Swimmers: Rats are excellent swimmers. If you are considering flushing them down the toilet, there are high chances that they will survive. Rats can hold their breath for upto 3 minutes and swim up to a mile in open water, with their whiskers helping them keep their heads above water. They can also hold their breath and swim underwater for short distances.
  • Agile Climbers: Rats are amazing climbers, they can scale vertical walls with ease even if the walls are made of concrete, brick, plastic, sheet metal, you name it! And they are as nimble as a circus performer. With their tightrope walking skills, they can easily scurry through ropes and power lines. The claws and pads of rodents are equipped for latching onto any surface. And they use their long tails to balance themselves by wrapping them around cords, ropes etc. Their leaping ability is also remarkable, with a vertical leap of around 36 inches and horizontal leap of about 48 inches. And they can survive a fall for up to 50 feet!
  • Ever growing teeth: Rodents have strong front teeth that never stop growing. They must constantly gnaw on things like bark and vegetables to wear down these growing teeth. The teeth are also harder than iron or steel and helps them chew through almost anything, be it lead pipes, wood, brick etc. In short, nothing will be spared, be it wires, walls or sacks of supplies and food.
  • Baby Making Machines: Rodents’ reproductive rate is alarming, with litters consisting of 2-14 pups at a time, with the pups reaching puberty as early as 10 weeks. Even if you spot only one rodent in your facility, it is already too late! Their ability to reproduce very prolifically and quickly is one of the main reasons for them being ultimate survivors. A litter of nine pups can grow to 12000 rats by the end of the year, so even if you are trapping a few, you are only scratching the surface of the problem.
  • Strong Sniffers: Rodents have a powerful sense of smell, with rats estimated to contain 1700-2000 olfactory receptor genes, whereas that of a dog has been estimated at 1300 genes. This aids them in locating food sources, smell predators, find potential mates and even detect changes in weather!
  • Whisking Whiskers: Rats use their whiskers to gauge the environment around them, like humans use their hands and fingers. These whiskers provide rodents with a keen sense of touch that helps them easily move around in the dark. And the more familiar a rodent becomes with a space, the faster they move by switching from broad, exploratory, whisker sweeps to pushing their whiskers forward to avoid obstacles and collisions. If the rodents infesting your facility have been residents long enough, they certainly can move around super quick, especially at night when there are minimal obstacles.
  • Excellent Navigational Skills: Numerous studies have shown that rats have an innate sense of direction from birth and can learn navigational skills just by watching each other. With these deeply entrenched cognitive abilities, rats can acquire, store, recall and decode spatial details, even in new environments.
  • Behavioral Traits: Did you know that rodents exhibit behavioral skills like empathy? This may come as a surprise, but these furry mammals can’t stand their friends getting hurt. For example, in one experiment rats were trained to pull levers to get a sugar pellet. If the lever delivered a mild shock to a neighboring rat, they stopped pulling the trigger. If this pulled your heartstring, here is another one – rodents also remember the friends that have helped them and return the favor. This very skill of sharing a friend’s fear is also a survival mechanism, as it tells the observer rat to prepare for danger and avoid becoming a victim themselves.

As you can see, mice and rats are very intelligent, and social animals. They may be small, but they certainly have some remarkable abilities that can help them get out of life-threatening situations like traps, repellants, and predators. This is the reason why mice and rats are so hard to get rid of. You are dealing with an army of tough, resourceful, survivalists.

The technical term for a group of rats is so apt – collectively they are called a “mischief’. So damaging are their collective efforts that they have resulted in famines across different parts of the world. Take for example, the famine caused by rats in the northeastern part of India. Rats swarm to eat the bamboo flowers which bloom every 48 years. In the process, they devastate local agriculture and cause famines, so bad that it has previously resulted in a political uprising.

EcoBloc aids you in the war against these small, smart, resilient critters by acting like an invisible fence around your facility. If rodents are smart, so is the EcoBloc technology! Rodents wouldn’t even get a chance to display their exceptional skills, as Ecobloc units emit high frequency ultrasonic waves that create a hostile environment to keep rodents out of the facility. Farms, hotels, food franchises, hardware stores and so many other businesses have benefited from this environmentally sustainable, humane, and effective solution.

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