The History of Rodent Pest Control

Throughout history, some of the greatest threats from mankind have come not from large catastrophes like earthquakes, falling asteroids or widespread war.  Famine and disease have often proved fearsome killers often eliminating entire villages and spreading fear and terror throughout entire nations and continents.  Often, the root cause of hunger and sickness is the presence of pests such as locusts, grasshoppers, and rodents making pest control one of the biggest concerns of mankind.


Rodent pest control is of particular importance since rats and mice have been known to carry some of the most dreadful diseases ever known to man.  For instance, food contaminated by rat excrement is known to cause the disease Leptospirosis.  Rats were also responsible for the many outbreaks of plague in Europe and Asia in past centuries, including the Black Death that wiped out a quarter of the European population in the 13th century.


Many methods of rodent pest control have been used throughout history.  Sometimes, people have hunted down rats and squirrels who were common predators in peoples’ gardens and farmyards.  These animals were often shot with airguns, because these firearms were safe to use even in enclosed spaces such as one’s front lawn.  But by far, the most popular means of pest control against mice, rats, and squirrels have always been baits and traps.


Rat bait and traps have been used for centuries, and many creative designs have emerged throughout the years.  These are often used in tandem, although some people choose to use poisoned rat bait alone.  The problem with this method however is that a poisoned rat can easily die in an attic or behind a wall, or anywhere that humans can’t see it or get in to remove it.


This can cause a pretty foul odour when the body begins to decompose.  On the other hand, a rat dying in a baited trap can easily be disposed of.  However, the challenge has always been to create an effective trap, as rats and mice can be pretty intelligent.  Smart rats can disable traps and become suspicious of bait.


At present, other means of deterrence are also being used such as destroying the animals’ habitat or introducing natural predators.  For the ordinary homeowner however, it is still more feasible and cost-effective to use a do-it-yourself rat and bait system to get rid of these unsightly and unsanitary pests.


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