Updated: Dec 26, 2022
Human behavior is one of the reasons that rats are quite a big problem in most urban cities nowadays. As we know rats are harmful not only for the environment, they live in but also they spread several diseases dangerous for their health. So, the only solution that human considers is poisoning them. However, public concerns about the poison harming wildlife are growing, which can eventually lead to several bans related to rat killing. Consequently, this will make people think about another way for rat control.
Concerns about rat poison
We have mentioned above that rat poison is harmful to wildlife, as it is to kill rats and mice. But it is also worth mentioning that these all rodenticides can be harmful to mammals, as well as for birds when eaten. It is also important to understand the risks of using poison around children.
You cannot poison rats unless you can make them eat the pesticides. Nowadays, rodenticides contain ingredients that attract animals. It can contain peanut butter or grains, which can also attract children and pets.
Considering all the facts, on Jan. 4, 2020, Malibu, California banned rodenticides due to their harmful effects on wildlife. Rats cost billions of dollars of the world’s economy yearly. The overall cost of the illnesses that the rats cause is unknown because illnesses caused by rats are difficult for doctors to be found out.
A food-focused approach
To solve the problem effectively, people should start from the very beginning. Rats have the ability to adapt to human food sources. In case of enough food, a Norway Rat can give birth to up to 12 pups. And each well-fed pup, in turn, can also give birth to 12pups in a short period of time (~six weeks). Because rats have a short life span and reproduce often, they easily adapt to changing environments. So, by changing human behavior, we will move one step forward to get rid of rats.
According to the traditional approach, people start to take action once the rat population is already high enough, which cannot be ignored. But rats are small and nocturnal, so they are noticed only after their numbers are already high. This means, that regular rat control is important at any point in time.
Changing deeply ingrained urban habits
Being nocturnal animals, rats have poor vision, and to eat something or to live somewhere they rely on the olfaction. Therefore, the food sources of the rats are predictable, as they eat and drink whatever residents prefer. Rats in Paris mainly eat croissants and cheese.
So, how changing ingrained urban habits can help to get rid of rats? People usually eat whenever they are stuck in traffic or on the run. They drop wastes on the streets, playgrounds, and subway tracks. Consequently, rats eat the wastes that they find in the streets. It turns out that the main food source for rats is human food waste. And by changing human behavior rat control will become much easier than before.
Hire people to secure garbage
Finally, the last and one of the most effective ways for rat control is hiring people to secure garbage. As rats subsist mainly because of human waste, and especially from the garbage sitting outdoors overnight, you can hire homeless or unemployed individuals as evening sentinels. They would move garbage bags into guarded common areas and bring them back to the curb for the next day.
Another solution is to establish citizen rat patrols that would train people to identify and notify when they detect rats in their homes. Having enough knowledge about rodents and the problems they may cause it will become easy to provide proper rat control. Moreover, people can also learn about the types of rats to provide individual control. However, one of the possible reasons for a rat problem in a house is not proper sanitation. In addition, the typical indicators are not noticeable openings of buildings or dark grease stains on sidewalks and parks.
So, citizen rat patrols educate people and educated people start to make productive steps to get rid of rats.