Rodents in South Africa
Rodents in South Africa Present a Variety of Potential Dangers
There are three main species of rodents regarded as pests in South Africa - the black rat, the Norway rat and the house mouse. Although physical sightings of these may be relatively rare in many areas, their numbers are, nevertheless, prolific. It has been calculated that thirty rats are born during each second of the day, compared with just one human baby. Among the vertebrates, these creatures are rated as only second to the human race in terms of their destructive abilities. So, if your property should become infested, there is clearly a need for some prompt remedial action.
The risk posed by these pests is not limited to the damage they do or to the food supplies that they consume or render inedible. In addition, they are cited as the vectors for a variety of diseases and, for instance, all three can enable the spread of various Salmonella species through their droppings. Rats and mice are seldom free of fleas and these, in turn, also act as vectors for some very unpleasant diseases including murine typhus and bubonic plague.
As if these were not enough, the rodents in South Africa have even more to answer for. Water supplies contaminated by rat urine can transmit a disease known as Leptospirosis or Weil’s disease to humans and pets. The condition is characterised by fever and jaundice and, untreated, can sometimes lead to organ failure and death.
Short term solutions
- Seal entry points to prevent rodents from entering your household
- Cut your grass to no more than two inches
- Remove tree limbs within 3 feet of any structure or roof
- Use city-issue plastic trash bins as they are designed specifically for repeling rats
- Encase all foods inside of the house
- Consider promoting natural predators such as snakes, owls or Hawks.
- Buying mouse traps is one of the most convinient ways or preventing rodent infection
Long term solutions
- Provide all houses with Ekhuruleni city-issue trash bins to avoid rodents going to houses because of open trash bins
- Holes near cabinets, closets or doors leading to outside or to crawl spaces.
- Holes around sink or appliance pipes.
- Cracked foundations in the basement or unscreened ventilation holes in the attic, especially in older structures.
- Holes around windows or missing screens in vents or crawl spaces under your property.
I asked a couple of people in my neighborhood about the rodent issue in Spruitview. And this is what they had to say about it.
In your own opinion , why do u think there is a rodent infestation problem in your community?
Orville Kekana: Because the environment is not probably cleaned , eradication methods are not being properly implemented , and lastly their reproduction rate is very high
Kamohelo Kekana: Because like every living thing , they multiply , but at an alarming rate. I also believe they were released during the Aprartheid regime into black communities.
What would you like to be done about this issue and by who?
Orville Kekana: It is the responsibility of the local municipality ,provide a service whereby they will distribute and issue rat traps to house holds and a routine collecting and emptying the traps. And also provide and educate the community on how to make the environment not conducive for rodents
Kamohelo Kekana: They must install rat traps all around townships , issue another release of owls - briefing the community as to why they have been released and creating an awareness as to how to prevent rodent infestation. This should be implemented by the municipality.
What advice would you give a new family that moved to Spruitview about this issue?
Orville Kekana: Frequently clean your yard , empty your trash bins , get rid of rubble, avoid leaving doors open and if you are an animal lover get dog(s).
Kamohelo Kekana: Aim to keep open spaces clean , try not to keep areas around your household clustered , e.g garages and try by all means to install rat traps around your house,one or two should be enough.
Rodents can be a nuisance
But with the right approach ...
You can not only make your home and safer and better place