Music is a wonderful thing and thankfully there is a song for just about every situation.
Up on the 4th floor where all the property management magic happens, we like to keep it light while we scurry around trying to get to everything. We have a nice team up here and there are moments of banter and hilarity despite the pressure (and probably because of it!).
The song of the week up here is “Rat in my kitchen” by UB40 because unfortunately we are not the only things scurrying about, and lately there have been quite a few reports of rats and mice in some of the properties we manage.
Self-doubt immediately crept in and began gnawing at us (sorry- couldn’t resist!). Who is responsible and what can be done?
We turned to one of the pest control companies we use for some facts – knowledge is power after all !
There is a great deal more to effective pest control than meets the eye and it turns out that rats and mice are very versatile creatures capable of causing severe damage to properties including fires from chewed electrical cables, spreading diseases and contaminating furniture and goods.
They are also very good at reproducing, and an occasional sighting can quickly turn into an infestation if immediate action isn’t taken. Mice are apparently more of a problem than rats because they are drawn to warmth and food sources and tend to nest in close proximity. Both need to gnaw on things constantly to keep their incisors short as their teeth grow constantly.
The general consensus is that poison in appropriate bait boxes is the most effective way to deal with them along with traps, although there are more humane “catch and release” options.
It appears that the best way to combat a mouse or rat problem is to first remove any obvious food sources and then to make sure they do not have easy access to your home by taking measures to cover any holes or gaps in walls and around pipes (apparently steel wool is effective for this). Fixing a bristle strip to the bottom of doors can help too. Follow this with a comprehensive pest control treatment which should be repeated every 6-8 weeks for at least 3 treatments to be sure.
Some of the properties we manage are residential blocks and multi-tenanted commercial buildings and most of our activities in this sphere of property management are limited to the common parts. Our pest controller’s advice is that sometimes it may be necessary to extend the treatment regime to the tenanted areas as well as the common parts because the pesky critters will ignore the tasteful bait box in the lobby and will happily play hide and squeak and have a “mice” time in the office or flat next door!
Awww rats – that’s enough for now – make sure you read the lease on who is responsible for pest control in tenanted areas but keep an open mind that a wider approach may be necessary and treat the appearance of rats and mice immediately.
Good admice sorry – advice!