No home is exempt from the dangers of household pests. While there are things you can do to mitigate the issue and make your home less hospitable to uninvited guests, you will likely have to follow a regular home maintenance plan to keep pests at bay. If you live in a warmer area, you are particularly at risk as cold weather snaps kill common household invaders and keep populations under control. Rats and cockroaches are some of the most common pests that can impact your family's health and safety, but is one more dangerous than the other? How can you manage these two potential risks?
Dangers of Rats
Almost every home will occasionally deal with the common mouse, but finding out you are living with rats can be disconcerting. Not only are they disgusting, but they can make you and your family sick. If you come into contact with a rat and get bit or scratched, you can contract rat-bite fever which, if not properly treated, can lead to significant damage to your liver, kidneys or heart. Rats can even spread epidemics such as the black plague, so it's important to treat infestations seriously. The most common illness carried by rats and mice is hantavirus which is spread from breathing in debris contaminated with rat feces or urine. This, too, can prove fatal if not properly treated.
To eliminate the dangers of rats and mice, it's important to remove their nests and keep them from returning to your home. While you can trap or poison the population, they will return eventually if you don't close off the access points in your home. Depending on the extent of the issue, using a professional pest control service can ensure that your home is airtight and pest free and is well worth the cost.
Dangers of Cockroaches
Cockroaches are sneaky little buggers and can be a noticeable nuisance in your home. They are attracted to readily available food sources like your pantry or kitchen floor. When they move around your home, cockroaches leave calling cards in their wake, dropping bacteria and germs in your food supply and on kitchen surfaces you use to prepare food. Unknowingly touching contaminated areas or eating food that cockroaches have scurried through leaves you at risk for food poisoning. Also, the insects regularly shed their shells, and many people are allergic to these particles.
It can be daunting to get rid of roaches. They are remarkably resilient insects that are resistant to many common treatments. In addition, the insects are adept at hiding out - if you see one, there are probably hundreds more in the vicinity, and by the time you notice that there is a real problem, you will need to treat the issue seriously to get it under control. Again, it's worth it to use a professional who can quickly find and eliminate the source.
It isn't always easy to determine whether rats or cockroaches are more dangerous household pests. While the diseases rats carry can be deadly, only some rodents are affected by these pathogens. Cockroaches, on the other hand, easily contaminate your home. It's safe to say that both pests are a concern, and seeing either is reason enough to call pest control.