Monday, August 3, 2015

Dangerous Rat-Borne Diseases

If you have a rat infestation, you risk more than an annoying inconvenience and having the contents of your pantry chewed up. Wild rats are creatures that often carry diseases that can be harmful to your family or pets.

Here are a few of the most common diseases rats can carry and the health risks they pose to humans:

  • Bubonic plague – Yes, this notorious disease from the Middle Ages is still around. Originally carried by fleas that bite the rats, this disease can pass to humans who have contact with infected rodents. Fortunately, there are treatments today that can prevent another Black Death epidemic.
  • Hantavirus – This virus can be transmitted through the inhalation of dust containing contaminated urine or dropping particles, direct contact with rat waste or a rat bite. The disease resembles the flu at first, but can quickly result in serious breathing difficulties.
  • Leptospirosis – This is a disease transmitted by coming into contact with rat urine or feces. Inhalation of dropping particles may also transmit the illness. It can cause liver and kidney damage or failure and cardiovascular issues.
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis – The virus LCMV is present in rats' saliva and urine, and is transmitted to humans through this contact. The effects in humans may range from temporary illness to long-term complications.
  • Salmonellosis – This is a bacteria spread by rat feces. It is spread to humans by contaminated water or food.

If you notice signs of a rat infestation, such as droppings, chewed food or baseboards or seeing rats around your property, contact a professional exterminator right away. For more information on rat extermination in La Mesa, visit this site.

Termite Trivia

Created for Termite Awareness Week, an info graphic discusses some of the most basic facts about the insects including their eating and breeding habits, plus an estimation of the damage they’re capable of causing when given free reign... read more

The Different Types of Termites in California

You may assume that because you don't see your walls being eaten up around you, your house is safe from termites. However, the image of wood being chewed to the ground in an instant is one primarily made popular in children's cartoons. Real termite infestations are much more insidious and difficult to spot – but the damage they cause is no less serious.

There are several different types of termites in California that can infest your home. The following information explains what you might expect if any of these creatures invade your space.

  • Arid-land subterranean termites – These termites are common across more than half of the United States, but especially in desert areas.
  • Desert subterranean termites – As their name implies, these termites are mostly found in dry desert areas and often live inside desert plants, such as cacti. However, they will also infest homes and chew up structural wood. Signs of an infestation often include mud tubes dropping down from ceiling rafters.
  • Pacific dampwood termites – These critters are not picky and will attack any type of wood, but they are particularly found in cool, humid areas along the California coast.
  • Western drywood termites – Dry wood attracts these pests, which account for the majority of the damage to California homes. They primarily infest homes with dry timbers, and multiple colonies can cause extensive damage.
  • Western subterranean termites – These bugs set up their nests inside the walls of a home and chew away the interior of structural timber. Your home will be left supported mainly by hollowed-out timbers with little to no visible damage on the outside.

If you notice signs of a termite infestation, call a professional immediately. For more information on termite control in El Cajon, click here to visit this site.

Learning About Termites

A super close-up shot of a termite positioned atop a rough wood surface. The insect is a nearly identical color to the wood itself, making identification more difficult.