Tag Archives: covid-19

IT’S NOT JUST PEOPLE CROSSING OUR BORDERS!

 

Border Crossings are happening every day, and it’s not just people looking for a better life.

Humans, animals, fish, insects, plants and diseases (bacteria and viruses) cross our borders on a regular basis and have been since borders were established.  Non-native species have been making themselves at home and making short work of available resources putting native species at risk.

Human activity such as trade and tourism has provided the means and opportunities for the unwanted establishment of new species into California and the whole of the United States.

travel-3685042_640-1Planes, Trains, Boats, Trucks, Automobiles and People are being used as convenient vessels for the smuggling of non-native species.

New organisms may be accidental hitch hikers in cargo, or they may be deliberately smuggled into California. Rapid transportation, especially air travel (i.e., hours on a plane as opposed to days, weeks, or months on a boat), makes it likely many hitch hikers will survive long distance journeys.rat-in-rain-with-suitcase

Invasive species are non-native animals, microbes, or plants that cause economic, environmental and, or health problems.

These are a few of the invaders that have crossed our borders:

Red-eared Slider
Red-eared Slider

Pathogens are crossing from animals to humans, and many are now able to spread quickly to new places, crossing all borders. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that three-quarters of “new or emerging” diseases that infect humans originate in nonhuman animals. A few, like COVID-19, which emerged last year in Wuhan, China,  MERS, which is linked to camels in the Middle East, and H1N1 or Swine flu, that had it’s initial outbreak in central Mexico are new to humans and spreading globally. They do not recognize borders.

Prevention and early detection are the most effective and cheapest methods of dealing with invasive species. Early detection and response are necessary to prevent infestations and control costs from reaching unmanageable levels.

You, might just be the biggest weapon mankind has against the spread of invasive species.  Here’s what you can do.  

  • Verify that the plants you are buying for your yard or garden are not invasive.
  • When boating, clean your boat thoroughly before transporting it to a different body of waterClean your boots!
  • Clean your boots before you hike in a new area to get rid of hitchhiking weed seeds and pathogens.our boots!
  • Don’t “pack a pest” when traveling. Fruits and vegetables, plants, insects and animals can carry pests or become invasive themselves.
  • Don’t move wood-pilefirewood (it can harbor forest pests), clean your bags and boots after each hike, and throw out food before you travel from place to place.
  • Don’t release aquarium fish and plants, live bait or other exotic animals into the wild.
  • Practice good hygiene
    Washing Hands
    Washing Hands

    and the safe handling of food, animals and other materials.

  •  You can even volunteer with The Nature Conservancy. Volunteer at your local park, refuge   or other wildlife area to help remove invasive species.
  • Help educate others about the threat.

The Covid-19 Pandemic and Rat Infestations. Now What!

A perfect storm of residential rat invasions has been created by the coronavirus-4914028_960_720Covid-19 pandemic.  People are producing more food waste at home, now that restaurant trash generation has decreased. Streets are emptier, so normally skittish rats are more likely to go exploring. According to experts rats can cover two to three (or more if they are really hungry) city blocks easily in one night. They are able to travel out of the city  or business districts and into people’s yards and homes.

No neighborhood is safe. Contrary to popular thought,rats-2-cute rats are not just an urban problem or a companion to poverty. Rats do not discriminate. Their hunting grounds include: residential homes, mansions, estates, apartments, businesses, hotels, just about everywhere a human being lives.

Instituting an anti-rat program is essential to keeping rats and the destruction they cause and the diseases (salmonella, rat-bite fever, Murine Typhus, Leptospirosis, etc.)  they carry, away from your home. Seal gaps under doors or other entrance points into your home. Make sure your trash stays in tightly sealed, lirat-in-trash-bag-2dded bins.  Avoid keeping yard debris, like leaf piles or construction materials around the house.  Clutter is a rats best friend.  It gives them a safe place to live and raise their young.

Know the signs of rat infestation. Look for droppings and gnaw marks. Check around dense vegetation or shrubs, (rats like to dig burrows in areas with heavy ground cover). Keep your eye out at night, that’s when  rats are most likely to be active.

closed-restaurantIf our challenges now aren’t enough, rodent experts worry about what will happen when the country starts to reopen. Biologists warn that people could face nasty surprises when they return to workplaces where rats have had months to flourish unmolested. Especially worrisome are closed restaurants, which, even if they were rodent-free in February, might not pass rat inspections when the businesses are opened later in the year.

The coronavirus pandemic has everyone worried.  Raising awareness and sharing expert tips can help keep rats at bay.

If you have a current concern about a rat infestation, don’t wait.  Contact a pest control professional.  They are open for business and ready to help get rid of rats.  Don’t worry, pest control is a non-contact, essential business.  Call now.