Ratastic News Week “Horrific Consequences” Edition

David Bennett

Stephen King, writing about rats in “Graveyard Shift” has nothing on our stories this week.  He wrote about rats cut off from nature, allowing them to evolve into a strange rat community, complete with armored rats, albino weasel like rats that can climb up walls or burrow through the ground, and bat-like rats that have evolved into pterodactyl like sizes. The queen rat, the size of a cow, with no eyes or legs endlessly breeds new rats, and likes to devour human beings!  The hero of the story gets devoured by her rat subjects, and his companion gets devoured by the queen, leaving workers on the surface wondering what has happened, with no knowledge of  the horror that has occurred below the surface, and they prepare to descend into the basement…not knowing that they…will be next on the rats’ menu…

No, the real life consequences of the diseases rats can be the vectors of is more horrifying because it’s well, real life.   And the collateral damage consequences of rat poisons can be just as horrific for the wildlife we love as you will see when you read on.


Last week’s quiz questionWhat is one of the most common specific phobias?

Answer: Fear of mice and rats is one of the most common specific phobias. It is sometimes referred to as musophobia (from Greek μῦς “mouse”) or murophobia (a coinage from the taxonomic adjective “murine” for the family Muridae that encompasses mice and rats), or as suriphobia, from French souris, “mouse”.

This week’s quiz question: How are rats like teenagers? 



Seven dogs die in Australia from a rat borne disease that kills humans too

It is a disease carried by rats.  It can kill a dog in 48 hours. And it’s transmitted by rat urine.    What is this consort of Death scything through your beloved pets?   In this short article you’ll find out why it’s so important your vet vaccinates your dog for it—-leptospirosis, a screw  like infectious disease that can survive  in the environment for long periods of time, lurking, waiting for some poor dog to drink stagnant water

or eat something sitting on contaminated soil.   It can penetrate the soft lining of the nose, mouth and eyelid, and also enter the body through scratches or open sores in the skin.    The Guardian reports this scourge has taken several dogs the last little while: “Seven dogs have died in Sydney from a disease that can kill pets in 48 hours, is transmitted by rat urine and has emerged in New South Wales for the first time, possibly owing to construction “stirring up” rodent populations. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that causes haemorrhages, organ failure and swelling of the brain and is potentially fatal to both dogs and humans. Before this year NSW had never had a reported canine death from the disease. In the past three months there have been

seven. Prof Jacqueline Norris, an expert in veterinary medicine from the University of Sydney, said vets were grappling with the disease.“ We’ve never had leptospirosis,” Norris said. “Now we’ve got seven fatalities in three months. It’s like zero to 100 in a short period of time.”  Affected dogs become lethargic, depression, loss of appetite, and may develop jaundice.  The disease can cause liver and kidney failure within 48 hours of infection.  Moreover, a rat insurrection is happening in Sydney, with brown rats,  which are bigger and eat more, chasing away black rats. 52 people across Australia have been infected with leptospirosis with eight cases the first 10 days of June, and can be confused with the flu as the symptoms are similar: vomiting, fever, headache, and red eyes.  


Woman dies after contracting rat disease from rat droppings

Equally as frightening, this time coming from rat poop, is Hantavirus

Pulmonary Syndrome.   As you might have supposed, the disease affects the lungs.  HPS is deadly serious and has killed a woman in New Mexico.  Indeed, it is the second case reported in New Mexico and the first fatality to come from it.  The Epoch Times goes on: “In the press release, officials urged people to be mindful when summer cleaning. “We urge New Mexicans to be mindful when they are opening up sheds, cabins, and other buildings that have been closed up as mice and other rodents may have moved in,” said Department of Health Secretary, Kathy Kunkel.  “Stirring up dust in areas where rodents hang out–that includes everything from nests to droppings—can cause the virus to get into the air where the particles can be breathed in. It’s best to air out cabins and sheds before entering them and wet down droppings with a disinfectant,” she said.” And perhaps wear a mask covering your nose and mouth.   Thankfully, the disease is not contagious.   Symptoms to be mindful of are headache, fever and muscle aches, nausea, perhaps the chllls, diarrhea and a cough which progresses to respiratory distress.  To prevent it, rodent control measures are highly recommended.   “The CDC says there are four types of rats that cause HPS in the

United States—Cotton rat, Deer Mouse, Rice Rat, and White-footed mouse.”    Rodent proofing your house, which means repairing cracks and screens,

( Learn about RodeXit proofing strips)  holes in walls or any opening a mouse or rat can squeeze through is a great start, as well as removing any possible sources of food and water, and keeping the lawn mowed and generally tidy.  


Outlawed rat poisons still killing Norwegian foxes in Norway

A Red Fox in the depths of a Norwegian winter with its long orange winter coat.

In this story, the rats are the reason for it, but humans are the issue.  The country of Norway outlawed poison baits by private individuals in 2014.   Yet ScienceNordic.com reports that researchers have found rat poisons in 54% of the Norwegian foxes they have tested.   Either the foxes may have been poisoned directly or eaten prey that was poisoned.  Rat poisons are insidious because they don’t kill the rat right away.  So the poisoned rat can run around for a while and become prey to predator birds and animals, and the more they eat, the more the poison can build up in their systems and cause progressive weakness as the predator gets sicker and sicker.   Most rat poisons cause internal bleeding.  “The poison was found in small to moderate amounts in the positive foxes, and she emphasizes that there is little reason to believe they have suffered much. The samples were obtained from foxes from all the counties in Norway except one. The researchers found no differences between the counties, or from season to season. However, rat poison can affect fox health, even in small amounts. Experiments on mice have shown that they become less wary when they consume the poison. The toxins can impair their immune system so that they are more susceptible to contracting mange and other parasites and getting itches. The fertility of poisoned animals can also be affected. Female foxes may have difficulty getting pregnant, can abort more easily or have fewer pups in each litter. “The red fox findings suggest that this is a major environmental problem among rodent-eating predators in Norway,” says one of the researchers. They suspect that people are setting out the baits illegally without realizing the baits they’re using are illegal.  Only closed bait boxes are available for private individuals.   The article adds, ““Our findings indicate that the bait ban isn’t common knowledge. It seems a lot of people still use the bait they purchased before the product was withdrawn from the stores,” says one of the researchers.  Domestic animals like cats and dogs are also susceptible to rat poison in the same way foxes are. Given that over half the foxes had toxins in their system, “lynx, wolverine, birds of prey and wolves are similarly vulnerable to the toxins from poisoned rodents.”   We recommend using environmentally friendly traps.    Bryant McGill in “Voice of Reason” stated that “There is a deep interconnectedness of all life on earth, from the tiniest organisms, to the largest ecosystems, and absolutely between each person.”   This article Illustrates this concept starkly, as does the rest of this edition; what rats do affects us,  what we do affects them and those that feed off of them. We understand the need for multiple methods of pest control depending on the application, poison can make sense, as long as risk is assessed, managed to and deployed correctly.  

Our commercial grade kill traps and tunnels,  offer effective, efficient method for pest control, a solid addition to any arsenal.




Norman Hemsworth from Critterex , Saugerties, New York, who provides:-

  • Humane Solutions to Nuisance Wildlife.
  • Removal of unwanted critters.
  • Exclusion of the critters from your home.
  • Remediation to the damages caused.

kindly shared images of helping a customer having mice issues in basement door area using RodeXit proofing strips.

“Very easy to install. This is now my first choice to rodent door sweep repelling.”



Listening to customers, engaging people interested in RodeXit proofing strips,  we have expanded  packaging options for the lengths of  strip coil/roll.

Now available in:

  • 27 yd (81 feet)
  • 14 yd( 42 feet)
  • 12 yd (36 feet) 



Visit us at PestWorld2019 San Diego, California, October 15th– 18th. booths 140 & 142

Tags: Agriculture, Center for Disease Control, Cityrats, Environmental impact, Exclusion, Fenn Trap, Fenn Traps, FPMA, Hantavirus, Integrated Pest Management, IPM, Leptospirosis, Mk 4 Fenn Trap, Norway rats, NPMA, NVPMA, NWCOA, Pesticide, PestWorld2019, Public Health, Rodent exclusion, Rodexit

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