What To Do If Bitten By A Rat

roof-ratsRat bites are not only painful; they can be dangerous as well.  While some people think they are cute and cuddly, even domestic rats are not the most favored animals by most people.   Rats are not known to be the most cleanly of animals on the planet.  Rats are very intelligent critters.  In the wild, they will travel the same path over and over to move from place to place.  As they travel, they will urinate and defecate in any area that they are in so every place that they move within is contaminated by their urine and excrement.

The teeth of a rat are very sharp.  Rat teeth constantly grow and rats constantly grind them down so that they are able to consume food.  These extremely sharp teeth mean that being bitten by a rat will likely result in a deep bite wound.

If bitten by a rat, here are some helpful steps to follow…

To stop the flow of blood, apply direct pressure to the bite wound using a clean piece of cloth, gauze, or paper towel.  This could take a while depending on how deep the bite wound is.  After the cut has stopped bleeding, the wound must be disinfected by pouring a good amount of hydrogen peroxide or alcohol directly onto the bite wound.  After disinfecting, apply Neosporin to the wound and wrap tightly with gauze or bandage.  Be careful not to bandage the wound site too tightly as you will cut off circulation to the area.

Anyone who has been bitten, or even scratched by a rat, should seek medical help.  Deep rat bites may require stitches and in many cases rabies shots are given, especially when people are bitten by wild rats.  Failure to obtain proper medical care can result in transmission of a wide variety of rat borne disease to the rat bite victim.

Most people who are bitten or scratched by a pet rat do not become ill, but some do.  When in doubt, seek medical attention for all rat bites.

Bed Bug Stink

Manhattan pest control professionals can attest to the fact that a home that is badly infested with bed bugs has a particular scent to it.  To the human nose, a severe bed bug infestation is likened to the smell of rotting raspberries, cilantro, or coriander.  This sickening smell and be extremely intense depending on how severe the infestation is.

PLoS One reported on December 5, 2012 that scientists have been studying the real time measurement of volatile chemicals that are released by bed bugs during their mating activities.  This is the first study that has collected data in real time instead of information about the bugs over a period of time.

Scientists already knew that bed bugs were indiscriminate about which bed bug they mated with.  That is, males tried to mate with males and females alike.  Males mounting females irrespective of their previous mating history reduces the lifespan of the female.  As a result, scientists have found that female bed bugs release a pheromone to discourage such mounting.  Because male to male mounting does occur as well, the males also release the same pheromone to keep the unwanted suitor away.

According to reports, “The most distinct peaks in the proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry recordings were always observed close to the termination of mating attempts, corresponding to the defensive emissions that bed bugs have been suspected to exploit for prevention of unwanted copulations.”

Perhaps this distinct pheromone smell is one of the reasons that bed bug sniffing dogs are able to accurately find the exact locations of bed bugs that are hiding within a home or business.

For expert help with bed bugs call Stern Environmental Services.  We provide professional services in New York City, New Jersey, New York, and CT.

Opossums…Harmless Or A Nuisance?

There is no other animal that is quite like the strange looking opossum.  This marsupial is a somewhat slow moving creature but is known for its cunning ability to outsmart even the smartest animal that is hunting it down.  It faces its doom by looking death straight in the eyes.  The opossum will gladly play…opossum…in an effort to avoid being attacked by other creatures.  The cleaver display is often enough for many animals to leave the “dead” opossum alone.  Once alone the critter will scurry off to safety.

Opossums are pretty docile in that you won’t find them attacking your dogs or cats while they are in the backyard.  They are scavengers that roam around and eat a wide variety of food sources.  They typically make their beds in dense bushes or hollow trees.  When the weather is harsh, the resourceful opossum will seek new living quarters for itself and it’s young in a more sheltered environment.  Attics and crawl spaces provide the perfect habitat for a cold opossum.

Opossums are always on the hunt for food no matter the time of year as they do not store food for energy like some other critters do.  Depending on the time of year, opossums will eat fruits, plants, grain, insects, earthworms, and deceased animals that it happens upon.  During the winter months when food is scarce, opossums are attracted to the scraps of food and garbage that humans create.  Once they discover a food source, it won’t take long for them to try to gain access to a nearby house.

Opossums will bring a host of unwanted parasites into your home.  They are known carriers of fleas, ticks, and even lice.  These unwanted guests will damage insulation as they build their nests and their urine and feces will quickly permeate the ceiling of a home that an opossum has invaded.

For fast removal of unwanted opossums, contact Stern Environmental Group.

Warnings About Rat Bite Fever

norway-ratsResidents in the state of Washington have recently been warned of the threat of Rat Bite Fever report Manhattan pest control experts.  According to reports from The Wenatchee World on December 7, 2012, Rat Bite Fever has affected several people in Chelan, Douglas, and Grant County in Washington.

Rat Bite Fever is an infectious disease that people pick up when they come in contact with infected rodents, their urine, or the secretions from their eyes, nose, or mouth.  Rat Bite Fever is not normally a huge problem in the United States, but the bacteria (Streptobacillus moniliformis or Spirillum minus) should not be discounted when it arises.

Most people who are subjected to Rat Bite Fever receive it via rat exposure, but other animals can be the cause as well.  Squirrels, gerbils and weasels can also carry the bacteria in the mouths.  Other animals can become infected with Rat Bite Fever and may or may not become ill from the bacteria.  Watch for changes in pests such as cat, dogs, or mice.  Any animal can spread Rat Bite Fever regardless if they show symptoms or not!

People who are infected with Rat Bite Fever will experience fever, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and headaches. Because of the similarities, may people believe that they have the flu when in fact they have Rat Bite Fever.  A rash on the hands and feet commonly occurs five days after exposure.

Rat Bite Fever is not transmitted from person to person contact.  It is transmitted via a bite from an infected animal, droppings, urine, or scratch.  Any items that an infected animal has come in contact with should be carefully discarded so that Rat Bite Fever is not spread. Rat Bite Fever is also spread when water sources are contaminated.

Cockroaches Are A Weird Pest

orientalCockroaches creeping around your home or business can be an unsettling feeling.  People are often unaware of the creepy nighttime pests lurking behind appliances, cabinets, floorboards, wallpaper, and around water sources.  Turning on your light late at night often reveals that a cockroach party is going on in your kitchen.  Typically nocturnal feeders, cockroaches that are subject to light will always run like the dickens to avoid the stomping of a shoe or the spray of a pesticide.  These pests are one of the most difficult pests for home and business owners to eradicate without the help of a Manhattan pest control professional as cockroaches multiply extremely fast and are excellent at hiding in locations where humans cannot find them.

Is it myth or fact that cockroaches can live without their head?  We all know that humans, as well as other species of mammals and insects, will most certainly die without the presence of a head.  We need our head for basic survival.  Our breathing mechanisms occur though our nose and mouth and are controlled by our brain.  A respirator could not even save a human without a head.  Losing our head will cause a huge loss in blood, which will result in a death.  Cutting off our head would also prevent us from consuming food or water, thereby causing starvation.

In the world of a cockroach, living without a head is not so bad…at least for a period of time.  The cockroach does not have a blood pressure like a human does so it does not suffer from uncontrolled bleeding if its head is missing and it is a cold blooded insect.  A cockroach can survive on one day of food for an entire month if it is not too active.  Cockroaches that are missing their head can exist for a month, just hanging around your home.  Ick!  Headless cockroaches are subject to bacterial infections, mold growth, and viruses which could kill them before the month is out.