Deadly dangers to your pets this season

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Rats, mice, and other pests, not only are they a nuisance, but they could damage your home and carry diseases. While you want to get rid of these critters, many toxic forms of pest control could be deadly to your pets.

"We see a lot of animals that have come in who have ingested this," Dr. Jaime Gifford of Wausau Animal Hospital said. "It will do the same thing to your dog or cat as it will do to a rat or mouse. It can ultimately cause them to die."

Lyn Schuh with the Central Wisconsin Animal Emergency Center says the clinic sees many cases of pets who have ingested toxins meant for pests. While the animal hospital couldn't provide an actual number of cases, the emergency center says the number increases in winter months. Bromethalin is an toxic ingredient in some popular brands of chemical poisoning. If ingested, the symptoms your pets can experience are frightening: impaired movement, muscle tremors, & seizures.

According to Madison Public Health, contact with these pests, or their urine or feces, has been linked to several human diseases. We clearly don't want them in our homes, but if you need to get rid of a pest problem, there are other ways besides using chemicals.

Wil-Kil Pest Control, a pest solutions company in the Wisconsin area, tries to steer away from using chemicals. Instead, they look at the main reason the rats come in, which is to nest.

"The best way to get rid of pests is to use forms of exclusion, and in other words try to keep them out," said Tony Kruszewski, the regional manager of Wil-Kil Pest Control. "When a pest or rat comes into a facility, people think they're looking for food, but they're really looking for a place to have babies," he said.

One way Wil-Kil traps critters is by using things like dental floss, tracing the pests to the issue when they try to build a nest. Preventative measures include: sealing doors, windows, chimneys and skylights, trimming shrubs and trees so critters cant use them to travel, and utilizing door sweeps on entrances or exits to the home.

Dr. Gifford says if you insist on using chemical methods, keep traps behind a locked cabinet. She's seen instances where people have put traps on shelves and rodents have knocked them over allowing access to pets.