Last week, we examined the red flags and prevention techniques to avoid a rodent infestation in our blog Rodent Awareness Week: Red Flag and Prevention Techniques. This week we are examining why being vigilant against an infestation is a smart idea. The health and safety of the people living in your home is vitally important. Let’s examine the danger of having these pests living in the same space as humans.
Rodents pose a number of health risks to you and your family. Our nation currently faces a growing level of mice and rat infestations in our cities and towns. More than 1/3 of American homeowners (37%) have seen a rodent in their home in the past year. Rats and mice are known to spread more than 35 diseases. These diseases can be spread to humans directly, through handling of live or dead rodents, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, and through rodent bites. In addition to contracting diseases from touching or living around these rodents, diseases can be spread from the mites, ticks, and bugs that feast on rats and mice.
The most common danger of having a rodent infestation is the spread of food-borne illnesses like Salmonella, as rodents contaminate surfaces throughout the house and will look to get into your kitchen cabinets and food prep areas. Other diseases include:
- allergies & asthma,
- rat bite fever,
- lymphocytic choriomeningitis
These diseases put you and your family at serious risk for falling ill. Along with this worry, rodents can track in other pests from outside like fleas and ticks. This opens up your family to a variety of other disease and risk factors. Needless to say, rodents are dangerous to your home and your loved ones, and should be handled by professionals. If you suspect a rodent infestation, call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.
Rodents, including mice and rats, are public enemy number one. No one wants to have a rodent problem and, yet, none of us are immune. Every year the “rattiest” cities are ranked according to census bureau data. Unfortunately our beloved Boston ranked second last year in this survey. This should not come as a huge surprise, though, as four years ago Animal Planet named Boston the second worst rat city in the entire world! So what should we, as homeowners and business owners, do to prevent these infestations, identify an infestation, and rid ourselves of rodents that seemingly are all around us? Let’s take a closer look.
Identify an Infestation
Here are a few things to be on the lookout for in your home or place of business.
- Look for mice and rat droppings around food packages in your pantry, in drawers or cupboards, and under the sink. Commonly rat droppings are black, long, and spindly, similar to a raisin. Mice droppings tend to to be found in small clusters. They are black or brown in nature and tend to look like a small seed.
- Look for nesting material such as shredded paper, cardboard, fabric, or dried organic matter, such as the dirt from your indoor plants.
- Examine food packaging to determine if there have been any holes chewed.
- Inspect your home regularly to be sure there are no holes chewed through walls and floors that create entry points into the home.
- Keep an eye out for grease marks from the common traffic areas where they scurry back and forth.
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens on windows and doors.
- Screen vents for appliances and openings to chimneys.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, especially areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
- Dispose of trash regularly and keep locking lids on the garbage.
- Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Keeping them organized and clean will also help you to notice an infestation early.
- Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags, and other packages brought into the home and stored in places that you do not frequent often, such as the attic and garage.
- Store firewood at least 15-20 feet away from the house. Inspect the wood before bringing it into your home.
- Keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house so that rodents can not use it as a bridge to your structure.
Do you suspect a pest infestation such as rats or mice in your home or business? Call Pest-End Exterminators today at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, 978-794-4321, or visit our website to find out more about our services.
Last week we examined pests that like to make a home in your garage. This week we will examine another popular nesting and hiding place for pests such as bats, raccoons, mice and rats – the common attic pests. Your attic is probably a great storage spot for your family’s items such as decorations, bins of clothing, and old furniture. For the critters that want to find a home in your attic, this area can be a place to nest that is warm, safe from predators, and has fairly easy access to food and water. Let’s take a closer look at signs that there may be critters taking up residence in your attic and what you can do about it.
There are several main giveaways that there may be a pest or pests taking up safe haven in your attic including:
- Droppings such as small pellets indicative of a mouse or rat; larger, oily droppings common with raccoons; and bat guano that can be seen and smelled!
- Actually seeing activity of pests such as spotting a bat in flight, a mouse scurry by, or the scratchings of a raccoon.
- If you do not see activity you may hear activity either day or night depending upon the critter. Sounds may include scratching, gnawing, or even light footsteps.
Once you suspect that you may have a bat or other critter in your attic, you will want to take steps to protect your storage items and eliminate the creature from your home. We recommend not trying to do this yourself as raccoons can become aggressive when cornered and other pests can make the area unsafe to venture into without the proper equipment. Call Pest-End to first inspect the area and then remove or eliminate the pest. Once removed you should be sure to assess how the pests got into the area and seal up/repair the entry point.
If you suspect that you have pests in your attic, call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321 Phone: 603-382-9644 Phone: 978-794-4321.
For homeowners, garages are often convenient spaces to store excess “stuff” such as holiday decorations, bikes, lawn equipment, bins of old clothing and, of course, trash. For pests however, garages are a cornucopia of treasures such as: discarded food in the garbage barrels, a warm place to nest in the bins of old clothes and, of course, garages provide shelter from the elements. What critters do you have in your garage? Here are some of the most common garage pests to be aware of and how you can protect your “stuff” from unwanted visitors.
Common Garage Pests –
In order to avoid this line up of critters from making their home in your garage, here are a few tips on how to protect the area.
- Keep your door down when you are not in the need of using the interior of the garage. This may mean maintaining the mechanisms or just remembering to shut the door each time. Keeping the pests out is the first step in making sure they do not take up residence in your garage.
- Clean up the clutter. The less clutter there is for pests to find a home inside of, the better. Clutter is attractive to many pests because of the the hiding places it can offer, so do your best to keep clutter in your garage to a minimum.
- Reduce the attraction. Keep lights off and garbage barrels covered. These two things can be like a beacon to pests such as wild animals and bugs to enter the area. The smells from your trash and the light from the garage may cause some pests just to check out what is in there.
- Have a pest management team inspect your garage. If you suspect that some critter is living or at least visiting your garage regularly, call Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321 Phone: 603-382-9644 Phone: 978-794-4321 for an inspection and a solution to your garage pest problem.
Many customers wonder what we do with our time now that winter is really setting in? Do we fly off to a tropical paradise, study about pests in our spare time, or watch movies like The Fly and other bug-related movies. Well, no. Just because the temperatures have dropped does not mean that pests have all disappeared. The truth is that there are still pests that are either wintering in your home (with or without your knowledge) or possibly looking to gain entry to your home to avoid the cold temperatures of a typical New England winter. Here are a few of the most common pests that keep us busy all winter long.
- Rodents – Mice and rats are always looking for a free meal and a warm place to settle in for the winter. This may be in your garage, attic, crawl space, or even in your woodpile. It is usually apparent that they have infested your home when you see droppings, grease marks, or gnawings. Call a professional exterminator, like Pest-End Exterminators as soon as possible as these creature reproduce and can grow quickly in numbers.
- Cockroaches – These scary looking creatures will enjoy spending the winter in your home, hiding in the cardboard boxes of your garage or in the crevices of your appliances in your kitchen. If you see one, chances are that there are more where that came from.
- Bed bugs – Due to the large amount of business travelers today, bed bugs can be transferred from a hotel, airport, or just about anywhere public back to your home. They live in the mattress and upholstered furniture of your home and sometimes spread out into the walls and under carpets. If you suspect a bed bug in your mattress either by noticing eggs, blood spots, or actually seeing a bed bug, call Pest-End immediately for our comprehensive bed bug treatment program.
Do you have pests in your home this winter? Find out by scheduling an inspection by our experts at Pest-End Exterminators. Call Toll-Free: 800-287-4321 Phone: 603-382-9644 Phone: 978-794-4321.
Have you noticed more rats and mice around your home or business? If you haven’t yet, then you might soon because all across our nation rats and mice are scurrying around in larger and larger numbers. For property owners, this can mean droppings in cabinets, dirt or grease marks along rodent paths and, worse yet, the danger posed by gnawed electrical wires. In recent years, there has been an uptick in the amount of rats and mice being found in both city and suburban properties. Let’s take a closer look at rodents on the rise.
- According to ABC News, cities across the country have reported an increase in rodent complaints. For example, in New York City, officials held a “Rat Summit” and appointed a rodent task force. In Chicago, sightings of the furry critters have shot up by more than 10,000. In Boston, complaints are up by 40 percent. And in Houston, an exterminator even witnessed a police officer with loaded pistol chasing a rat through a house…
- The problem stems from a lack of funding for rodent control in cities and towns. Many locations had to prioritize where to spend tax dollars, and somewhere along the line rodent control was cut.
- New solutions for combating the growing rodent problem include: new trash compactors, better educating restaurant owners about trash containers, and more tickets and fines for owners who don’t follow sanitation guidelines.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is worried enough about the growth of this problem that they will award two cities about $250,000 each to come up with a rodent-control model that state and local agencies can follow.
Do you have a rodent problem around your home or business? Call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321 Phone: 603-382-9644 Phone: 978-794-4321.
Ever had a quiet moment in your home and heard rustling, scratching, or squeaking of some kind? Wondering if you are losing your mind or, if possibly, there are creatures hiding out in your home, specifically in the attic? This is the time of year when wildlife begin to search for warmth, and access to food and water. Unfortunately, your home may be an attractive alternative to the cold, wind, and precipitation of the outdoors. So once you realize that something is up there, you’ll need to find out “Who’s in the attic?”
Attics make particularly good hiding places for several reasons including: many homeowners do not frequent the area, there are ample places to build a nest, and the heat of the home will keep wildlife safe and warm all winter. Ok, so it is not what you want to hear, but we have solutions for removing and preventing future invasions. First, we need to determine which creature or creatures are taking refuge in your attic. Here is a quick list of possible culprits.
- Raccoons – If you are hearing noises during nighttime hours such as rustling and scratching, you most likely have a raccoon or flying squirrel living in your attic. Raccoons and flying squirrels are nocturnal animals, meaning they are usually only active at night. If a raccoon is living in your attic, you may see areas called ”latrines” which are where a raccoon urinates and defecates in the same spot regularly. Raccoons generally do all their evacuations outside, to avoid attracting predators due to any scents. However, sometimes they do create latrines inside, so this is something to watch for. An oily stain on a ceiling may be your first clue that there’s a latrine above.
- Squirrels – If you are hearing noises during daylight hours you most likely have a squirrel living in your attic. Squirrels are typically only active during the day, and their activity patterns cease as soon as it has become dark outside. If a squirrel is living in your attic, you may see leaves and debris such as nuts stashed around the attic. You may also see squirrel droppings left behind, which are usually smooth and oval in shape.
- Rats and Mice – Rodents can find their way into your home using openings as small as a dime. That means if you have any gaps in your foundation or near windows, doors, or vents, you may have left your home open to rodent infestation. If you hear light footsteps at night or in the walls, or see small droppings around your home, or even if you see chewed items when you investigated the attic, you may have a mouse or rat problem.
- Bats – Bats tend to be less noticeable in sound but are often discovered because they make their way into the living areas of the home or the smell of their guano (droppings) alert you to their presence.
If you have unwanted guests staying in your attic, call Pest-End Exterminators Toll-Free: 800-287-4321 Phone: 603-382-9644 Phone: 978-794-4321
No home is immune to the occasional rat or mouse looking for a free meal or a warm place to nest. There are, however, some homes that are a bit more rodent-proof than others. What is the secret to keeping these pests at bay? Let’s take a closer look at some steps every homeowner can take to make their home just a little more rodent-proof than it currently is.
- Do Some Inspecting – Mice can fit into a crack or hole about the size of a dime, so check your foundation around your home including where it connects to the siding. Are there any cracks or openings that you could seal up? If so try to identify as many of those locations and remedy the problem first. Once you have inspected the foundation, start looking at other openings such as windows, soffits, and doors. Even a small opening under a door is practically an invitation for entry.
- Examine the Roof – While you may need a professional to climb safely onto your roof, it may be worth it if your area tends to see a rise in mice and rats during the fall and winter seasons. Check for cracked or torn shingles. Also ensure that any vents and/or chimneys are capped so as to keep rodents from using that as an entry point.
- Clean Up Your Yard – Mice and rats love to take safe haven in sheds, under decks, and anywhere they can make a nice, warm nest. Check that these areas are also clean and free of clutter. A cluttered garage or shed can become a home to many rodents. In addition, use garbage can covers to prevent your garbage from becoming an easy meal.
- Good Gardening Practices – Any tree branches or hedges that touch or hang over the house should be cut back to prevent rodents from using them as pathways onto and into the house. Keep grass short and trim the bottoms of hedges or bushes to expose soil beneath and eliminate rodent harborage areas.
If you suspect that you have a rodent issue in or around your home, call Pest-End Exterminators for an inspection. Toll Free: 800-287-4321 Phone: 603-382-9644 Phone: 978-794-4321
No homeowner wants to have mice or rats scurrying around their attic, eaves, or basement. Unfortunately, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences well over half of homes in the United States have had or currently have mice and or rats living indoors.
While this may be alarming on its own, the Centers for Disease Control reports that, “Worldwide, rats and mice spread over 35 diseases. These diseases can be spread to humans directly, through handling of rodents, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, or through rodent bites. Diseases carried by rodents can also be spread to humans indirectly, through ticks, mites or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent.”
So the question is, how do homeowners know when they have a problem before it leads to illness? Here are a few signs from the Environmental protection Agency to watch for that may be a red flag that you have a rodent issue in your home.
- Rodent droppings. Droppings are most commonly found in cabinets, pantries, and the nooks and crannies of your flooring.
- Nesting material such as shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter.
- Signs of chewing on food packaging.
- Holes chewed through walls and floors that create entry points into the home.
- Stale smells coming from hidden areas.
- Nighttime sounds of chewing, scratching or rustling in the walls.
- In the case of an infestation you may notice rub marks. These are grease marks that are created from oil and dirt on the rodent’s skin and often appear along wall areas next to runways.
If you suspect a rodent issue in your home call Pest-End Exterminators immediately.
Every year we get hundreds of calls for rats and mice in homes and businesses. No one is immune to having these pests infiltrate their property. How common are these pests and where are they found most? The United States Census Bureau keeps statistics on this and released some of their most recent findings last month. The U.S. Census Bureau in coordination with the American Housing Authority publish a survey every two years along with the more comprehensive ten year census survey that measures everything from how much electricity you’re using to how you found your home in the first place. Included in this survey are questions about rodents and pests that have found their way into your home. Here are some of the results that every New Englander should know.
- Philadelphia, Boston and New York are the cities at the top of the list of reported rodent infestations in the bureau’s most recent American Housing Survey.
- Northern cities with a high population density have plenty of places for rodents to hide and survive underground, including sewer and subway systems.
- The survey suggests that since rodents are such a common problem in our region that home buyers should never skip a pests inspection when buying a property.
- The survey also suggests that if you do encounter critters in your home that you should act quickly due to the rapid reproduction of offspring in mice and rats. If you see one there are likely many more hiding out of sight. Don’t assume that the creature will find its way out of your home either. More than likely it is there for the safe haven during cold weather and the access to food and water.
- There are many dangers of having mice and rats in your living areas including pathogens that are carried on the feet and in the feces of these pests as well as the potential that the rodent may chew through electrical wires thus causing a fire hazard in your home.