October is Rodent Awareness Month
October 22, 2020
Rodents, such as mice and rats, spread over 35 diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These diseases can be spread to humans directly, through direct handling of a rodent, 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.
Don’t be. There are things you, as a homeowner, can do to prevent rats and mice from becoming a problem on your property and within your home. Read on to learn more about these critters as we raise awareness this month.
Wondering how common rats and mice are in our region, specifically Massachusetts and New Hampshire?
The Boston Herald reports that our region, “is experiencing an unusually large surge in rodent complaints during the coronavirus pandemic, with residents reporting massive infestations in gardens and rats, the size of cats, scurrying down the street in broad daylight.” Yikes!
“We have had a particular increase,” said Boston Inspectional Services Assistant Commissioner Leo Boucher, who noted that in his “20 years in the job,” this spike in rat activity is unusual.
Nationwide rodents are also a huge problem. More than 1/3 of American homeowners (37%) have seen a rodent in their home in the past year. (Source: PestWorld)
What You Can Do to Prevent Rodents in Your Home
Now that you understand that rats and mice are on the rise in our region, it’s a good idea to take some simple, but helpful precautions to exclude these pests from your home.
- Seal up all windows, doors, and utility openings in your home. Remember that mice can slip through a hole or crack the size of a dime. Caulk and fill holes as much as possible.
- Clean all food sources from around your home. In other words, do not make your home attractive to rodents by leaving scraps of food or spilled drinks around. Clean the kitchen regularly, seal garbage cans, and be sure your outdoor grill has been cleaned of grease. All of these items attract rodents.
- Keep your firewood at least 15 feet away from your home and inspect any wood being brought in. It’s also a good idea to burn the wood immediately rather than allowing it to sit by the fireplace. Many homeowners use a first-in-first-out policy.
- Consult an exterminator if you spot dropping, grease stains, or nesting materials around your home. These could be the first signs that you have a growing rodent problem. Contact our team to set up a time convenient to you to inspect, eliminate and exclude the critters.