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Rodents In Your House

How does a rodent get into the house and what will it do once it gets in? 

Rats can wiggle their way into gaps and holes as small as a ½ inch. And if the hole is not yet ½-inch big, the rat can gnaw at it until it is. Mice can squeeze in through holes as small as ¼ inch. And, like rats, mice will chew and gnaw at smaller holes until they are big enough to wriggle through.

Additionally, both rats and mice prefer warmth over cold. This means that when the weather outside starts to turn cold, rats and mice will turn to houses and other buildings. And the more food and water they can find once they are inside, the more likely it is that the population will quickly grow.

It can be quite unpleasant and disgusting to see a rat or mouse in the house, but even worse than that, rodents can cause damage with their gnawing, nest-making, and urinating, and they also can spread disease. 

Once a rodent gets into a home, it will:

Search out Food
Before or after making its nest depending on how hungry it is, the rodent will roam your home in search of food.

As it roams, it will urinate and drop its feces along its path - contaminating everything along the way. If it makes its way to your pantry or other food storage area, it is likely to walk on the food and food packaging, so that next time you touch it, you are touching its urine trail as well.

Rodents will chew through the packaging to get to food, with teeth that are very sharp, enabling it to chew through boxes and bags you may think are safe.

Once a rat or mice gets into the food, it can be the source of foodborne illness, such as salmonellosis, which is transmitted when a person eats or drinks food or water that is contaminated by rodent feces and causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. According to CDC, certain rodents can also directly transmit diseases such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome, Lassa Fever, Leptospirosis, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM), Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever, Plague, Rat-Bite Fever, Salmonellosis, South American Arenaviruses, and Tularemia.

Seek Water
Rodents need water to survive. Some foods will provide them with some water, but they will also need free water such as the water in the bowl left on the floor for your cat or dog; in the base of a potted plant; or even in a slow-draining tub or sink.

You may wish that it were only an old wives' tale but it is true that rats can swim through sewers and come up through toilet bowls or other drains. It is not a common occurrence, but it can happen.

Make Rodent Babies
Rodents are prolific breeders, so populations can build very quickly in a home or building if the rats or mice have sufficient food, water, and shelter.

Rats: Each female can have up to 7 litters in 1 year, with up to 14 young in each litter. Rats are full-grown in about 4 weeks, which means that quite a few generations can be born in a single year - from each female of the litter. Mice: The house mouse can have up to 10 litters in a single year with about 6 young in each litter. (But there can be as many as 12 mice in a single litter!) They are full-grown to adulthood within 7 weeks, so, again, if conditions are ideal, a mouse population can explode in just a few months.

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Do you have a rodent problem?

Do you have a rodent problem? 

Here are some signs and tips for determining whether you have a rodent infestation in your home:

Rodent Droppings
New droppings are dark and moist. As droppings age, they dry out and become old and gray and will easily crumble if touched. Droppings are most likely to be found near food packages, in drawers or cupboards, under sinks, in hidden areas, and along rodent runways. You will find the greatest number of droppings where the rodents are nesting or feeding, so inspect the area around the new-found droppings to determine if there is still an active – or new – infestation.

Animal Gnawing
In contrast to the droppings, newer gnaw marks will be lighter in color and become darker as they age. These will often be found on food packaging or the structure of the house itself. One way to determine age is to compare a gnaw mark you just noticed with those on a similar material that you know are older. If the newly found marks are lighter in color, it could be an indication of a continuing infestation.

The marks can also indicate whether you have rats or mice; larger gnaw marks will have been produced by the larger teeth of rats. Thus if you had a mouse infestation, but are now seeing larger gnaw marks, you may now have rats. And vice versa.

Foul Odor
Cats and dogs (or even a pet rat or mouse), may become active and excited in areas where rodents are present.

This is a result of the odor of the rodents and is most likely to occur when rodents have recently entered a structure. If you see your pet pawing at an area in which it had previously had no interest, get a flashlight and examine the area for rats or mice.  If an infestation is large, you may also detect an ongoing stale smell coming from hidden areas, indicating an active infestation.

Rodent Tracks and Runways
If rodents are currently active in or around your home, their runways and tracks are likely to be distinctive, becoming fainter as time passes. Tracks or runways are most easily detected with a flashlight or blacklight held at an angle toward the suspected area. You may see smudge marks, footprints, urine stains, or droppings. If you suspect an area is being frequented by rodents, try placing a very thin layer of flour or baby powder there. If rodents are active, you are likely to see their trails in the powder.

Rodent Nests
Rodents will use materials such as shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter to make their nests. If these areas are found and have any of the other signs of current presence – fresh droppings, gnawing, odor or tracks – it is likely that there is an infestation in your home.

Signs of Rodents in your Yard
Rodents are attracted to piles of trash, organic waste, etc. for both food and nesting. If these are present near the home or structure, inspect them for signs of rodents. If there is no indication of rodents, it is likely that they are not coming into your home either. But if you do have such piles present, eliminating them can help prevent future rodent problems.

Rodent Population Size
Certain signs can also indicate the size of a population. If rodents are seen at night but never during the day, the population has probably not gotten too large and can be controlled with traps and bait. If you are seeing any rodents during the day, numerous fresh droppings or new gnaw marks, it is likely that the population has gotten quite large and require professional services.

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Rodent Removal Recommendations

Seeing even one rat in your house can mean that there is a whole family (with babies, aunts, uncles, and other family) of rodents living in your home's basement, the walls, or in and between stored items. This is because rats are most active at night when you are less likely to see them.

It is always best to call a rodent professional and extermination expert who has extensive knowledge and tools to know where the rodents will be and how to get them out of the house -- and provide recommendations to keep them out!

When you do work with a licensed professional, there will be a number of things you need to do to prepare for service, to ensure the treatment is as effective and long-lasting as possible.

Prior to performing this, or any service, the licensed professional will generally provide you with a specific list of preparation activities, "prep," to be completed before they arrive.

The following lists some of the most common requests or recommendations made by service companies.

Because a lack of preparation could make a treatment unsafe or cause rodent reinfestation of the entire home or building, many technicians will not treat areas that are not prepared to specifications.

Preparation Steps
You can help your rodent professional rid your home of a mouse or rat problem by completing the following steps prior to service:

Make sure that all food that is not in a can or jar is stored in the refrigerator or heavy plastic container during service, and for at least two weeks afterward. This includes chips, candies, nuts, cereals, bread, any grain-based food, pet foods, etc., that are normally stored in upper or lower cabinets, on counter tops, or on top of the refrigerator. Although usually bagged, rodents can chew right through plastic bags to get to foods.

Repair any holes in walls, around baseboards, or doors that don’t seal properly  This is because rodents can enter through gaps as small as 1/4 inch and rats through holes as small as 1/2 inch in diameter.

Remove all items from the top of the refrigerator and from beneath the kitchen sink to allow access to these areas.

When the technician arrives, discuss the situation making note of areas where rodents or signs of rodents have been seen.

The technician may be setting and placing a variety of baits and traps. Do not touch or disturb these during or after the service.

For ongoing control, clean, sweep and vacuum the home regularly. Take out the trash on a regular basis, keep lids on trash cans, and keep all areas as clean as possible.

Eliminate any unnecessary storage including boxes, paper, and clothing, because rodents (and other pests) will take shelter here, gnaw the items to make their nests, and even breed in undisturbed areas.

When you follow the steps listed above, the technician can more effectively rid your home of the problem. And it is more likely that you will be able to maintain a rodent-free home.

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Unless it's your pet rat or mouse in a cage (which may still cause some family members to jump on a chair if it gets loose!), any rodent in the home is not a good thing. Not only are rats and mice a nasty nuisance, they can contaminate food, chew up important papers and wiring, and spread disease.

How do you keep rats and mice out of the house - without using poison? 

Tips to Keep Rats and Mice Out of the House

Don't feed the birds! Birds aren't always neat eaters, they will let much of the seed fall to the ground, where it provides a free and easy meal for rodents and other wildlife and insects (such as squirrels, geese, and even ants) to hang around your house.

Don't leave your garage door open for extended periods, especially overnight. This is an open invitation for rats, mice, and wildlife (including unwanted wild people!) to enter and take shelter, potentially making their way into your home as well.

Don't store 50 pounds of dog food in your garage. The aroma of pet food, bird seed, or grass seed can attract the rodents, so it must be kept in airtight containers. While that metal trash can and lid may indeed keep mice from getting to your dog food, they won't realize that until after the smell has lured them into your garage.

The same should be said about the enticing aroma of garbage. Controlling these smells can mean all the difference between having no mice and having several families of them nesting in your garage and eventually in your walls.

Seal your air conditioner lines and other gaps that are the size of a dime or larger.

Resist overdoing it on the landscaping. Abundant, dense plant life near the home creates an irresistible sanctuary and safe haven for rodents just outside your home. Unfortunately, the same lush beautiful landscaping so many of us admire and aspire to have are just as attractive to many of the pests we want to keep out of our homes.

Clean up spilled "mouse food" immediately. A few pieces of dog food on the garage floor or some spilled bird or grass seed will be irresistible to a hungry mouse outside.

Signs of Rodent Presence
When a mouse or rat decides to visit, it's rarely seen. Usually, signs that rats or mice have invaded your home are chewed holes in boxes and bags of dry goods in a pantry or dog food and grass seed bags in the garage.

Rodents have been known to chew through electrical wiring, causing expensive repairs, or even causing fires. Often, it's their droppings (feces) that are noticed first. But the true danger in a mouse or rat's visit is often invisible. Various diseases, including Hantavirus, are transmitted by the accidental inhalation of dust from a rodent's dried urine.

The most effective way to control a rodent population in your home is prevention. With a little bit of garage cleaning, yard work, and caulking, you can avoid the major hassle of extensive cleanup that is necessary, even if only one or two mice have a party in your pantry.

Rodent Solutions offers rodent proofing services to prevent rodent infestation.

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For humans, rats are often the stuff of nightmares, but it seems that the rodents may be as likely to experience bad dreams themselves as they are to star in ours. In a new study in Nature Neuroscience, researchers placed rats in a maze and allowed them to explore. At a certain point in the maze the scientists blasted the animals in the face with a bit of compressed air from a keyboard cleaner—a harmless but uncomfortable experience for the rats. Later, as the researchers monitored the animals sleeping, they could see patterns of connectivity in the animals’ hippocampi corresponding to their mental map of the maze. For the first time, however, the scientists saw activity in another region of the brain involved in emotion—the amygdala—whenever the rats’ brains recalled the location of the scary air puff, New Scientist reports. Whether rats actually experience this phenomenon as fear in the context of a dream is impossible to know without asking them, however.

Source: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/09/rats-may-have-nightmares-too-say-researchers-who-monitored-their-sleep

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Bats in Panama live their lives on the edge of starvation. They fly all night in search of fig juice—burning precious fuel in the process—and if they fail, they can die. Now, ecologists have uncovered the secret of the bats’ success: They radically change their heart rates, revving them up like a human sprinter when flying, and damping them down like a long-distance runner when resting.

“These bats have found a way to function at both extremely high levels of energy and very low levels,” says Kyle Elliott, an ecophysiologist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who was not involved with the work. “This is very unusual in animals.” Most lower their heart rate so drastically only for extended periods of time, such as when they’re hibernating, he notes.

To conduct the study, researchers led by Teague O’Mara, an ecologist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany, outfitted four Uroderma bilobatum bats—mouse-sized creatures that build “resting tents” out of giant leaves—with miniaturized heart monitors. Each night, he and his colleagues chased after the animals, crashing through the jungle holding big antennas that let them hear as the bat heartbeats sped up and slowed down.

The heart rates were quite high—between 791 and 1066 beats per minute—when they were flying. That’s not quite a record, as blue-throated hummingbirds can reach 1260 beats per minute, and Etruscan shrews top out at about 1500 beats per minute (humans peak at about 240 beats per minute). But it’s nonetheless impressive, because the bats are much bigger, with bigger hearts to empty and fill, says Charles Bishop, a zoologist specializing in animal genetics at Bangor University in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work.

But the big surprise was that when the bats were resting, their hearts periodically slowed down sharply, O’Mara and colleagues report this week in eLife. Several times each hour, the bats lowered their already slowed heart rates from about 300 beats per minute down to 200 beats per minute for about 6 minutes. Over the course of a day this saves 10% of their daily energy budget, the researchers report. “This could be the difference between life and death over a season,” Bishop says.

To find out how quickly the bats burn energy, the team fed Uroderma in the lab agave nectar, which has a relatively high proportion of a different kind of carbon atom compared to fig juice. They then measured the bats’ breath to see how fast that carbon was converted to carbon dioxide. They also measured levels of the hormone cortisol, which affects energy expenditure.

The tests suggest just how close to the edge these bats live. It takes the animals only about 8 minutes to begin to burn up the agave nectar and breathe out those unusual carbon atoms, O’Mara reports. Moreover, that meal made half their fat reserves by the next day. “They need all that energy to make their muscles go so they can cover the distances they need,” O’Mara says. “If they don’t find food that day, they are going to be in big trouble.”

“The study does a great job of integrating the physiological measurements in the lab with what is happening in the wild,” Elliot says. “There are very, very few studies that do that.”

The ability of these animals to drastically slow their heart rate is remarkable, he adds. “One moment they are a Mercedes tearing up the race track and chewing through fuel, the next they are a Mazda 3 going down the highway with maximum fuel economy.”

Article source: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/09/avoid-starving-bat-varies-its-heart-rate-1000-200-beats-minute

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A furry little culprit is causing big problems for car manufactures and, possibly more importantly, for drivers whose vehicles are being destroyed.

Now lawsuits are popping up across the country claiming rodents are responsible, eating cars from the inside out. And it's likely not covered under your warranty.

Critics say soy-wire coverings now used in many new cars are also a tasty food source attracting rodents. They're chewing through wires, and costing car owners thousands of dollars.

Alice Clark, a rat enthusiast, says her cuddly little "pets" wouldn't hurt anyone, but what they could do to the insides of your car is a different tail.

"It's edible, rats will eat pretty much anything that's edible," Clark said.

Clark feeds her rats soy. And critics say as car companies are going green, they've also turned to soy as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic for wrapping wires and car parts.

Driver Sandy Medina doesn't know how long she had furry friends living under her hood.

"Driving around there could have been something underneath while I was driving it and who knows, maybe something would have popped out!" Medina said.

After owning her Toyota Forerunner for just three months, Medina says the first sign of trouble was when her engine light went on and she took it to her dealer.

"They told me, 'There's a nest in the car. Could be anything, could be rodents, could be squirrels, could be anything,'" Medina said.

She says mechanics told her these pests weren't just making her car their home, they were making it their meal.

"I don't even think that there was anything left. Everything was eaten," Medina said.

She fears it wasn't only bad for her car, it was a potential fire and safety hazard, too.

"I felt that my life was in danger," Medina said.

Attorney Brian Kabateck says, "It is a design defect which has effected a lot of people and has cost a lot of people a lot of money."

Kabateck has filed a class action lawsuit against Toyota, which is one of the manufacturers allegedly using a soy based compound for wire insulation.

"Rats think this is delicious," Kabateck said.

The lawsuit says the soy is "baiting rodents" and "enticing these pests to chew through... the wiring" which could "leave the vehicle partially or completely inoperable."

"It can be a life safety hazard, it can cause the car to stop in the middle of the highway, it can cause it to shut down, and it can cause serious problems," Kabateck said.

Kabatech says it's unknown how many manufacturers are using soy in their cars, but Toyota and Honda are two of the most prevalent.

He believes Toyota is using soy to cut costs, not necessarily to go green, and they are leaving car owners to pay for it.

"They ate $6,000 out of my pocket," Medina said.

While some insurance companies, like Medina's, will pay for repairs, the class action cases says Toyota won't cover it under their warranty. Medina says the wires in her truck were replaced with the exact same soy wire covers.

"They can't guarantee that it's not going to happen again," Medina said.

Mark Zickler of Terminix says, "Soy is a little bit sweeter than chewing on a petroleum product, obviously."

Honda has said that rodents chewing wiring has been a longstanding problem and they have seen no evidence that anything in their wiring is increasing rodents gnawing tendencies. Nonetheless, they have come out with a fix - spicy tape - that costs about $45.

"You wrap the wiring throughout your vehicle and it has a really super spicy flavoring in it that deters them from wanting to chew on it," Zickler said.

He also recommends owners move their cars, instead of leaving them in one place for long periods which makes them a more likely home, parking inside, and using traps and moth balls to deter rodents.

"They can come from anywhere and surprise you," Zickler said.

Medina, who is part of the class action lawsuit, just wants to warn other drivers and she wants manufactures to fix the problem, without passing the buck to consumers.

"Why wait until something catastrophic to occur, why can't you do something now?" Medina said.

In a statement to Action News Toyota said "rodent damage... occurs across the industry and is not brand or model specific. And they are "not aware of any scientific evidence that shows rodents are attracted to automotive wiring because of alleged soy bases content."

Honda tells us they believe the class action lawsuits have no merit.



STATEMENT FROM TOYOTA

Rodent damage to vehicle wiring occurs across the industry, and the issue is not brand- or model-specific. We are currently not aware of any scientific evidence that shows rodents are attracted to automotive wiring because of alleged soy-based content. Because these claims are the subject of current litigation, we cannot comment further.

STATEMENT FROM HONDA

It is a long established fact that rodents are drawn to chew on electrical wiring in homes, cars, or anywhere else where they may choose to nest.
Honda introduced a rodent-deterrent tape a few years ago to help combat this age-old issue for customers who live in areas where rodents have caused prior damage. Our attempt to provide some protection for our customers against this natural behavior should not lead to the assumption that Honda created the issue in the first place.

Further, Honda sources parts, including electrical wiring and wire harnesses, from several different suppliers who each have their own proprietary formula for wire insulation and wire harnesses. Honda has not received any confirmation from its various suppliers that the wiring insulation and harnesses used in Honda vehicles are soy-based, as the plaintiffs allege. Honda is not aware of studies or information indicating that any of the wiring insulation or other components used for Honda vehicles are derived from substances that attract rodents or increase their propensity to chew on wiring or other components in engine compartments. It is Honda's understanding that rodents may seek shelter in engine components and once inside, can cause damage as a natural result of their need to chew and use material that has been chewed for nesting. Honda is not aware of any information suggesting rodents use wire insulation as a food source.

Class action lawsuits have been filed against a number of auto manufacturers alleging that vehicles contain soy-based wiring insulation and that such insulations attracts rodents to chew on the insulation. Honda believes that the class actions filed against it have no merit.

By Wendy Saltzman

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About one-third of 1751 genes studied in the first comprehensive survey of the mouse genome are essential to life, according to research by an international collaboration including the University of California, Davis, Mouse Biology Program. Mutations of these genes cause death at the embryo stage. Many of them have counterparts in the human genome, so understanding why these genes are so vital could help prioritize human genes for study.

"This is the first comprehensive survey of its kind, and it shows that one-third of the mouse protein-coding genome is essential to life," said Kent Lloyd, professor of surgery at UC Davis and director of the Mouse Biology Program and the NIH-funded Knockout Mouse Project. "This begins to inform what may be happening in people."

The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium, which includes UC Davis researchers, is generating and characterizing "knockout" mutations for all of the protein-coding genes in the mouse genome. The consortium aims to discover new functions for the roughly 20,000 genes mice share with humans, providing tools for investigating human disease.

The new study reports the results of the first 1,751 genes characterized by the consortium, finding that nearly one-third are essential for life. These include 410 that are fully lethal when mutated, and an additional 198 for which fewer than half of the expected number of mutants were identified, meaning that only a few variations of the gene lead to viable offspring.

Using high-resolution 3D imaging and automated, computational analysis of the images, the researchers established for each gene both the time of embryonic death and why the embryos died, shedding light on the function of these genes.

High-resolution computed tomography image of a 9 1/2-day-old mouse embryo. Using advanced imaging techniques, an international team including UC Davis researchers has been able to work out the function of hundreds of genes that are essential to develop a live mouse. Because these genes have human equivalents, they could be used to home in on important genes to study in human diseases.
Credit: Doug Rowland, UC Davis.

Human counterparts are candidates for precision medicine

Many of these genes have counterparts in the human genome, and these genes are thus strong candidates for undiagnosed human genetic conditions.

"Where we don't know the cause of disease, they may not have a full knockout, but a variant that doesn't work quite right," Lloyd said.

The mouse data could help prioritize genes to study through the national Precision Medicine Initiative, he said.

The knockout mice generated are available to other researchers who may be investigating particular pathways or disease phenotypes.

The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium includes: the Knockout Mouse Project, a consortium led by UC Davis; a similar consortium led by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston; and the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, as well as international partners. All three U.S. organizations are funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Source: ScienceDaily.com 

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Instead of building a better mouse trap, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have built a better mouse cage. They've created a system called EnerCage (Energized Cage) for scientific experiments on awake, freely behaving small animals. It wirelessly powers electronic devices and sensors traditionally used during rodent research experiments, but without the use of interconnect wires or bulky batteries. Their goal is to create as natural an environment within the cage as possible for mice and rats in order for scientists to obtain consistent and reliable results. The EnerCage system also uses Microsoft's Kinect video game technology to track the animals and recognize their activities, automating a process that typically requires researchers to stand and directly observe the rodents or watch countless hours of recorded footage to determine how they react to experiments.

The wirelessly energized cage system was presented this month at the International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) in Orlando, Florida.

The Georgia Tech EnerCage is wrapped with carefully oriented strips of copper foils that can inductively power the cage and the electronics implanted in, or attached to, one or more animal subjects inside the cage. The system can run indefinitely and collect data without human intervention because of wireless communication and power transmission.

"It's always better to keep an animal in its natural settings with minimum burden or stress to improve the quality of an experiment," said Maysam Ghovanloo, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who developed the EnerCage. "Anything that is abnormal or unnatural may bias the experiment, no matter what experiment in any field. That includes grabbing the animal to attach or detach wires, change batteries or transferring it from one cage to another."

Ghovanloo uses four resonating copper coils to create a homogenous magnetic field inside the cage. The built-in closed loop power control mechanism supplies enough power to compensate for all freely behaving animal subject activities, whether they're standing up, crouching down, or walking around the cage. The small headstage for the animal is also wrapped with resonators to deliver power to a receiver coil.

The Kinect is suspended about three feet above the cage. It has a high-definition camera, an infrared depth camera, and four microphones to record and analyze the animal behavior. It can capture both a two-dimensional high-resolution image of a rat's location and a three-dimensional image that would identify its body posture.

"We're building computer algorithms to determine if the animal is standing, sitting, sleeping, grooming, eating, drinking or doing nothing," said Ghovanloo. "We're hoping to reduce the expensive costs of new drug and medical device development by allowing machines to do mundane, repetitive tasks now assigned to humans." The Georgia Tech team is working in partnership with Emory University, hoping to impact the clinical efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS). A growing number of clinical trials are using DBS to treat disorders of the central nervous system, such as Parkinson's disease, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. The cellular mechanisms that contribute to the clinical efficacy of DBS remain largely unknown, however.

Emory's Donald (Tig) Rainnie and his research team use freely moving rodent models to examine the effects of DBS on neural circuits thought to be disrupted in depression. They have tested the EnerCage system.

"The requirement to use a tethered headstage to record neural data and apply the DBS has hindered progress in this field," said Rainnie, a researcher at Emory's Yerkes National Primate Research Center and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. "We provided critical feedback, via beta testing of the EnerCage system, on how to maximize the utility of the system for different behavioral applications. We found a key advantage of the EnerCage system is that it will allow researchers to conduct chronic DBS and track associated behavioral changes for days, if not weeks, without disturbing the test animals."

Until now, Rainnie says, that hasn't been possible, and it is key to understanding the long-term benefits of DBS in patients.

The next steps at Georgia Tech are designing EnerCage-compatible implants, such as one for delivering drugs, and expanding the system to a network of dozens of cages that can collect data from multiple animals at the same time.

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Rodent-Proofing Your Premises

Rodent-Proofing Your Premises

Everyone strives for a Rodent-free home.

Rodent-proofing your home, apartment, farm or other buildings involves identifying and eliminating the conditions that make it possible for rats and mice to survive - mainly their food, water and harborage. Once you know the problem areas, follow the four major steps below to reduce or eliminate these conditions.

Keeping Rodents Out of Your Home or Other Buildings

1. Remove Sources of Food & Water
Improving sanitation conditions is one of the best ways to prevent and to get rid of rodent problems. Rats and mice are opportunistic feeders that will eat any food discarded by humans. Eliminating their food and water is critical to controlling them.

Outdoors:
Pick up trash and discarded food.
Keep tightly sealed lids on garbage cans.
Store pet and bird food in sealed containers.
Get rid of standing water by filling holes or unlevel places in the yard where puddles might form or by eliminating standing water in buckets, pools, or other containers.

Indoors:
Clean up spilled food in cupboards and on floors.
Keep counters and food preparation areas clear of food at night.
Keep all food packages tightly sealed.


2. Get Rid of Rodent Habitats

Outdoors:
Remove clutter and debris.
Keep grass, shrubs, and other vegetation around your home trimmed.
Trim overhanging trees that cause shadowy areas where rodents feel protected.

Indoors:
Clear out boxes and other clutter in basements and storage areas.
Store materials off the floors on shelves, wherever possible.

3. Keep Rodents From Entering Cracks & Crevices 

Rats can fit through an opening about the size of a nickel. Mice can squeeze through an area smaller than a dime. Call Rodent Solutions to seal your home and prevent rodents from entering.  


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Rodents may be in your garage, attic, closets, cabinets, tool shed or yard. It’s a busy time for pest control companies and rodenticide sales. But nature can control rodent populations, if you let it. In the natural environment, there is balance. Every creature is prey to some animals and predator to others.

Raptors – owls, hawks, falcons, eagles and vultures – are rodents’ natural predators. You should not spend money on poisons and put desirable wildlife, pets and children at risk of accidental poisoning. Let the birds of prey naturally remove rodents for you.

Most raptors use the same nest for many years and some even pass from one generation to the next. Bald eagles are known to have used the same nest as long as 35 years. That makes them an excellent long-term control for rodent populations in the immediate area.

During breeding season, a family of five owls can eat as many as 3,000 rodents! Remember that poisoned rodents can poison the predators, scavengers and pets that eat them!

Even though the state Department of Pesticide Regulation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have restricted public access to the most dangerous rodenticides, all rodenticides – including the types still available to consumers – are poisons that can kill wildlife, pets and children.

Unfortunately, even after stricter regulations on rodenticides were enacted, wildlife continue to be exposed to second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum and difethialone). Licensed pest control companies and agricultural producers are still free to use them. If consumers hire pest control companies, they should know that the materials the firms use could poison local wildlife. Only consumers can ensure that it doesn’t. The most effective pest control does not involve chemicals, but sanitation and exclusion.

Like most animals, rodents will congregate and multiply where food is available and they feel safe. The easiest way to discourage them is to remove or modify anything that could make them comfortable. Sanitation is the first step to controlling rodents. For example:

Keep your home and yard neat and clean. Don’t give rats places to hide.
Remove objects and plants that rodents can hide under, such as wood piles, debris, construction waste, dense vegetation and ground-covering vines like ivy.
Pick up fruit that has fallen from trees as soon as possible.
Secure your garbage in a tightly sealed can.
Seal water leaks and remove standing water that can attract unwelcome animals, breed mosquitoes and waste water.

Contact Rodent Solutions to remove mice and rats from inside the building and seal the entries they used to get in: openings where cables, wires and pipes enter buildings, and cracks or holes in the foundation, walls and roofs. Rodents can squeeze into holes as narrow as ½ inch diameter! 

We offer poison free solutions.  Find out more at http://rodentsolutioninc.com/why-choose-us

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Much of human health hinges on how well the body manufactures and uses energy. For reasons that remain unclear, cells' ability to produce energy declines with age, prompting scientists to suspect that the steady loss of efficiency in the body's energy supply chain is a key driver of the aging process.

Now, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that supplementing healthy mice with a natural compound called NMN can compensate for this loss of energy production, reducing typical signs of aging such as gradual weight gain, loss of insulin sensitivity and declines in physical activity.

"We have shown a way to slow the physiologic decline that we see in aging mice," said Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, a professor of developmental biology and of medicine. "This means older mice have metabolism and energy levels resembling that of younger mice. Since human cells rely on this same energy production process, we are hopeful this will translate into a method to help people remain healthier as they age."

Imai is working with researchers conducting a clinical trial to test the safety of NMN in healthy people. The phase 1 trial began earlier this year at Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo.

With age, the body loses its capacity to make a key element of energy production called NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). Past work by Imai and co-senior author Jun Yoshino, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine, has shown that NAD levels decrease in multiple tissues as mice age. Past research also has shown that NAD is not effective when given directly to mice so the researchers sought an indirect method to boost its levels. To do so, they only had to look one step earlier in the NAD supply chain to a compound called NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide).

Scientists have shown that supplementing healthy mice with a natural compound called NMN can compensate for this loss of energy production, reducing typical signs of aging such as gradual weight gain, loss of insulin sensitivity and declines in physical activity.
Credit: © Irina K. / Fotolia

NMN can be given safely to mice and is found naturally in a number of foods, including broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, edamame and avocado. The new study shows that when NMN is dissolved in drinking water and given to mice, it appears in the bloodstream in less than three minutes. Importantly, the researchers also found that NMN in the blood is quickly converted to NAD in multiple tissues.

"We wanted to make sure that when we give NMN through drinking water, it actually goes into the blood circulation and into tissues," Imai said. "Our data show that NMN absorption happens very rapidly."

To determine the long-term effects of giving NMN, Imai, Yoshino and their colleagues studied three groups of healthy male mice fed regular mouse chow diets. Starting at five months of age, one group received a high dose of NMN-supplemented drinking water, another group received a low dose of the NMN drinking water, and a third group served as a control, receiving no NMN. The researchers compared multiple aspects of physiology between the groups, first at 5 months of age and then every three months, until the mice reached 17 months of age. Typical laboratory mice live about two years.

The researchers found a variety of beneficial effects of NMN supplementation, including in skeletal muscle, liver function, bone density, eye function, insulin sensitivity, immune function, body weight and physical activity levels. But these benefits were seen exclusively in older mice.

"When we give NMN to the young mice, they do not become healthier young mice," Yoshino said. "NMN supplementation has no effect in the young mice because they are still making plenty of their own NMN. We suspect that the increase in inflammation that happens with aging reduces the body's ability to make NMN and, by extension, NAD."

In skeletal muscle, the investigators -- including the study's first author, Kathryn Mills, the research supervisor in Imai's lab -- found that NMN administration helps energy metabolism by improving the function of mitochondria, which operate as cellular power plants. They also found that mice given NMN gained less weight with aging even as they consumed more food, likely because their boosted metabolism generated more energy for physical activity. The researchers also found better function of the mouse retina with NMN supplementation, as well as increased tear production, which is often lost with aging. They also found improved insulin sensitivity in the older mice receiving NMN, and this difference remained significant even when they corrected for differences in body weight.

In a paper published earlier this year in Cell Reports, Yoshino and his colleagues revealed more details of how NAD works in influencing glucose metabolism and the body's fat tissue. In that study, the mice had a defect in the ability to manufacture NAD only in the body's fat tissue. The rest of their tissues and organs were normal.

"Even though NAD synthesis was stopped only in the fat tissue, we saw metabolic dysfunction throughout the body, including the skeletal muscle, the heart muscle, the liver and in measures of the blood lipids," Yoshino said. "When we gave NMN to these mice, these dysfunctions were reversed. That means NAD in adipose tissue is a critical regulator of whole body metabolism."

Added Imai, "This is important because Jun showed that if you mess up NAD synthesis only in fat tissue, you see insulin resistance everywhere. Adipose tissue must be doing something remarkable to control whole body insulin sensitivity."

During the long-term NMN study in healthy mice, Imai also said they monitored the animals for any potential increase in cancer development as a result of NMN administration.

"Some tumor cells are known to have a higher capability to synthesize NAD, so we were concerned that giving NMN might increase cancer incidence," Imai said. "But we have not seen any differences in cancer rates between the groups."

The phase 1 trial in Japan is using NMN manufactured by Oriental Yeast Co., which also provided the NMN used in these mouse studies. Outside of this clinical trial, high-grade NMN for human consumption is not commercially available. But there's always broccoli.

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While we should all feel blessed to be surrounded by raccoons, dogs and bats that make our fauna diversity more interesting and exciting, these animals can also be a potential source of rabies, a completely preventable disease that can turn 100 percent fatal when not treated immediately.

Compared with third world countries, nations like the United States fare better when it comes to fighting rabies. That doesn't mean, however, it no longer exists. Early this year, some bats found in Irvine Regional Park in California tested positive for the rabies virus.

What Is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral disease that can be passed on between animals and between animals and humans through saliva. In very rare cases, rabies is spread through corneal transplant.

This means that humans can acquire the virus if they have been bitten or their open wounds or cracked skin is licked by a rabid animal. Humans can also develop rabies if they've been scratched by claws covered with saliva. It cannot be transmitted through other means like urine or blood, or by petting a rabid animal.

Once the rabies gets into the body, it attaches itself to the nerve cells, gradually destroying the nervous system. In its last performance, it attacks the brain, killing the person.

The incubation period is usually two to 12 weeks, but in some situations, clinical symptoms can occur less than two weeks up to at least a year, depending on how much virus the saliva had, the person's immunity and the location of the bite. The closer it is to the brain, the faster the symptoms can appear.

Treatment for Rabies

There have been reported cases of people who survived rabies, but almost always, people die after the signs and symptoms of rabies appear. These include:

- Prickling sensation or itching in the wound site

- Fever

- Feeling of discomfort

- Agitation or anxiety

- Disorientation and hallucination

- Headache

- Fatigue

- Changes in behavior

- Insomnia

- Difficulty drinking water

- Hypersensitivity to light

There's also no diagnostic test that can determine if the virus has already entered the body and how far along it is in destroying the brain.

However, people who have been bitten by an animal with rabies can be treated with a vaccine, which can be administered before or after the bite (the latter, called post-exposure prophylaxis or PEP, is more common). When the vaccination is performed, it can differ according to the degree of contact with suspected rabies:

These shots can be provided in hospitals, animal bite centers and vaccine clinics.

First aid can also be done prior to the vaccination. This includes washing the wound with running water and soap, then cleaning the area thoroughly. Exposure to rabies can also be prevented or significantly reduced by vaccinating pets annually.

Source: http://www.techtimes.com/

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Almost all homeowners know the feeling of unease that accompanies finding mice or rodents in your home. Whether in the kitchen, attic, basement or dining room - a rodent sighting can incite surprise and fear in even the most composed homeowner. Unfortunately, these common pests are resourceful creatures that can enter a building or home through the smallest opening or crack, and require very little space to travel inside. Mice can easily fit through spaces as small as a nickel!

Rodents seek shelter indoors, especially during the cooler fall and winter months, and once inside can cause more than just an unpleasant infestation. Rodents put homes at risk for electrical fires by gnawing through wires. More frequently, though, rodents serve as vectors, carrying bacteria, such as salmonella, on their bodies and contaminating food sources, kitchen surfaces and equipment. The common white-footed deer mouse is also known to transmit the potentially fatal Hantavirus.

Simple Rodent Control Tips

Fortunately, there are many ways homeowners can proactively prevent and get rid of rodent infestations in their homes:

  1. Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  2. Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  3. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both. 
  4. Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  5. Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  6. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  7. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
  8. Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages brought into the home.
  9. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.
  10. If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem. 

If you spot evidence of a rodent infestation, do not hesitate to act to handle the problem. Rodents are known to reproduce quickly, and a small problem can turn into a big issue overnight if left untreated.

Rodent control and management are important for health and safety reasons.

Source: http://www.pestworld.org/

If you're noticing a rodent issue please contact a Professional such as Rodent Solutions for rodent removal in your Sarasota and/or Bradenton Home and/or Office. - Call 941-704-0063

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Even minor flaws in a new home should not be ignored as they can potentially lead to pest damage.  Here are some tips to follow when purchasing a home.

Overlooking tiny cracks

Even tiny cracks and crevices in the foundation, doorways and walls where pipes enter the home could be inviting ants, roaches, spiders, rodents and other pests inside.

A rat can squeeze through an opening as small as a quarter and a mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime. Cockroaches, ants and spiders can enter through tiny crevices, too.

Pests are attracted to shelter, food and water. Homeowners should promptly clean up all water and food spills, seal any cracks and crevices around doors, windows and pipes and install weather stripping around and under all doors, including garage doors.

Obtaining second-hand furniture

Buying a home is an expensive investment and it may be tempting to save money with furniture from a thrift shop or garage sale, but bed bugs, spiders and even scorpions have been known to dwell in second-hand upholstered furniture.

Once inside, they can spread from room to room. That's why it's important to inspect and quarantine -- for several months if possible -- all second-hand furniture before bringing it inside your home.

Ignoring insulation

A home's attic can be a gateway inside for many pests, such as rodents and cockroaches, that nest in insulation. It's important to inspect insulation for pest activity and damage: insulation that is wet, matted down, chewed or covered with droppings.

New insulation technology incorporates materials specifically designed to help deter household pests.

Ignoring flooring and siding damage

Termites are called "silent destroyers" because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in a home or yard without immediate signs of damage. They cause more than $5 billion in damage every year in the United States, according to the National Pest Management Association.

House foundations, wood framing, furniture and shelves are all possible feeding sites for termites. In spring, termites can be seen swarming around windows or doors. Other signs of termite activity include buckling wood, swollen floors and ceilings and areas that appear to be suffering from slight water damage.

Brick and mortar homes are not termite-proof as they have wooden components, such as framing and flooring, that can host termite infestations. It's important to work with a licensed professional to provide regular inspections.

Not repairing leaks

Minor leaks may seem to be just that -- minor -- but leaks or condensation, combined with increasing temperatures in the spring, can create ideal conditions for cockroaches and other pests.

American cockroaches, "camel crickets" and springtails can enter homes through tiny cracks and are attracted to damp areas, both in the attic or crawl space and indoors in the basement, kitchen or bathroom.

Small steps make a big difference. Fix leaking faucets, water pipes and A/C units and eliminate standing water on the roof or in gutters to help prevent an infestation.

Source: http://www.msn.com/

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Why Hire Us?

After a professional inspection, we didn't feel that there was evidence that the rat infestation was originating from the outside of a customer's home. We recommended a vapor test by the top leak detection company in our area Specialized Plumbing Technologies before they hired us to trap. The customer stated that her plumbing was working fine. I convinced her to trust me after a lengthy conversation and showing her diagrams. If I was telling her to spend money outside of my company, I was sure. This is what was found inside her wall. It was a completely destroyed plumbing vent pipe allowing rats from the sewer into her walls over and over. Our construction background is another thing that makes us different from our big box franchised competition and helped not waste this customer's money with never ending trapping. Make sure you always hire a rodent company with construction experience/education in their background.

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