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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 Wired to Infest Vehicles

The National Pest Management Association explains why rodents invade cars

 FAIRFAX, VA – Many causes are possible when vehicles experience problems, but it might surprise motorists to learn that a rodent infestation could be one of them.  According to the National Pest Management Association, several innate factors drive rodents under the hood, leading to car damage, particularly during wintertime.

“Vehicles possess the ideal attributes that attract rodents in winter, including shelter and built-up warmth from commutes,” says Michael Bentley, Ph.D., a staff entomologist at NPMA. “Rodents hate being out in the open where they are vulnerable to predators, so when they see a car holding freshly generated heat that also offers protection from the great outdoors, they are drawn to it for cover.”

Entering into cars is easy — a mouse, for example, can squeeze through openings as small as a dime. Once inside, any crumbs the owner leaves behind, or other chewable items, will hold rodents’ attention, and that includes wires.

“Rodents are instinctively avid chewers. About three percent of their daily activity is just gnawing on objects like wires,” says Bentley. “Unfortunately, cars have an abundance of materials that rodents enjoy chewing through.”

Changes in car design may also attract rodents. Recently, numerous consumers have reported experiencing rodent infestations in their cars, attributing them to the materials manufacturers are using in their eco-friendly models, such as soy-based wiring, which is especially appealing to a rodent’s palate.

Costly car repairs aside, rodents can also have negative effects on human health. They can, for example, cause respiratory issues, including asthma and allergy symptoms.

To eliminate the likelihood of rodents infesting a vehicle, keep trash in tightly closed containers and seal up points of entry into the garage. Drivers should also regularly look under the hood for gnawed materials, nests, droppings and frayed wires.

Source: http://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/press-releases/rodents-wired-to-infest-vehicles/

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Top Tips To Keep Wild Animals In The Wild

Unfortunately, our homes often provide the perfect refuge for nuisance wildlife because they have easy access to food, water and shelter from the elements. As such, it’s important to animal-proof your property. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that no curious critters sneak in through the attic, basement or other susceptible areas of the home.

Once inside, wild animals are not only difficult to eradicate, but they can also pose serious health risks by carrying diseases like rabies and biting if they feel threatened. If you encounter nuisance wildlife on your property, it’s extremely important to contact a local wildlife control specialist or pest control professional instead of attempting to trap and remove the animal on your own.

  1. Screen vents

    Raccoons and squirrels often find their way into homes via uncapped chimneys, broken vents and other openings along rooflines. Ensure that these items are fully screened to prevent wild animals from making your home their own.
  2. Cover the trash

    Raccoons and squirrels often find their way into homes via uncapped chimneys, broken vents and other openings along rooflines. Ensure that these items are fully screened to prevent wild animals from making your home their own.
  3. Cut back vegetation

    Squirrels and other small wildlife are known to use tree branches to gain access to rooflines, where they can then find a number of ways to move indoors. Be sure to cut back any tree limbs or branches that hang too close to the foundation. A good rule of thumb is to keep vegetation at least 6 to 8 feet from the roofline.
  4. Clean up the yard

    Do not leave brush, leaf piles or other debris accumulate in the yard, as these materials make the ideal harborage site for small animals. Also, make sure that firewood is stored at least 20 feet from the house during the cooler months.
  5. Keep bird feeders out of reach

    Ensure bird feeders are only accessible by birds. Squirrels, raccoons, opossums and even bears are drawn to birdseed. Homeowners should also place birdbaths where small animals cannot reach them. Birdbaths and fountains may attract wildlife to the property, especially in areas where water is scarce.
    Source: http://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/top-tips-to-keep-wild-animals-in-the-wild/
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The 7 Things Mice Love Most

Nearly 1/3 of American homes have reported a mouse problem at one time or another, and it’s not hard to believe considering how much we have in common with these furry little pests. Whether you are a passionate chocolate lover, or a fitness fanatic, there’s a good chance you’ll find something on this list that you love too. As a matter of fact, your similar interests may just be inviting them in.

Since most mouse problems occur during fall and winter months when mice are seeking warmth inside people’s homes, you’ll want to know exactly what mice like so you can make sure they don’t like your house.

 

  1. Eating -- Most rodents prefer seeds and grains, but will nibble on almost anything. However, the stereotype that mice love cheese isn’t true because their sensitive noses find it a bit too smelly.

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  2. Chewing -- Rodent teeth never stop growing, so they need to chew all the time to file down their incisors. They also chew up various things to make soft bedding for their nests.

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  3. Gettin’ busy! A female mouse can have her first litter at just 6-8 weeks old and reproduce about every two months after that. Needless to say, there is no such thing as ‘just one mouse’ and you can go from one sighting to an infestation in the blink of an eye.

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  4. Sneaking around -- Night time is the right time if you are a mouse. Since visual acuity is not a strong suit for mice, evening hours and dim lighting are not a setback. And since you’re sound asleep, they can have the run of the house.

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  5. Athletic training -- You might not believe it, but mice can jump more than three times their height; they are capable swimmers, and they can climb almost any terrain. All of that means that the best way to keep mice out is to make sure they don’t want to come in in the first place.natural_mice_control
  6. Staying close to home --Even though mice can be found all over the world, they prefer to spend most of their time less than 20 feet away from their nest or burrow. This means that when you see signs of mice, they didn’t just ‘eat and run;’ they are always nearby.

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  7. Pets -- Rodents don’t mind eating Fido or Fluffy’s sloppy seconds. If you leave a dish of food out 24/7, rats and mice will come and grab the nutricious morsels up to 20X daily, then ‘cache’ ( stock pile) for later consumption!

    natural_rodent_control

Instead, keep the food dishes empty until meal time so you know you’re only feeding your fur-family members and no one else.

Despite our common interests, these pests are not people. Rodents can carry many diseases like salmonella and Hantavirus, and are a health risk for people – their hair can even aggravate asthma.

Source-Rita Stadler www.earthkind.org

 

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Researchers have developed a new mouse model that could be used in Zika research to better understand the virus and find new treatments, according to a study published in PLOS Pathogens.

A person infected with Zika virus usually has no symptoms or only has mild ones. However, in recent outbreaks, the virus has been linked to increased rates of neurological disorders and birth defects. There is an urgent need for better animal models for laboratory research to study the Zika virus and potential treatments.

Previous studies have shown that young mice with specific immune system defects are susceptible to Zika infection. However, studying Zika in mice with compromised immune systems could skew results. Now, researchers at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research demonstrate that mice with functioning immune systems can be successfully infected with Zika.

"This new mouse model developed by the FDA could be used to explore Zika virus' pathology and potentially help to develop treatments or vaccines," says Mohanraj Manangeeswaran, senior staff fellow in the FDA's Office of Pharmaceutical Quality. "Because the mice used in this model have immune systems that allow them to survive initial infection, they could be particularly helpful for studying the long-term effects of Zika virus infection."

The new mouse model employs a mouse strain called C57BL/6, which is commonly used in disease research. The scientists infected 1-day-old C57BL/6 mice with Zika virus and found that they develop symptoms of neurological disease, such as unsteady gait and seizures that gradually fade over two weeks.

The researchers compared their new mouse model with young mice that have immune system defects and are known to die several days after Zika infection. They found significant differences in disease progression, immune system response, and neurological effects between the two models.

Story Source:

Materials provided by PLOSNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Chicago has received more than 7,500 rat complaints from residents in 2016 so far, a five-year high for the first quarter. Some residents have a solution to their rat problems beyond the cities abatement tactics: feral cats.

CHICAGO— Some denizens of America’s great cities probably wouldn’t mind a visit from the Pied Piper right about now.

Several major U.S. cities—including Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.— have seen significant surges in rat complaints from their residents in recent months, according to city data reviewed by USA TODAY.

Grousing about rats has long been city-dweller sport, but the long-tailed, sharp-toothed nuisances have now become so populous and so aggressive that some cities are getting creative in their efforts to stay ahead of rodents even as some frustrated city residents are increasingly taking matters into their own hands.

In Chicago, which historically notches more rat complaints than any other city, residents' reports of rodent activity rose by about 70% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

With the city on pace to shatter the more than 41,000 complaints it received in 2012, Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently acknowledged in a radio interview that rats in the Windy City have become “a real problem.”

After several years of a scaled back rodent patrol in Chicago, the Emanuel administration announced this month it will bolster the number of technicians searching for burrows and laying poison from 18 technicians to 28 by next month.

The administration went on a community relations blitz, hanging doorknob leaflets that called on residents to do their part to eliminate food sources for rats by not overfilling dumpsters and cleaning up properly after their dogs.

To further drive home the getting tough-on-rats message, an ordinance recently introduced in Chicago’s city council makes it clear that homeowners who fail to keep their yards free of dog waste, garbage, or other materials that attract rodents could be fined up to $500.The city also began requiring developers to include rat abatement plans as part of any new construction project.

Separately, the Chicago Transit Authority hopes to put an end to rat canoodling with a new bait that targets both male and female rat fertility. Rats reach sexual maturity within weeks after birth.

“We are being very, very aggressive in how we bait, so we can get control of the rodent population before summer gets here,” said Charles Williams, Chicago’s streets and sanitation department commissioner.

Boston touts itself as having one of the most innovative rat abatement programs in the country and historically gets fewer complaints than some of its bigger city counterparts. Still, complaints have nearly tripled in the first quarter of this year – a spike city officials there attribute to last year’s launching of a 311 system that makes it easier for Bostonians to call or use a phone app to report rats and other nuisance complaints to city officials.

The city's Inspectional Service Department tapped researchers from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to help launch a pilot program that uses dry ice to kill rats hiding in burrows in the city.

The dry ice, made of solid carbon dioxide, can be packed into the burrows where it asphyxiates the rats. City officials say it proved effective during their first month of testing, and the method has the added bonus of being less of a danger to humans and other animals than setting out poison.

And at about 50 cents per pound, the initial testing suggests dry ice might be a cheaper instrument for killing rats than rat poison, said Inspectional Service Department Commissioner William "Buddy" Christopher Jr.

Christopher said he’s “not extremely concerned” about the uptick thus far.

“I think our aggressive, pro-active stance is maintaining,” Christopher said. “Our staff stays on top of this. They’re constantly looking for new ways to deal with old problems.”

Washington, D.C., last year could boast of a four-year decline in rat complaints, but now the city is on pace to ruin its good news streak. If complaints continue at the same rate, the city will likely surpass last year’s mark of 2,004. Through April 15, the District’s Department of Health tallied 699 complaints.

The district's Department of Health said mild winters have been good for rodents, but the department insisted it was primed for battle.

“I can assure you that we are ready for them,” department spokesman Ivan Torressaid in an email “The DOH is and will continue to strike hard.”

In New York, which has seen complaints to its 311 system soar over the last five years, there has been no relief. Rat complaints jumped by 39% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year. The Big Apple's 311 system tallied more than 15,000 rodent complaints last year, compared to more than 10,600 in 2012.

And San Francisco, where complaints had stabilized over the last five years, now reports a modest increase in the number of rat complaints, so far this year compared to the same period of 2015.

William Tatum, a Chicago streets and sanitation worker, on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, fills a rat burrow with poison and newspaper. Chicago has seen a more than 70% increase in rat complaints in the first quarter of 2016 compared to same period last year. (Photo: Ryan Connelly Holmes)

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