Category Archives: Rodent Control

Rodent Control Tips

It’s much easier to prevent a rodent infestation than to remove them after they’ve turned your home into their new residence. Here are a few steps homeowners can take to keep their homes rodent-free:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent rodents from finding easy entryways.
  • Keep shrubberies cut back from the house and store firewood a good distance away. The NPMA recommends that you tore firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five inches off the ground.
  • Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor.
  • Keep food in tightly sealed containers and clean up crumbs and spills.
  • If you find rodent feces, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or observe other signs of an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.

For further information on rodents or if you have other questions related to your pest control needs, visit www.bugs.com

Hot Peppers Tested as a Rodent Deterrent

Hot Peppers Tested as a Rodent Deterrent

MISSOULA, Mont. — Researchers in Montana are testing hot peppers to see if they will deter deer mice from eating grass seeds, the Helenian.com reports.

Dean Pearson, a research scientist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station, is toying with ways of attaching the powder derived from the bhut jolokia pepper – one of the hottest known to man – with the seeds of native plants used in restoration work.

“I’ve done work to show that mice can have a big impact on seeds,” said Pearson. “When they put the seeds down to plant, the rodents come and eat them up. So we’re looking to use a cheap and dirty method to protect seeds from mice.”

That cheap and dirty method involves the bhut jolokia pepper, which is used in parts of India to keep elephants away. It also has been considered as a non-lethal weapon to flush criminals and terrorists from hiding places.

One man who ate a bhut jolokia pepper on a dare allegedly spent hours vomiting, sweating and hallucinating. Pearson said such reactions to the pepper pertain to mice and men alike, along with all other mammals, making it an effective deterrent.

Peterson added that he and his team have experimented with waxes and oils, each of which have shown effectiveness, but also have drawbacks.

Click here to read the entire article.

Source: helenair.com

Winter Pest-Proofing Can Keep Rodents and Other Pests Away

Winter Pest-Proofing Can Keep Rodents and Other Pests Away

For many homeowners, pest proofing is a chore relegated to the warmer months of the year. But many pests gain entry into homes in the winter as they seek shelter from the cold weather. In fact, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), rodents alone invade an estimated 21 million homes in the U.S. each winter.

With 24% of homeowners reporting mice infestations specifically in the winter, they are among the top pest issues of the season. Mice and rats spread diseases like Salmonella and Hantavirus when they contaminate food, and bring fleas, ticks and lice indoors. Rodents can also cause serious structural damage by chewing through wood and electrical wiring.

Other winter invaders pose health threats, as well. Cockroaches and ants contaminate food sources, and cockroaches can trigger asthma attacks in children. Spiders bite when they feel threatened, causing serious reactions in some people.

“Pests including cockroaches, ants, spiders and especially rodents are common home invaders in the winter,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “An infestation by these pests can cause serious health and property issues if not properly dealt with in a timely manner. However, homeowners can help prevent infestation troubles by taking a proactive approach in eliminating entryways into the home.”

To prevent pests from infesting your home this winter, NPMA recommends following these tips:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home.
  • Inspect wires, insulation and walls for gnaw marks, which may indicate a rodent infestation.
  • Store boxes off of the floor to prevent rodents from residing in undisturbed areas.
  • Keep branches and shrubbery trimmed away from the home.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off the ground.

Rodent Control Tips

While rodents are unwelcome house guests, the real concern is that these pests can cause property damage and carry disease. Rodents such as mice and rats spread salmonella and Hantavirus by contaminating food and preparation surfaces.  They can also chew through wood and electrical wires, in some cases sparking house fires.

 

It’s much easier to prevent a rodent infestation than to remove them after they’ve turned your home into their new residence. Here are a few steps homeowners can take to keep their homes rodent-free:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent rodents from finding easy entryways.
  • Keep shrubberies cut back from the house and store firewood a good distance away. The NPMA recommends that you tore firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five inches off the ground.
  • Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor.
  • Keep food in tightly sealed containers and clean up crumbs and spills.
  • If you find rodent feces, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or observe other signs of an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.

For further information on rodents or if you have other questions related to your pest control needs, visit www.bugs.com  

Gambian Pouch Rats Population Rises Again In Florida Keys

HuffingtonPost.com: Gambian Pouch Rats Population Rises Again In Florida Keys

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials are battling an invasive species in the Keys they thought they got rid of years ago: Gambian rats — giant rodents the size of cats.

The outbreak started around 2000, when a Keys resident who breed the 9-pound rats released 6 or 7, according to FWC. Ten years ago, they were often imported from their native Africa as pets until they were banned after a Monkey Pox outbreak in 2003.

The half dozen loose multiplied quickly. The FWS says they can have 5 litters in 9 months with an average of 4 young per litter.

Animal Planet says female Gambian rats average 30 newborn rats every year. Watch the Animals Planet video on the rats below.

“We thought we had them whipped as of 2009,” Scott Hardin, FWC’s exotic-species coordinator, told KeysNet. “In the early part of 2011, a resident e-mailed me and said he saw one of the rats. We were skeptical but went back and talked to people and [saw] there were rats that we missed.”

Hardin says they’ve caught 20 since then through peanut butter and cantaloupe-laced traps in Grassy Key residents’ backyards, reports KeyNet.

When officials began a targeted campaign to kill rampant Gambian rats in the Keys in 2007, their bodies and fecal matter were tested for any trace of Monkey Pox.

When none tested positive, Gary Witmer, a biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Wildlife Research Center, told Reuters, “We’re lucky that’s the case. They sure can bite.”

Although this particularly dense population of Gambian rats is regulated to Grassy Key, about 60 miles north of Key West, the rodents have made plenty of headlines around the world.

Last year, Gambian rats killed and ate two infants in a horrendous incident in South Africa, where they are breed as food.

Also last year, a public works employee speared a giant Gambian rat with his pitchfork in public housing in the Bronx. The gruesome picture quickly went viral on the web.

A few months later, another was spotted in a Bronx Foot Locker.

“Rate My Rat” Photo Contest

When you hear of a photo contest you generally think of the usual. City skylines, pets, families, insects would all fall into the category of “usual”. This particular photo contest does not fall into that “usual” category.  New York Subway Workers are Running a “Rate My Rat” Photo Contest in which they urge commuters to capture and upload the biggest, fattest vermin. The grand prize you ask? A month free transit pass. If you don’t believe me just visit www.ratfreesubway.com and take a look around for yourself. If you encounter rats I suggest you just call Hulett Environmental Services for all your rat control needs.

Rodents & Foreclosures

How One Empty Home Can Lead to Pests for the Whole Block

More than 800,000 homes across the U.S. were foreclosed in 2011, and that number is expected to climb 25 percent this year to more than 1 million homes, according to the RealtyTrac. While the effects of a foreclosure are obviously most devastating to the homeowners and their family, neighbors can also be impacted.

For one, a foreclosure can drive down the value of the rest of the homes in a neighborhood. In addition, a foreclosed home that is empty and uncared for can attract a variety of pests, including termites, spiders, ants, mosquitoes, stinging insects and rodents. An overgrown or unkempt yard, for example, can harbor many more pests than a well-groomed one.  In addition, a foreclosed home is more likely to be in need of repairs to the structure. Small holes in siding, rips in screens, broken window glass and cracks in foundation provide easy access inside for pests.

Pests find that an empty house makes a great home for them – providing shelter and even food (in the form of other pests, crumbs, abandoned pantry items and decaying material) and water (from leaky pipes, toilet bowls and standing water). Once these pests find their way into a foreclosed home, it is only a matter of time before the population grows and offspring venture out, seeking food and shelter in other homes on the block.

A rodent infestation is especially likely to spread from a foreclosed home to other nearby houses. As it is, rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the U.S. each winter, and with rapid reproduction rates (a female house mouse, for example, can give birth to up to a dozen babies every three weeks) a small infestation can quickly spread to neighboring homes. Rats, on the other hand, can travel up to a mile in a single night. They are also known as exceptional diggers and often build intricate systems, called burrows, which allow them to travel around a neighborhood undetected.

Once rodents do invade a home, they can pose serious health and property risks. Rodents contaminate food and spread diseases like Hantavirus, a viral disease that can be contracted through direct contact with, or inhalation of, aerosolized infected rodent urine, saliva, or droppings. They can also carry and spread fleas, which can pose serious health risks to family pets. Additionally, rodents can pose a significant property risk as they have a tendency to destroy insulation in attics and gnaw wiring, causing up to 25 percent of house fires in the U.S.

Unfortunately, if a house in your neighborhood is under foreclosure, there is little that you can do to prevent pests from infesting that home. But there are many steps that you, as a homeowner, can take to prevent those pests from finding their way into your home. Your first step should be to contact a licensed pest professional who will be able to determine what types of pest infestations your neighborhood is most at risk for, and recommend a prevention plan to help keep your home pest-free. Of course, any pest prevention plan works most effectively when a homeowner carefully follows the recommendations of their pest professional and follows simple pest-proofing tips.

Rat Control

Afraid of rats? You’re not alone

Afraid of rats? You’re not alone. British hip-hop super star Tinie Tempah is currently house hunting to invest in a period property, pretty simple right? Wrong. His phobia of hairy pests is forcing him to reconsider buying a home with history.

He tells Britain’s The Sun, “I can’t stand rats, I’m looking to buy a new house and want something with old floorboards.But the problem is that rats come in through all the holes in an old house. I’m making sure I get it fumigated before I move in and any patched up. I can’t have any rats in my house, I’d have to move out.”

Woman Hospitalized For 17 Days After Kissing Pet Rats

Let this be a lesson to all, no kissing pet rats!

FOXNews.com: Woman Hospitalized For 17 Days After Kissing Pet Rats

An Australian woman who kissed and cuddled her pet rodents was admitted to the intensive care unit with rat bite fever.

An article by South Australian Pathology employees, in Monday’s Medical Journal of Australia (MJA), said the 26-year-old office worker spent 17 days in the Royal Adelaide Hospital last year after she contracted the potentially deadly condition, more properly known as streptobacillus moniliformis infection.

Co-author of the article and infectious diseases physician Dr. Narin Bak said the woman was admitted to the intensive care unit with severe headache and fever and developed severe pneumonitis and meningitis (inflammation of the lungs and brain).

“This condition was more prevalent in the past and is associated with slums and poor living conditions,” Bak said.

The woman, who has since fully recovered, was not bitten, but said she had liked to kiss and cuddle her two pets.

“As this case demonstrates, a bite is not necessary for infection. Close contact with rodents may be sufficient,” the MJA report said.

The Australian Veterinary Association and health officials said good hygiene, particularly hand washing, is important after contact with pets.