Rodent Awareness Week 2015

As temperatures fall, rodents seek shelter indoors and become a nuisance pest. Rodent Awareness Week is recognized by the National Pest Management Association to increase the public’s vigilance of rodent related problems. Rodents are an issue whether you live in a big city or a more rural area since they can range from large rats to small field mice. A recent viral image of a rat dragging a slice of pizza down the stairs in a New York subway station substantially increased awareness of rodents. The “pizza rat” was even a popular Halloween costume this year!

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If you are concerned about rodents in your home there are a few signs you can be on the look out for:

  • Droppings – usually found along walls, in pantries, in storage boxes and in old furniture
  • Noises – scurrying and chewing sounds, especially at night
  • Gnaw marks – new markings are usually rough feeling and light colored
  • Burrows – nests in insulation or other soft materials that are in dark, quiet places
  • Damaged food packages – holes in packaging, particularly cereals, grains and vegetables

The National Pest Management Association recommends the following steps to take to prevent a rodent infestation:

  • Seal any cracks or openings on the inside or outside of the home with caulk or steel wool
  • Check areas where utility pipes enter the home
  • Replace weather-stripping around windows and doors frequently
  • Screen vents and chimneys
  • Keep shrubbery and trees cut back away from the house and try not to store firewood against the house
  • Keep all storage boxes off the floor
  • Eliminate moisture from leaking pipes or poor drainage areas
  • Keep all food items in area tight containers

Rodents carry many different diseases, such as Hantavirus and Salmonella. For health reasons alone, it is very important to stop rodents from entering your home before they multiply and become an infestation. If you have taken the recommended precautions and you are still having rodent problems, you should call a pest management professional. A professional pest management technician will do a thorough inspection of your home to find the entry points for rodents. They will then seal those areas with steel wool or some other effective material. Most pest control companies have trapping as well as bait boxes available to control the rodent population in and around your home. A one-time service is not very effective for rodents, since they are persistent and will return over time. It would be in your best interest in sign up for a reoccurring pest management service.

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