Did you know that rats are extremely tidy rodents? In fact, rats spend a great deal of their day cleaning themselves and their living quarters. They also keep their “bathroom” separate from their “bedroom” in a way that is reminiscent of a dog.
Nonetheless, rats are certainly to blame for spreading diseases. This can happen through the transportation of parasites like ticks, fleas, and mites. They may also spread disease through the human handling of rodents, contact with rat feces and urine, and in the case of a rat bite. In addition, any food or water that may be contaminated by rat fur or excrement is extremely dangerous and poses a serious health risk. Read on to learn about some of the diseases carried by rats.
The following are directly transmitted by rats:
Rat-bite Fever may be contracted through a bite, scratch, or contact with a dead rat. Symptoms can include fever, vomiting, headache, rash, and swelling near the wound.
Salmonellosis is transmitted by consuming contaminated water or food. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramping, and vomiting.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is spread through direct contact with rat feces or urine or by inhaling contaminated dust. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and coughing. HPS can be fatal and should be taken very seriously!
The following are indirectly transmitted by rats:
Plague is carried by rats and spread through fleas. There are several types of plague and symptoms can include fever, delirium, and infection of the lungs.
Colorado Tick Fever is transmitted by a tick that has taken in blood from a rat. An infected person may experience chills, headache, fatigue, vomiting, abdominal pain, and rashes.
Obviously, a rat infestation should be dealt with immediately and very carefully to avoid the spread of any of the aforementioned diseases. We at Freedom Pest Control are experienced in this area and are happy to provide you with your free in-home evaluation. Please call us at 877-PESTS-55 to schedule yours today!
‘Tis the season to be jolly and nothing takes the fun out of the holiday season more than a pest infestation! It’s no news that pests often make their way indoors during the cold months seeking shelter and food. But, during this season of decorating, visiting, and travel, the chances of finding pests in your home increase. Follow our simple tips to ensure that you don’t spend the upcoming weeks feeling all Grinch-like!
Christmas Trees, Wreaths, and Greenery
Spiders, mites, moths, and other pests love to take up residence in the trees and greenery that we often bring indoors this time of year. To avoid carrying these little “buggers” indoors, inspect your live items very carefully and give that tree a really good shake before taking it home.
Taking out boxes full of decorations that have been packed away for almost a year may disturb cockroaches, mice, and other pests that have taken up residence. If you have cause for concern, unpack your boxes outside and look for signs such as droppings and chew marks. When it comes time to take down your décor, be sure to store your items in plastic containers that can be closed tightly. This will prevent pests that can chew through cardboard from making their way in.
Cozying up in front of the fireplace won’t be so relaxing if you’re firewood is housing insects such as spiders, termites, and ants! If you’re buying your firewood, we suggest burning it quickly before insects that may be dormant in your wood begin to hatch. If you like to cut and/or store your own firewood, keep it more than twenty feet away from your home and on a raised structure if possible.
If you’re hosting overnight guests, beware of bed bugs. Bed bugs are expert hitch-hikers and can travel on clothing, purses, and suitcases. After your guests have left, wash sheets, towels, and other linens in hot water. Check on and around your mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and nightstands.
Don’t be a Scrooge, call us today for a free onsite evaluation! 877-PESTS-55
There’s good reason that Jerry the mouse is always outsmarting Tom the cat in the classic cartoon – mice are small, sneaky, quick, and clever! They can easily enter a home that isn’t properly rodent proofed to take up residence, especially in the colder months. A mice infestation, in addition to being down right disgusting, is dangerous because mice can carry diseases and are destructive to personal property. Read on to learn more about the most common mice that may invade your home:
The house mouse, the kind that one might keep as a pet or use in a lab, is active year-round. They are incredibly adaptable to their surroundings and environmental conditions, which makes them even more of a threat! They typically live in the ground and tend to burrow, but they can climb. House mice have a length of about 3 to 3.9 inches and weigh about 1.5 ounces. They
can vary in color and have short hair, with little hair on their ears and bellies. House mice are sometimes confused with the young brown rat but are distinguished by their small feet and heard and large eyes and ears.
Deer mice typically live in wooded areas, and prefer it there, but may find their way into structures in or near the woods. They are extremely agile and are excellent climbers, so don’t be surprised if you find them on your second or third levels or in your attic. Deer mice are nocturnal and hunt at night. The deer mouse head and body is about 2.75 to four inches long with a tail that can range from 2 to 5 inches long. They can be pale gray and reddish brown with a white belly. Their very long tails are usually bi-colored and covered in short hair.
The white-footed mouse, also known as a woodmouse, is found throughout the eastern United States. They are generally timid mice and will avoid humans but occasionally build nests and store food in ground floor walls. As its name implies, the white-footed mouse has white feet and a white belly. The rest of its body and tail range from gray to reddish-brown. The white-footed mouse is about 3.5 inches long with the tail adding another 2.5 to 4 inches to its length.
Are you in need of a home inspection? Call our team today for a free onsite evaluation!
Remember the adage from when you were a kid, “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”? Back then it might’ve made you giggle a bit, but the actuality of bed bugs biting you in your sleep is totally cringe worthy. Read on to learn more about these creepy little crawlers:
In recent years, bed bug infestations have become more common due to increased international travel and immigration and the use of second hand furniture and home goods. Bed bugs are expert hitch hikers. They do not travel on people’s bodies but may be moved from one location to another when caught up in belongings like clothes, furniture, purses, and suitcases. This means that even the cleanliest of homes or hotels can fall victim to a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs typically hide and lay eggs in small crevices and cracks near or around where people sleep because they feed on human blood. Favorite hiding spots include box springs, mattresses, bed frames, baseboards, curtains, and edges of carpet. They will come out of their hiding spots to feed and then return immediately. This, coupled with the fact that they can go for months without eating, can make them difficult to locate. To further complicate matters, bed bugs spread very rapidly so some may lay dormant while others are simultaneously feeding.
Follow these easy tips to prevent bed bugs from making your home their new home:
- If you encounter bed bugs on a trip, empty your suitcase outside your home and then wash clothes in hot water
- Inspect the cracks, crevices, and nooks and crannies of used furniture
- Do not use a second-hand mattresses
- If you live in an apartment or town home with a shared wall be sure to seal cracks around plumbing and wiring
We at Freedom Pest Control are happy to answer any questions you may have and to discuss treatment options with you. Give us a call at 1-877-PESTS-55 for an estimate today.
Fall in New England means one thing is certain – the weather is getting progressively colder. As the temperatures drop, your common rodents are actively looking for shelter and food. Now is the time to prepare against those pesky rodents so that you don’t find yourself experiencing an infestation this winter, in addition to some major cabin fever! Here are some precautions you can take now to keep those cold weather roommates at bay:
- Clean your kitchen! Rodents, in search of food, are often found in the kitchen and pantry. Make sure that all food is kept in airtight containers and is stored on shelves and in cabinets, rather than on the floor. Use a trashcan with a lid and take the trash out on a daily basis. Finally, keep your kitchen clean and free of spills and crumbs.
- Don’t invite them in! An open door is an open invitation, as are open windows or windows that don’t have screens or have screens with holes. Be sure to seal cracks around the foundation, especially near windows, entryways, and the walls that separate your garage from your home. Mice can squeeze through cracks the size of a nickel so inspect carefully!
- Declutter! Rodents often make their nests in basements, closets, and rooms that are cluttered or not used on a regular basis. Keep clutter and boxes to a minimum and avoid letting clothes, old papers, and furniture pile up in these unused spaces.
- Clean the gutters! Clogged gutters are a rodent’s dream and an optimal site for nesting. Plus, their proximity to the house make access to the inside even easier.
- Maintain your yard! Keep shrubbery and trees properly trimmed cut back and store firewood at a good distance from the house.
Rodents are carriers of over thirty-five different diseases and they can bring fleas, mites, ticks, and even lice into your home. An infestation should not be taken lightly – call our team today for an evaluation! 877-PESTS-55
As the fall temps roll in, the same cooler weather that sends us all outdoors leaf peeping drives insects and rodents indoors – and potentially into our homes — looking for shelter. Mice, squirrels, cockroaches, spiders – these are the most common threats to your home this time of year. They pose not only health hazards through bites and bacteria, but also can cause structural damage as well, chewing through electrical wires and insulation. There are steps you can take to protect your home at this critical time – here are our Top Ten:
- Critters look for points of entry – don’t make it easy for them! Check your home thoroughly for cracks and crevices they can squeeze through, paying close attention to the areas where utility pipes come in. Seal any openings properly with caulk and steel wool.
- Check for tears in screens and repair them. Consider installing door sweeps to seal up those door-to-floor spaces.
- Schedule a chimney inspection to check for structural weakness, and screen any chimney and vent openings.
- Check the basement foundation and windows for loose mortar. Repair where necessary, and install weather stripping around the windows.
- When you schedule that first firewood delivery, make sure to store it a minimum of twenty feet from the house and garage.
- Eliminate water collection spots, like leaking pipes and clogged drains.
- Check garbage barrels and recycling bins for cracks and replace where necessary.
- When it comes time to bring in those holiday decorations, be sure to inspect the boxes thoroughly before carrying them into your home. They’re often prime nesting sites for mice.
- Check room and basement corners for evidence of spider activity, like webs and egg sacs. Vacuum up promptly; each sac can release up to 1,000 baby spiders!
- Be vigilant about keeping food containers sealed to keep the cockroaches out!
- Need more information? We’re happy to help! Call us at 1-877-PESTS-55 to speak to one of our specialists anytime.