Archive for the Rodent Category
Posted on February 25, 2013 with No Comments
There is a debate as to whether or not rats are taking over New York City. Four months after Superstorm Sandy and the debate continues about how much of an impact the storm has had on New York City’s rodent population, Yahoo News reports.
Experts aren’t so sure about stories of hordes of displaced rodents fleeing the flood zone and taking up residence in buildings that were previously rat-free. But others disagree.
“For some city officials, the last straw came a week ago when a rodent problem forced a two-day closure of Magnolia Bakery, a Manhattan landmark often credited with starting a national cupcake craze. Within days, a city councilwoman floated a proposal to create a $500,000 emergency rat mitigation program for storm-impacted neighborhoods.”
But the city’s health department, which collects reams of data about the rat population and maps infestations looking for trends, said rodent complaints actually had declined since the late October storm, which was spawned when Hurricane Sandy merged with two other weather systems.
But one rat hunger, Richard Reynolds, who leads a group of dog owners who conduct urban rat hunts, debates the issue that the rats aren’t there!
“What happened to the rats? Nothing! We’re finding rats right where we’ve always found them,” he said. “I think this whole idea that there has been some kind of major relocation of rats is just good news media fodder.” He noted, as did other experts, that Norwegian rats, the species found in New York, are known for being especially strong swimmers. “I have seen them dive over 70 feet, swim 500 yards, give me the finger and head for the hills,” he said. “Hurricane Sandy is not going to affect these critters.”
Hard scientific data, though, is still largely lacking, and there is plenty of room for debate.
Posted on February 12, 2013 with No Comments
Rat infestations are a common problem in the city, but things seem to have gotten out of hand in some neighborhoods – the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. One resident is taking matters into his own hands and even installed Rat Crossing Signs!
When Sandy flooded Lower Manhattan, many New Yorkers left their homes. So did the rats. “They were relocated during the time of the flood,” said Timothy Wong, whose pest control company, M&M Environmental, has seen an increase in rat-related calls since the storm. “There’s a lot of areas for rats to really roam.”
Some exterminators believe the rats moved from soggy spaces underground into apartments and drier neighborhoods where they’re more likely to find food. “I’ve seen rats carrying apples,” said Jeff Woods, who has been a rat control technician for three years. “That’s all they care about, is food.” Woods uses snap-traps, glue boards and poison cubes to help homeowners and restaurant managers try and eliminate the relentless rodents.
But New York City’s Health Department counters that the rat surge argument doesn’t hold water. “The Health Department conducted extensive inspections in flood zones after Hurricane Sandy, provided guidance to home owners and baited the area,” said Veronica Lewin, a department spokeswoman. “But we did not see an increase in the rat population, and rat complaints to 311 were lower after the storm than in the previous year.” “Large storms can flush out rats, but they also drown many rats, and the net effect of large storms is often a decrease in the rat population,” said Lewin.
Regardless of whether you believe the rodent population went up or down, few experts dispute that there are millions of rats in New York City. Eliminating them is almost impossible unless people learn immaculate eating habits and landlords start treating their properties like Fort Knox.
“I tell anybody who wants to open a restaurant or buy a house or move into a new apartment to fill every single hole that’s there,” said Woods, the rat control expert. “Secure any entryway. Once they know you’re in there and you’re cooking, they’re going to come in.”
He added, “They’ll come in because they’re curious, looking for things.”
Posted on January 24, 2013 with 1 Comment
The National Pest Management Association warns homeowners of rodent-related health concerns
Each winter, rodents invade approximately 21 million U.S. homes, through openings as small as a dime, bringing with them a slew of hazards. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners that rodents seek out shelter when temperatures drop and their food supplies decrease.
The two most common rodents homeowners might find in their attics, basements and pantries are the house mouse and Norway rat. Not just a nuisance, these rodents spread Salmonella through their droppings and bring with them other diseases such as murine typhus, infectious jaundice, Weil’s Disease and rat-bite fever, not to mention the risk of fires as they chew through wood, drywall and electrical wires.
“They may be cute in cartoons, but in reality rodents pose a number of dangers inside our homes, polluting every inch they cross,” noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Once they have moved in their numbers will quickly multiply, becoming a serious problem within weeks.”
NPMA advises homeowners of the most common signs of rodent infestations:
- Droppings. Typically left behind in kitchen cabinets and pantries, along walls, on top of wall studs or beams, near nests, and in boxes, bags, old furniture and other objects.
- Noises. Rodents often makescurrying sounds most often at night as they move about and nest.
- Gnaw marks. New gnawings tend to be rough to the touch and are light colored.
- Tracks/footprints. These along with tail marks are easily found in areas where the rodents travel.
- Burrows. Inside, rodents often nest in various materials such as insulation, and they prefer nesting areas that are dark and secluded.
- Damaged food packages. Mice prefer seeds or cereals while Norway rats prefer meat, fish and dry dog food.
If you suspect rodents have taken up residence in your home, it’s best to contact a pest management professional to effectively and quickly eliminate the infestation.
Posted on January 18, 2013 with No Comments
Pest control agencies said calls for rodents have increased more than 10 percent in Ossining and Briarcliff Manor since Hurricane Sandy. Photo Credit: Courtesy flickr User Dunleavy Family
OSSINING, N.Y. – The Daily Voice Reports that Hurricane Sandy caused flooding and power outages throughout Ossining and Briarcliff Manor, but local pest control agencies said it could also be causing pests like mice and rats to invade homes near the Hudson River in Westchester County.
“Pest control agencies in Westchester and the Hudson Valley said calls have increased 10 to 20 percent in the last three months compared to previous years and that Hurricane Sandy could be the cause. Many rats and wild mice live near abundant food sources like lakes and rivers, according to Critter Control of the Hudson Valley. While it is difficult to track their patterns, it is likely that many rats and mice fled the Hudson River when it flooded during Hurricane Sandy, said Errol Fisher, president of Elmsford-based Citadel Pest Control.
“We typically get calls for mice and rats at this time of year because they are fleeing into homes to get warm but overall we’ve seen more than a 10 percent increase this year, especially after Hurricane Sandy,” Fisher said, adding that his company has seen a higher increase in Ossining and Briarcliff Manor. “When they are displaced from their homes that are in close proximity of the water and it floods, they can move up into homes to try to survive.”
“We had a very warm winter last year so the populations of most animals, especially rodents, were way up this year before Hurricane Sandy,” Wright said. “Sandy had an impact for sure in bringing that down as it may have destroyed some dens. I don’t know that it would have permanently chased them out and into homes but it’s possible that’s been a reason for the increase in calls.”
Fisher and Wright recommended that residents take several precautions in preventing rodents from entering their homes. They agreed that the first step in prevention is sealing up all holes that could lead into homes or garages.
“It’s very important that this is done well because a mouse can fit into a hole the size of a dime and mice and rats can both chew softer materials to make bigger holes,” Fisher said. “The most effective and humane method of preventing rodents is sealing up all cracks and holes so they can’t get inside.”
While rat traps, glue pads and other rodent prevention merchandise is easily available, both agreed that the methods are often ineffective.
“Placing traps is not that easy to do right and can be dangerous for little children and pets,” Wright said. “We get a lot of calls for live trapping and that’s fine if the mice haven’t made dens in your home but if they have, it’s very likely they’ll return in the next two days. Overall, trying to trap rodents yourself can be harmful and bottom line it’s not effective.”
About: JP McHale Pest Management Inc. is a family owned and operated enterprise located in Westchester County. Fast, effective service is delivered to strategic areas in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Counties we work in include Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Fairfield, Bergen, Hudson, Morris, Passaic and Essex. We absolutely love what we do and look forward to delivering peace of mind to you and your surroundings. Our programs are very effective, we guarantee it, or your investment is fully refunded.
Posted on January 14, 2013 with No Comments
Now is the time to prepare your yard for the inevitable, Mole Control!
Moles typically hibernate in the winter but will start to reappear in the spring. Also, if your grass is brown because of the cold winter weather, now is the time to start thinking about having spring time green grass!
If you have ever had a mole you know how tenacious they can be. You’ve probably tried smoke bombs or even piping car exhaust into burrows! We have studied the behavior of moles, and use effective strategic placed low impact traps that capture moles in their running tunnels. A common mistake made is that traps are placed in feeding tunnels that moles may not revisit. Another myth is that moles feed primarily on grubs. In fact their primary food source is earthworms. The challenge is that we need earth worms in the soil for healthy soil and turf.
Posted on December 27, 2012 with No Comments
Winter is not known as the most active month for pests. However, any winter pest inspection can reveal unwanted house guests. Just when winter arrives and we are huddling inside, insects and rodents are also attracted to the warmth of our homes.
Once rodents find a warm and safe place indoors, they will make your home their home!
Rodent control shouldn’t stop during the winter months. Mice and rats are masters at squeezing through tight spaces in building exteriors. And once they’re indoors, any food that isn’t securely stored is likely to be added to their menu.
To prevent rodent infestations, schedule a home pest inspection. JP McHale’s pest management professionals will be able to identify cracks and crevices that mice and rats will be able to get through. In general, mice can fit through holes as small as a dime, while rats only need openings with the diameter of a quarter. With this information in hand, you’ll be equipped to repair damaged screens, loose doors, insulation around pipes and any openings that could provide rodents entry.
Even if your home is sealed up tight, it’s possible that a rat or mouse will still be able to gain access – remember, these intrepid little creatures are willing to gnaw through even wire mesh to find a cozy winter home. To starve any rodents that do make their way into your home, keep a tight ship; eliminate clutter, immediately clean up crumbs and spills, and store extra food in sealed containers.
Posted on November 19, 2012 with No Comments
While many insects go dormant over the winter, others try to seek shelter indoors. Pest may become more common indoors during colder weather. Some simple steps can keep these insects from making a home in your house:
- Seal off holes on the outside of the house, where insects may gain entry.
- Check around baseboards and inside cabinets for cracks and crevices that could hide six-legged occupants, and fill holes accordingly.
- Remove sources of food and water, which include dishes in the sink and crumbs inside cabinets.
- Outside firewood makes a great place for rodents and insects to hide. Store firewood these away from the home.
Keep Rodents from Taking up Residence
Unlike insects, mice and other rodents are not capable of going dormant for the winter. While some mammals, such as raccoons, do hibernate during the winter, most simply seek a warmer shelter. Mice, rats, and squirrels actively work on building warm nests year round, often inside homes.
- To prevent squirrels and other animals from roosting in the eaves or attic, repair and patch any holes or other damage.
- Clean out gutters and overhangs, where rodents can also build their nests.
- Store yard waste like leaves and firewood away from the house. These are popular nesting materials.
- Keep birdseed in a sealed metal container. Mice can gnaw through plastic and eat seeds.
- Common entry points are around pipes, where small cracks are frequently just large enough for a mouse to squeeze through.
- In the house, eradicate clutter that can hide mice and rat nests and provide material for the nests themselves.
If it is evident that rodents have already entered the home, enlist the help of pest professionals.
During the winter months many pests may want to move into your home. With the right rodent prevention, it is easy to protect your house from these small invaders.
Posted on November 14, 2012 with No Comments
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
National Pest Management Association warns of serious pest health and property risks in storm’s wake
As those affected by the destructive damage and widespread power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy begin the rebuilding process, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is focusing on the impact the super storm will have on pest populations in affected areas of New York and New Jersey, specifically in hard-hit communities. Flood and storm-ravaged areas can expect to experience greater contact with pests including rats, bed bugs, termites and flies in the weeks and months after the storm due in large part to population displacement, as well as increased moisture. The NPMA is monitoring the situation, as the increase in contact poses serious health and property risks that must be addressed during recovery efforts.
“Communities devastated by the storm will likely experience an increase in pest encounters due to displacement and destruction caused by flooding,” said Jim Fredericks, Ph.D, technical director for the NPMA. “From the delay in sanitation services caused by power outages and road blockages, to the widespread structural damage and increased number of people staying at shelters, hotels or with family and friends, there are a number of ways Sandy will affect a variety of pest populations both in the short-term and months after the storm.”
“Our hearts go out to all who are struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” remarked Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “We are working internally with member companies and manufacturers to develop an action plan to help in mitigating these expected pest pressures, specifically in those areas hardest hit by Sandy.”
The NPMA has identified the following pests to be of greatest concern:
- Rodents: Many rodents were likely killed during the hurricane, however, a great number were displaced and immediately began seeking harborage and food. The delay in garbage pickup that many areas experienced, or continue to experience, will result in an abundance of food sources, while the expected increase in construction debris from remodeling will serve as excellent temporary harborages for displaced pests. As sanitation workers are likely to focus on “garbage” first, and place less of a priority on construction debris which may sit for extended periods, homeowners should keep food trash and construction debris separate so that sanitation workers can easily pick up the items most conducive to rodents. When these two are mixed, food and harborage may be in place for extended periods of time, which can be conducive to infestations. Rodents are known to spread several dozen diseases. Any homeowner coming into contact with rodent carcasses during clean up should wear protective gloves to protect against disease transmission.
- Flies: Flies breed in spoiled food, dead rodents or wildlife, and sewage caused by backups or broken pipes. Homeowners who lost power for several days or were unable to return to their homes for long periods of time are likely dealing with the disposal of rotten food. Fungus gnats breed in areas affected by moisture where mildew is growing, and may continue to be a problem in the coming months, especially in coastal areas, like NJ’s Barrier Islands, which are still closed off to many homeowners. Phorid flies breed in areas contaminated by sewage, which could be a problem for Rockaway Channel in Nassau County, Long Island, which is being flooded with raw sewage from the Bay Park sewage treatment plant.
- Bed Bugs: The large number of people forced out of their homes and living in hotels and shelters or receiving donated furnishings or clothing create an increased opportunity for bed bug infestations. Bed bugs are a much greater concern in urban areas hit by the storm, such as New York City, where larger populations of people live close together and interact in enclosed spaces on a regular basis. Because of the bed bugs’ ability to “hitchhike” on people and their belongings, bed bugs can become a problem for anyone living in close quarters while displaced from their home.
- Termites: Homes that were treated for termites in the past need to be retreated if the neighborhood was flooded and soil was moved or displaced by the water. The pesticide barrier was most likely disturbed and may no longer exist to protect the home from the serious structural damage termites can cause.
Tags: hurricane sandy pest control industry, new york pest control news
Category: Bed Bugs, Connecticut Pest Control, Dutchess County Pest Control, Fairfield County, New Jersey Pest Control, New York City Pest Control, NY Pest Control, Pest Control Industry, Pests, Rodent
Posted on November 2, 2012 with 1 Comment
New York residents that suffered damage from Hurricane Sandy need to stay vigilant for pests and especially rodents seeking shelter. J.P. McHale Pest Management Inc. along with Envirocare Air Quality Restoration warns that displaced pests and rodents will be seeking shelter and rodents can pose health threats.
Rick Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Milbrook, N.Y. said that “this could result in increased risk of infectious diseases carried by urban rats, including leptospirosis, hantavirus, typhus, salmonella, and even the plague.
“One of things we know can exacerbate disease is massive dispersal,” he added. “Rats are highly social individuals and live in a fairly stable social structure. If this storm disturbs that, rats could start infesting areas they never did before.”
As you clean up from Hurricane Sandy, J.P. McHale and Envirocare Air Quality Restoration recommend the following tips to help keep rodents from entering your home:
- Rodent Exclusion: Seal all cracks or possible entry points around windows, door frames and foundations.
- Clean out gutters, and install chimney caps and gutter guards to prevent leaves and debris from accumulating.
- Store firewood as far from the home as possible to prevent rodent activity around your home.
If you notice rodent activity in or around your business or residence, contact J.P. McHale Pest Management at 800-479-2284.
Posted on October 30, 2012 with 3 Comments
With Sandy flooding the New York City subway system, a natural question to ask is “Where will the rats go?” The New York City subway system is notorious for its growing rat population, and the severe flooding produced by Hurricane Sandy likely will displace rodents.
All seven subway tunnels running under the East River from Manhattan to Queens and Brooklyn took in water, and any resulting saltwater damage to the system’s electrical components will have to be cleaned — in some cases off-site — before the system can be restored, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transit Authority said on Tuesday. The rising water will force rats out of their underground lairs and into contact with humans, according to Rick Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Milbrook, New York, speaking to The Huffington Post.
He says rats are expert survivors and will escape the floods and head for safer ground, such as apartments and other buildings inhabited by humans.
He said: ‘Rats are incredibly good swimmers and they can climb.’
According to Ostfeld, this could result a rise in infectious diseases carried by urban rats, including leptospirosis, hantavirus, typhus, salmonella, and even the plague.