Keeping Rodents Out

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If you see mouse droppings, or a mouse, it is time to take action:  Trap, Block, & Clean Up.

Trap:  Set up traps inside. If you are uncertain where your mice may be, focus on warm areas, like under the refrigerator where the compressor keeps the area warm.

Block:  Try to block mice from getting in.  This may be a huge task in some New England homes, especially those with older foundations, stone foundations, or porches and decks you cannot get under.  Your foundation is your frontline.  Filling mouse holes is like filling pot holes, it should be done regularly because rodents will make new openings and the expansion and contraction of buildings in the northeast climate can create openings, particularly where wood and cement or concrete meet (the foundation) or around door seals, such as garage door bases and trim seals.

Clean up:  Clean up, carefully, by spraying the droppings with water, or a light soapy water (to keep dust down) and then pad the droppings up with a disposable paper towel or napkin. Please don’t vacuum rodent droppings since action may pull any harmful microorganisms into the air or onto other surfaces where they can cause an illness.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc. GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Sebum

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Sebum is secreted by mammals.  It is also the material that rodents leave behind as they run across surfaces.  This material collects on hard surfaces and is visible on light colored surfaces like wires, concrete and wood. In this photo the light colored area is the stone wall and the dark wood beam is visible at the top.  The beam stops the progress of the rodents along the sill so they run down and under, leaving the sebum visible on the stones.  Securing or placing a trap right over the sebum marked runway will lead to success.  To make the trap more attractive, rub the sebum onto the trap trigger. -Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc. GreenHow.com. Effective Organic and Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control and Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Sebum rub marks visible top right of photo

Rodent Rub Marks

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To the left in the photo taken by one of our technicians you can see a joist inset in a foundation wall, with a

sharp grease line that goes under it. That is a classic rodent rub mark, from years of rodents running along the sill, encountering the joist, and running quickly down the wall, under the joist and back up. Rodents can easily run sideways on any porous surface, as illustrated by this rub mark.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.http://www.greenhow.com/. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Chewed Up

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Pictured to the right is a picture of a perfectly round hole chewed into a carefully filled opening outside a customers residence. This opening around the air conditioner line runs inside and up to the attic. When the customer noted a return of a noise in the attic, we went straight to the formerly offending hole and found a mouse had chewed back through the polyurethane. We added copper and refilled the hole, actual size around the size of a nickel.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

A Gnawing Issue

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This time of year, even with 12 degree nights and snow on the ground, rodents can be active around structures. Usually, they will exploit and make larger existing openings. A favorite is the opening that may be in between two doors, at the sweep level of an astragal seal. This photo shows a small gap that let enough heat and odors out of it to encourage a rodent to start expanding the opening. You can see a leaf pictured in the gap between where the mouse has chewed it apart. The solution here is to remove these damaged vinyl sweeps and replace them with new, brush style sweeps.

-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Water Issues

Rodent issues can follow flooding. For lower lying urban areas, with rat issues nearby, rising water can force rats from burrows and into nearby homes and businesses. When cleaning up after flooding, try to keep basement and crawl space windows and doors closed as much as possible.
Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Rodents

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Urban rodents, such as rats and mice, often seem more prevalent in the winter. Colder temperatures, fewer outdoor resources and other factors cause rodents to end up in our spaces. Within the 128 belt, rats are found even in nice homes in nice neighborhoods, as they will simply follow septic lines into a structure. Effective pest control depends on managing contributing factors. Minimize food and water, and clutter that acts as a harborage to reduce the chances of rodents setting up home in your home.

Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com
. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Brush Weatherseals and Pest Exclusion

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This is the time of year that we notice an increase in rodent calls. Sealing openings to the exterior is the first solution step in integrated pest management for rodent control. Homes and business usually have numerous small openings around plumbing and electrical penetrations, or where foundation and sill changes occur. The largest openings most homes have are around and under the exterior doors and garage doors. Many options exist to seal them, the most effective is brush weatherseal. We install brush weatherseal door sweeps to keep rodents from entering below a door. We also use brush weatherseals around doors and garage doors, and if necessary, replace the base compression seals below the garage doors. Installing a sweep is a simple operation, measure, select the appropriate brush weatherseal, cut and install. Brush weatherseal is superior to vinyl because it forms a seal up to 3 times tighter and lasts much longer. These photos show a door before and after having brush weatherseals and brush door sweeps installed. For do it yourself customers, consider the Sealeze brand brush weatherseal for superior performance.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Fall Pests

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Fall brings rodents coming back in during cooler weather and longer nights. Inspect the outside of garage and basement doors for worn seals and replace or repair. Exclusion is the single most effective tool in combating rodent infestations and the foundation of an integrated pest management plan for mice.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.

Green News

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Recently Sean was interviewed by the Lowell Sun as part of the Green Column written by Hiroko Sato. You can link directly to the column in the Lowell Sun here. It discusses integrated pest management, the employment of cultural, mechanical, physical as well as chemical strategies to manage pest populations.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.