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 Exclusion & Rodent Rub Marks

This is the time of year commensal rodent (mice) exclusion becomes a priority.  Here is a view of a crawl space vent, taken at a residential home around Boston today (11-7-2013). 

 

 When viewed from a normal standing position it looks like there are no rodent entry points. 

 

When viewed from below, best done using a mirror, such as a mechanics mirror with a handle, you can see the huge gap along the top of the vent.  Notice the brown rodent rub mark on the cement edge just to the left of the metal frame of the crawl vent.  Rub marks are left on surfaces when rodents run them repeatedly and the grease and dirt from the fur of the rodent leaves a stain on the surface they run over.



 Standard exlusion materials are a supply of copper or stainless steel wool and snips to cut it.  Don’t use standard steel wool, since moisture will cause it to rust and stain.  Also black polyurethane is useful to go over the copper and seal out airflow points that rodents will sniff out.

This is the mirror view or view from below with the copper in place.

This is the mirror view with the black polyurethane over the copper.

-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.

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.