4 Facts About Pests and Pest Control

Bed bugs, rats and fleas. Oh my! While bugs and other insects represent over 90% of all living things on Earth, these pests transmit diseases including West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease and malaria. Common household bugs might seem harmless, but keep in mind – your local pest removal service can help if matters get out of hand. Unwanted critters are a serious matter and so is the extermination process of pest removal. But here’s a look at four facts about pests and pest control. Continue reading

DIY Rodent Control Strategies You Can Count On

Commensal rodents are rodents that want to “share” your house with you. They can fit into openings as tiny as a fourth of an inch. The three most common household rodents in the United States are the Norway rat, the roof rat, and the house mouse. The first step to rodent control is determining what kind of rodent you have. If you see the rodent, you can determine the type by its size. The smallest of them are the house mice, second are the roof rats, and the biggest are the Norway rats. The house mouse and the roof rat are easily mixed up, so the next step to identify them is by their droppings, size of the tail, and eating habits. Here is a chart that clearly shows the differences between all three. Once you’ve identified your rodent, you have to pick the best rodent control strategy to rid them from your home. Rodents are most active at night, so chances are you won’t see them during the day. The most successful rodent control strategies have to do with both trapping and baiting. If you suspect that your rodent population is large, you have to bait them to get the population down and then trap the remaining.

Baiting

When setting out baits, try not to interrupt their habitat, so they stay in that area and eat the poison. After setting out baits, continue with food source removal and sanitation procedures to keep more rodents from entering your home. Eliminating the rodents’ food source is crucial when using bait because regardless of the quality of the bait the rodents will always choose something else. The bait should knock down your rodent population very quickly. After bait, the next step is traps.

Trapping

When using traps, it is crucial have the type of rodent identified. The size of the trap is based on the size of the rodent. One of the most common mistakes when setting out traps is not setting out enough. It is better to set out too many than not enough. With your rodent population dwindling from the bait, trapping the rodents shouldn’t be too hard of a task. Mice traps should be placed 1-2 feet apart, and rat traps 10-15 feet apart. After setting the traps, check them each day to see if any rodents have been captured. If these rodent control strategies aren’t effective, call Dustin Pest Control, a Fresno pest control company, to help with your rodent problem.

How to Prevent Pests from Ruining Date Night

You’ve prepared the meal, set the table and lit the candles, or maybe you’ve picked out a favorite movie, popped some popcorn, and sunk into the sofa. Sounds like the perfect date night options, right? The last thing you or your date would want would be for any of uninvited guest to ruin the evening. Here’s how to prevent pests from ruining date night.

Ants

The army is marching, and its destination is your beautifully prepared meal (or delicious snacks!). No one wants their house to be covered with ants. They’re definitely a force to be reckoned with. Make sure your food is stored properly and that your kitchen is clean to avoid these intruders.

Mosquitos

SMACK! Your hand strikes your thigh with a force, and then you watch the bug flutter away unscathed. Itching, scratching and swatting is not the way you want to spend your romantic evening. As insignificant as these pests might seem, they sure can have an impact on your comfortability and enjoyment. Make sure to keep your doors and windows sealed tight as to prevent them from inviting themselves in.  

Cockroaches

The cockroach is the juggernaut of all pests: they are very resilient. The biggest concern with these bugs is their reputation for carrying disease. When you’re trying to enjoy a nice meal and the company of a loved one, you certainly don’t want to have to think about the possible disease scurrying around your kitchen or living room looking for scraps. Keeping a clean home is step one in avoiding cockroaches.

Rodents

“Eek, a mouse!” Not only can rodents be an annoyance, they can also be a danger to you, your health and your evening. These pests crawl around inside your walls chewing through wood, insulation, and wiring—and those aren’t the sparks you want around on date night! Rodent excrement can also be responsible for the spread of some illnesses and diseases that you definitely don’t want in your home. Look out for rat/mouse droppings in garages and other damp places around your home. Set traps or call a professional to get them taken care of. Don’t let date night be interrupted again, call Dustin Pest Control today!

What’s The Difference Between Mouse And Rat?

If you ask someone the difference between a rat and a mouse, they will typically assume it has something to do with the size. The differences between rats and mice are much more complex than body size. Each is a completely different genus. While they do have similar physical characteristics and both belong to the rodent family, there is definitely a difference between mouse and rat.

The first thing to understand is that the terms “rat” and “mouse” are not scientific terms. Both categories include different species and subspecies. The term rat typically refers to the genus Rattus. The Rattus genus includes the Norway Rat also known as The Brown Rat, the Roof Rat, Cotton Rats and much more. The word mice typically represent the Mus genus and include the House Mouse, the African pygmy mouse, the Deer Mouse and various others. Species in these two genes are recognized by different characteristics.

Droppings

Often when you have a rodent infestation, you only discover it because you find droppings. Rodents can live secretly in your home for months before you might actually see one. One difference between a rat and a mouse is the size and shape of their droppings. Mice typically leave significant amounts of feces averaging about 65-150 a day. Mice droppings are spindle-shaped and about ¼ of an inch. Rats have larger pallets and therefore tend to produce fewer pallets at around 40-50 a day. Rat droppings are about ¾ inch long and ⅛ inch in diameter. They are curved resembling the shape of a banana.

Tail

Both rats and mice have tails, but there are subtle characteristics that can help you distinguish the difference. Mice have a thinner long tail, covered with little hairs. Rats have a thicker hairless tail.

Eating Habits

Rats eat much more on a daily basis than mice do. Mice eat up to 20 times a day, an amount equalling three grams a day and only require three millimeters. Rats eat 15-30g and drink 15-60 millimeters of water a day. Rodents tend to store and hide food so it may be hard to determine which rodent you have based on the amount of food they scavenge.

Body Size

As mentioned above, the difference in size is one of the biggest ways to determine the difference between the two animals. Mice have large ears and are 3-10 centimeters long. Rats have small ears and bodies that are 16-40 centimeters long.

Whether you have a rat or a mouse in your home, you should give Dustin Pest Control a call to schedule your rodent control services. Dustin Pest Control has been serving the Central Valley Fresno community for over 50 years – contact us today to get started!

How To Winterize A House For Rodents

When the weather gets cooler humans bundle up and seek warmth, the same goes for rodents. As temperatures decrease, your home may be the perfect place for rodents and other unwanted house guests to escape winter, making rodent control an absolute necessity. Here’s how to winterize a house for rodents.

Seal It Up

Did you know that some rats can fit through a hole the size of a quarter? According to RatBehavior.org thanks to their long and flexible bodies, some mice can squeeze through spaces as small as 0.96 inches in diameter. Look for any openings or cracks where rodents could squeeze into under entryways or windows. Also look for rips in screen doors or window screens. Remember to check areas that are made for letting things in and out of the house like dryer vents or drainage pipes. These functional openings can make it easy for rodents to get indoors. There are items like dryer vent cages, and steel mesh is easy options.

Clean Up & Clean Out

While the idea of wet branches and leaves might not be pleasant to us, they are incredibly inviting to rodents and other pests. Make sure you clean out downspouts, roof drain pipes and gutters. Edible vegetation and other junk or debris should also be removed from around the home as they attract rodents and are natural hiding places. When taking trash or recycling out for pickup, be sure to close bags up securely and keep containers or bags away from home. Your garbage may smell like a gourmet meal to a family of rodents looking for a meal.

Bring In The Pros

While there is a lot you can do to lower the risk of rodents entering your home, professional rodent control services are also a great option. For additional help with your rodent issues in the winter, contact Dustin Pest Control today!

4 Reasons To Be Spooked By Rodents (That Have Nothing To Do With The Ick Factor)

While there’s definitely the scare factor when it comes to rodents, there’s an even more important reason to make sure they stay out of your home. For centuries, rodents have spread disease, like the four lethal ones listed below. Your No. 1 defense against these ailments is to make sure your home is rodent-free.
  1. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) – This is a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory disease in humans caused by contact with rodents and has a mortality rate of 38%. Some of the flu-like symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, dizziness, chills and abdominal issues. Species that carry hantavirus include White-Footed Mouse, Cotton Rat, Deer Mouse, and Rice Rat.
  2. Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HRFS) – Symptoms of HFRS typically take 1 to 2 weeks to develop and can include headaches, back and abdominal pain, fever, blurred vision. Rodents that carry HRFS include The Striped Field Mouse (Apodemus agrarius), The Brown Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus), The Black vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) and The Yellow-Necked Field Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis). Fatality ranges from less than 1% to 15%, depending on which virus is the source of the illness.
  3. Rat-Bite Fever (RBF) – An infectious disease that is caused by two different types of bacteria and occurs often in Asia but cases have been reported elsewhere. Symptoms include fever, muscle pain, vomiting, headache, joint pain and rash. The onset of symptoms usually takes 3-10 days to start. RBF is carried by the Common Rat (Rattus). The mortality rate for Rat Bite Fever is 7%-13%. In recent years, Rat-Bite Fever made national news when a 10-year-old boy in California died as a result of a bite from his pet rat in 2013.
  4. Tularemia – A highly contagious disease found in humans and animals. While rodents can infect humans, they can also be infected from tick and deer fly bites, contaminated water and contaminated aerosols or agriculture. Part of what makes this disease so contagious is that direct contact with an infected party isn’t required to get infected. Most rodents can be infected. Symptoms include skin ulcer a site of infection, sore throat, mouth ulcers, tonsillitis, swelling of lymph glands and difficulty breathing. Most patients completely recover from tularemia.
Think you have a rodent infestation or just want the piece of mind? Have a professional from Dustin Pest Control come out and perform pest control services today. Last but not least, everybody have a fun and safe Halloween!
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