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There Is a Mouse in the House



Did you know that rodents will invade approximately 21 million homes this winter? That statistic from the National Pest Management Association confirms what the Clark Man already knew – that these furry little intruders have no intention of taking the winter off!

Rodents, especially house mice, are the most active of winter pests. Like many pests, rodents seek warmer digs in the winter, preferably with an abundant supply of food, water and nesting materials.

Rodents are a crafty bunch and will wait patiently for the right opportunity – a door left propped open, a box of off-season clothes brought in from a storage area, an open bag of pet food or a small crack in the foundation – to enter your home. Rodents only need an opening of ¼- to ½-inch to gain access to your home. And, unlike a herd of noisy teenagers, they won’t announce their arrival until after they have settled in.

What are the most common signs of a possible rodent infestation in your home? They can include the following:

  • Rodent droppings (usually black in color and ¼- to ½-inch long) and urine (best detected using a black light).
  • Chewed electrical, computer or cable wiring (a major cause of electrical fires).
  • Unexplained chewing or gnaw marks on carpet, upholstery, drapes, furniture and baseboards.

What areas of your home are most vulnerable to attracting an unwanted rodent infestation? The Clark Man has identified the following locations as “rodent hot spots”:

  • Attached garages and carports, along with storage areas above these locations where storage boxes, pet food and other items are found
  • Kitchen and bathroom cabinet voids
  • Back base voids of refrigerators, stoves and kitchen appliances
  • In utility rooms and areas beneath, and within base voids of furnaces, washers and clothes dryers
  • In wall, ceiling and floor voids
  • In the insulation of attics and in the contents of the attic (i.e., storage boxes)
  • In basements near utility feed lines.
  • Firewood stacked next to the house and near a door

The Clark Man recommends that you seal cracks in the foundation of your house or utility pipe openings with caulk or other appropriate materials to deny rodents easy access, and that you make sure the weather stripping around exterior doors is in good repair.

Also, be sure to keep food in sealed containers, do not to leave pet food in the bowl overnight, and closely inspect any boxes you bring in from storage areas or that are delivered for signs of rodent infestation.

Remember, if an unwanted pest crosses your path, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at clarkcares@clarkpest.com

Until next time, I’m the Clark Man – and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit ClarkPest.com to learn more.

Rodent Proofing for the Fall and Winter - Rodent Control


Clark Pest Control


When fall and winter arrive, the cold weather motivates us to find warmth indoors. But we’re not the only creatures who seek such comfort. Mice and rats prefer a toasty environment over the shivery outdoors, too – and if they can find a way into your toasty environment, they will. The problem, then, is how to keep these rodents from coming in and setting up housekeeping.

As with other pests, a lot of rodent pest control problems can be solved by employing two simple principles: exclusion and sanitation. The Clark rodent control approach is anchored in Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, a process that seeks to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and to the environment.

Let’s start with rodent exclusion, or keeping these animals out. A house mouse only needs a 3/8-inch opening – less than the circumference of a dime – to get in; a Norway rat or roof rat needs a 3/4-inch opening, which is less than the circumference of a quarter. So, to rodent-proof your home effectively, you’ll want to close off anything larger than a 1/4-inch opening.

We’ll start with doors, one of the most common points of entry. Gaps along the bottom edge, ones big enough to let rodents in, can be eliminated by installing brush strips, usually made from nylon or polypropylene bristles. Garage doors can be fitted with compression seals that perform the same function. Also, check window screens to make sure they are not torn or otherwise compromised, and make sure that basement windows, if you have them, don’t provide a way in.

Once all doors and windows are secured, you’ll want to examine the walls and foundations around your home for cracks and holes, which can be blocked temporarily with copper or steel wool wire mesh until more permanent repairs can be made.

Look for other potential entry points, too – specifically, holes where utility lines or pipes enter, which can be blocked off with wire mesh and caulking or plastic foam. Vents and ventilation openings will need to be covered by secure screens.

Rats are excellent climbers. If you have a chimney, it should be rain-capped with a spark arrestor, and think about other places high up where a rat could get in – roof defects, gaps between roof and structure, attic vents. Also, make sure you’ve trimmed any overhanging branches that might provide an easy route for rats to access your roof.

The other principle to bear in mind that should keep your living space rodent free is sanitation.  While rodent exclusion measures will help keep them out, good sanitation practices will eliminate many of the causes and conditions that help rodents to thrive.

Every pest, include rodents, needs food, water and harborage to survive. Outside, things like unsecured garbage cans, pet food left in the open, or overgrown patches of weeds, are like hanging out a sign that welcomes rats to your yard. Make sure your garbage is kept in cans or containers that can’t be accessed by rats, along with raccoons and opossums.

Keep any pet food in secure containers, too, and pick up pet dishes and empty the contents once your pets have finished feeding. Remember that if your yard is acting as a rat magnet, when a cold snap hits, you can bet those rats will try to find a way into your home’s more comfortable interior, should they be presented with the opportunity.

Inside, clutter is the enemy. Mice, in particular, will thrive in harborage provided by randomly scattered items. By cleaning up any areas in basements, garages or other rooms, if mice do find a way into your home, they won’t have as many places to set up housekeeping.

Solving rodent pest control problems isn’t rocket science. Putting the common-sense ideas we’ve outlined into practice in your home will help you make it through the winter months without unwanted guests.

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San Diego Pests - Use Caution with rodent droppings


County Urges Residents To Use Caution When Cleaning Up Rodent Droppings

Source: East County Magazine, San Diego

July 15, 2010 (Otay) -- San Diego County Vector Control officials confirmed today that one wild Northern Baja mouse trapped in the Otay River Valley during routine monitoring tested positive for Hantavirus. This brings the total to 16 mice that have tested positive for Hantavirus this year.

mouse pest“Hantavirus is preventable and can be fatal. The wet winter has provided plenty of food and shelter for mice, helping to increase the wild mouse population. It is extremely important to keep mice out of houses, garages and sheds to prevent infection,” said Jack Miller, Director of the County Department of Environmental Health. “People contract Hantavirus by inhaling the virus, often when they are cleaning up rodent droppings and nesting materials. Wet cleaning methods should be used to prevent inhaling the virus.”

Vector Control randomly samples wild mice to determine the extent of the virus. Hantavirus is carried by wild rodents, primarily deer mice. The virus is found in rodent droppings and urine and can be inhaled by humans when it becomes airborne. The airborne virus can cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), which can begin with symptoms similar to the flu, but in rare cases, can lead to severe breathing difficulties and even death.


There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Hantavirus.


Several precautions should be taken to avoid exposure:

  • Eliminate rodent infestations immediately.
    Avoid rodent infested areas and do not stir up dust or materials that may be contaminated with rodent droppings and urine.
  • Clean up rodent droppings and urine using the wet cleaning method described below.
  • DO NOT SWEEP OR VACUUM INFESTED AREAS. Instead, use wet cleaning methods:
  • Ventilate affected area by opening doors and windows for at least 30 minutes.
  • Use rubber gloves. Spray a 10 percent bleach solution (2 tablespoons bleach to 1 cup of water) onto dead rodents, rodent droppings, nests, contaminated traps, and surrounding areas and let the disinfectant stand for at least 15 minutes before cleaning. Clean with a sponge or a mop.
  • Place disinfected rodents and debris into two plastic bags, seal them and discard in the trash.
  • Wash gloves in a bleach solution, then soap and water, and dispose of them using the same double-bag method. Thoroughly wash your bare hands with soap and water.


For more information, contact the County Department of Environmental Health at (858) 694-2888 or visit http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/deh/pests/hantavirus.html.

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Rodent Control - Hantavirus poses health risk


Source: Inland News Today

FONTANA – Hantavirus has reappeared, but so far no humans have been infected. 

Local health officials confirm that blood samples from mice in the areas of Coyote Canyon in Fontana and the unincorporated area of Devore were positive for Hantavirus. 

Hantavirus is transmitted by infected rodents through their urine, droppings or saliva. Peoplerodent become infected after inhaling, ingesting, and/or handling rodent excrements or nesting materials. 

There is no health emergency, but people are being forewarned. 

· Avoid contact with rodents. Do not pick up or handle rodents of any kind. 

· Eliminate harborage, water sources, and food sources for mice and rats around the home. (INT)  

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City closes food producer because of mice, ants


March 24, 2010 6:51 PM

Chicago Breaking News

Mayor Daley's Dumpster Task Force has closed the American Accord Food Corporation, 9485 S. Ewing Ave., due to an active infestation of mice and ants and other problems.

Task Force inspectors were responding to general complaints in the area related to rodent activity when they visited American Accord which produces ready made meals, according to a news release from the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation. Inspectors found more than 200 mice droppings spread out across the food preparation, storage and receiving areas, officials said.

They also found that the main hand wash sink American Accord Food Corporation was not in sound condition, making it difficult to ensure that employees could keep their hands sanitized. Slime was found in the ice machine and 100 ants were spotted crawling near a grease trap. It was determined that management had not properly maintained a grease disposal container, according to officials. 

Click here to read the entire article 

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As you read this, hundreds of mice feast in McBain


Critters—mice, rats, cockroaches, pigeons, bedbugs—happen to have easy access to our dorm rooms. Proud as I may be of the ability of a mouse to sneak into my building, I am never glad to find one scurrying over my foot in the middle of the night in McBain.

By Mark Hay

Published March 1, 2010 


Last year, members of Columbia University’s Urban Landscape Lab aided in the launch of an interactive exhibit, known as Safari 7, exploring the interaction of architecture and natural ecosystems along the number 7 subway line. I mention this because each time I recall the exhibit or happen to travel on the 7, I remember the life teeming along that line. The tenacity of wildlife in this city never ceases to amaze me. For God’s sake, Queens has urban chickens. Trite though it may be, I sometimes stop while strolling the campus at night, to catch the faint twitch of life in the bushes. But it is only sometimes that I stop to wax poetically over the success of life springing from the concrete. And there is more than occasional life—less than beautiful life—lurking on campus. Although, from the way the University treats it, you would never know.

Unfortunately, some of the sturdiest creatures in an urban environment happen to be some of the most disgusting. These critters—miceratscockroaches, pigeons, bedbugs—also happen to have the easiest access to our dorm rooms. Proud as I may be of the ability of a mouse to sneak into my building, I am never glad to find one scurrying over my foot in the middle of the night in McBain. To a certain extent, one must accept such things when living in New York, but, disturbed as I have been of late by recurrent outbreaks of mice and other critters in McBain, I have gotten to thinking about vermin at Columbia. As a result, I have come to the following conclusion: through some odd strain of luck, Columbia has become an ideal breeding ground for critters.


Click here to read the entire article 

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Rodents - Calls over rodent problems 'drop' during cold


As Northern Ireland emerges from its sub-zero temperatures, two populations appear not to have fared so well in the big freeze.

An apparent absence of house mice and rats has had a knock-on effect at Belfast City Council.

The council's pest control department has said there has been a decrease in calls over mice and rat problems during December.

Rat The council says calls over rat problems were down in December

The Council's Pest Control Manager, Earl d'Hulst, said both populations may have been hit by a combination of the severe cold and lack of food in some of their habitats including sheds and garages.

The council provides a pest control service to both domestic and commercial rate payers. The council area takes in about 160,000 domestic properties.

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Rodent Control - Man's battle vs. the rat goes high-tech


Source: L.A. Times
By Jeff Spurrier

Mousetraps aren't just a snap anymore. Some try to kill humanely. One will even send an e-mail of a kill.

It's hard not to admire the common house mouse, Mus musculus. Upon setting up a new home, it neatly separates kitchen, bedroom and toilet areas. It has evolved to make its own vitamin C, and it's sensible enough to fear not only black lights (possibly because a mouse's urine has a fluorescent glow) but also rats (Musicide is common).

Males are bucks. Females are does. A baby mouse is called a pinky.

If you tickle a mouse, it laughs.

It's all so cute, but there is a reason why the word "mouse" comes from mus, a Sanskrit word for "thief." The creature may have been worshiped in ancient Greece, kept as a pet in China and eaten as a remedy for stomachache by the pharaohs, but today most of us just want it gone -- dead, or at least out of our homes (no small feat when it can squeeze through cracks just a quarter-inch wide).

Civilizations dating to ancient Italy have tried to keep out the mouse. The Romans put strawberry oil in candles because the animal doesn't like the smell. By the 1800s, killing rodents had nearly become a science as Victorian inventors tinkered with hand-built devices for impaling, decapitating, crushing, suffocating or drowning the vermin. In 1897, the Little Nipper -- a cheaply fabricated spring-loaded trap that broke backbones and crushed skulls in three-hundredths of a second -- set a precedent in modern design. And the quest to build a better mousetrap has continued ever since.

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Rodent infestation forces removal of trees at Pennsylvania Capitol

By DAVID WENNER, The Patriot-News
December 30, 2009, 2:29PM

Ridding the Capitol cafeteria in Harrisburg, Pa., of mice will involve more than just cleaning the cafeteria. Workers today were removing the trees and plants that grew in floor-level planters in the atrium next to the cafeteria.

In addressing the cafeteria mouse infestation, it was discovered that mice nested in the planters. "We've cleaned up the food source problem. We also needed to remove their habitat," said Beverly Hudson, chief of staff for the state Department of General Services.

Click here to read the entire article 

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Pests Control Experts Busy As Temps Fall


mouseReported by: Jessica Williams
Wednesday, Dec 9, 2009 

(Springfield, MO) -- The temperatures are dropping and the Ozarks is getting its first taste of snow this season. That also means you could be getting some unwanted visitors.

During this time of year exterminators see their business triple. That's in part because a lot of people don't normally like to deal with mice or rats on their own. "I was screaming and everything. Maybe because I'm a woman but I don't do mice," said Cheryl Richardson.

Needless to say, Cheryl Richardson doesn't like mice. But that didn't stop the rodents from making themselves at home, once in her kitchen, and then in her well house. "I was getting ready to go to work and all of the sudden I had no water," said Richardson.

"These wires, they gnaw on those so what they did is they shorted this box out and her well didin't work anymore," said exterminator Steve Lawson.

Lawson said mice look for three things when they're trying to find a place to nest.  Shelter, food and water, and they're pretty creative about finding ways inside. "What a lot of people don't realize is they'll get up under your crawl space and run around on your pipes until they find an access point," said Lawson.

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