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How Dry Is It? Dry Enough for Rodents to Target Your House


norway ratThe severe drought in California is making an impact on how homeowners maintain their lawns, plants, and gardens; how farmers tend to their crops; and now, rodent behavior. The dry, warm conditions are forcing rodents, especially Norway and roof rats, to seek water sources aggressively inside structures where water from a leaky faucet looks to them like an oasis in the desert.

Norway and roof rats both consume one to two ounces of water daily, which they find at dripping faucets, broken irrigation systems, bird baths, and water features (i.e., ponds). Pet water bowls, clogged gutters, and over-watered gardens are also prime sources of liquid sustenance for these most unwelcome visitors. The house mouse, however, requires less water and can go longer periods between filling up.

Rodents present multiple threats to homes and their occupants: they spoil food, transmit dangerous bacteria, and chew on electrical and computer wires that can start a fire – all good reasons why rodents must be denied access to your home.

Good sanitation practices are one key to keeping rodents out of your home successfully. Keep counters clean, eliminate clutter, and make sure to collect and empty garbage, trash, and garden debris frequently, and make sure all garbage receptacles have tight-fitting covers – indoors and out.

But the first and most important step to ensure that your home remains rodent-free is by preventing them from gaining access in the first place. Rodents (and most pests, for that matter) are opportunists that spend most of their lives looking for a way inside a structure in search of food, water, and shelter.

The Clark Man bases his rodent management programs on excluding them from homes and other structures. Here are the Clark Man’s Seven Helpful Rodent Exclusion Tips for homeowners:

  1. Seal cracks and holes on the exterior of your home – pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the structure, even those up high – roof rats and mice are willing climbers, and can jump up to 12 inches and squeeze through an opening the size of a dime.
  2. Since roof rats are adept climbers, trim shrubs and tree limbs close to your home to deny them access to your roof.
  3. Cut the grass regularly, rake up leaves, and pick up debris piles in the yard where rodents like to hide.
  4. Replace loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows.
  5. Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home and five feet off the ground.
  6. Check the weatherstripping on garage and entry doors and make sure it has no gaps.
  7. Make sure the screens on screen doors and windows, along with dryer and utility vents, do not have holes in them.


Remember, if your home as a problem with rodents in your home, call 800-936-3339 or drop me an email at

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


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Keeping Rodents Out This Winter

rodent preventionAt first glance, the house mouse does not appear very threatening, but don’t let looks deceive you. Mice are the number-one rodent pest for homeowners in United States, and it’s estimated that mice and their rodent brethren invade more than 20 million homes each winter across the country.

How do these furry little creatures, which consume approximately 1/10 of their body weight – two to four grams of food – on a daily basis, gain access to your home? And what areas are most vulnerable to a mouse infestation?

According to research conducted by the National Pest Management Association, the kitchen – the hub of activity in many homes – is the number-one area where rodents are likely to be found. Let’s be honest: Rodents, while not Rhodes scholars, know where their bread is buttered, so to speak, and kitchens offer abundant sources of food, water, and shelter for these unwanted visitors.

What other areas of a home are susceptible to hosting a rodent infestation? The research revealed the following:

  • Kitchen – 50%
  • Basement – 27%
  • Living Room – 25%
  • Bedroom – 22%
  • Bathroom – 11%
  • Other – 9%

In addition to spoiling food with their droppings and urine, and transmitting dangerous bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli, rodents also can pose a significant threat to the structural integrity of your home.

A house mouse or roof rat infestation can destroy insulation in attics, and can chew through wallboards, cardboard, wood and electrical or computer wiring. In fact, rodents cause up to 25 percent of house fires in the U.S. every year.

The keys to any successful rodent-prevention program are exclusion and sanitation. If you don’t “build” rodents out of your home and follow good sanitation practices on a consistent basis, the benefits of the Clark Man’s rodent-prevention measures will be lost, and rodents will reinvade faster than a New York minute.

Keep counters clean. Eliminate clutter. Make sure to collect and empty garbage, trash, and garden debris frequently. Also, make sure all garbage receptacles have tight-fitting covers, indoors and out.

The Clark Man’s Top Five Rodent-Prevention Tips

  1. Seal cracks and holes on the outside your home – pay special attention to areas where pipes and utility wires or cables enter the home, even those up high; mice can squeeze through a  ¼-inch opening.
  2. Replace loose mortar and weatherstripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  3. Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home and five feet off the ground.
  4. Keep basements, attics, and storage areas free of clutter, and eliminate moisture sources –  including leaking pipes, faucets, and clogged drains.
  5. Keep food – especially pet food – in sealed containers.

Remember, if your home as a problem with rodents, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at

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


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Protecting Your Summer Picnic From Pests

picnic ants


June is quickly approaching and for some the official start of summer. While you are enjoying a ballgame, parade or backyard barbeque, the Clark Man reminds you that unwanted, bacteria-carrying pests are more than eager to crash your party.

Protecting food from the harmful bacteria that pests can spread and following good food safety practices before, during and after a meal can protect your family and guests.

Pests such as flies, cockroaches, ants, rodents and birds can spread harmful bacteria like salmonella, listeria or E. coli if they come in contact with your food after having feasted on other less appetizing items such as garbage, feces or animal carcasses.

These pests, especially stinging insects and ants, are attracted to food high in sugar content - spilled soda, cake frosting, barbeque sauces and marinades. Rodents and cockroaches have less discriminating taste pallets and will feast on crumbs, oils, grease, garbage and waste.

Good sanitation practices are essential to preventing pests from becoming a problem in and around your home. The Clark Man recommends picking up leftover bottles and wrappers, cleaning up crumbs and spills, and frequently emptying garbage or recycle bins to make your summer picnic or cookout less attractive to these hungry pests.

Another step to preventing pests from contaminating food is to keep food tightly covered in plastic containers or covered with foil or plastic wrap before and after cooking.

While pests do contribute to food-borne illnesses, there are steps homeowners can take to reduce the risk before packing the picnic basket for your next trip to the beach or cookout. Remember, you can't see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness, so keep the following tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in mind all summer long:

  • Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often. Wash for 20 seconds with soap and running water. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Wash utensils, countertops and cutting boards with hot, soapy water or other appropriate cleansers; rinsing with just water won’t cut it.


  • Separate — Do not cross-contaminate foods – keep raw meats, fish and eggs separate from other foods. Use separate utensils, cutting boards and storage containers.

  • Cook — Cook food to the proper temperatures and use a meat thermometer. The CDC recommends 145 degrees for whole meats, 160 degrees for ground meat and 165 degrees for poultry.

  • Chill — Refrigerate leftovers promptly – within an hour in the summer heat - or discard them. Thaw and marinate foods in the refrigerator – never on the counter or kitchen sink.

Remember, if you are experiencing a pest problem in your home, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an e-mail at


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


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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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Fall is here and so are those pesky rodents! - Clark Pest Control



During the cooler months (October through February), we have the luxury of snuggling up in a blanket or by the fire in our homes and apartments, but, their may be something lurking in our dwellings with us. Mice and rats often take shelter in our homes, causing 

Need a rodent exterminator? Call Clark Pest!

damage to bothour health and property.

Rodents enter homes through almost any opening larger than a dime, damaging sheetrock, cardboard, wood and electrical wiring, increasing the risk of fire and exposure to diseases.

Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the fall and winter months:

  • Seal off all voids around pipes coming into your home from the outside
  • Keep branches and other plants cut back from the house
  • Keep your garages and sheds tidy and uncluttered

In the event you do have a rodent problem, contact a qualified pest professional, such as Clark Pest Control, that specializes in exclusion and IPM. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program will involve you and your pest management provider, working together as a partnership.

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Sniffer dogs deployed to combat rat plague in Queensland



ox terriers Mya and Pepper, pictured with handlers Charlie Cinconze and Nicholas Snabaitis, are part of the rat detection squad in Goodna. Picture: Annette Dew

By Anna Chisholm

RATS chewing through phone cables are causing chaos in abandoned flood-hit homes at Goodna, southwest of Brisbane, and as far as Birdsville in west Queensland.

Diamantina Mayor Robbie Dare said the rodents wreaked havoc, chewing cables and causing major communication problems.

"Telstra have technicians out there replacing the cables it's affected internet, all communications and tourism," he said.

"Not many tourists carry cash any more they go to pay with a card and the terminals don't work because communications are down."

Cr Dare said the problem is too big for any local government to bait.

"We catch about 60 a night at the back of the roadhouse at Bedourie; it's been going on since before Christmas and it doesn't seem like it will let up," he said.

"They're breeding like wildfire and spreading further out north and further east."

Read more:


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Bobby Corrigan - Live from the 25th annual Educational Conference part 2


We be beginning shortly...



Roof rats - cont.

  • Locate the lines:
  • locate the shadows
  • locate the crannies and corners:

Be the hunter 

Be able to read a room, building backyard and etc. be the hunter. How do you read say, a back yard...Look to the fence, notice the lines and look for rubbing, it is important to be able to read your environment.

Rodents do have control of their scat and urine, mice use urine to communicate.

Lush landscape = Roof Rat

Habits: why:

a. Great cover

b.stems,leaves for water



Trapping/baiting strategy for the Roof Rat

keep track of how many males, females and how many are pregnant

why pay attention to the males and females = general ratio of 1:1

Note Pregnant females with teets - this will tell you how many juveniles are still at the facility, she has a mate and this means she will stay close to home, this is for maximum survival of her young. You now have a zone to focus on. The house mouse in this same scenario, your zone is about 10 feet.

The greatest success tip for trapping:

Location based on high activity areas

Based on awesome inspections

  • look for heat sources
  • ask the customer where the warm zones are (anything motor or electrical driven)

Bring the traps to the rats, don't wait for the colony to find them.

to pre-bait or not to pre-bait:

That is the debate:

Pre-bait for 3 days vs. Trapping immediatly

come back in 3 months and count the rats

Count the callbacks $$$ 

Rats will leave pheromones within the rub, this is effective communication for the rat

What is the best bait?
there is no best bait, certain colonies may not want protein at the time, maybe they will be in the mood for carbs. Use 4 different kinds of baits, each representing each food group. 

is tying on your bait to the trap a good idea? YES

Try natural foods i.e. nuts, berries,snails,slugs and etc.

remember rats are cognitive thinkers


Thank you very much Mr. Corrigan, you really captivated the audience!

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Bobby Corrigan - Live from the 25th annual Educational Conference


Bobby is leading off with how he found his way into the pest control industry, his first job working below ground (the sewer). Bobby looks at pest control as a living experiment and refers to it as "cool science". 


Looking at New York City, Setting the rat traps, customers always ask what the best bait...

The Rat is capable of cognitive thinking, this means the rat can plot and plan. 

Bobby refers Pest control as "Deep Science" its a fine line the pest controller walks, is it a business or a science.

Norway and Roof rats are nocturnal as well as mice, working under the cloak of darkness.

NYC is the #1 Pestropolis - due to density of humans (about 14 million). with that many people producing that much trash!

Bobby is now talking about how he followed a Norway rat through NYC as the rat is thinking how many muscle movements it will take to get to a local fast food establishment. Bobby tells how as he followed this little guy he snapped photos. The Norway rat after 5 minutes out of the sewer he finally makes it to the fast food's trash area.

Daily foraging of the Norway rat in exterior city enviroment 90-450 ft. from nest. 

60 lb bag of trash - 1lb feeds 22 rats per night (10 adults, 12 Juveniles)

One NYC restaurant waste bag; one night can feed 1.320 rats


Rodents 2011 Updates in biology, behavior and control

(roof rats, Norway rats and the house mouse)

4 hairs on the front portion of the head that detects low objects such as pallets, when they detect they begin to dig with their front paws.

The tail is used for balance and asks as a sensor. The tail is also used for aggression.

How long can a rat live in the real world? depending on conditions, ideal would be up to 3 years for the rat, although most do not live past a year.

Roof Rats (Rattus rattus) are cleaver and secretive - originated from southeast Asia the roof rat loves lines

1. active and tyravels in areas of dense heavy cover

2.feeds more like a mose and not a rat

3.bushes filling in fence corners or covering fence supports (lines) 

fresh rub marks - how to tell...if it has hair in it, still oily and can be either shiny or dull.

new smudge marks can be scratched old is just a stain.

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Safeguarding Your Home Against Rodents - Winter is almost here


During the cold winter months rodents are looking for a cozy place in your warm home!

During the fall, as temperatures starts to decline, Rats and Mice are looking to set up a harborage in and around your home. Here are some tips to help you rodent proof your home during this winter season.

  1. Tree’s are a thing of beauty, but they can also give rodents access to 2nd story vents, bird blocks, gutters and your roof. Keep your trees trimmed back away from the house.

  2. Make cure all exterior doors have door sweeps installed, keeps the rodents out and may save you money on both heating and cooling your home.

  3. Seal around all plumbing that is entering your home from the outside

  4. Seal any large cracks to the exterior of your home

  5. Keep a tidy living space, rodents love an abundance of newspaper, old magazines and clothing that they can turn into bedding

  6. Keep trash cans, firewood and any storage away from the structure

If you would like additional tips and advise on rodent proofing your home for the holidays, contact your local Clark Pest Control office, were just a call away and offer free inspections.


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California Rats - Rats Gone Wild: Rodents Invade SoCal Homes


As temperatures rise, experts say more and more residents are discovering rat infestations in their homes.

Watch Lu Parker's Report

LOS ANGELES -- As the temperatures start to rise, so too do unwanted pests in and around your house. Residents of a number of Los Angeles neighborhoods are reporting rat infestations in their homes.

With the recent discovery of mice infected with hantavirus in Devore and Coyote Canyon near Fontana in San Bernardino County, officials are urging residents to avoid contact with any kind of rodent and to take precautions to reduce rodent populations.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends residents eliminate any available food sources by storing food and trash in rodent-proof containers, and frequently cleaning the containers with soap and water. Pet food and birdseed are favorite snacks of rodents. Pet food should not be left out, but removed after the pet has eaten. If you have rats or mice, you may want to remove any birdfeeders around your home as well.

Residents are also advised to trap any mice or rats they see, rather than using poison which can lead to unwanted odors and hidden carcasses. Be sure to seal up all entry holes and plug any gaps inside as well as outside your home with steel wool, metal lath or caulk.

Keep in mind that rodents can enter your home through holes as small as a quarter and can breed seven times a year. They typically invade cool spots in search of water. They can often be found in crawl spaces underneath homes and in attics, but can eventually migrate into other parts of your home with enough time and opportunity.

Click here to read the entire article

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