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October 15th-21st, 2023 is Rodent Awareness Week. As temperatures cool and fall is officially in the air, it's the perfect time to learn how to keep your home free from mice and rats this season. Here's everything you need to know about rodents in Massachusetts, the dangers and signs of an infestation, and how to prevent a problem.

What Kinds of Rodents are Common in Massachusetts Homes?

Massachusetts homeowners are often faced with mice or rats. Deer mice, house mice, and Norway rats (also known as brown rats) are common culprits of household infestations. Knowing which rodent you're up against is crucial to successful elimination and ongoing prevention.

Dangers of a Rodent Infestation

Mice and rats are unwelcome houseguests for a number of reasons. Rodents can carry harmful diseases, spread to humans through bites, contaminated food or water, contact with rodent waste or bodily fluids, or inhalation of air contaminated with rodent droppings or urine.

Mouse control in MassachusettsThe threat of disease alone is a good enough reason to keep rodents out of your home, but it's not the only harm they can bring: A mouse or rat infestation can cause structural damage and damage to electrical wiring or plumbing, all of which can be dangerous and costly to repair.

Signs of Rodents in Your Home

Mice and rats may be notoriously sneaky critters, but they'll definitely give you some hints if they're cozying up in your home:

  • Scratching or scurrying noises in walls or attics (often more noticeable at night)

  • Chew marks on baseboards, door frames, furniture, food packaging, electrical wiring, or plumbing

  • Greasy-looking marks or tracks from the oils in rodent fur

  • Nesting activity in hidden areas like drawers, wall voids, underneath appliances, and forgotten corners of garages or attics - Nests will be made of various scavenged materials such as paper, fabric, string, and insulation

  • Droppings are one of the most obvious indicators that you might have a rodent problem - Always take measures to prevent contact when cleaning up rodent waste

  • Seeing a live mouse - if you see one, chances are there's more where that came from

How to Prevent Rodent Infestation

There are many different methods of rodent prevention, and it all really boils down to this: Don't let them inside in the first place! Here's how you can make your home less appealing to mice and rats:

  • Keep mice out of food MassachusettsSeal your food. Store foods like cereals, grains, nuts, and seeds in airtight containers, including pet food. Keep cupboards clear of crumbs, keep pet dishes off the floor when possible, take garbage out regularly and make sure both indoor and outdoor trash bins are secure (consider pedal-operated or push-button cans for indoor trash).

  • Stay clean, inside and out.  Regularly clean floors and contact surfaces, and make sure to clean underneath appliances and inside your oven drawer. Reduce clutter, and keep stored items like boxes of decorations off the floor. Keep shrubs trimmed, remove leaf litter and other yard waste, store firewood off the ground, clean up fruits and vegetables that fall from plants or trees, and avoid feeding birds or other wildlife (if you must have bird feeders, it's recommended to keep them a distance from your home).

  • How to keep mice out of the house

    Deny entry. Seal cracks and crevices around your foundation and openings around utility lines, trim branches back from your home, make sure windows and doors close securely, and check screens for tears or holes. Remember, mice and rats only need an opening the size of a dime or quarter to get inside!

Can I Just DIY Rodent Control?

While you can certainly take the above preventive measures into your own hands, an active mouse or rat infestation is best left to the professionals. Trying to DIY rodent control puts your health at risk, wastes time and money, and doesn't guarantee results - take the guess work out and keep your hands clean by calling a rodent control professional that can assess the situation, correctly determine the best course of action, and recommend the most effective way to keep rodents out of your home in the future.

The Best Massachusetts Rodent Control

Ready to rodent-proof your home? Call the team at Burgess Pest for a free estimate! From Pad Protection Plans to Home Sealer and Sanitizer and insulation cleanouts, we've got you covered all year long.

Get More Information or Schedule a Free Estimate

P.S.: Want all this information in an easy-to-read, quick reference format? Check out our Rodent Season Survival Guide here!

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