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2024 is fast approaching, and many of us are making our resolutions for the year ahead. At the start of the new year, we might be planning to live healthier lifestyles, reduce stress, or save money - and while we may not think about it often, a rodent-free home is key to all of these things! Here are some tips for keeping rodents away from your door in 2024.

Getting Rid of Rodents in Massachusetts this New YearHow do I know if I have a rodent problem?

While mice and rats can certainly be sneaky, they leave plenty of signs in their wake. Catch a rodent problem before it gets out of hand by watching for these clues:

  • Noises. You may hear scratching, chewing, scurrying, or thumping in attics, ceilings, eaves, or walls. These sounds may become especially loud at night.
  • Gnaw marks. Rodent teeth never stop growing, so mice and rats never stop chewing. If you're seeing chew marks on door frames, furniture, baseboards, food packaging, electrical wires, or pipes, it's a strong indicator that rodents have moved in.
  • Tracks/rubbing.  Areas that mice or rats are frequenting will often be graced with greasy-looking marks or footprints. The oils in rodent fur transfer to surfaces the animal comes in contact with, leaving streaky spots behind.
  • Nests. Rodents prefer to nest in hidden areas like drawers, wall voids, forgotten corners of garages or attics, and underneath appliances. Nests are made of various scavenged materials such as paper, fabric, string, and insulation. 
  • Droppings. One of the most noticeable signs of a rodent infestation, and a problematic one: Contact with rodent droppings or items contaminated with rodent waste can transmit disease. Always use protective gear if cleaning up rodent droppings.
  • Live sighting. If you see a mouse scamper across the floor, chances are there are more where that one came from and it's time to call the experts!

Can I DIY my rodent control?

Because rodents can spread disease, cause damage to your home, and infest your insulation (and they can do it quickly!), it's always recommended to call a professional to handle a mouse or rat infestation. That said, there are some DIY rodent control measures you can take:

  • Eliminate food sources. Store food (including pet food) in airtight containers, keep cupboards clear of crumbs, keep pet dishes off the floor when possible, take garbage out regularly and make sure bins are secure. Consider pedal-operated or push-button cans for indoor trash.
  • Stay clean inside and out. Outside, keep shrubs trimmed, remove leaf litter and other yard waste, store firewood off the ground, and clean up fruits and vegetables that fall from plants or trees. Inside, reduce clutter and keep stored items like boxes of decorations off the floor, regularly clean floors and contact surfaces, and make sure to clean beneath appliances (and check your oven drawer!).
  • Deny entry. Seal cracks and crevices around your foundation and openings around utility lines or pipes, 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!

With infamously fast reproduction rates, mice and rats can take over your home before you know it- and once they're in, it's really a challenge to get them out! Don't waste your time or risk your health handling a rodent problem on your own - call the team at Burgess Pest at the first sign of trouble and enjoy a rodent-free home this year and for years to come.

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