Thanks to COVID-19, rodents in Massachusetts are busier than ever this year.
Rodents can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. They carry disease, cause structural damage, contaminate food, and compromise air quality. They are just plain unwelcome house guests, and they multiply quickly, making it difficult to eliminate them once they’ve gotten comfy. This year, rodent activity has escalated—and you can thank COVID-19 for the majority of it.
Rats in particular have been expanding their territories over the last several months; with businesses closed, especially restaurants, rats have suffered a significant decline in food sources. Dumpsters that were once full of trash and food opportunities have sat empty, forcing rats to forage in new, more open, locations, sometimes during odd times of day.
People tend to assume that rats are an “urban problem”. That may be partially true, but food shortages have made some populations bold enough to venture into more suburban areas, where trash cans, bird feeders, and pet food abound. Colonies that already existed in suburbia moved closer to residences as small grocers and convenience stores slowed or stopped operations.
While rats are less likely to nest in your home than mice, both can pose significant threats to people, pets, and property. How can you reduce your risk?
Inspect for activity. Check areas with food, garbage, or storage for signs of rodent presence, including chewing, droppings, burrows, or rub marks.
Seal access points. Rodents don’t need much space to access a building. Gaps and holes around doors and windows, cracks and crevices in your foundation, openings around utility lines and pipes, faulty roofing or damaged bulkheads all provide plenty of opportunity for rodents to enter.
Starve ‘em out. Make food and water sources inaccessible to rodents; store pantry items and pet food in sealed containers, make sure trash bins close completely, keep pet dishes off the floor as often as possible, sweep/vacuum floors regularly, and wipe down countertops often. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they have no choice but to move on.
Call the pros. Rodent infestations are notoriously difficult to self-treat, especially during times of duress. Burgess Pest Management’s experts are well-versed in safe rodent elimination, and our Home Sealer and Sanitizer service removes the evidence and prevents reintroduction.