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Winter storm clean up vital in preventing rodent infestations

Reading, PA, Feb. 24, 2014 – As winter storms continue to plague the nation, the Rentokil family of pest control companies (Ehrlich Pest ControlWestern Exterminator, and Presto-X Pest Control), warns that mice and rats are also looking for a warm place to escape the winter chill. Unfortunately, these small pests can cause more than just a headache for homes and commercial facilities if they gain entrance inside.  Rentokil in North America is seeing a substantial increase in calls regarding rodent infestations across storm laden regions of the U.S.

“Rodents can contaminate food sources and serve as vectors of many diseases, such as salmonella and the potentially fatal Hantavirus,” said Nancy Troyano, PhD, entomologist for Rentokil. “Moreover, mice and rats can cause serious structural damage by chewing through insulation, wallboards, wood and electrical wiring.”

To show the destructive habits of rodents across the country, Rentokil has provided an infographic from the National Pest Management Association.

Broken and fallen branches from storms pile can up around a structure encouraging harborage for rodents seeking shelter. Rentokil encourages everyone to eliminate potential harborage sites, especially as part of their storm clean-up plans, with the following:

  • Elevation. Elevate fire wood at least 12-18 inches above cleared ground and 12 inches from fences and walls to help prevent rodents from finding a new home so close to yours.
  • Debris removal. Hauling storm debris off the property is the best solution to prevent rodents from finding a nesting site close to your home’s foundation. Especially felled trees and tree stumps.
  • Entry ways. Look for points of penetration around your building to prevent rodents from entering, including areas where utilities and pipes enter, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both. Mice only require an opening the size of a dime while rats can enter through quarter-sized opening.
  • Sealing entryways.  Sealing cracks and openings on the outside of the building are key in keeping rodents from entering your living spaces.
  • Damage control.  Inspect your roofline for potential damage from fallen branches and debris. Finding and fixing these holes will prevent not only entryways for rodents and other small pests, but also moisture issues that can attract rodents, Carpenter’s Ants and termites.

Eliminating storm debris will not only help prevent rodents from entering your building, but it will prevent secondary pests, such as termites and ants, from finding a readily available food source once the weather warms.

“This has been an unprecedented winter in many parts of the country and as part of remediating storm damage, homeowners and businesses need to assess how cleaning away debris can impact potential pest problems in a short amount of time,” added Troyano.  “If those impacted by storms are unclear as to pest prevention as part of their clean up, they should call upon a licensed pest management professional to view the impact areas storm damage may have created.”

About Rentokil North America

Rentokil North America is part of Rentokil Initial plc, one of the world’s largest and most diverse business service companies, operating in 69 countries worldwide.  Ehrlich Pest Control (www.jcehrlich.com), Western Exterminator (www.westernexterminator.com), and Presto-X Pest Control (www.prestox.com) are all part of the Rentokil family of pest control companies in North America. They provide commercial and residential pest control, bioremediation, bird control, vegetation management, deer repellent services, wild-animal trapping and termite control from more than 200 local offices in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

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