Here in Western Massachusetts towns like Ludlow, Chicopee, and Holyoke along with Northern Connecticut towns like Enfield, Suffield, and Windsor, are still in the thick of rodent season. This February has been marked by regular snowfall and freezing temps which means most rodents are utilizing your warm home to weather the storms. You may even see above-average rodent activity as they start to get a little more desperate and raid your pantry. So here are some facts about rodents:

Your Car Can Be Turned into a Hotel

Cars and trucks offer an ideal shelter for rats and mice to be safely insulated from cold temperatures and potential predators. A rodent manages to get inside a vehicle through the vent or shaft or even a slightly open window. Some car and truck brands are now manufacturing with plant-based materials, like soy wiring. These are a particularly tasty snack for rodents.  By chewing on wires, upholstery, or insulation, rodents can cause significant damage to your vehicle. It is crucial that you protect your car from rodents and other vermin during the winter season especially if you’re storing the vehicle for some months.

Paper, tissues, and fast-food bags can quickly pile up and serve as nesting material for mice. Water is a necessity for rodents to survive, so a leak in the heater or wet materials left in the vehicle will draw them in. Even when parking in a garage, vehicles can still be at risk for rodents. Take extra measures to ensure the garage is rodent-free by keeping trash cans covered, keeping birdseed and pet food in sturdy containers, eliminating excess debris, clearing clutter, and caulking/sealing any gaps or openings where rodents can squeeze through. Rodents tend to build their nests near the engine due to the warmth it generates. Routinely take a look under the hood to ensure invaders haven’t made their way in, as rodents situated here have easy access to crucial circuitry.

Cats Aren’t Rat Killers

As part of a study done by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), researchers observed hundreds of encounters between feral cats and rat colonies over a five-month timeframe. They studied the encounters with cameras and microchipping. Over the course of the study, less than one percent of the encounters resulted in a rat being killed. And while rats were less likely to be seen on the day of or day after an encounter, they eventually returned. Overall, the presence of the cats had no observable impact on the rat populations. Therefore, cats for rat control aren’t as effective a method as we all may have thought. Our feline friends are still great for being companions, however.

How Rodents Let You Know They’re Around

Rodents can cause serious damage to your home by chewing through almost any material, including cardboard, wood, even hard plastic! If you find small holes (dime to quarter size) with tiny teeth-marks around your home, you might have a mouse or rat infestation! Rodents prefer nesting in dark secluded areas. House mice typically make their nests from shredded paper, fabric, or insulation. Look out for these materials scattered around the house. Rats and mice tend to have oily fur and can leave dark dirt or grease marks along the floor or walls as they make their way to and from the nest. If you hear unusual scratching, clawing or scurrying sounds coming from the walls or attic, your home might be infested!

Think you might have some of these problems in your home? Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. Learn more facts about rodents here. We have the knowledge and the services to correct your infestation. Ask Graduate about our preventative annual plans to keep your home pest-free year-round!

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