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VIDEO: Berkeley neighborhood sees rise in rat infestations –

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BERKELEY (KRON) Residents of a Berkeley neighborhood are reporting a rise in rat infestations and seeking help from the city to deal with the issue.

Exterminators KRON4 talked with say its not just in North Berkeley, but several areas around the East Bay.

And then, they moved into the house.

Christine Simon lives in the northern part of Berkeley. She said in 15 years living there, they never had a problem with rats.

And then, about a year ago, it all started.

We have had a flood of rats, Simon said. We started hearing some on the roof. We ended up with rat mites in our home. A lot of rats in your city, and there could next be a bad public health problem.

A year later and $15,000 thrown, they finally got the rats out of their house.

But a lot of her neighbors have not been so lucky.

Dan the bug man is an exterminator and does pest control. He services the East Bay.

He says there have been more calls recently to Berkeley and all over the East Bay.

Dan says the tech boom and housing crises is to blame. More young couples are buying houses in the East Bay from long-term owners and renovating the houses.

Christine, who is a practicing family medicine doctor in the area, worries that the problem could become bad enough to pose a public health threat.

She and her neighbors have asked Berkeley public health officials to look into the problem.

So far, they are not granting that request.

KRON4 contacted several people with the Berkeley Public Health Department and has not heard back yet.


Tips from Dan the Bug Man East Bay Exterminator featured in our story:Serving Oakland and surrounding areaPhone number(415) 608-1355

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VIDEO: Berkeley neighborhood sees rise in rat infestations –

‘Ratpocalypse’ Caused by Climate Change Could Increase Spread of Disease – Healthline

Milder winters allow rats to have more litters, and their population explosion could help spread diseases such as E. coli and bubonic plague.

Is America on the verge of a ratpocalypse?

Experts and officials are documenting growing numbers of rats across the United States, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

However, rats are notoriously difficult to study.

The exact number of rat populations is unclear. In New York, for example, estimates range from 250,000 on the low end up to tens of millions.

The only thing certain is the numbers are growing.

In July, New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, pledged $32 million to combat the rodents. The city wants more rat corpses, he announced.

New York may be the most prominent city in the United States to tackle its highly visible rat problem, but it certainly isnt the only one.

Other major metropolitan areas, including Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Washington have all reported increased sightings.

Bobby Corrigan, who holds a doctorate in rodentology, and is one of the nations leading experts on rats, told Healthline that if you spoke to health departments in 25 different cities, theyd all tell you we have more rats now than ever before.

Even though thats not empirical, thats a pretty darn good indication, he said.

Corrigan attributes growing rat populations in the United States and around the world to milder winters and growing human populations.

Rats tend to reproduce less during the winter as cold weather makes it harder for the rodents to survive.

But, as winters have become milder due in part to climate change over the past decade, rats have been able to produce extra litters.

The warmer weather also cascades down onto the various other parasites and bugs that depend on rats for survival.

Disease-carrying ticks, mites, lice, and fleas are all more likely to survive and reproduce during mild winters.

A similar problem manifested earlier this year when reports of increased tick-borne illnesses were largely attributed to booming populations of mice the critters that spread ticks throughout forested areas.

Simply put, says Corrigan, Winter doesnt kill as much anymore because we dont have hard winters.

The risks of booming rat populations are manifold.

The various ectoparasites that feed on rats are capable of spreading many different diseases, including rat bite fever and bubonic plague.

While the plague is uncommon in the United States today, it still appears periodically, including this year in New Mexico.

However, rats dont even need to carry ectoparasites to spread disease.

In fact, they are more than capable of spreading zoonotic diseases through contact with their urine and feces.

A study from Columbia University in 2014 found that rats in New York carried everything from E. coli and salmonella to Seoul hantavirus and C. difficile.

They dont carry rabies. Thats the good news, says Corrigan.

The federal government isnt actually involved in controlling rat populations as it is with many other public health problems.

Between 1969 and 1982, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doled out grants to different cities under its Urban Rat Control program, but that ended under former President Ronald Reagan.

A CDC spokesperson confirmed to Healthline that it no longer has any involvement with rat control.

Since then, cities, businesses, and citizens have had to fend for themselves.

Youre only as good as your worst neighbor down the street or outside the door who doesnt do their trash right, said Corrigan.

This leads to the second major part of the rat boom: humans.

Rats have been called the mirror species of humans. When we thrive, they thrive. They share and inhabit the same cities that we do.

More people, more trash, more trash, more pests, said Corrigan.

For better or worse then, the solution to the rat problem begins with the human problem of waste management.

Thats a mammal that needs the same thing you and I need. It needs food every single day. It needs water every day, explained Corrigan.

If you have 16 rats, just one family of rats, they need a pound of food every night. Thats seven pounds of food every week going into those rats bellies, he noted.

The implication is clear: Rats are getting all the food they need from humans.

And while calls to pest control services are up across the country, and cities are trying new methods for killing rats like using dry ice to suffocate them in their nests in New York, Corrigans approach is far more benign.

The only solution, according to Corrigan, is an approach that includes individual and government cooperation between everyone from city task forces, to grocery store and restaurant owners, to homeowners.

If you want to keep rats out of your home and help control populations, it comes down to two things, he said. Ensure that all doors, including garage doors, leading into and out of your home are tightly closed.

You should not be able to roll a number two pencil under a door, Corrigan said.

The second is securing garbage appropriately.

Everybody thinks anybody can take out the garbage, so sometimes theyll give it to the children to take out the garbage, says Corrigan. Taking out the garbage and storing the garbage correctly is something that needs attention.

Instead of hiring an exterminator or putting out poison bait, why dont you just simply get a better garbage can? he said.

Excerpt from:
‘Ratpocalypse’ Caused by Climate Change Could Increase Spread of Disease – Healthline

Pest Control Products and Services Market Projected to Reflect 5.4% CAGR by 2026 – Digital Journal

The global pest control products and services market is projected to be valued at US$ 28.6 Bn by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.4% over the next 10 years.

This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire

New York, NY — (SBWIRE) — 09/06/2017 — The global pest control products and services market is segmented on the basis of Product Type (Insecticides, Rodenticides, Other Chemical, Mechanical, Others); Application Type (Ants Control, Bedbug Control, Beetle Control, Bird Control, Mosquito & Flies Control, Cockroaches Control, Rat & Rodent Control, Termites Control, Others); Service Type (Chemical Control Services, Organic Control Services, Synthetic Control Services, Mechanical Control Services, Other Pest Control Services); End User (Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, Residential); and Region (North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and MEA).

The Insecticides product type segment is expected to gain significant market share by 2026 and is estimated to increase 1.7X in terms of value between 2016 and 2026. The Cockroaches Control application type segment is expected to be valued at US$ 5,747.6 Mn by 2026, registering a CAGR of 5.1% between 2016 and 2026. The Chemical Control Services service type segment was valued at US$ 10.93 Bn in 2015 and is estimated to reach US$ 11.56 Bn by the end of 2016, reflecting a Y-o-Y growth rate of 5.8%.

A sample of this report is available upon request @

The Chemical Control Services service type segment is expected to continue to remain the most dominant segment in the market till the end of 2026. The Residential end user segment is expected to be valued at US$ 9,956.6 Mn by 2026.

Among regions, North America is expected to remain the most dominant regional market in the global pest control products and services market. The North America pest control products and services market was valued at US$ 7,538.5 Mn in 2015 and is estimated to reach US$ 7,952.4 Mn by the end of 2016, reflecting a Y-o-Y growth rate of 5.5%. The Asia Pacific pest control products and services market is expected to be valued at US$ 5,964.2 Mn by 2026, registering a CAGR of 6.1% during 2016 2026.

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The prime factors powering the demand for pest control products and services are a rapid expansion of urban population across the globe, growing consumer awareness concerning health and hygiene, prevalent weather conditions supporting insect growth, a rapid increase in lifestyle expenditures, and rising international tourism.

Increase in economic activities across the globe is also a positive factor favoring the growth of the global pest control products and services market. The implementation of stringent government regulations to limit levels of chemical toxicity and restrict the use of highly toxic pesticides to reduce their hazardous impact on public health and environment is one of the major restraints for the growth of the global pest control products and services market.

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The global pest control products and services market report profiles some of the leading companies functional in the global pest control products and services market. Ecolab, Inc., Rollins, Inc., Rentokil Initial Plc., Service Master Global Holdings, Inc.

(Terminix), Massey Services Inc., Arrow Exterminators Inc., Sanix Incorporated, Asante Inc., Dodson Brothers Exterminating Company Incorporated, Target Specialty Products, Pelsis Ltd., Killgerm Ltd., WinField Solutions LLC, and Univer Inc. are the top market players featured in the global pest control products and services market report. Some of these companies are focusing on expanding their geographical presence through operational expansion and strategic mergers and acquisitions.

About Persistence Market ResearchPersistence Market Research (PMR) is a third-platform research firm. Our research model is a unique collaboration of data analytics and market research methodology to help businesses achieve optimal performance.

To support companies in overcoming complex business challenges, we follow a multi-disciplinary approach. At PMR, we unite various data streams from multi-dimensional sources. By deploying real-time data collection, big data, and customer experience analytics, we deliver business intelligence for organizations of all sizes.

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Pest Control Products and Services Market Projected to Reflect 5.4% CAGR by 2026 – Digital Journal

Public health asked to find rat problem solutions – St. Catharines Standard

Niagaras public health department is being asked to act as the regions Pied Piper to solve its rat problem.

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati told regional public health committee members Tuesday that he has heard complaints about rat infestations in the region, and a similar problem in Niagara Falls.

He said rats are showing up in nice areas of the city, at barbecues while people are eating, and where children are playing.

Diodati said rats have been seen in school yards and daycare centres, and its hard to determine from where the rats are coming.

He said public health has become involved in the past when the municipality has dealt with rat problems, but recently the department has taken a hands-off approach leaving it to the municipalities.

It is a health concern, Diodati said. Its a complicated thing to deal with Its an area where we need the health department engaged.

Diodati asked the public health department to work with Niagara Falls staff in a team effort to approach this and find strategies to address the problem.

Associate medical officer of health Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji asked Diodati if a memo outlining a strategy to deal with the vermin would be adequate, or if there needs to be a higher level conversation between our department and your city staff?

Diodati then made a motion calling for a meeting between health department senior staff and Niagara Falls senior administration to come up with a better approach to dealing with it.

His request was echoed by other regional councillors, complaining about rat problems in the communities they represent, as well.

I think that its regionwide, Diodati said, amending his motion to include staff from municipalities throughout the region. Were having this issue all over.

Niagara Falls Coun. Selina Volpatti said Niagaras waste management department should be part of that discussion, too, adding the collection of organic waste could be adding to the problem.

I think we need to include a discussion about the collection of organics in that report, Volpatti said.

Diodatis motion was approved unanimously.

The rat-infestation issue was also discussed during Niagara Falls city councils Aug. 22 meeting, when councillors passed a motion brought forward by Coun. Wayne Thomson asking the public health department to take an active and engaged role in dealing with not just inside, but also outside rat infestation problems, and to co-operate with local bylaw enforcement officials.

Thomson said the city has received a number of complaints about rodents, and asked for a staff report to come back on how the municipality can deal with the rat problem.

He suggested staff come back with a budget figure so that an exterminator can be brought in to get this under control.

Thomson said he was surprised and disappointed to hear public health would not deal with a complaint about somebody who has rats in their backyard, but would if the problem was inside their house.

That was never the case before, he said.

I think we have to get the co-operation of the health department in this issue get the health department to be a little more helpful.

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Public health asked to find rat problem solutions – St. Catharines Standard

Rats vs. Mice | Western Exterminator

There are just three species of rat and mouse that are by far the most prevalent and important pests in homes and businesses worldwide due to their ability to adapt to the human environment.

These are the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus, also called the common or Norway rat), black rat (Rattus rattus, also called the ship rat or roof rat) and house mouse (Mus domesticus).

The house mouse has several subspecies that are common in different parts of the world and are increasingly being recognized as separate species, but these are all virtually indistinguishable from each other.

All rodents have the common identifying feature of a pair of incisor teeth in the upper jaw. They tend to have short legs and a long tail, but a closer look at their body characteristics and habits shows that there are easily distinguishable features that you can use to identify which pest is invading your property.

The easiest distinguishing feature is the small size of the house mouse at 1 – 4 inches long.

However, a mouse can be confused with a young rat.

Rats have a similar appearance to mice but have distinguishable differences.

Both rats and mice are omnivorous but the brown rat and house mouse prefer cereals, while black rats prefer fruit and foods with high moisture content.

Brown rats:

Black rats:


Brown rats usually live on the ground and burrows. They are usually spotted throughout buildings, in sewer systems and outdoors. Their burrowing can cause extensive damage to sewers. The brown rat tends to walk on the pads of the feet and the surfaces that it travels along show continuous smudges from the oily fur.

Black rats are mainly restricted to buildings around ports and in ships in temperate countries (hence the name ship rat). They are agile and good climbers, nesting high up under roofs. In warmer countries, where they originate, black rats will nest in trees, especially in woodland and orchards. Black rats tend to walk on their toes and the surfaces they travel along show separated smudges.

Mice usually live on the ground and nests in burrows, but is agile and can climb. In heavy infestations, grease from the body combined with dirt and urine can build into small pillars. These can remain for a long time, so may not indicate a current infestation. A mouse obviously has a smaller footprint than a rat.

The droppings of the three animals differ in size and shape, according to the body size. Rat droppings can often been mistaken for mouse droppings and those from a cockroach.

Brown rat droppings are wide and are dark brown color. They are typically found in a tapered, spindle shape resembling a large grain of rice.

Black rat droppings are long and thin, and are smaller than brown rat droppings. Black rat droppings are more regular in form with a banana like curve and pointed ends.

Mouse droppings are approximately 3-8mm in length, and are often found scattered randomly during an infestation. Mouse droppings are granular in shape and black in color and can be found near nesting areas.

Mice reach sexual maturity earlier and produce larger litters at a more frequent rate than rats. The new borne of all three rodents are blind, hairless and completely dependent on the mother for feeding and protection.

House mouse

Brown rat

Black rat

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Rats vs. Mice | Western Exterminator

Sprout’s Pest Control uses essential oils – not pesticides – to battle bugs – Chattanooga Times Free Press


Services offered include:

Commercial and residential pest control

Mosquito reduction services

Termite treatment services

Flea and tick control

Fly control

Rodent control

Snake repellent programs

Home moisture reduction services

Source: Sprouts Pest Contro

When Ethan Fortner worked as an exterminator to help pay his way through business school at Dalton State College, he noticed customers always had the same question.

“The first thing that always came out of their mouth was, ‘Is this safe for my kids?’ ‘Is this safe for my pets?'” the 25-year-old said.

So when Fortner decided he didn’t enjoy his post-college job doing insurance claims for Unum in downtown Chattanooga, he decided in 2015 to start a “green” pest control business with help from his dad.

Sprout’s Pest Control LLC, named after the nickname of Fortner’s first-born son, focuses on pest-control using natural ingredients such as boric acid, similar to the laundry detergent booster Borax, as well as essential oils of thyme, rosemary and cedarwood.

Ethan Fortner, 25, of Trenton, Ga., in 2015 founded Sprout’s Pest Control LLC, which focuses on pest-control using natural ingredients

Ethan Fortner, 25, of Trenton, Ga., in 2015…

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

For more information about Sprouts check out or call Ethan Fortner at 423-619-6893 to schedule a consultation.

Ethan Fortner, 25, of Trenton, Ga., in 2015 founded Sprout’s Pest Control LLC, which focuses on pest-control using natural ingredients

Ethan Fortner, 25, of Trenton, Ga., in 2015…

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

The business took off and now has about 200 customers. Fortner was able to quit Unum in November and does natural pest control full-time with his father as part-time helper.

“We’ve more than tripled [business] in the last eight, nine months,” he said.

Based in Trenton, Ga., the business is licensed to do pest control in Tennessee and Alabama and should expand into Georgia in October. Cost is $35 monthly, $65 bi-monthly and $75 quarterly, Fortner said.

“I’m very pleased with Ethan’s work, he’s been awesome,” said Vicky Lusk, a customer who lives in the Lakesite-Soddy- Daisy area and said the natural spray that Fortner applied outdoors helped combat mosquitoes.

Fortner doesn’t blend the natural pesticides himself; he buys the products from such sources as Rockwell Labs and Zoecon. The products’ bug-killing properties are scientifically tested, he said.

Boric acid strips insects, including cockroaches, of their waxy coating, causing them to dehydrate and die.

Essential oils fight insects in a way similar to traditional chemicals, or synthetic pyrethroids. Essential oils block an insect’s octopamine, a neurotransmitter, that leads to a breakdown in the insect’s central nervous system.

Most essential oils he uses are safe to use around fish and around bodies of water, which means they can be used to treat for spiders around boat docks.

A do-it-yourselfer can do natural pest control, Fortner said, but the cost of the products is high (he gets a discount for buying in bulk). Also, he said he’s got the knowledge and experience about such things as how to caulk up cracks to thwart bugs.

Fortner uses natural products at the home he shares with his wife, Sarah, 2-year-old son, Noah, also known as “Sprout,” and three-month-old son, Nate.

“I do. I treat my own house. I use the natural stuff on my house. That’s definitely the preference of my wife,” Fortner said.

For more information about Sprout’s check out or call Ethan Fortner at 423-619-6893 to schedule a consultation.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at or or on Twitter @meetforbusiness or 423-757-6651.

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Sprout’s Pest Control uses essential oils – not pesticides – to battle bugs – Chattanooga Times Free Press

Snake Poison – Do It Yourself Pest Control, Lawn Care …

Snakes come in many different types, and although they are not one of the most common pests they do present a distinct problem whenever they intrude on human dwellings. One of the greatest threats from certain varieties of snakes is the fact that they are venomous and can cause severe illness and even death if they bite humans or animals. This is especially true for small children and pets, as their lower body mass offers no resistance to the venom of most snakes. Therefore if you are having a problem with an infestation of these creatures, your first thought is definitely going to be how to get rid of snakes.

Do My Own Pest Controlhas all the snake repellent, snake traps,snake tongs, and snake bait youll need to get rid of these dangerous animals, as well as unlimited free expert advice that will guide you through every step of the process until your home is free of this nuisance.

These are obviously a bigger threat to the health and well-being of you and your family, and this category includes such fearsome snakes as the copperhead, water moccasin and numerous species of rattlesnakes , all of which can cause serious and often fatal injury if they are allowed to maintain a presence around your home. Because their main source of food are small rodents, having any rodents such as mice or rats in or around your home makes it much more likely that you might have poisonous snakes lurking not far away.

Although they dont present a massive threat to the health of you and your loved ones like venomous snakes do, the non-venomous species of snakes are also a serious pest problem, and can cause many problems should they find their way into your home. The major problem that non-venomous snakes can cause is that they are liable to create nests inside a house, which can easily draw in more pests of different species and cause a huge problem if not taken care of quickly and completely.

Knowing how to keep snakes away is a matter of knowing about the tools available to do so. With snakes, there are really only two ways to do it; repel them or use giant glue traps to capture and kill them.

Snake repellent is one of the greatest ways to make sure your home doesnt fall victim to these pests. It is designed to repel all snakes, both poisonous and non-poisonous, and can be applied around the perimeter of your house or yard. This will give you the peace of mind knowing that any snakes that come near your home will quickly turn away and look for a more hospitable environment.

Should there be an ongoing snake problem, a repellent is not going to be enough, and snake trapsshould be used to kill snakes that are already on the property. Most traps for this purpose are the same glue based products as many rat traps, and should be checked and cleaned regularly after they are applied.

Here are some snake pictures:

Image courtesy of FCPS

Image couresty of the University of Florida

Image courtesy of the University of Pittsburg

Image courtesy of Stetson University

Image courtesy of Cal Poly LAND

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Snake Poison – Do It Yourself Pest Control, Lawn Care …

Looney Tunes-inspired mayhem gets tiresome fast – The Straits Times



99 minutes/Opens tomorrow/2.5/5 stars

The story: Surly (voiced by Will Arnett) the squirrel and his vermin buddies are living the good life with a lifetime supply of food at an abandoned nut store. After a boiler explosion roasts their nuts, the gang reluctantly return to their natural habitat of Liberty Park. A subsistence diet proves to be the least of their problems, when unscrupulous Mayor Muldoon (voiced by Bobby Moynihan) eyes their home as the site for a lucrative amusement park.

The Nut Job (2014) was a tough nut to crack. It was pummelled by critics, but grossed more than US$120 million (S$162.7 million) worldwide, making almost three times its US$42.8 million budget.

While the first movie was a decent heist caper, this sequel does the “animals outwitting dumb/evil humans” trope that has been done before in other animated flicks such as Open Season (2006) and Over The Hedge (2006).

I would imagine the late novelist and eco-activist Edward Abbey would be proud, as the spiritual (and furry) successors of his Monkey Wrench Gang go to town assailing the demolition workers and sabotaging their machines.

Director and co-writer Cal Brunker – who was a storyboard artist on last year’s The Secret Life Of Pets – piles on one frenzied setpiece after another, though the Looney Tunes-inspired mayhem gets tiresome fast.

Arnett, of The Lego Batman Movie (2017) fame, is capable of great voicework, but he does not have much to work with here as the aptly named curmudgeon Surly.

There is some attempt at character development with his pals – Andie (Katherine Heigl), a fellow squirrel who drops chestnuts like “there are no shortcuts in life” and disapproves of Surly’s dishonourable methods of foraging, and Buddy, a mute rat he has known since childhood.

But any quiet introspection or stab of pathos is quickly brushed aside for another explosion or chase sequence.

There are two bright spots.

One is Maya Rudolph – last heard in this year’s The Emoji Movie – returning as the bug-eyed, affable pug Precious. She has caught the eye of French bulldog Frankie (Bobby Cannavale) and her reactions to his awkward advances and his sadistic girl owner make for some of the film’s funniest moments.

The other is Jackie Chan. He voices a featherweight mouse and martial-arts master named Mr Feng (pronounced “fang”), who goes berserk whenever anyone calls him cute.

He gets as much screentime as his size, but an ingenious fight scene involving him and his brethren in an exterminator suit more than makes up for it.

In a nutshell, this crowd-pleaser has some bite, but families craving something more filling should hunt elsewhere.

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Looney Tunes-inspired mayhem gets tiresome fast – The Straits Times

Local rat population surging – The Daily Post

By Matthew NiksaDaily Post Correspondent

A rapidly-increasing rodent population has created constant demand for exterminators, to the point where some rodent specialists arent accepting any new customers, according to two Peninsula pest control companies.

Jim Britton, owner of Three Step Rodent Proofing in San Jose and Redwood City, said rat removal requests started to increase last November and havent slowed down since then. He said the wet winter not only led more rats to seek shelter in attics and crawl spaces, but also created more vegetation for them to nest on in the spring and summer.

Britton said his company is busy year-round, and is especially active in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Los Altos.

Roof rats, which we deal with the most, prefer to live in vegetation, and Palo Alto used to be covered in fruit orchards, Britton said. The greater the amount of vegetation, the larger the rodent population. Britton said his company uses snap traps with peanut butter as bait to get rid of rats. He said he places traps along walls because rodents like to travel along the perimeter of homes.

Britton said he doesnt use poison to kill rats because rodents can sometimes die in walls after theyve been poisoned.If a rodent dies in your wall, you either have to deal with the smell of its dead body for three weeks, or hire a contractor to open up your walls and remove it, which can cost a lot of money, Britton said.

John Crist, owner of Heritage Pest Control in Mountain View, said rat removal requests have skyrocketed ever since California prohibited the sale of certain types of rat poisons almost three years ago.

On Sept. 19, 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB2657, which banned certain ingredients in rat poisons that made them highly toxic toward rodents but also posed a health risk to wildlife, children and pets.

From poison to traps

Crist said although the bill helped protect the environment and the welfare of pets, it also barred exterminators from using an effective tool to eradicate rats.

Were (people) kind of to blame for the fact that our rat population is out of control, Crist said. By not being able to use harsher poisons, we (exterminators) were forced to use traps, which dont put a dent in the rat population at all.Crist said the states advice to residents on how to save water during the drought also attracted large numbers of rats to peoples homes.

During the drought, people were told to water their plants at night, but because rats are nocturnal, they were also inviting rats onto their property, Crist said.

Rat epidemic

Crist, who works in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, said he visits two to four different homes every day to solve rat-related issues. He said he used to spend only one day per week on rat-related requests, but now receives up to 10 rat removal requests per day.

California has a rat epidemic, Crist said. The rat population is spreading quickly, and its still growing.

Crist said homeowners can prevent rats from entering their homes by sealing any cracks or crawl spaces, and removing certain plants from their gardens.

Rats like to eat snails on ivy and agapanthus plants, so by removing these plants, youre making it harder for them to find food, Crist said.

Crist said unless the state loosens its restrictions on using stronger rat poisons, he doesnt think its rat problem is going away any time soon.

The pest control companies cant keep up with the demand to remove rats from homes, Crist said. Ive already had three pest control experts tell me that they cant take any more work.

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Local rat population surging – The Daily Post

It’s Northwest spider season; what you can do around your home – KIRO Seattle

by: Dyer Oxley, MyNorthwest.comUpdated: Sep 4, 2017 – 9:21 AM

SEATTLE – Its the season of the Northwest spider and with the recent warm weather, there could be a few more itsy bitsys around.

Related: Man burns house trying to kill spider with blow torch

Entomologist Arolo Pelegrin calls this a spider invasion, though, the spiders dont pose much of a threat to humans.

Getting rid of ants around the house

I know its a difficult thing to tell people who are freaking out about spiders, but take it with a grain of salt, he said. Typically, spider invasions dont last more than a couple of weeks. They arent going to be around too long. Their mating season will end when it cools off.

Scroll down to continue reading.



They are afraid of us, Pelegrin said. Spiders are not well-defended the way ants and beetles are. They tend to stay secretive.

Theres a good reason for the invasion. Its mating season. But more than that, warmer weather can encourage spiders to start mating season early, forcing them out into the open.

We are looking at spiders that have attained maturity a lot of the males are out looking for mates, said Entomologist Arolo Pelegrin. If youve ever been around teenage boys trying to get a girls attention, they will engage in near suicidal behavior. Its easy to observe boys of a lot of species taking big risks to get attention, find a partner.

Thats why the spiders, which usually remain hidden in corners away from people, are wandering in places they can be seen. Theyre looking for love, but in all the wrong places.

The males are basically like a group of guys on a pub crawl stopping at different bars to see if there are any girls in there, Pelegrin said. Thats kind of what these spiders are doing, walking around houses, looking in cracks and crevices. The females stay pretty stationary. That usually means walking across kitchen floors or appearing in the middle of the floor while youre watching TV.

Pelegrin said that when it comes to a Northwest spider, its always spider season. Its moist throughout the region, and there are a lot of plants, which means a lot of insects or spider food.

The Seattle area is rich in spiders, he said. They are just starting to get big now.

Big like the giant house spider. Thats what many people are seeing around their homes around this time a brownish spider that is about as big as a persons palm. Its long legs give it the giant appearance, though its body is relatively small.

Then theres the trapdoor spider, the other common variety around the end of summer. Its smaller and darker than the giant house spider.

As we move into September and October, the orb spiders will become more apparent, Pelegrin said. They make those traditional, flat, wheel-shaped spider webs.

Northwest spider remedies

There are a few things you can do around the home to keep spiders away.

The first thing is keeping a clean home. Spiders come into a home because there are bugs to eat. Bugs are attracted to trash, crumbs, etc. So staying tidy stops them from coming indoors.

Pelegrin is not in favor of chemical methods.

Exterminators will guarantee that the spiders wont come in for a while after their application, so there are heavy-duty chemicals you can lay down that the spiders wont cross, he said. But then you have chemicals in your yard, or in your house.

Instead, he recommends oil peppermint, tea tree or neem. To people, they smell fresh and pleasant. To spiders, the smell of peppermint, for example, is overwhelming and generally deters them.

The idea is to spread the oil around the home. There are many methods from sprays to soaking cotton balls with the oil and placing them in dark corners or cracks.

2017 Cox Media Group.

Read more from the original source:
It’s Northwest spider season; what you can do around your home – KIRO Seattle

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