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The Four Most Common House Pests and How to Get Rid of Them – Scubby


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on February 3rd, 2021

There is nothing worse than coming home to an invasion of house pests. These pesky critters can be found in rooms that are cluttered, full of moisture, or littered with rubbish and food. Generally speaking, dirty rooms can attract undesired animals and insects like bed bugs, flies, rats, cockroaches, and even snakes. Some of these insects, like termites or Carpenter ants, can cause permanent damage to the property by eating away at the wooden beams or foundations of a home.

The best way to avoid attracting any of these insects in the first place is by keeping your house immaculately clean. Make sure to not leave crumbs lying around the house and avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink. Other pest prevention tips include keeping your garbage in sealed containers and disposing of it on a regular basis, as well as, sealing cracks, holes, and any potential entry points on the outside of your home. If you have a vivacious garden, make sure to keep any branches or shrubs neatly trimmed and far from the house.

However, if you find yourself with an invasion of larger animals like raccoons, possums, or snakes, we suggest you get in touch with nextgen pest solutions a wildlife removal company to help you get rid of these animals. Dont panic if you do see some insects in the house. Pests are much more common than you would think and if you catch them in time, some are relatively easy to get rid of. Here are the most common house pests and how to get rid of them.

House flies or fruit flies are some of the most annoying insects to have trapped in your home. Flies are extremely tough to get out of the house without using a swatter, and they can travel across rooms with ease. The issue with these insects is that they can carry bacteria and spread diseases like cholera and salmonella.

The best way to prevent a swarm of flies is by keeping your windows closed and surfaces clean. Flies are attracted to food and other garbage, so make sure your trash is sealed away.

Ants are one of the most common infestations to experience whilst living in the United States. In North America, there are over 1,000 different species of this insect. Carpenter ants are especially worrying because they can eat away at your home in order to create a hollow nest.

Ants are also attracted to food so make sure to clean up any residues in the house. Another important step is to seal off potential entryways in the home. You can also try to exterminate ant colonies yourself by using chemical baits like Borax.

This unpleasant insect can often be found roaming around kitchens and wall cavities. They can stain surfaces, transmit bacteria, and contaminate food. They tend to come out in the dark which often makes them hard to spot.

Although bug sprays can temporarily help control a cockroach infestation, it is unlikely that this will solve the issue permanently. Make sure to remove any potential sources of water and food that these bugs could be using and scope out their hiding places (check under sinks or behind refrigerators). If the issue is severe, contact an exterminator.

Termites are an extremely dangerous infestation to have if they are not caught in time. These insects live in dry wood, meaning they can live in the foundations or frames of a house for quite some time before being detected. However, you can look out for tell-tale signs. Look for any wood damage behind your floors and mud tunnels near the base of your house.

Given that this household pest is extremely destructive, its best that you get in touch with a professional right away before any more damage is done. If you do want to prevent any termites from entering, we suggest replacing damaged wood and reducing moisture in any crawl spaces.

When you find pests in your home, you should deal with the matter straight away. The longer you leave the issue, the greater the problem will become. If you manage to diffuse the situation quickly, you may be able to get rid of the pests all by yourself. However, as we have seen, some bugs or wildlife are much harder to extinguish than others. When in doubt, make sure to contact a professional exterminator to help you live in a pest-free home.

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The Four Most Common House Pests and How to Get Rid of Them - Scubby

How to get rid of insects at home 8 easy ways to keep bugs out – Real Homes


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on February 3rd, 2021

From natural remedies to prevention tactics, find out how to get rid of insects at home using these fail-safe methods.

Creepy crawlies like cockroaches and ants tend to visit us indoors when the temperature drops and they are a real headache when a couple of sightings turns into a full-blown infestation.

Your first go-to might be to call upon the services of your local pest control expert or maybe you're contemplating bringing out the big guns yourself with artificial repellents, sprays or baits - which can not only be poisonous, if not lethal, for pets but can also cause breathing issues and skin irritations for you.

Luckily, there are a number of ways to prevent, discourage and treat bug infestations without spraying toxic chemicals or coughing up for a hefty bill from Rentokil.

"When it comes to any form of insect infestation, you will want to get rid of them as soon as possible. Insects can get into your home through numerous entry points, so preventing them from entering is always a good place to start. Food is usually the prime reason insects invade homes, so storing food properly and securely can solve the problem. Maintaining a clean kitchen will also get rid of insects; you can do this by simply using dishwashing liquid and warm water on surfaces, as well as adding the mixture to a spray bottle to target areas where insects are getting in," explain Alice Shaw-Beckett, Head of Content at Cleanipedia.

Without further ado, we identify a few great ways to rid your home of these little space invaders and keep them firmly in the great outdoors.

You might know a thing or two already about how to get rid of insects at home but have you made your own bug spray yet?

It's pretty simple and you can pretty much spray it in every nook and cranny to repel little nasties - just make sure you check how each ingredient might affect your pets if you have any.

Here's how to make your own critter spray:

(Image credit: Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash)

This is an obvious no-brainer but it's still important to explain why you should keep up with your household chores. Bugs of all kinds love dirt and the dirtier the environment the better.

Keeping your home clean and tidy is the best way to keep pests from lurking, especially your kitchen where any crumb or morsel is a potential tempting treat.

(Image credit: Unsplash/Jan Canty)

Ok, so, insects have quite the set of skills flies have ninja-like reflexes, mosquitos can fly, spiders can jump and cockroaches can supposedly survive the apocalypse, but what they can't do is teleport into your home.

The only way you can really defend your space is to stay vigilant and look for the warning signs and potential problem areas to stop the creepy crawlies from coming in in the first place.

Keeping your garden in good condition never seemed so important.

(Image credit: Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash)

When the snacks are away, the party's over - and that goes for pesky pests too.

Make your home as inhospitable as you can by putting all your grub away and store them in sealed containers or back in the refrigerator.

Your fresh fruit display might make a pretty table centerpiece, but insects of all kinds, especially one of the most stubborn, fruit flies, are attracted to them.

Don't forget those pet bowls and litter trays, too keep them clean and covered when not being used.

(Image credit: Arno Smit on Unsplash)

Wet areas can serve as both a drinking fountain and a breeding ground for bugs.

Dirty dishes in a full sink should be your first go-to but also think about less obvious places like leaky pipes under you kitchen sink or bathroom basin and get a plumber out, stat, to fix this up.

Damp can also be found in basements and attics and a great environment for creepy crawlies to find refuge, especially cockroaches and mosquitoes.

If you find signs of damp in your home, set up a dehumidifier to soak up excessive moisture in the worst hit areas.

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies Future)

Your job if you choose to accept it is to keep insect invaders outside.

Any area that connects you to the outside can be a trouble spot. Think windows, doors, vents, chimneys and pipes - these are only some of the many spots bugs can creep through.

If you notice any damage to these entry points, repair or replace where necessary, and use mastic or caulk for small cracks and steel wool to fill gaps.

(Image credit: Bloomscape)

If you are an indoor plant aficionado, at some point you'll probably have to deal with plant pests. It just goes with the territory. They can creep in on new plants, bags of compost, open windows and doors, outdoor plants and fresh produce.

Tiny bugs or mites feed on the leaves, stems and/or roots and houseplants can be more susceptible during their dormant months in the winter, when humidity levels are lower than the warmer seasons.

If you spot pests on your plants, the first thing to do is isolate the plant from others in the home and clean its leaves with an insecticidal soap or mild liquid soap (always spot test first on sensitive plant varieties). Make sure you clean its pot and tray including the bottom.

To make sure these tiny bugs don't make a comeback, try applying neem oil to the plant as a natural insecticide.

So, you've tried everything and you feel like you're fighting a losing battle, swatting and chasing bugs around. We feel your pain.

You've done all you can to keep them at bay but sometimes there's nothing for it but to bring in the pros in the form of the pest control experts if you suspect you've got a bigger infestation on your hands.

For example, if you're getting covered in bites in bed, or you're noticing termite droppings, we recommend having an experienced exterminator on speed dial.

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How to get rid of insects at home 8 easy ways to keep bugs out - Real Homes

Rat – Wikipedia


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on February 1st, 2021

Several genera of rodents

Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents. Species of rats are found throughout the order Rodentia, but stereotypical rats are found in the genus Rattus. Other rat genera include Neotoma (pack rats), Bandicota (bandicoot rats) and Dipodomys (kangaroo rats).

Rats are typically distinguished from mice by their size. Generally, when someone discovers a large muroid rodent, its common name includes the term rat, while if it is smaller, its name includes the term mouse. The common terms rat and mouse are not taxonomically specific.

The best-known rat species are the black rat (Rattus rattus) and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus). This group, generally known as the Old World rats or true rats, originated in Asia. Rats are bigger than most Old World mice, which are their relatives, but seldom weigh over 500 grams (1712oz) in the wild.[1]

The term rat is also used in the names of other small mammals that are not true rats. Examples include the North American pack rats (aka wood rats[2]) and a number of species loosely called kangaroo rats.[2] Rats such as the bandicoot rat (Bandicota bengalensis) are murine rodents related to true rats but are not members of the genus Rattus.

Male rats are called bucks; unmated females, does, pregnant or parent females, dams; and infants, kittens or pups. A group of rats is referred to as a mischief.[3]

The common species are opportunistic survivors and often live with and near humans; therefore, they are known as commensals. They may cause substantial food losses, especially in developing countries.[4] However, the widely distributed and problematic commensal species of rats are a minority in this diverse genus. Many species of rats are island endemics, some of which have become endangered due to habitat loss or competition with the brown, black, or Polynesian rat.[5]

Wild rodents, including rats, can carry many different zoonotic pathogens, such as Leptospira, Toxoplasma gondii, and Campylobacter.[6] The Black Death is traditionally believed to have been caused by the microorganism Yersinia pestis, carried by the tropical rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis), which preyed on black rats living in European cities during the epidemic outbreaks of the Middle Ages; these rats were used as transport hosts. Another zoonotic disease linked to the rat is foot-and-mouth disease.[7]

Rats become sexually mature at age 6 weeks, but reach social maturity at about 5 to 6 months of age. The average lifespan of rats varies by species, but many only live about a year due to predation.[8]

The black and brown rats diverged from other Old World rats in the forests of Asia during the beginning of the Pleistocene.[9]

The characteristic long tail of most rodents is a feature that has been extensively studied in various rat species models, which suggest three primary functions of this structure: thermoregulation,[10] minor proprioception, and a nocifensive-mediated degloving response.[11] Rodent tailsparticularly in rat modelshave been implicated with a thermoregulation function that follows from its anatomical construction. This particular tail morphology is evident across the family Muridae, in contrast to the bushier tails of Sciuridae, the squirrel family. The tail is hairless and thin skinned but highly vascularized, thus allowing for efficient countercurrent heat exchange with the environment. The high muscular and connective tissue densities of the tail, along with ample muscle attachment sites along its plentiful caudal vertebrae, facilitate specific proprioceptive senses to help orient the rodent in a three-dimensional environment.[citation needed] Lastly, murids have evolved a unique defense mechanism termed degloving that allows for escape from predation through the loss of the outermost integumentary layer on the tail. However, this mechanism is associated with multiple pathologies that have been the subject of investigation.[citation needed]

Multiple studies have explored the thermoregulatory capacity of rodent tails by subjecting test organisms to varying levels of physical activity and quantifying heat conduction via the animals' tails. One study demonstrated a significant disparity in heat dissipation from a rat's tail relative to its abdomen.[12] This observation was attributed to the higher proportion of vascularity in the tail, as well as its higher surface-area-to-volume ratio, which directly relates to heat's ability to dissipate via the skin. These findings were confirmed in a separate study analyzing the relationships of heat storage and mechanical efficiency in rodents that exercise in warm environments. In this study, the tail was a focal point in measuring heat accumulation and modulation.[citation needed]

On the other hand, the tail's ability to function as a proprioceptive sensor and modulator has also been investigated. As aforementioned, the tail demonstrates a high degree of muscularization and subsequent innervation that ostensibly collaborate in orienting the organism.[13] Specifically, this is accomplished by coordinated flexion and extension of tail muscles to produce slight shifts in the organism's center of mass, orientation, etc., which ultimately assists it with achieving a state of proprioceptive balance in its environment. Further mechanobiological investigations of the constituent tendons in the tail of the rat have identified multiple factors that influence how the organism navigates its environment with this structure. A particular example is that of a study in which the morphology of these tendons is explicated in detail.[14] Namely, cell viability tests of tendons of the rat's tail demonstrate a higher proportion of living fibroblasts that produce the collagen for these fibers. As in humans, these tendons contain a high density of golgi tendon organs that help the animal assess stretching of muscle in situ and adjust accordingly by relaying the information to higher cortical areas associated with balance, proprioception, and movement.[citation needed]

The characteristic tail of murids also displays a unique defense mechanism known as degloving in which the outer layer of the integument can be detached in order to facilitate the animal's escape from a predator. This evolutionary selective pressure has persisted despite a multitude of pathologies that can manifest upon shedding part of the tail and exposing more interior elements to the environment.[15] Paramount among these are bacterial and viral infection, as the high density of vascular tissue within the tail becomes exposed upon avulsion or similar injury to the structure. The degloving response is a nocifensive response, meaning that it occurs when the animal is subjected to acute pain, such as when a predator snatches the organism by the tail.[citation needed]

Specially bred rats have been kept as pets at least since the late 19th century. Pet rats are typically variants of the species brown rat - but black rats and giant pouched rats are also sometimes kept. Pet rats behave differently from their wild counterparts depending on how many generations they have been kept as pets.[16] Pet rats do not pose any more of a health risk than pets such as cats or dogs.[17] Tamed rats are generally friendly and can be taught to perform selected behaviors.

Selective breeding has brought about different color and marking varieties in rats. Genetic mutations have also created different fur types, such as rex and hairless. Congenital malformation in selective breeding have created the dumbo rat, a popular pet choice due to their low, saucer-shaped ears.[18] A breeding standard exists for rat fanciers wishing to breed and show their rat at a rat show.[19]

In 1895, Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, established a population of domestic albino brown rats to study the effects of diet and for other physiological studies.[citation needed] Over the years, rats have been used in many experimental studies, adding to our understanding of genetics, diseases, the effects of drugs, and other topics that have provided a great benefit for the health and wellbeing of humankind.[citation needed]

The aortic arches of the rat are among the most commonly studied in murine models due to marked anatomical homology to the human cardiovascular system.[20] Both rat and human aortic arches exhibit subsequent branching of the brachiocephalic trunk, left common carotid artery, and left subclavian artery, as well as geometrically similar, nonplanar curvature in the aortic branches.[20] Aortic arches studied in rats exhibit abnormalities similar to those of humans, including altered pulmonary arteries and double or absent aortic arches.[21] Despite existing anatomical analogy in the inthrathoracic position of the heart itself, the murine model of the heart and its structures remains a valuable tool for studies of human cardiovascular conditions.[22]

The rat's larynx has been used in experimentations that involve inhalation toxicity, allograft rejection, and irradiation responses. One experiment described four features of the rat's larynx. The first being the location and attachments of the thyroarytenoid muscle, the alar cricoarytenoid muscle, and the superior cricoarytenoid muscle, the other of the newly named muscle that ran from the arytenoid to a midline tubercle on the cricoid. The newly named muscles were not seen in the human larynx. In addition, the location and configuration of the laryngeal alar cartilage was described. The second feature was that the way the newly named muscles appear to be familiar to those in the human larynx. The third feature was that a clear understanding of how MEPs are distributed in each of the laryngeal muscles was helpful in understanding the effects of botulinum toxin injection. The MEPs in the posteriorcricoarytenoid muscle, lateral cricoarytenoid muscle, cricothyroid muscle, and superiorcricoarytenoid muscle were focused mostly at the midbelly. In addition, the medial thyroarytenoid muscle were focused at the midbelly while the lateral thyroarytenoid muscle MEPs were focused at the anterior third of the belly. The fourth and final feature that was cleared up was how the MEPs were distributed in the thyroarytenoid muscle.[23]

Laboratory rats have also proved valuable in psychological studies of learning and other mental processes (Barnett 2002), as well as to understand group behavior and overcrowding (with the work of John B. Calhoun on behavioral sink).[citation needed] A 2007 study found rats to possess metacognition, a mental ability previously only documented in humans and some primates.[24][25]

Domestic rats differ from wild rats in many ways. They are calmer and less likely to bite; they can tolerate greater crowding; they breed earlier and produce more offspring; and their brains, livers, kidneys, adrenal glands, and hearts are smaller (Barnett 2002).

Brown rats are often used as model organisms for scientific research. Since the publication of the rat genome sequence,[26] and other advances, such as the creation of a rat SNP chip, and the production of knockout rats, the laboratory rat has become a useful genetic tool, although not as popular as mice. When it comes to conducting tests related to intelligence, learning, and drug abuse, rats are a popular choice due to their high intelligence, ingenuity, aggressiveness, and adaptability. Their psychology seems in many ways similar to that of humans.[citation needed]

Entirely new breeds or "lines" of brown rats, such as the Wistar rat, have been bred for use in laboratories. Much of the genome of Rattus norvegicus has been sequenced.[27]

Early studies found evidence both for and against measurable intelligence using the "g factor" in rats.[28][29] Part of the difficulty of understanding animal cognition generally, is determining what to measure.[30] One aspect of intelligence is the ability to learn, which can be measured using a maze like the T-maze.[30] Experiments done in the 1920s showed that some rats performed better than others in maze tests, and if these rats were selectively bred, their offspring also performed better, suggesting that in rats an ability to learn was heritable in some way.[30]

Rat meat is a food that, while taboo in some cultures, is a dietary staple in others.[31]

Rats have been used as working animals. Tasks for working rats include the sniffing of gunpowder residue, demining, acting and animal-assisted therapy.

Rats have a keen sense of smell and are easy to train. These characteristics have been employed, for example, by the Belgian non-governmental organization APOPO, which trains rats (specifically African giant pouched rats) to detect landmines and diagnose tuberculosis through smell.[32]

Rats can serve as zoonotic vectors for certain pathogens and thus spread disease, such as bubonic plague, Lassa fever, leptospirosis, and Hantavirus infection.[33]

They are also associated with human dermatitis because they are frequently infested with blood feeding rodent mites such as the tropical rat mite (Ornithonyssus bacoti) and spiny rat mite (Laelaps echidnina), which will opportunistically bite and feed on humans,[34] where the condition is known as rat mite dermatitis.[35]

Rats have long been considered deadly pests. Once considered a modern myth, the rat flood in India occurs every fifty years, as armies of bamboo rats descend upon rural areas and devour everything in their path.[36] Rats have long been held up as the chief villain in the spread of the Bubonic Plague;[37] however, recent studies show that rats alone could not account for the rapid spread of the disease through Europe in the Middle Ages.[38] Still, the Centers for Disease Control does list nearly a dozen diseases[39] directly linked to rats.

Most urban areas battle rat infestations. A 2015 study by the American Housing Survey (AHS) found that eighteen percent of homes in Philadelphia showed evidence of rodents. Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C., also demonstrated significant rodent infestations.[40] Indeed, rats in New York City are famous for their size and prevalence. The urban legend that the rat population in Manhattan equals that of its human population was definitively refuted by Robert Sullivan in his book Rats but illustrates New Yorkers' awareness of the presence, and on occasion boldness and cleverness, of the rodents.[41] New York has specific regulations for eradicating rats; multifamily residences and commercial businesses must use a specially trained and licensed rat catcher.[42]

Rats have the ability to swim up sewer pipes into toilets.[43][44] Rats will infest any area that provides shelter and easy access to sources of food and water, including under sinks, near garbage, and inside walls or cabinets.[45]

When introduced into locations where rats previously did not exist, they can wreak an enormous degree of environmental degradation. Rattus rattus, the black rat, is considered to be one of the world's worst invasive species.[46] Also known as the ship rat, it has been carried worldwide as a stowaway on seagoing vessels for millennia and has usually accompanied men to any new area visited or settled by human beings by sea. The similar species Rattus norvegicus, the brown rat or wharf rat, has also been carried worldwide by ships in recent centuries.[citation needed]

The ship or wharf rat has contributed to the extinction of many species of wildlife, including birds, small mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, and plants, especially on islands. True rats are omnivorous, capable of eating a wide range of plant and animal foods, and have a very high birth rate. When introduced to a new area, they quickly reproduce to take advantage of the new food supply. In particular, they prey on the eggs and young of forest birds, which on isolated islands often have no other predators and thus have no fear of predators.[47] Some experts believe that rats are to blame for between forty percent and sixty percent of all seabird and reptile extinctions, with ninety percent of those occurring on islands. Thus man has indirectly caused the extinction of many species by accidentally introducing rats to new areas.[48]

Rats are found in nearly all areas of Earth which are inhabited by human beings. The only rat-free continent is Antarctica, which is too cold for rat survival outdoors, and its lack of human habitation does not provide buildings to shelter them from the weather. However, rats have been introduced to many of the islands near Antarctica, and because of their destructive effect on native flora and fauna, efforts to eradicate them are ongoing. In particular, Bird Island (just off rat-infested South Georgia Island), where breeding seabirds could be badly affected if rats were introduced, is subject to special measures and regularly monitored for rat invasions.[49]

As part of island restoration, some islands' rat populations have been eradicated to protect or restore the ecology. Hawadax Island, Alaska was declared rat free after 229 years and Campbell Island, New Zealand after almost 200 years. Breaksea Island in New Zealand was declared rat free in 1988 after an eradication campaign based on a successful trial on the smaller Hawea Island nearby.

In January 2015, an international "Rat Team" set sail from the Falkland Islands for the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands on board a ship carrying three helicopters and 100 tons of rat poison with the objective of "reclaiming the island for its seabirds". Rats have wiped out more than 90% of the seabirds on South Georgia, and the sponsors hope that once the rats are gone, it will regain its former status as home to the greatest concentration of seabirds in the world. The South Georgia Heritage Trust, which organized the mission describes it as "five times larger than any other rodent eradication attempted worldwide".[50] That would be true if it were not for the rat control program in Alberta (see below).

The Canadian province of Alberta is notable for being the largest inhabited area on Earth which is free of true rats due to very aggressive government rat control policies. It has large numbers of native pack rats, also called bushy-tailed wood rats, but they are forest-dwelling vegetarians which are much less destructive than true rats.[51]

Alberta was settled relatively late in North American history and only became a province in 1905. Black rats cannot survive in its climate at all, and brown rats must live near people and in their structures to survive the winters. There are numerous predators in Canada's vast natural areas which will eat non-native rats, so it took until 1950 for invading rats to make their way over land from Eastern Canada.[52] Immediately upon their arrival at the eastern border with Saskatchewan, the Alberta government implemented an extremely aggressive rat control program to stop them from advancing further. A systematic detection and eradication system was used throughout a control zone about 600 kilometres (400mi) long and 30 kilometres (20mi) wide along the eastern border to eliminate rat infestations before the rats could spread further into the province. Shotguns, bulldozers, high explosives, poison gas, and incendiaries were used to destroy rats. Numerous farm buildings were destroyed in the process. Initially, tons of arsenic trioxide were spread around thousands of farm yards to poison rats, but soon after the program commenced the rodenticide and medical drug warfarin was introduced, which is much safer for people and more effective at killing rats than arsenic.[53]

Forceful government control measures, strong public support and enthusiastic citizen participation continue to keep rat infestations to a minimum.[54] The effectiveness has been aided by a similar but newer program in Saskatchewan which prevents rats from even reaching the Alberta border. Alberta still employs an armed rat patrol to control rats along Alberta's borders. About ten single rats are found and killed per year, and occasionally a large localized infestation has to be dug out with heavy machinery, but the number of permanent rat infestations is zero.[55]

Ancient Romans did not generally differentiate between rats and mice, instead referring to the former as mus maximus (big mouse) and the latter as mus minimus (little mouse).[56]

On the Isle of Man, there is a taboo against the word "rat".[57]

The rat (sometimes referred to as a mouse) is the first of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. People born in this year are expected to possess qualities associated with rats, including creativity, intelligence, honesty, generosity, ambition, a quick temper and wastefulness. People born in a year of the rat are said to get along well with "monkeys" and "dragons", and to get along poorly with "horses".

In Indian tradition, rats are seen as the vehicle of Ganesha, and a rat's statue is always found in a temple of Ganesh. In the northwestern Indian city of Deshnoke, the rats at the Karni Mata Temple are held to be destined for reincarnation as Sadhus (Hindu holy men). The attending priests feed milk and grain to the rats, of which the pilgrims also partake.

European associations with the rat are generally negative. For instance, "Rats!" is used as a substitute for various vulgar interjections in the English language. These associations do not draw, per se, from any biological or behavioral trait of the rat, but possibly from the association of rats (and fleas) with the 14th-century medieval plague called the Black Death. Rats are seen as vicious, unclean, parasitic animals that steal food and spread disease. However, some people in European cultures keep rats as pets and conversely find them to be tame, clean, intelligent, and playful.

Rats are often used in scientific experiments; animal rights activists allege the treatment of rats in this context is cruel. The term "lab rat" is used, typically in a self-effacing manner, to describe a person whose job function requires them to spend a majority of their work time engaged in bench-level research (such as postgraduate students in the sciences).

Rats are frequently blamed for damaging food supplies and other goods, or spreading disease. Their reputation has carried into common parlance: in the English language, "rat" is often an insult or is generally used to signify an unscrupulous character; it is also used, as a synonym for the term nark, to mean an individual who works as a police informant or who has turned state's evidence. Writer/director Preston Sturges created the humorous alias "Ratskywatsky" for a soldier who seduced, impregnated, and abandoned the heroine of his 1944 film, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek. It is a term (noun and verb) in criminal slang for an informant "to rat on someone" is to betray them by informing the authorities of a crime or misdeed they committed. Describing a person as "rat-like" usually implies he or she is unattractive and suspicious.

Among trade unions, the word "rat" is also a term for nonunion employers or breakers of union contracts, and this is why unions use inflatable rats.[58]

Depictions of rats in fiction are historically inaccurate and negative. The most common falsehood is the squeaking almost always heard in otherwise realistic portrayals (i.e. nonanthropomorphic). While the recordings may be of actual squeaking rats, the noise is uncommon they may do so only if distressed, hurt, or annoyed. Normal vocalizations are very high-pitched, well outside the range of human hearing. Rats are also often cast in vicious and aggressive roles when in fact, their shyness helps keep them undiscovered for so long in an infested home.

The actual portrayals of rats vary from negative to positive with a majority in the negative and ambiguous.[59] The rat plays a villain in several mouse societies; from Brian Jacques's Redwall and Robin Jarvis's The Deptford Mice, to the roles of Disney's Professor Ratigan and Kate DiCamillo's Roscuro and Botticelli. They have often been used as a mechanism in horror; being the titular evil in stories like The Rats or H.P. Lovecraft's The Rats in the Walls[59] and in films like Willard and Ben. Another terrifying use of rats is as a method of torture, for instance in Room 101 in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four or The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe.

Selfish helpfulness those willing to help for a price has also been attributed to fictional rats.[59] Templeton, from E. B. White's Charlotte's Web, repeatedly reminds the other characters that he is only involved because it means more food for him, and the cellar-rat of John Masefield's The Midnight Folk requires bribery to be of any assistance.

By contrast, the rats appearing in the Doctor Dolittle books tend to be highly positive and likeable characters, many of whom tell their remarkable life stories in the Mouse and Rat Club established by the animal-loving doctor.

Some fictional works use rats as the main characters. Notable examples include the society created by O'Brien's Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and others include Doctor Rat, and Rizzo the Rat from The Muppets. Pixar's 2007 animated film Ratatouille is about a rat described by Roger Ebert as "earnest... lovable, determined, [and] gifted" who lives with a Parisian garbage-boy-turned-chef.[60]

Mon oncle d'Amrique ("My American Uncle"), a 1980 French film, illustrates Henri Laborit's theories on evolutionary psychology and human behaviors by using short sequences in the storyline showing lab rat experiments.

In Harry Turtledove's science fiction novel Homeward Bound, humans unintentionally introduce rats to the ecology at the home world of an alien race which previously invaded Earth and introduced some of its own fauna into its environment. A. Bertram Chandler pitted the space-bound protagonist of a long series of novels, Commodore Grimes, against giant, intelligent rats who took over several stellar systems and enslaved their human inhabitants. "The Stainless Steel Rat" is nickname of the (human) protagonist of a series of humorous science fiction novels written by Harry Harrison.

Wererats, therianthropic creatures able to take the shape of a rat,[61] have appeared in the fantasy or horror genre since the 1970s. The term is a neologism coined in analogy to werewolf.[citation needed] The concept has since become common in role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons[61][62][63] and fantasy fiction like the Anita Blake series.[64]

One of the oldest and most historic stories about rats is "The Pied Piper of Hamelin", in which a rat-catcher leads away an infestation with enchanted music. The piper is later refused payment, so he in turn leads away the town's children. This tale, traced to Germany around the late 13th century, has inspired adaptations in film, theatre, literature, and even opera. The subject of much research, some theories have intertwined the tale with events related to the Black Plague, in which black rats played an important role. Fictional works based on the tale that focus heavily on the rat aspect include Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, and Belgian graphic novel Le Bal du Rat Mort (The Ball of the Dead Rat).

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Rat - Wikipedia

Review Place building infested with rats, mice: tenants – The Riverdale Press


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on February 1st, 2021

By ETHAN STARK-MILLER & HIRAM ALEJANDRO DURN

For years, Kenya Fernandez found living among mice in her 3801 Review Place apartment was something she just had to live with, despite pleas to her landlord to do something about it. But when a rat joined in on the visits a few weeks ago, Fernandez had enough.

The night before yesterday, there was another rat, and it jumped at me in my kitchen, and I went berserk, Fernandez told The Riverdale Press soon after her encounter. I havent slept since. Im going crazy.

Fernandez says she reached out to the landlord many times, but all shes heard in return is silence. She eventually closed the hole in her wall the rat used after begging for help from the buildings superintendent.

Fernandez has lived in the building for more than a decade, and from the very first day, rats were an issue especially around the buildings garbage storage area and basement. When that area flooded late last year, Fernandez believes the water may have helped rodents find their way into the upper floors of her building.

The water has since been drained, which Fernandez hopes means an end to her rat encounters.

I live on a ground-floor apartment, so you literally hear them outside of your window all the time, Fernandez said. You just hear the squeaks. Like you go to the bathroom to handle your business, and you literally think theyre inside your apartment.

Seth Miller bought the century-old, 26-unit building through a limited liability corporation, but runs it through his Midtown-based Aegis Realty Management Corp., in 2014 for $4.4 million. Miller is no stranger to housing advocates, who have come after him about poor living conditions at 919 Prospect Ave., in Morrisania. State Attorney General Letitia James named Miller the Bronxs worst landlord in 2016 back when she was still the citys public advocate.

Tenants at 919 Prospect sued Miller for neglecting issues like rats and lead paint, according to reports. They claimed Miller didnt want to fix anything, because that way he could push rent-stabilized tenants out. Miller ultimately filed for bankruptcy protection, and the court removed him from management, allowing needed repairs through a trustee.

But Millers exile ended last year, and 919 Prospect tenants claim he immediately reverted to his old ways of harassing them, filing a second suit shortly after.

When The Press called a listed phone number associated with Aegis Realty for comment, the person answering denied the number was still used by the company. Yet, a subsequent call connected a reporter to an answering service which identified itself as Aegis.

Back at 3801 Review Place, rats arent the only problem, Fernandez said. There are also mice, the rodents distant cousins.

Ive had mice in my apartment many, many, many times, Fernandez said. And that was always my issue to the landlord.

One of Fernandezs first floor neighbors, Regina Hall, said shes also experienced a mouse infestation a problem that has only gotten worse since Miller bought the building. Mice find their way in through Halls sink and from behind the stove. Her floor is covered with glue traps, but it doesnt seem to be enough.

Hall, whos lived in the building for 50 years, said the previous landlord used to at least bring in an exterminator to take care of the mice.

I cant sleep. Ive been having nightmares, Hall said. Because I have a hole in my bedroom wall and Im afraid somethings going to come out of there.

The rats in the basement, Hall said, create a foul smell that wafts up through the floor of her apartment.

I kept on buying stuff to take the smell away, but it smells so bad, Hall said. Its from the rats thats in the basement because they dont take care of the garbage, and they have unruly tenants that dont care.

Someone living on the buildings top floor, who asked not to be named out of fear the landlord would retaliate, said hes had a mouse infestation in the apartment he shares with his mother for the past few years, as well. They have holes throughout the apartment the landlord has yet to fix. Putting out glue traps only worked the first couple of times.

The tenant believes Miller is looking for reasons to kick out long-term tenants so he can replace them with people he could charge higher rents to. Not making repairs encourages long-term tenants like him paying lower stabilized rents to move out.

Still, any step is better than no step for Fernandez even if theres still a long road ahead to make 3801 Review Place livable again.

There are improvements that are happening, Fernandez said. Its unfortunate that its a little late. But better late than never.

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Review Place building infested with rats, mice: tenants - The Riverdale Press

The Secret to Getting Rid of Snakes: You Cant – The Wall Street Journal


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 30th, 2021

We homeowners spend thousands of dollars, dozens of hours and thousands of gray hairs trying to eliminate the destructive household pests to which we are not related by blood or marriage. While mice, termites and squirrels can frequently be managed using conventional extermination methods, I recently learned that one household pest wont be managed.

As pests go, snakes dont cause much property damage, but there is no reliable way to stop them from hanging out and terrorizing you.

I have always hated snakes. They, unfortunately, love Shed Mahal, the renovated horse shed where I began working remotely during the pandemic. One day, a snake slithered across the rug and scared the bejesus out of me. Another snake visit happened several days later. Then they started showing up daily.

With total snake annihilation top of mind, I called Exterminator Guy, with whom, due to our homes mouse and ant situations, we enjoy a committed, long-term relationship. I suggested burning the Shed Mahal to the ground, or detonating a small neutron bomb that would take out the Snake Family but leave Shed Mahal intact. Amazingly, such a thing doesnt exist.

Exterminator Guy said the proven solution was a snake gate. It is a device that lets the snakes check out of the crawl space they colonized under the Shed but not back in, like a Roach Motel in reverse. He sealed up the holes in the Shed Mahals foundation using an expanding foam-type stuff, installed the gate in the main hole Id seen the little buggers use and bid me bonne chance.

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The Secret to Getting Rid of Snakes: You Cant - The Wall Street Journal

Housing options for medically vulnerable people are limited as PEP-V centers hover at capacity – Greater Greater Washington


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 28th, 2021

Holiday Inn on Rhode Island Avenue NW by Farragutful licensed under Creative Commons.

A version of this article first appeared in Street Sense Media.

Althea Thompson is a woman experiencing homelessness who transferred from the Harriet Tubman Womens Shelter to the Holiday Inn on Rhode Island Ave. NW, which the DC Department of Human Services (DHS) has used as a Pandemic Emergency Program for Medically Vulnerable Individuals (PEP-V) center since March. Usually, residents are assigned case managers within three weeks of admittance, according to the DHS. But after eight weeks, Thompson had still not been matched with a case manager.

Case managers are essential in helping connect shelter residents to housing, a process that can take years for many people experiencing homelessness in DC. Without one, Thompson is completely unable to progress her case. She keeps asking DHS staff at the hotel why she hasnt been connected to a case manager yet, and says the departments personnel keep telling her she will eventually be given one.

Im sitting here and nothing is being moved! Thompson said. Ive been homeless for four years, Im trying to get a place and get out of here. But if I cant get a case manager, how am I going to leave?

This is not an isolated incident Thompson said her roommate does not have a case manager either, and has heard the same complaints from several other residents. Thompson believes there is a significant chunk of the centers residents that do not have case managers, as staff members have told her they need to process those who came in earlier first.

Thompson finally received a case manager on Jan. 14, the day after this article was published.

Thompson also had to wait three weeks until she was put on a cleaning roster, where a contracted service would clean rooms every Thursday. She said she repeatedly called the hotels DHS hotline and asked staff at the front desk to have her room cleaned, but was not put on the roster. She and her roommate resorted to buying supplies to clean the room themselves.

When a Street Sense Media reporter called the Holiday Inn PEP-V hotline to ask if Thompson was put on the cleaning roster, a DHS representative claimed Thompson never asked to be put on it. Thompson was finally put on the cleaning roster on Dec. 7. Now, her room is being cleaned every other day.

Look at how it is, Thompson said. It took me calling and calling to finally get my room cleaned.

Sarah Parker has been facing slow responses to complaints at another PEP-V center, the Fairfield Inn of New York Ave. NE. She was also transferred to PEP-V from the Harriet Tubman Womens Shelter at the end of October, then transferred to another room on Dec. 13. For two weeks, she was stuck in a room with bed bugs.

She woke up on Dec. 15 to find four bed bugs visible on her bed, and bite marks on her arm. She immediately dialed the PEP-V sites DHS extension to report the problem, which a representative agreed to resolve. Parker expected a staff member to come up to her room, but when that did not happen, she went downstairs to follow up with staff. They told her they called an exterminator, who would come the next day.

All PEP-V rooms now have two beds to potentially accommodate two residents, but as Parker had yet to get a roommate, she was able to sleep on the other bed instead for the night. But she again woke up to see a few smaller bed bugs, which Parker suspected were babies.

This room is just infested, Parker said on Dec. 24. I have said to [DHS staff,] Could you just take me out of here and put me in another room? They said, No, you aint gonna get another room.

No exterminator came throughout her stay in the room. She found bed bugs in her hat, which she stored in her closet. She said she never laid her hat on or near her bed.

Fearing getting bitten again, and knowing both beds had bed bugs, she slept on a chair and propped her legs up on trash cans. She put all of her clothes in plastic bags, fearing that bed bugs had nested into them like they did in her hat. She said she slept in fear for two weeks waiting for DHS to resolve her issue.

Its ridiculous. They cant tell me they didnt know there were bed bugs in this room before I was in here, Parker said. Now I gotta stay in here, and now I gotta suffer.

She said she is emotionally exhausted with dealing with DHS staff members lack of empathy for her situation. Its not in their house, so they cant be bothered.

Parker was finally reassigned to another room on Dec. 26.

Charner Snow was transferred from the Harriet Tubman shelter to DHS third PEP-V hotel, The Hotel Arboretum, which shares a parking lot with Fairfield Inn. Shes facing a pest issue like Parker. Snows roommate had lice and they were separated into different rooms on Jan. 1. DHS on-site staff told Snow that they conducted a treatment and cleaning of the room on Jan. 8. But Snow has not yet been allowed to return to her room, where all of her money, clothing and other belongings are. She has had to wear the same clothes she had on Jan. 1 and wash them consistently.

Snow said she has asked staff repeatedly if she could retrieve her belongings, but has been denied and told to wait. As a diabetic, she keeps some small snacks near her for sugar, but all of her food is still in her room. She is also unable to access her savings and her jar of change.

I fear my stuff is going to be taken, Snow said. She notes that for the duration of their stay, PEP-V residents must be let into their rooms by a staff member. They got the key, we dont.

To add to Thompsons, Parkers and Snows frustrations, PEP-V only allows residents to leave the center for three days a week, and they must return by 7 p.m. The hours were extended to 10 p.m. on Christmas Day. Thompson was able to spend a short amount of time with her family on Christmas but wasnt able to go on any other day during the holiday season due to the 7 p.m. curfew, including New Years Day.

Christmas, New Years, you spent time with your family, Thompson said. I couldnt even spend time with my family.

PEP-V at capacity

All three of DCs PEP-V sites have been at or near capacity since the start of December. As of Jan. 8, PEP-V is only at 4% availability, according to DHS. This means the Fairfield Inn, which just opened as a PEP-V site in October to expand capacity for the program, was likely at or near full capacity when Parker requested another room. Still, residents were unaware of PEP-V being full and Parker was never given an answer for why she could not be transferred to another room, beyond being told no.

Vacancies only open at the sites when a resident moves into housing, predominantly Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH). But those units are quickly getting full: According to a Dec. 17 occupancy report of available shelter beds and subsidized housing units in DC PSH is over 90% full. There are 625 residents in PEP-V waiting for housing as of Jan. 8.

The three PEP-V sites opened in March, May, and October are in hotels where a maximum of two residents stay in each room. Unlike most of DCs temporary shelters, PEP-V is a non-congregate site that does not pack multiple people in a single room or facility.

DHS has done a good job in rolling out the three sites that they have, and theyve been incredibly effective in limiting infections in those PEP-V sites, and protecting those people from really severe outcomes from catching the virus, said Wes Heppler, a board member of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless who regularly attends DC Interagency Council on Homelessness meetings.

Due to the sites effectiveness, Heppler advocated during the last ICH Shelter Capacity working group meeting in December for DHS to set up another PEP-V site to meet the demand. He noted that all 639 beds are either full or nearly full, and 600 more eligible people are waiting to enter PEP-V. According to DHS, out of more than 800 residents served since the first PEP-V center opened in March 2020, a total of 89 residents have leased up and moved into PSH and TAH.

A significant portion of the citys homeless population would qualify for PEP-V as well. According to data from the 2020 Point-in-Time Count of people experiencing homelessness in DC, 15% of the homeless population is over 62 years-old. 20% have chronic health conditions, and 18% have disabilities. And while the overall count of people experiencing homelessness has decreased over time, the rate of homelessness in DC. has been consistently the highest by state in America.

PEP-V had been 75% funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through a program dedicated to opening non-congregate shelters across the U.S., with local governments responsible for the remainder. When the program began, a room was provided for each person. After capacity became a concern, DHS changed its practices to implement rigorous testing to facilitate doubling people up with roommates except for cases of special needs.

Once awarded the FEMA funds, state governments had been required to apply for time extensions every 30-days. However, as of Dec. 16, FEMA extended the time limit on funding from one month to the duration of the pandemic and advised that governments could also request to use FEMA funding until 30 days after the end of the pandemic.

On Jan. 21, the day after his inauguration, President Biden ordered that FEMA would instead reimburse 100% of the costs of state non-congregate housing until Sept. 30. The next day, DHS Director Laura Zeilinger said during a regular briefing on the departments COVID response that there would be a concrete plan in place by Feb. 5 for what the FEMA development means for PEP-V. The program was 91% full as of Jan. 22.

That is why we believe that another PEP-V site (paid for primarily by FEMA) would both increase non-congregate shelter and help allow continued COVID spacing in the congregate shelters as we head into the two months that traditionally have the highest use of shelters (January and February), Heppler wrote in an email to Street Sense Media.

He expressed urgency during the ICH meeting, as in his experience, it takes weeks to set up a single PEP-V site.

That is unfortunate as this is the time they should be acquiring a site and beginning the process of staffing and setting it up, Heppler said.

On a Jan. 8 DHS call to update its partners and stakeholders, Director Laura Zeilinger stated that as the shelter system contains a large category of people who qualify for PEP-V based on age and medical conditions, the demand for PEP-V is always going to be larger than there are available rooms.

We have not ruled out the possibility of opening a new PEP-V center, Zeilinger said. But for the moment, she said DHS is focusing on getting PEP-V and other shelter residents housed, and allow[ing] people as soon as possible to access a vaccine.

People experiencing homelessness are included in Phase 1B of the Districts vaccine rollout, which will begin the week starting Jan. 25.

As of Jan. 25, DHS has not started to set up any additional PEP-V sites. Heppler believes that most of DHSs staff agree with the idea of having another site, but says pushback from the Mayors office over funding and staffing may be a factor in the lack of action.

Athiyah Azeem recently graduated with a journalism degree from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and has a track record in using journalism to serve marginalized communities, from minorities to immigrants. She is a co-founder and contributor totheimmigrantsbay.comand hopes to apply her skills to exposing injustices against the homeless community in DC.

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Housing options for medically vulnerable people are limited as PEP-V centers hover at capacity - Greater Greater Washington

Tenant’s nightmare in high-rise flat infested with bed bugs, silverfish and beetles – Glasgow Live


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 20th, 2021

A vulnerable tenant suffers sleepless nights and OCD attacks as he is forced to live alone in an infested east end flat.

Andrew Breslin, 42, discovered silverfish and beetles when he first moved into the Sandyhills high-rise block in February, though he said he "didn't think much of it."

But when he began waking up with rashes all over his skin, he was horrified to discover bed bugs crawling in his duvet, his pillow and his new mattress.

He looked underneath the bed and discovered more of the insects scurrying out of the skirting and all over the carpet.

He told Glasgow Live: "I've been savaged by all the bed bugs. I hadn't had experience with them before now but the whole place is crawling with them.

"I woke up early one morning and saw two of them crawling up the duvet towards me. And there were babies under the pillow. They leave horrible marks."

Andrew explains he got in touch with the housing officer, who he claimed said it was a problem they had not experienced before. An exterminator was sent out in November to spray the property and said they would return to carry out the work.

The tenant has reached out to the contractor since and claims his calls and texts have been "blanked."

He admits his depression has worsened due to the issue.

He added: "I'm sleeping on the sofa now but they've begun following me in there.

"I now have the same ritual before I go to bed. I check in the pillows and in the duvet.

"Its a battle. I don't know how much more I can take. I have OCD with bugs, and this has affected me hugely. It really has me going around the bend. This sort of issue plays with people's mental health.

"I cant even sleep properly because I've got creepy crawlie sensations. Its turned into a nightmare. I'm at my wit's end."

Andrew added: "I understand these are hard times and all due to lockdown, but it is pushing me over the edge. I have nowhere else to go."

A spokesperson for GHA confirmed the housing association was reaching out to Mr Breslin at the time of publication.

He said: Weve tried several times to contact this tenant to arrange a time for our specialist contractors to go out and sort the latest issue, but we couldnt get him by phone or email.

We were very sorry to hear the issue had come back after our contractors treated the problem in November, followed up by regular weekly checks. We understand its affecting the tenants wellbeing so theres no issue with getting it fixed.

"We finally made contact with him today and well try to get this resolved as quickly as possible.

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Tenant's nightmare in high-rise flat infested with bed bugs, silverfish and beetles - Glasgow Live

How to Get Rid of Mice in Your Homeand Keep Them Away for Good – Prevention.com


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 20th, 2021

No one likes spotting spiders or stink bugs in their home, but mice? Theyre an entirely different pest that can cause a whole host of problems.

Mice can contaminate food, countertops, and floors with their droppings, says Ben Hottel, Ph.D., technical services manager, at Orkin. Theyre expelling a lot of urine droplets over those surfaces and can spread bacteria that can cause different diseases.

Plus, mice will basically chew their way through anything, meaning they can cause thousands of dollars in damage, says Trent Frazer, vice president of operations at Aptive Environmental.They can even build a nest in your vehicle, chewing wiring, hiding food in the engine, and defecating in air filters.

Thats why you want to get these rodents out of your homeand keep them away. Got mice? Heres what to do next.

While you may spot an actual mouse in your place, there are a few telltale signs of their presence, Hottel says. Those include:

Usually, theyll make their way in through small cracks, crevices, and openings in your home. An opening as small as a dime is large enough for a mouse to get through, Hottel says. That could be a hole around your utility boxes, a garage door that doesnt quite go all the way down, and crawl spaces. Once theyre indoors, mice like to set up shop behind walls, in cabinets, and in furniture.

Technically yes, but mice usually dont travel alone. Generally speaking there is always more than one, Nichols says. Mice reproduce very quickly, and populations can get out of control if not taken care of. These rodents are most active at night, so if you spot one during the day, thats a sign you have an infestation on your hands.

Mice can carry diseases, including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and even the bubonic plague, among others, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These can be transmitted by breathing in dust that has been contaminated with rodents urine or droppings or having direct contact with the animal or its urine and droppings. Mice can bite if theyre handled and these wounds can also be risky, but this shouldnt be a huge concern, Hottel says, as bites are not very common.

Unfortunately, home remedies that claim to get rid of mice, like trying to repel them with dryer sheets, cayenne pepper, and peppermint essential oil, wont really do anything, Hottel says. But there are a few things you can try before contacting a pest management service:

Youre looking for openings as small as a dime inside and outside of your home. Anything larger than that, you have to make sure you can seal it up, Hottel says. Use steel wool to fill the holes and caulk around itmice cant chew through that.

This can literally be anywhere: inside cabinets, around fireplaces and doors, near pipes, inside the attic or basement, between the floor and wall, around vents, windows, and the foundation, and even in the roof, per the CDC. Do a full, thorough sweep of your house for any and all possible entry points. Start with areas that have visible rodent activity and go from there.

There are different types of traps you can use, but Hottel says its a good idea to put out a variety; you can buy bait traps, glue traps, and traditional snap traps online, as well as more humane catch-and-release options if you are only dealing with one. Its good to try a few different traps, because mice are curious, Hottel says. Theyre very inquisitive of new things.

3-Count

Disposable Corner Fit Mouse Poison Bait Station

6-Count

Mouse-Size Glue Traps

16-Count

Wired Snap Mouse Trap

1-Count

Humane Catch-and-Release Mouse Trap

That said, the CDC cautions that snap traps will be the safest option, as other traps can scare mice and cause them to urinate, upping your chance of coming into contact with risky germs. Lay the trap out right along the wall, as this is where rodents prefer to run.

Continue to set traps until a full week has passed with no mice captured. At that point, you can consider the problem under control, per the CDC.

If you have trees, shrubs, and wood piles, those can create nice habitats to hide rodents from predators, Hottel says. And, unfortunately, they can also help provide an easy pathway for mice to get into your place. Keep your yard tidy to make it less fit for rodents. Raising hay, woodpiles, and garbage cans at least one foot from the ground can also be helpful.

While mice can chew through food boxes and bags, its trickier for them to get into sealed plastic containers with tight lids, Hottel says. The CDC also recommends getting a thick metal garbage can with a secure top, putting away pet food and water bowls immediately after use, keeping compost bins at least 100 feet away from the house, and making sure outdoor cooking areas and grills are kept clean.

Be cautious when cleaning.

If you have successfully eliminated the infestation, youll want to do a thorough deep-clean of your home to ensure all urine and droppings are gone (about a week after it is under control). The CDC recommends properly ventilating the area, using effective disinfectants, and wearing gloves. Follow the agencys full guide on cleaning up after rodents here.

If youve tried everything and still have mice, or if you just feel overwhelmed at the idea of taking on (or cleaning up after) a mouse problem on your own, its time to call in a pest management service for professional help.

Go here to join Prevention Premium (our best value, all-access plan), subscribe to the magazine, or get digital-only access.

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How to Get Rid of Mice in Your Homeand Keep Them Away for Good - Prevention.com

‘Feeding the mouse’: Unexpected twist in tennis star’s quarantine furore – Yahoo Sport Australia


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 20th, 2021

Kazakh star Yulia Putintseva (pictured right) has hit out at the conditions (pictured left) of her hotel quarantine after filming a mouse, but local police claim tennis stars could be feeding the rodent. (Images: Twitter/Instagram)

The hotel quarantine mouse saga has taken an unexpected twist after the police asked tennis stars to stop feeding the rodents in isolation.

Kazakh star Yulia Putintseva has made worldwide headlines after taking to social media to complain about her hotel conditions after she appeared to film a mouse running around her hotel room.

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Been trying to change the room for a 2 hours already, she wrote.

And no one came to help due to quarantine situation.

But in an unwanted twist, just three days later and a new hotel room, Putintseva has yet again filmed a mouse entering her room.

Different room same story wanted to go to sleep but noooope, she wrote.

Cool now the reception told me the hotel is full and that they cant help its a joke.

The Kazakh star garnered sympathy from many for her situation over the second incident with some fans labelling it unacceptable.

But in an unexpected twist, Putintseva garnered little sympathy from Victoria's police minister Lisa Neville who accused stars of feeding the rodent.

She said that cleaners were unable to service the rooms.

"We've had the hotel pest controlled this week and I think there may have been some feeding going on of the mouse," Neville said on Wednesday.

"We're doing everything we can to make sure these rooms don't have mice ... I'd encourage them to minimise interaction with the mice and we will keep doing pest control if we need to."

The Kazakh star also hit out at Aussie tennis great Rennae Stubbs after she called for tennis players to stop complaining about the quarantine.

Story continues

Stubbs hit out at Putintseva and said she would be walking away with a lot of money after the Aus Open.

Seriously! I like many did 2 weeks in quarantine & guess what, we survived! Youre going to live & still walk away with a minimum of 100k in your pocket, she wrote.

But if u want to give that $$ to charity, Im sure they would appreciate it & u can leave ASAP after.

all i hear is 100K everywhere you the one to know how much money,time and everything we spend before coming to the grand slam!!! I wouldnt come for your 100AUDk if we have to lose all our fitness and tennis shape to sit in the room for 14 days with mouses inside

Yulia Putintseva (@PutintsevaYulia) January 19, 2021

What are you even talking about?One week is enough to prepare for the grand slam when you spend 14 days in your room playing with the wall? well For doubles probably yes ,but for singles doesnt work that way!

Yulia Putintseva (@PutintsevaYulia) January 19, 2021

But Putintseva hit back.

What are you even talking about? One week is enough to prepare for the grand slam when you spend 14 days in your room playing with the wall? Well For doubles probably yes, but for singles doesnt work that way, she wrote.

with AAP

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'Feeding the mouse': Unexpected twist in tennis star's quarantine furore - Yahoo Sport Australia

Got Mice in Your Stove? Here’s How to Get Rid of Them – Wide Open Eats


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on January 20th, 2021

You begin to hear small scratching noises at night, and there are little holes ripped in various food packages. Eventually, you find a pile of tiny brown mouse poop, and your worst fears are confirmed- you have mice. Mice are the adorable characters in Disney movies and are undeniably one of the cutest rodents, but they are decidedly not cute when they've taken up residence in your home. Mice infestations are often found in the kitchen, where scraps of food can be feasted upon. One of the most common places that mice are attracted to is the stove.

An infestation of any critter is bad, but mice seem to be especially difficult to get rid of. The thought of little rodents sifting through your food at night is bad enough, but now you have to figure out how to get rid of them? This is a common problem for homeowners, and it can feel overwhelming to address. Mice are often found in the stove, since they are attracted to the warmth of the pilot light and the food crumbs that often build up.

Fortunately, there are many tried-and-true methods of dealing with a mouse problem, from various types of traps to getting professional help. The first step after discovering a mouse infestation is to clean your kitchen. The mice were originally attracted to your stove because of food, so it's important to remove this incentive.

Ensure that any potential food sources are sealed, including garbage bags. Clean the floor to get rid of any crumbs. Scrub the inside of your stove and pull it away from the wall to clean behind it. Keep inspecting your stove every day to ensure that no food build-up is happening.

After cleaning, inspect your home for potential entry points that the mice could have used to come in. Look for mouse droppings or marks on the wall near the floor where mice may have gnawed their way in. Check behind sinks and near pipes for small holes. Since the mice are in your stove, be especially attentive to that area. Even too much of a gap around a gas intake hose can be used as an entry point for mice.

Once you've found any potential entry points, these need to be sealed off so that the mice can't get in. Soak some cotton balls in pure peppermint oil. Once fully soaked, insert the cotton balls into any holes you found that could be an entry point. Then insert steel wool into the holes, adding it to the cotton balls. Cover the steel wool with spackling paste, and smooth it with a spoon or spatula. Tape cardboard over the spackling as it dries to ensure that mice don't disturb it.

If you have a gas stove, you'll need to turn off the gas line by turning the valve on the gas intake hose. Then use two wrenches or pliers to unscrew the hose's screw coupling, and pull the stove out fully.

Now it's time to get the mice out! Place mouse traps around the stove. Glue traps, also called sticky traps, are an excellent choice, but snap traps are effective as well. If you have snap traps, fill them with attractants like peanut butter or cheese.

Now, turn on the oven, including the broiler if there is one. Don't bother with turning on the stovetop, since this won't affect the mice. Any mice in the stove will need to escape the heat, so the goal is for them to get caught by the traps surrounding the stove. Follow any mice that make it past the traps to any other mouse holes you may have missed. Fill those holes with peppermint oil, steel wool, and spackling to make sure the mice can't use them again.

Hopefully, the mice in your stove are gone and have learned their lesson! However, just to be on the safe side, it's a good idea to set traps and leave them around the kitchen, along the walls, just in case there were any mouse holes you missed or stragglers who escaped. Check traps every day, get rid of any mice you catch, and reset the traps while the problem continues. Be careful if you have pets or small children, since traps can be dangerous.

If the mice don't go away or you don't have it in you to mouse-proof your home, it might be best to call pest control. DIY mouse-catching can be exhausting and difficult, especially if you have a big house or a large mouse infestation. However, hopefully this DIY method will rid your home of any unwanted inhabitants!

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Got Mice in Your Stove? Here's How to Get Rid of Them - Wide Open Eats


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