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Fleas rats and flies are amongst pests that have infested local schools – Cumnock Chronicle

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 23rd, 2019

FLEAS, rats and flies are amongst pests that have infested council-run buildings, a Freedom of Information request has shown.

There have been 165 cases in East Ayrshire since November 2017.

Cumnock Academy, Drongan Primary, Loudoun Academy and Ochiltree Primary all suffered rat problems.

Fleas infested Auchinleck Academy twice last year.

Mice, flies, wasps, silverfish and ants also plagued staff, visitors and pupils.

A spokesperson for East Ayrshire Council said: With all our enquiries we categorise pest control requests into high or low priority - high priority pests include rats, wasps and bees, low priority pests include mice, flies, ants etc. Further priority is given to premises where children and or vulnerable adults are present.

Any reports of pests within council premises are taken seriously.

"Regular inspections and procedures aimed at prevention are in place, and where necessary we aim to report and respond to the first signs of any pest activity.

"Individual premises managers in locations and across the councils catering services have the responsibility to ensure action is taken quickly to resolve any issues.

High prioritycomplaints have a two day response target, low priority have a five day response target. In the vast majority of cases visits are made well within these target times.

The number of service requests received for council premises represents only a very small percentage of overall requests received by our Environmental Health Service for pest control work.

They are not at a level which would give us any cause for concern.

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Fleas rats and flies are amongst pests that have infested local schools - Cumnock Chronicle

We caught bedbugs from traveling and then the nightmare began – The Points Guy

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 23rd, 2019

Before going to sleep at night, I would tear my bed apart removing one layer of bedding at a time to examine every fold and indentation. Id lift the mattress, rip off the pillowcases, inspect around the box springs and in the bug traps set around the house. Id repeat the process again in the morning and expand my hunt to other locations around the house.

I wish I could say Id simply lost my mind, but the reality is almost worse: Earlier this year, we brought bedbugs into our house after a hotel stay.

For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips pleasesubscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.

Disgusting, biting, bloodsucking bedbugs crawled into our luggage, came home with us and moved in without us noticing. And no, these evil creatures were not from a seedy motel or hostel.

Our battle against the bedbugs stretched for several months, and while Id do my best to make light of the situation, it was truly awful. It was a mental, physical, emotional and financial drain to have an enemy in your home you rarely see, despite your best efforts. But, not seeing them didnt stop them from easily finding and biting us (and our kids) while we slept.

Ill cut to the chase: Im not going to name the hotel where we got bedbugs, though I know with 100% confirmed certainty when and where it happened.

I made the decision early on in this journey not to call out the location, as it largely defeats the purpose of the story since it can happen at any hotel. I dont want you to feel false security by avoiding that one specific property, because the reality is that bedbugs are on the rise and its smart to take bedbug precautions no matter where you stay. Also, the hotel was responsive to our concerns once we called them and handled the matter as well as one could hope after the fact. I did not identify myself as a TPG employee. To the hotel, I was a guest like any other.

With that out of the way, our stay started like any other. After sleeping in the several-hundred-dollar-per-night hotel the first night, I woke up with a bite or two on my legs, but other than being mildly annoying and itchy, I didnt think anything of it. The number of bites increased each morning over the course of our stay. For me, almost all of the bites were on the back of my thighs. It was bothersome and itched, but I thought perhaps I was having an allergic reaction based on the location of the bumps. (Im the kind of person who reacts to bites, plants and everything else far more than the average person.)

After the trip was over, we flew home, unpacked our clothes, washed the dirty laundry and piled the still-clean clothes on the couch overnight. Our unpacked luggage sat in the corner of our bedroom for a day or two before it was put away.

That was more than enough time for the bugs to settle in to their new home.

Related: The Points Guys comprehensive guide to independent travel insurance

The first full day I was home, I took pictures of my bites from the trip as they were now much more bothersome, and as itchy as poison ivy. I Googled bedbugs and began to worry. My bites, however, didnt look like the welts appearing in my (disturbing) internet photo searches. And, no one else in the family had this kind of rash. I mistakenly thought if it was bedbugs, we would all have a similar reaction.

I left home for a few brief trips, and the bites started to heal. And then I returned, and new bites started appearing.

Most mornings back at home, another bite (or two, or three) would appear still almost all on me. Eventually, in desperation, I called a bedbug company and begged them to send a bedbug-sniffing dog as soon as possible to inspect the house, as I hadnt seen anything myself. But by this time, I was pretty certain we had an infestation.

A dog wasnt available for another week after my initial call, so a human exterminator came over instead. Within minutes, my bedroom was torn apart, and a bedbug exoskeleton and bedbug excrement were found.

It was confirmed. We had bedbugs. (And yes, this is all as gross as it sounds.)

Between the time I decided we almost certainly had bedbugs to the time this was confirmed, I called the hotel and asked them to examine our former room for pests. A claim was opened, and eventually the property confirmed the room tested positive for bedbugs. As much as a month had passed between the time we first stayed in that room and when the property found the bedbugs, so just think of how many travelers may have been exposed.

But well come back to that.

The night we discovered the bedbugs, we packed essentials in plastic grocery sacks, heated some clothes in the dryer to kill any potential bugs or eggs and moved into a local hotel. I probably had 20 to 30 visible and itchy bites at this point, and couldnt sleep in our house another minute.

Related: 9 hotel booking apps every traveler needs

Less than 24 hours after receiving the bedbug diagnosis, our entire house was heated to 140 degrees with propane-powered heaters, powerful fans and various devices that reminded me of the scene when the government comes for ET, because bedbugs and their eggs cant survive more than an hour at that temperature.

We had to remove things that couldnt stand that heat, but the more we removed, the greater the likelihood something with bugs or eggs wasnt going to be treated, so most things stayed. Some toys and items were damaged or melted. Ultimately, we had the house treated at temperatures upwards of 170 degrees, three separate times, by two different companies.

Apparently, just enough bugs or eggs were missed the first time and the second that wed have to start all over when the bites would slowly start to appear again, and again.

Each time, we had to get a hotel, board the dog and have our house torn completely apart.

I, apparently, react quickly to bedbug bites. It took my eldest daughter three weeks to react and it took my youngest nearly a month to start having visible reactions. Even on someone who does react, bedbug bites can take up to two weeks to appear. Some people simply do not develop a visible reaction at all, making it very hard to even know theres a problem. In my family of four, it took three weeks for anyone other than me to have a definitive reaction to the bugs.

That could make it very hard to detect a problem, and means you cant believe youre staying in a bedbug-free room just because you dont wake up with bites. Sorry.

Looking back, we did everything wrong in terms of travel and bedbugs. Here are a few of our errors:

Even if we did the first three things wrong, we likely could have stopped an infestation just by leaving the luggage outside the house and putting the dirty clothes promptly into a hot dryer.

Bedbugs are, unfortunately, on the rise. They dont discriminate and arent only found in rundown hotels in fact, we acquired these pests at a very nice hotel. But the risk isnt even limited to only beds or hotels. Bedbugs can be found in airports and even on airplanes. Remember, the room we stayed in continued to have bedbugs for at least another month after our visit. Just think of how many more travelers encountered them and potentially brought them home, or into their next hotel or onto a flight.

And of course, who knows how long the pests were there before our stay.

Our bags had stowaways, and on our way home we dragged them through an airport and loaded them onto an airplane. Its easy to imagine how easily these awful critters spread.

If you want to avoid getting bedbugs, you have to assume they are everywhere, and treat your luggage as if its always contaminated. This sounds extreme, but its really not.

Sadly, theres no foolproof way to avoid getting bedbugs, but you can reduce the risk:

Our bedbug treatment expenses totaled nearly $5,000. The indirect costs were higher than that. But thats not even the worst part.

Related: The best credit cards for everyday spending

You see, bedbugs make you crazy. You inspect every bump and bite. You use flashlights and magnifying glasses to examine your bed before going to sleep. You start to doubt your own mind, since bedbugs are so hard to find and you so badly hope it isnt true. You think you beat them, then get depressed when you realize you have to start all over again. If hotel management, a pest control company or any other person doesnt believe you, its an ever tougher, more exhausting fight against an enemy you may not ever see.

Just try going to sleep when you know you, and your children, will be bitten during the night.

Its just not going to happen.

Bedbugs have not, and will not, stop me from traveling. But this experience has forever changed how I travel. Packing and unpacking is harder now. Treating my familys suitcases and belongings as if theyre contaminated is stressful and time consuming. If that keeps my family from enduring a bedbug attack again, however, its all worth it.

Please, learn from my errors. Dont assume bedbugs wont happen to you because you stay in upscale hotels. They can, and do, live anywhere and everywhere. Thats why its important to implement a smart strategy for managing your luggage, so you can hopefully prevent bedbugs from hitching a ride to your home even if you have the misfortunate of sharing a hotel room with them.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

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We caught bedbugs from traveling and then the nightmare began - The Points Guy

The rodent problem which forced a Sunderland school to close and call in Rentokil – Chronicle Live

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 20th, 2019

Mouse droppings were found at a Sunderland school - the day after it reopened following a 'deep clean'.

Last month, Academy 360 shut for two days after pupils fell ill.

Pest control firm Rentokil was brought in after a rat was spotted.

It reopened on November 22. In a letter to parents, headteacher Rachel Donohue said the school had been cleaned to the "highest possible standard".

That same day, a mouse was spotted - and later removed - after droppings were found, promoting staff to lay six more traps.

Now a Freedom of Information Act has revealed a rat had first been spotted, in the Pennywell school's inner quad, over six weeks before it shut.

Rentokil was called in three times in that period before the two-day closure, laying rat traps to try and catch it.

Mice and vermin were also spotted in April and November, although the school say the issue is sorted.

"Its unfortunate that sometimes schools and other buildings during winter are often a refuge for animals and wildlife that get disturbed from their normal habitat and are attracted to warm buildings especially in an open green spaces, likeAcademy360," said Jane Spence, CEO at Laidlaw Schools Trust, which operates the school.

"There is an effective and rigorous cleaning regime embedded into the daily operations of the school substantiated by the report from environmental health.

"The health, safety and welfare of our pupils, staff and local community are of paramount importance to the school and the trust."

The trust closed the school after a "significant number of pupils" displayed flu-like symptoms, including vomiting.

Dozens of North East schools took action due to pupils falling sick.

However, parents at Academy 360 reportedly were concerned the sickness was linked to pests after footage of a rodent at the Portsmouth Road school emerged on Facebook.

In the wake of that, the school confirmed sightings of rodents in "our community" but told parents "there is no threat to public health at your childs school".

The request has revealed the trust pays Rentokil 710-a-year for up to eight visits a year.

Additionally it spent just over 1,000 on kit, including metal bait safes, to try and trap the rodents.

However the CEO added: "An environmental health report has since confirmed that the building is clean and compliant in line with health and safety standards of public health and hygiene as specified in the Prevention of Damage by Pest Act 1949.

"The Senior Environmental Health Officer noted that thorough checks and measures were in place with all cleaning regimes and pest control.

"The one rodent was successfully caught and disposed of prior to the officers visit on 25November."

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The rodent problem which forced a Sunderland school to close and call in Rentokil - Chronicle Live

Here’s What Really Kills CockroachesAnd What Doesn’t – Reader’s Digest

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 20th, 2019

Theres no denying that cockroaches are the absolute worst. They are gross to look at, they can spread a range of diseases, and they can even squish their bodies into half their size and climb into tight spaces. Yeah. Nasty. Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of cockroaches.

Having this pest in your home is probably the last thing you want. If this is the reality you face, its time to start figuring out how to get rid of these suckers.Make sure you knowthe subtle sign your house could be infested with cockroaches.

Although the exterminator is probably the best route when it comes to getting rid of cockroaches, some people are up for trying natural remedies to get rid of these little buggers. If you do decide to pursue the natural route to getting rid of cockroaches as opposed to hiring an exterminator, here are the things you should know that your exterminator wont tell you.

Want to catch the roach without running around your house? Try adhesive-based traps. According to Orkin, a pest control company, Sticky cockroach bait traps are a good monitoring tool, but not a good way to get rid of cockroaches. Based on the limitations of their size and design, they often fail to catch more than a few insects at a time. However, when employed in the right way, a cockroach trap can still play a role in dealing with pest infestations.

Adhesive-based traps can help with the roaches that are roaming around your house, but unfortunately, this will not help you in locating the roachs original nest (where you will probably find even more roaches). Here are a few chemical-free ways to get rid of pests.

This may come as a bit of a shock, but people have tested using cucumbers as a way to repel roaches away from their home. The theory is to use cucumber peels to ward off cockroaches because they find the smell repulsive. However, the myth has been busted and doesnt actually get rid of cockroaches. According to pest control companyWestern Exterminator, Many think that this home remedy for cockroaches works as a natural repellent as roaches hate the smell of cucumber. This is a myth. In fact, youre more likely to attract these crawling insects than repel them by offering them a free dinner! Did you know that other foods have unique uses besides just for eating?Here are a fewextraordinary uses for everyday foods.

If you want to get rid of the nest, this is the way to go. According to Western Exterminator, bait comes in three forms: liquid, gel, and solidand after feeding on the bait, thecockroachlikely return toits nest, whereit will defecate. Other hungry cockroaches in the nest consume the feces and saliva from the poisoned cockroach and will therefore be affected by the bait as well. Its gross, but effective.

Some people have written that citrus water, herbs or even essential oils can stave off cockroaches from your home. According to pest control company Terminix, Keeping a clean house can help prevent a roach infestation, but it cannot cure one. Even with a clean home, roaches can still enter to search for food and water if yourpoints of entry are not sealedand the weather outside drives them in. Sadly, this is just another myth busted by pest control experts. Next, make sure you know thesethings in your house that are attracting pests right now.

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Here's What Really Kills CockroachesAnd What Doesn't - Reader's Digest

How to Get Rid of Snakes – How to Get Rid of Copperhead and Garden Snakes – Country Living

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 18th, 2019

If you're a fan of Samuel L. Jackson (and who isn't?), you may think about snakes on a plane nearly every single time you board. Luckily, the chances of your next flight to LAX being filled with a thousand slithering serpents is unlikely. However, the odds of one showing up in your amazing and beautifully planned garden is much more likely. When you've put a lot of time and money into your tricked-out backyard, the last thing you want to do is be too afraid to enjoy it.

And plenty of people are afraid of snakes. According to a 2001 Gallup poll, a fear of snakes (aka "ophidiophobia") tops the list of our nation's greatest fears51 percent of the population reports shivering in their gardening boots if they espy one wriggling by. And while getting rid of snakes may not be as easy as getting rid of fruit flies or ants, the process doesn't have to be too scary. Read on to get every single snake question you've ever had answered.

For the most part, snakes are not your enemy! The vast majority of snakes are harmless and most, even those that are poisonous, can be beneficial. Snakes are a key species in the food chain. They eat rodents, such as mice and rats. So if you can stomach it, leave them to do their thing. And keep in mind, they are probably just as afraid of you as you are of them!

If you see a copperhead or any poisonous snake in your yard, gather up the kids and pets and retreat to the house immediately! Do not try and kill it on your own. In some areas animal control or the local fire department may help remove the offending critter. If this isnt an option where you live, do an internet search for a pest removal company. Make sure that they have expertise/experience in dealing with snakes.

Dont! But if you must, start by giving the snake a chance to move on. If he insists on sticking around give him a squirt with the garden hose. This will usually encourage him to wiggle away.

Your best bet is to keep your yard clean and tidy. Other than removing their preferred habitat, there are no proven natural snake repellents.

Rumor has it that snakes hate the smell of ammonia, and if you soak rags in it, put them in plastic bags, and scatter them outside your house, it will cause snakes to stay away. This is highly unscientific and untested. Again, probably best to just keep your yard neat.

Nope. This is a myth. All they'll do is stink and fill your yard with poisonous chemicals.

If you have a snake inside, you likely have a mouse, so the first step would be to call a pest control company. They can safely remove the snake, determine if you have a rodent problem, and then take the necessary steps to solve it.

Dont use glue traps. They are cruel and can harm pets. To determine the best trap for your offender, call your local animal wildlife officer or state wildlife agency.

Once you've caught and removed the snake, find and seal any cracks in the foundation that are greater than 1/4 inch. Make sure all windows and doors are tight, including screens. Cover vents and drains with a tight galvanized mesh screen.

Andreas AltenburgerGetty Images

Before you reach for the garden hoe, head to the book shelf and grab a copy of your snake identification book. Don't have one? The internet can help, too. You need to determine whether your snake is poisonous. If he's not, you could simply head back inside the house, lock the door, and wait for him to go on his merry way. As stated above snakes, are an essential part of a healthy environment.

But if you want that snake gone right now, here are a few tricks for keeping them out of your home.

Tidy up the yard. A snake's favorite snack is a rodent. Remove the food, and the snakes won't come around anymore. Additionally, snakes like to burrow, so eliminate rock and wood piles and keep sheds orderly. Keep the grass short. Not only are snakes are less likely to lounge in short grass, but they will also be easier to spot.

Get rid of the bird feeder. Mice love bird seed. Snakes love mice.

Feed pets inside. Any stray bit of kibble may attract mice. As we've mentioned, mice attract snakes.

Install a snake-proof fence. If you live in an area that has a high number of venomous snakes, you can install a snake-proof fence or snake-proof an existing one. This process can vary depending on the kinds of snakes you're attracting and the region where you live.

For a new fence: Snakes can climb, so install your fence at an outward angle (The North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension recommends a 30 degree angle from top to bottom) with the supports on the inside of the fence. Attach a tight wire mesh (1/4-inch openings or less) to the fence and make sure it extends at least 6 inches into the ground and 30 inches up the fence.

For an existing fence: Keep in mind that this works best with a fence that is made from tight wood slats. Start by installing the wire mesh as mentioned above. Next install a slick surface (such as metal flashing) at the top, outside, and edge of the fence. This will cause a snake trying to climb up and over the fence to lose its grip and (hopefully) fall to the ground.

Keep branches at bay. As mentioned, snakes can climb, so prevent them from dropping into your yard from branches (talk about heebie-jeebies!) by trimming away any overhanging tree branches.

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How to Get Rid of Snakes - How to Get Rid of Copperhead and Garden Snakes - Country Living

Over 120,000 Bees Discovered In LI Home –

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 16th, 2019

EAST ISLIP, NY - A Long Island couple got more than they bargained for after discovering hundreds of thousands of bees inside their East Islip home. Nicholas Sarro was renovating the 81-year-old house on Division Avenue when he came across the massive hive containing over 120,000 honey bees.

Nicholas and his wife, Sandra, have lived in the home for nearly 40 years, doing work along the way such as fixing the roof and replacing the windows, according to a Newsday report. Their son, Nicholas, discovered the guest room full of bees a few years ago, and responding by shutting the door and leaving a note that read "Room Full of Bees, Don't Open the Door." The family opened the window, sealed off the room and thought they had gotten rid of the bees, but when Sarro went to work to re-roof his home a few months ago, he found the bees didn't go too far. The bees had formed a 7-foot by 14-foot hive in the wall.

That's when local bee expert, Anthony "Tony Bees" Planakis, paid a visit to the home, saying the hive was the biggest he's ever seen, Newsday reports. He advised the couple to keep the bees until he could move it in April.

"If they were roaches or bedbugs or anything else I would've called an exterminator," Sarro told Newsday. "But honey bees? Einstein said if the bees go, so does man. I'm not smarter than Einstein, so I'll take him at his word."

In addition to the bees, the walls of Sarro's home are believed to have an estimated 70 pounds of honey inside, according the New York Post. Planakis will most likely be moving the bees in April, once the flowers bloom, using special tools to remove the colony over the course of three to four days, the New York Post reports. Once the $1,000 project is complete, the bees will be donated to other beekeepers.

"And I will miss them when they're gone. I will," Sandra told CBS2 News.

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Over 120,000 Bees Discovered In LI Home -

HARVEY’S Pest Control Provides Top Tips to Prevent Bugs from Spoiling the Holiday Season – Benzinga

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 15th, 2019

Los Angeles, CA, December 14, 2019 --( Since 1974, HARVEYS Pest Control has provided local service in Los Angeles and professional grade pest control supplies nationwide. Their slogan is, "The science behind the pest thats bugging our customers." (

Helping people solve their problems dealing with a pest of any nature is their goal, ultimately removing pests to give customers peace of mind. This is their way of becoming their customers' partner in pest prevention to making a major environmental impact in the world.

"We believe every American is going to deal with some kind of infestation in their lifetime. This is why it is so important to know the basics of exterminating to eradicate pests effectively and to use professional grade products. Over-the-counter pest control products are not designed to kill, but only to flush out. Many insects have already built a high level of resistance to pesticides due to wide usage, and this is why over-the-counter pest control products do not work, " says Michael Harvey of HARVEYS Pest Control.

84% of American homeowners experience a pest problem each year. The top issues for homeowners are:

- Bed Bugs (A Nuisance)- Cockroaches (Disease Borne)- Rat & Mice (Disease Borne)- Fleas (Disease Borne)- Mosquitoes (Disease Borne)- Spiders (Painful or Life Threatening)- Ticks (Disease Borne)- Termites (Structural Damage)- As well as many other dangerous pests according to the Center of Disease Control. (CDC)

Following are tips for homeowners for pest management this holiday season:

1. Store holiday decorations properly in durable plastic, tightly sealed containers.

2. Keep the kitchen clean, as this room is the main reason pests are attracted to the home. Dispose of garbage regularly, seal food in containers and keep all cabinets clean.

3. Seal all gaps by installing door sweeps on front and back doors. Seal all cracks and crevices where bugs can hide inside, including areas where the utilities pipes enter.

Follow these steps to avoid visits from seasonal pests. Kick start the New Year with a pest proofing sweep to help eliminate an infestation later.

Our job is to provide public safety to prevent injuries from insects, illnesses, and diseases. Those dealing with an infestation or who need professional-grade supplies for preventive measures with free shipping may visit HARVEYS Pest Control at

"We Get'Em!"

Contact Information:HARVEY'S Pest ControlMichael Harvey323-637-2665Contact via

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HARVEY'S Pest Control Provides Top Tips to Prevent Bugs from Spoiling the Holiday Season - Benzinga

What works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to keeping snakes away at home – Starts at 60

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 15th, 2019

While keeping snakes away from your home completely might not be an option, there are some things you can do to make your place less inviting for them.

Mowing your lawn regularly will not only make your house look nice, but it will help control mice and other insects that are an appealing food source for snakes. Remove excess vegetation and weeds, any piles of debris in areas where snakes can hide. Keep your trees and shrubs trimmed and away from the home and garage. If you store firewood or similar materials, keep them elevated from the ground.

As lovely as it is to hear the sound of birds singing in the backyard, its recommended that you dont use bird feeders or bird baths to attract them, and that if you do feed wildlife with fruits and nuts, be sure to clean up any of the mess that falls onto your lawn. Snakes might not be interested in the salad platter, but they are interested in rodents and other animals that will likely be attracted to such things. If you cant bear to stop feeding the birds, be sure to store the feed in a metal container with a lid that fits tightly.

Keep your compost piles in a closed container. This will keep snakes and rodents away from your house.

Go around your house and inspect and seal any crevices at the foundations, which will help keep snakes from getting inside your house. Consider screens over vents and sealing openings around plumbing that enters or exits your home.

Consider your landscaping design. Large rock spaces in your landscaping can provide the perfect hiding space for snakes as well as their prey. Water features and fish ponds also attract snakes.

How do you limit the food source of a snake? Its simple.

If you have pets, bring them inside to be fed. Snakes arent at all interested in what your cat or dog is having for dinner, but they are interested in the rodents that your pets food will attract. Be sure to clean up any uneaten food straight away. Store your dry pet food in a metal container with a tight fitting lid. You may also wish to contact a local pest control company to treat your home so that any other tasty morsels (think insects, frogs, lizards etc.) for snakes are given their eviction notice to your house.

If you have a chicken coop or aviary, there are signs you can look for to determine if there is a snake. These include fewer or missing eggs, regurgitated egg shells, snake skins, a chicken or bird with a wet head (a sign that a snake tried to eat it, but perhaps gave up). Take a look around the enclosure for any access points where a snake might come in and block those access points to keep snakes out of the coop and nesting boxes. Other tips:

While it might be your first reaction to reach for a shovel, snakes represent an important part of our ecosystem. For that reason, there are some things that are not advised when it comes to deterring snakes from your home.

Mothballs shouldnt be used. They are made from chemicals that are toxic to insects and mammals, but arent effective against snakes.

Avoid using ceramic eggs or golf balls in your chicken coop. Snakes eat these artificial eggs and their death is slow and painful. Whats worse is that youll only increase your snake problem because new snakes will show up to take that snakes place. Consider improving the chicken coop area using the suggestions above instead.

Refrain from using guns, shovels or other weapons. This is just an increased risk to your own personal safety. Instead, try using a hose to spray water onto the snake, which will encourage it to find somewhere new to hang out.

Finally, the best advice Starts at 60 has been given when it comes to snakes is to just leave them alone. Chances are they will move on without causing you any trouble. Of course, if one does enter your home the recommended advice it to keep an eye on it and if you feel threatened by it, call an expert.

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What works (and what doesn't) when it comes to keeping snakes away at home - Starts at 60

Cold weather means mice enticed to warm homes – CT Insider

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 12th, 2019

Its the season of the mouse.

Skittering and scratching along the walls, nibbling at toast crumbs and apple peelings while we sleep or gathering an attic nut stash, our most common wildlife creature makes its mark now bits of black droppings in the cupboards, the hurried flash of gray and brown as it scoots across the kitchen floor.

Mice are our number one complaint right now, said Tom Dommermuth, owner of WESTCONN Pest Control in New Fairfield.

Mice, and flying squirrels, said Joel Ray, owner of Bats R Us Wildlife Removal Specialists in Bethel.

We cannot ever really get rid of them. Nor should we want to. They matter.

Outdoors, mice disperse seeds and nuts, eat things like gypsy moth larvae, and provide sustenance bite-sized and bit-by-bit to predators whether hawk, owl, fox, bobcat or coyotes.

They play a vital role in the environment, said urban wildlife expert Laura Simon.

Many live through the winter tunneling passageways under the snow. What we see as a placid white blanket is covering a little rodent subway system, where mice and their cousins, the voles, carry on until a fox pounces or an owl swoops down.

Which is why some mice opt for the indoors; its warm and hawk-free. Its staying alive.

Its one of the challenges of such small things, said Jenny Dickson, director of the wildlife division of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Dickson said that, in the wild, there are two species of nocturnal mice humans almost never see the woodland jumping mouse and the meadow jumping mouse. Both have long tails, and strong back legs to propel them through the world.

Youll never see them indoors, she said.

Which leaves white-footed mice our most common rodent species and deer mice. The two species are nearly identical and often get lumped together as field mice.

And there are also house mice. Theyre an Old World species that came over on whatever boat sailed from Europe from France, from the Netherlands, from England or Spain in the 17th century and landed on North American shores.

Just like the rest of us, said Simon.

She questions whether the house mouse, which has cohabited with humans for thousands of years, might have scurried over the Bering land bridge, following the original settlers on this place.

People are quick to say non-native when its something they dont like, Simon said.

The DEEPs Dickson said that most of the mice we see are white-footed mice.

In rural and suburban homes, absolutely, she said. Theyre a native species thats successful in a lot of habitats in the state.

They are little brown mice with white bellies and white feet. House mice, in comparison, are uniformly dusty gray-brown all over.

Field mice, deer mice, house mice, youll find them all, Dommermuth of WESTCONN Pest Control said.

People dont want mice in their homes for obvious reasons.

Theyre unsanitary. They leave droppings. They can tear up insulation to make nests and chew on electrical wires. If they die inside a wall, they stink as they decay. And because female mice can have a new litter every 60 days or so, they can have lots of babies.

There is also musophobia the absolute, deep-seated dread of mice that can leave some people in a true panic when they see one.

Its like snakes, Simon said.

The reason may have to do with basic mouse-iness.

Theyre quick and they have naked tails, Simon said. If they moved slower and had fluffy tails, people would think theyre cute.

To combat mice infestations, people should start looking in the fall for any small entryway that, when it turns cold, mice can squeeze through. Because they are good climbers, that can mean looking at roof lines as well as the ground.

It can be where pipes enter the house, Simon said.

Once you have mice, the best method of getting rid of them are snap traps whether old-fashioned or the better mousetraps now available.

People shouldnt poison them, because if they mouse eats poison and them goes outside to die, theres a chance a predator will get a dose of poison as well.

Its a real problem, said Ray of Bats R Us.

Nor should they use glue traps, which hold mice in place until they die slowly of starvation.

Of all the inhumane ways to kill a mouse, snap traps are the most humane, Simon said.

Contact Robert Miller at

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Cold weather means mice enticed to warm homes - CT Insider

Basildon’s The Moon on the Square Wetherspoons pub evacuated and shut after mouse spotted by customers – Essex Live

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 12th, 2019

An Essex Wetherspoons pub was evacuated and closed after a mouse was spotted by customers.

One 'single mouse' was seen roaming the Moon on the Square in Basildon by punters on Saturday, (December 6).

They pub was swiftly evacuated and closed so that pest control could be called to remove the rodent in the pub off of Fodderwick in the town centre.

Staff reopened the pub at around 6pm the same day, after a pest control engineer announced the rodent had come in from outside.

A spokesman for JD Wetherspoon said:"We can confirm that there was a sighting of a single mouse, in the customer area at The Moon on the Square (Basildon), on Saturday 6 December.

"Pest control were immediately called, and the decision was made to close the pub until the problem was dealt with. The pub reopened at approximately 6pm on the same day (Saturday).

"The pest control engineer confirmed that the rodent had come in from outside (due to local building activity) and the point of entry to the building was identified and blocked, with ongoing monitoring now taking place.

"Council EHO attended the pub today (10 December) and were satisfied that the problem has been resolved."

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Basildon's The Moon on the Square Wetherspoons pub evacuated and shut after mouse spotted by customers - Essex Live

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