Category Archives: Rodents

Rodent Awareness Week

Be Aware: Rodents want to winter where it’s warm

RatTemperatures are dropping and before Atlanta settles into a chilly winter, pest control professionals suggest that Atlanta residents take some necessary precautions to exclude rats and mice from wintering in their walls, attics and basements. Rodent infestations are on the rise and Atlanta ranks among the top five cities in the US in rodent population problems.

Atlanta: Growing by squeaks and bounds

According to the city’s website, Atlanta continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in the US, with a metropolitan population of 5.45 million. It seems that the city of Atlanta’s culture, art and nightlife appeal to college educated young adults, while young at heart baby boomers are moving to Atlanta for the scaled down convenience of art and culture in the city. While rodents aren’t known to be art lovers, they do love the large-scale waste Atlanta generates, as well as the availability of human living spaces to invade in the city and in Atlanta’s far-reaching suburbs.

Contributing to Atlanta’s rising number of rodent infestations are homes abandoned by foreclosure during the Great Recession, plus a succession of relatively mild winters in the past few years. Getting ahead of the rat and mice curve, proactive homeowners will want to know what to do to prevent a rodent infestation, and what to do when they suspect they have one.

The Rub about Rodents: A Few Things to Know

  • Norway rats, house mice and roof rats make up the majority of rodent problems in Fulton and DeKalb Counties.
  • Rodents can squeeze into incredibly small spaces. Mere nickel and quarter-sized spaces are all it takes to allow rats and mice entry into your home.
  • Rats and mice attract disease-carrying insects. Vectors—fleas and tick that feed on rodents’ blood and cockroaches that feast on rodent droppings can spread diseases to humans and pets.
  • Rodents need to gnaw to keep their front teeth in check. They can chew through electrical wiring, causing electrical fires, in addition to causing structural and other property damage.
  • Rats have been known to bite humans when threatened, exposing humans to diseases transferred from insects to rodents.

Put Out the No Vacancy Sign

Excluding rats and mice from your home can be a daunting task. New homes require less attention than older homes. Sealing or caulking entries includes filling in cracks, crevices and holes that are more than a 1/4” in size. Often, the foundations of older homes need to be completely re-sealed to exclude rodents. It is also important to take a look at the items stored outside your house.

  • Clean up any woodpiles around your home and store wood at least 20 feet from your house.
  • Clear your property of any overgrown grass and weedy areas. Rats and mice like to nest in woodpiles and enjoy the camouflage of tall grass and weeds.
  • Trim trees away from your house so branches don’t create convenient bridges for rodents to enter your home

Keep it clean

Mouse In Basement
Not needing a lot to eat, rats and mice enjoy the crumbs you leave on the counters and in your pantry. Although rodents prefer grains, fruits and vegetables, they will easily adapt to dog food if it’s convenient and readily available to them. But not only do rats and mice go for leftovers and spills, they can contaminate food with disease-carrying insects and bacteria from their own droppings.

Remember to keep all food, including pet food and birdseed in tightly sealed metal, glass or heavy plastic containers. True sanitation means not leaving snacks for rodents in your kitchen or pantry, wiping down food prep and dining areas, as well as washing all dirty dishes and sweeping and vacuuming often.

Rats and mice like presents as much as you do. Rodents especially like cardboard and other paper products that you store in a closet or the attic for building and cushioning their nests. Try to resist the temptation to save a lot of cardboard and left-over packing materials. If possible unpack boxes outside to avoid unknowingly escorting critters into your home.

Uh-oh! Do you hear what I hear?

If you hear scratching in your walls, scurrying in your attic or squeaking sounds in your home, it is very likely you have a rodent infestation. Check for tell-tale pellet-shaped droppings in or near food areas and any signs of chewing. A word of caution: Be quick about it. Rodent populations grow at alarming rates.

Seeking Professional Help

Contact a pest control professional as soon as you detect a rat or mice problem. You’ll want to nip it in the bud before it becomes a full-blown infestation. Rodent infestations take anywhere from days to weeks to conquer and eradicate. Get in touch with Truly Nolen Atlanta at 678-561-2847 for a free inspection immediately.

Truly Nolen’s highly trained technicians will determine whether or not you have a rodent issue. After identifying the culprits, skilled pest control professionals will devise a plan of action tailored to your particular home, keeping your individual needs in mind.

Keeping Mice out of Your Charlotte Home

Mouse In KitchenOver the last few weeks there has been a noticeable change in the weather in Charlotte. Fall has arrived and with that means shorter days, pumpkin flavored desserts, and preparing our homes for winter. Rodents have noticed the change in the weather as well. During the cooler months, field mice will search for warm locations that can provide access to food and water. Unfortunately, this usually means your home and once they arrive, they make themselves comfortable. They eat food left on the counter, chew the trim on the walls, tear up insulation, and possibly cause electrical damage.

There are many steps you can take to prevent mice and the snakes that chase after them from finding their way into your home. Here are some tips to keep your home rodent free this fall.

Stop Feeding Them

Your home is full of food sources for rodents. Leftovers, dirty dishes in the sink, loosely sealed items in the pantry, and even your pet’s food bowl are all scrumptious meals for mice. Before you go to bed, spend some time wiping down the counters, putting away leftovers, and cleaning up the dishes.

Seal Them Out

mouseWhile small cracks in your homes foundation might appear too small for a mouse to crawl through, anything larger than a quarter is the right size for a mouse to squeeze through. Take a walk around your home and check for cracks in the foundation, gaps in doors or window frames, or missing screens on crawl spaces or vents. Fill holes with caulk or cover them with wire mesh to remove an access point.

Check your basement, attics, and crawl spaces to make sure they are sealed and dry. Also, make sure any blankets, rugs, or coats that are stored in these areas are in bags or plastic bins.

Keep It Clean

Secure the trash cans both in your home and outside with a lid. Mice are scavengers who will seek out any food source possible. If possible, keep your garbage cans in your garage rather than outside. Having them inside provides one more obstacle between the mice and the food source.

During the holiday months, our homes are a location to enjoy our families and loved ones. Don’t let pesky field mice invade your space. If you notice mice in your home this winter, contact Truly Nolen of Charlotte at 704-910-2936 for an inspection. Our certified technicians will work with you to evict the mice and return your home to the tranquil place you know and love.

Back to School: Charlotte’s Most Common Pests

The kids are back to school and it’s time for the parents to go back to school too! It’s important for parents to learn about some of the most common kinds of pests found in Charlotte.


Carpenter AntsThese tiny pests often infest woodpiles and trees in the outdoors. While many kinds of ants are prevalent, fire ants are one of the most common ant species found in North Carolina. As of 2010, they were found in 71% of NC counties. They range from 3-6 mm long and are far more aggressive than black ants or ghost ants. When they are disturbed, fire ants can lash out by biting their perpetrators. Fire ant bites can swell up and cause itching, pain, and even allergic reactions. They are at their worst during hotter weather and are fairly adaptable. Fire ants are attracted to trash, so it is important to keep the area around trash cans free from debris and prune back any trees or greenery around your home so that fire ants can’t use branches as a way to invade your home. An old wives’ tale recommends pouring grits or hot water over the ant mound, but these methods are questionable: call a pest control professional for best results.


CockroachCharlotte makes a cozy home for roaches, whether it is a large, flying American roach (also known as a palmetto bug), a wood roach, or any other kind of roach. While the habits of individual roach subtypes greatly vary, you can find most roaches by looking for droppings that seem similar to coffee grinds. Roaches can cause breathing issues or allergies. They are most active at night and are drawn towards heat as well as damp areas. As roaches are drawn to damp areas, be sure to repair any holes or gaps around water pipes, doors, or baseboards and dispose of trash, leaves, and paper debris. Be sure to store food carefully and clean the kitchen after use.


RodentWhen you think of mice, you probably think of Mickey Mouse. Well, think again; not every mouse or rat is as harmless as the Disney mascot. Mice and rats breed year round, carry diseases and harmful organisms such as Salmonella. They damage property, and chew through food packages or insulation. Do you have rodents? Look for mice and rat droppings or household cats exhibiting stalking behavior. Be careful to immediately clean any droppings: breathing air associated with their waste can cause illness. Try rodent proofing your HVAC system and make sure that all food is carefully stored. Install foundation vent screens, seal all cracks in the property, and remove outside brush clutter away from your home.


subterranean termitesAmong the most common pests found in Charlotte are termites. Termites have been known to cause an annual $5 billion dollars in damage in the U.S. Catching them early can save you thousands of dollars, as many home insurance policies do NOT cover termite issues. Termites are most active in the spring and summer months. Subterranean termites use moisture from the soil to survive and then build “mud tunnels” to reach their food, while drywood termites live inside dry wood and can easily spread. Look for tiny wings (or in the case of subterranean termites, “mud tunnels” along a surface) near a possible entry point or termite droppings. Does your wood sound hollow when tapped or do your wooden surfaces appear to be puckered or damaged? Then termites may be the cause. Keep A/C units and areas clean, and direct water away from your home, as some termites are attracted to moisture.

Termites, ants, roaches, and rodents are some of the most common pests in Charlotte. To prevent these pests from choosing your home, keep inside areas clean of food debris and water issues, and keep outside areas clear of tree branches and other plants that may act as bridges to the pests. Don’t share your Charlotte home with pests, call Truly Nolen Charlotte at 704-910-2936 for an inspection.

Fall in Love With These End of Summer Tips for a Pest Free Home

The warm, Summer days are coming to a close and as we slowly transition into Fall, it is easy to forget that pest activity does not necessarily disappear with the balmy breezes and flip flops that are indicative of the hot summer months. In fact, over the course of summer, the warm weather provides the perfect opportunity for certain pests to breed and colonize new areas in and around your home. The summer months would have seen a proliferation of everything from stinging insects and flies to ants and mosquitoes.

As if summertime pests weren’t bad enough, entering the cooler months is sure to bring about a new season of pest activity and a host of challenges for homeowners. Not to be outdone, pests such as spiders and rodents are only too eager to invade your home this Fall, in an effort to stay warm and escape the cold reality of the cooler months.

Truly Nolen of Mansfield, OH identifies some of the common pests that present a problem to homeowners during these fall months and explores tips for keeping your home pest free. Here, we also learn about Truly Nolen’s treatment approach, aimed at addressing pest activity that is specific to this time of the year.

Common Fall pests – What you need to know.

As the weather changes, certain pest activity will decrease, while others will be more active as they prepare for the cold months ahead. This is the opportune time for homeowners to take the necessary precautions in order to prevent Fall pests from entering the home.

As we enter into the cooler part of the year, rodents are keen on finding warm areas to settle into. Attics and basements make the coziest retreats for rats and mice that are extremely capable of finding sneaky ways to enter your home, even through the smallest of openings.

Both rats and mice are vectors of disease and their need to stay close to food and water sources means that seeking refuge in your home is ideal for them as the weather gets colder.

Although many common varieties of spiders pose no significant threat to us, spider activity within the home may increase as summer comes to an end, as these pests are seeking a quiet, warm place to call home for the next few months. Addressing a spider problem early on can prevent these guys from laying eggs in areas of the home such as basements, tops of cabinets, inside closets and more. It is also important to avoid the growth of the spider population as they are also a source of food for other pests in the home.

American Roach
Perhaps one of the worst Fall pests, guilty of triggering allergies and exacerbating issues such as asthma, roaches are one of the primary vehicles for the contamination of food and the spread of pathogens and bacteria. Your home provides the perfect environment for roaches to stay close to food and warmth, so an increase in roach activity during this time is not uncommon.

Fall Head over Heels with Keeping your Home Pest Free

While you and your family are relishing the last remnants of Summer, Fall pests are already looking for ways to start to prepare as the weather cools down. Homeowners can still fall head over heels with keeping their home pest free by taking extra steps at doing their own control and prevention:

  • Monitor areas of the home prone to rodents (entry points, basements, cabinets, etc.) for indications of possible infestation (mouse/rat droppings, gnawed electrical wiring).
  • Keep both exterior and interior trash in lidded bins.
  • Avoid letting debris and clutter pile up on both the exterior and interior of the home. This gives rodents the perfect hiding spot!
  • Maintain regular service and treatment of spiders throughout the year.
  • Trim any shrubs or trees that are close to the home as overhanging branches make an easy roadway for spiders to get in.
  • Eliminate any existing cobwebs that you may see.
  • Avoid leaving piles of clothes or newspapers in any one area for too long as spiders like to hide in dark, quiet places.
  • Keep food in tightly sealed containers and avoid leaving used dishes out in exposed areas.
  • Holes or gaps on the exterior of the home make for easy entry so be sure to have these caulked and sealed.
  • Avoid bringing boxes into the home where possible, instead unpacking prior to going indoors.
  • Monitor dark, damp areas such as under the sinks and near faucets and appliances as roaches tend to gravitate toward these areas.

Truly Nolen – Treatment Approach to Fall Pests

As the long days of summer come to a close, pests will aim to make their way inside your home as a means of protection from the outdoor elements, and to continue their feeding and breeding habits in a more controlled environment. Based on this seasonal change in pest behavior, Truly Nolen adapts to meet the needs of homeowners looking for safe and effective pest treatment that will eradicate brewing infestations and eliminate pests inside the home.

Using advanced application methods and techniques, Truly Nolen’s innovative approach to tackling wintering pests involves using naturally occurring and environmentally friendly products that work to minimize pest resistance over time. This method is a more proactive approach designed to keep working throughout the year.

Some of the techniques used are:

  • Botanical aerosols to naturally eliminate pests hiding in closets or cabinets.
  • Removing spider webs from windows, beams and ceilings.
  • Setting of bait stations throughout the home, especially under bathroom and kitchen sinks.
  • Application of powder to treat pests hiding in smaller areas of the home (window and door frames, eaves and fixtures).
  • Placing monitoring stations in specific areas to trap pests.
  • Dust treatment in small crawl spaces and attic.

Through targeted methods and applications, Truly Nolen is able to utilize innovative means to keep your home pest free from Summer into Fall and keep you falling in love with your home. Call your local Truly Nolen of Mansfield pest professional today at 419-520-9290 for a pest inspection.

Summer Household Pest Control Checklist for Columbus, OH

The transition from spring to summer is peak time for household pest activity. Truly Nolen of Columbus, OH wants to make sure that Columbus homeowners stay pest free this summer, giving you more time to spend outdoors without worrying about pests indoors. To ensure that Columbus residents are prepared for an increase in pest activity, Truly Nolen has created a checklist to help homeowners remain pest free this summer.

Summer Pests Checklist

Summer Lovin’- Common Pests Found in Ohio

Although homeowners should be watchful of pests all throughout the year, it is important to keep an eye out for pests that may have kept a low profile during winter. Pests who go into hiding in winter months to stay warm, are now emerging, eager to reproduce and expand their habitats. Here, we take a look at a few pests that Columbus residents may start to see more of than they might like during the summer!


Brown Recluse Spider
Most of the species of spiders found in Ohio are not poisonous and are considered more of a nuisance rather than a threat. However, where there is one bug, there are two, three or more and spiders are usually a sign of bigger pest problems.

German & Oriental Cockroaches

German Oriental Cockroach
Perhaps two of the more common species, German and Oriental roaches thrive in hot, humid climates making summer the perfect opportunity for these guys to be out and about. German roaches prefer to be indoors, and will always make their way to food and water sources, whereas Oriental roaches can also be found in the immediate exterior portions of your home. Since they carry pathogens and allergens in their cast skins and in their droppings, it is important for homeowners to immediately address any sightings of German or Oriental roaches to avoid further infestation.


Although treatment of centipedes should start from the exterior, these creepy crawlies can make their way indoors into basements and crawlspaces. Centipedes do not pose a threat to homeowners, but they are a nuisance as they can populate quickly if left alone for an extended period of time.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant
Carpenter ants use their strong jaws to chew through wooden structures, leaving behind a trail of sawdust wherever they go. Damp, soft wood makes the perfect environment for them as they can easily chew out holes to construct their nests.


Rat and mice activity will increase since they have hibernated during the winter months, only to emerge in full force from spring into summer. As rodent population increases due to the warmer weather, homeowners should be aware of the warning signs left behind by rats and mice that indicate their presence in and around your home.

Bed Bugs

As you travel this summer, be weary of hitchhiking bed bugs. No hotel is immune from bed bugs so be sure to inspect the mattress and under the sheets of your hotel bed to make sure there are no signs of bed bugs or their blood. Bed bugs can easily attach themselves to your luggage, clothes, laptop cases and more.


The hot summer weather is perfect for mosquitoes especially when there are backyard barbeques and pool parties. Be sure there isn’t standing water around your home where mosquitoes tend to breed and keep areas clean and free from crumbs.

Common Types of Construction for Ohio Homes

Along with the natural beauty of the state, Ohio homes also boast charming construction design elements indicative of the Midwest. These unique features are enjoyed by Columbus homeowners, but are also considered vulnerable areas that can attract pests:

  • Wooden siding, porches and decking
  • Crawl spaces
  • Basements and attics
  • Fireplaces
  • Wooden door frames , windows and roof shingles on older homes
  • Lush landscaping and mulch placed close to the home

Tips to Keep Pests Out This Summer

While many pests are considered to be nothing more than a nuisance, there are those that pose more of a risk to the health and safety of homeowners. Truly Nolen recommends the following for helping to keep pests at a minimum wherever possible:

  • Avoid piles of debris on both interior and exterior of the home to deter pests.
  • Trim shrubs and trees that may have overhanging branches that touch the exterior walls or roof line of the home as these provide an easy gateway for pests to travel.
  • Holes or gaps in screens, doors, windows or foundations should be sealed to keep pests from entering.
  • Basements and crawlspaces should be frequently monitored for indications of possible infestation.
  • Existing cobwebs should be removed to prevent additional spiders.
  • Dark, damp areas such as under the sinks and near faucets should be monitored carefully for roaches.
  • Keeping countertops clean at night and sealing exposed food and water are good ways to keep pests from enjoying a midnight snack.

When do I call my Truly Nolen Pest Professional?

Although homeowners can take steps to ensure that their home remains pest free this summer, there are some pest problems that need the help of a certified, trained professional. One or two pest sightings may be tolerated by most homeowners, but without a thorough inspection, it is difficult to assess whether or not there are more pests behind the scenes.

To err on the side of caution, homeowners should be vigilant when observing possible signs of pest activity and contact a trained professional in the early stages so that the problem does not worsen as time goes on, eventually becoming a full blown infestation.

Using advanced application methods and techniques, Truly Nolen’s innovative Four Seasons Pest Control approach addresses the changes in pest behavior from season to season. Our trained technicians know what to look for, how to be proactive and how to treat an existing infestation. Call Truly Nolen of Columbus to keep your home pest free this summer and all year round.

One House Mouse Can Quickly Become Bigger Problem, Pose Risk to Health and Property

Some think that they’re cute, but they scare the wits out of others. However you feel about mice, one thing is clear: If you see one or evidence of one in your home, it’s better to act quickly to get rid of them. Otherwise, the little fury critters can wreak havoc in your home and pose a health risk to you and your family.

As the most common mammal in the country, we all will most likely encounter mice at some point. The colder fall and winter months are the time when mice and other rodents look to come inside warm structures searching for food and protection against the freezing temperatures. Each year, an estimated 21 million invade homes across the country, according the National Pest Management Association.

They’re hungry little critters, too. Mice eat between 15 to 20 times a day, so they prefer to be near food. They can also jump about a foot into the air, giving them the ability to hop up onto counters or pantries. Their tiny bodies can fit through an opening the size of a dime, making any crack or small opening to the outside an entry point into your home.

While mice don’t live a long time, about five months in the wild, they make up for that by having a lot of baby mice fast. A female mouse can give birth starting at two months old and can have about a dozen babies every three weeks. If you spotted one mouse in the house, there are probably others lurking nearby, and it can quickly become a bigger infestation if it’s not properly addressed.

Mice also like to gnaw on electrical wiring, causing damage that can lead to a greater risk of an electrical fire. Beyond that, mice can carry as many as 200 disease-causing organisms, such as the Hantavirus and Salmonella.

Simple preventative measure can help keep mice and other rodents outside in the cold. Truly Nolen recommends homeowners take the following steps to protect their property and their family’s health:

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
  • Keep a close eye on the garage. As it is hard to seal up adequately, mice can move in here easily, readily accessing the rest of the house with ease.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.
  • If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.

San Francisco food distributor reopens after rodent infestation

A food distributor in San Francisco was forced to close down and perform a massive recall after two employees leaked information about the rodent-infested condition of the facility. The employees detailed the unsanitary conditions, describing rodents living, breeding and leaving droppings in many of the foods in the warehouse that were later repackaged for sale. Once the Department of Health became aware of the situation, the retailer was forced to shut down until professional pest control was able to take care of the situation.

The facility was allowed to reopen only after extensive extermination took place. A professional on-site noted that rats and mice were able to get inside the facility through the walls which were full of cracks and holes large enough for the rodents. Once all the entryways for the mice were sealed, the exterminators had to eliminate the rest of the rodent population. The population of rodents inside the facility had been booming due to the abundance of food and space. 

Threat of disease
The employees who informed the Department of Health about the violations claimed that the mice were largely ignored by building management. They described finding mice and rodents everywhere in the building and were instructed to remove the mice only when found dead. Rodents carry a wide variety of communicable diseases and allowing them to reside near or come in contact with food poses a major health threat to consumers. Both live mice and their droppings can carry over 30 diseases that can spread to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These diseases can be spread through handling the rodents, coming in physical contact with droppings, inhaling airborne dropping dust and through ticks and mites that live on the mice. 

The CDC suggests that the best way to eliminate any threat of exposure to these diseases is to avoid coming in contact with mice at all. However, if mice have already come in contact with food, it should be thrown away immediately.  

The fact that the food retailer did not discard the food that had come in contact with rodents was its largest error. Now that it has sought the help of professional exterminators, the facility is now awaiting approval from the Department of Health to reopen.

Michigan residents try to keep rats out of their homes

Residents in a Michigan town near Detroit have been hit with a huge influx of rats – so many that the town legislature is considering offering $5 for each dead rat brought in by citizens, reports local Fox affiliate WJBK. Residents are scrambling to find ways of preventing rats from entering their homes and contaminating their food and possessions, as well as effective means of pest control.

Keeping rats out
There are several ways to keep rats and other rodents from entering the home. In Detroit as well as many other parts of the country, the winter is frigid which affects both humans and rats alike. Rodents will seek out any warm shelter they can find, and they are skilled at finding entry points. Rats have nearly collapsible skeletons and can fit in any hole that is larger than their head (about the size of a quarter) so the best step is to plug any and all holes through which the pests could fit. 

Feeling for air movement can also reveal an entryway for a rat, a report from Popular Mechanics details. It is important to go around the house and find any vulnerability to rats and other rodents. Also important are windows and doors – any crack in the framing should be sealed. All doors should close flush against the frame and be sealed tight. Vents for driers and air conditioners can also allow rodents into the home, but are easily blocked with screens. 

Keeping them away
Rats and other small mammals are attracted to the bounty of free food that is provided by an uncovered garbage can or a backyard garden, so tying down all garbage can lids with weighted bungee cords can help keep rats from coming back. Gardens are best kept several feet away from the house in order to prevent rodents from dashing into an open door or window. 

Piles of unattended boxes, lumber or other refuse will provide a shelter to rats that are trying to stay out of the cold. The rodents won’t have as easy an opportunity to settle when the yard is kept free of refuse.

Rat traps are inexpensive but vary in effectiveness depending on the environment. Professional pest control is required in many cases.

Rodent droppings a serious health hazard

A daycare owner in Texas recently came under fire for having rodent droppings scattered on the floor of the business, something that health officials consider to be a serious health risk, according to The owner and operator of the daycare declined to comment on the situation, saying that it was taken care of but was mandated to bring in professional pest control to fumigate. 

If left unchecked, rodents and their droppings can constitute a serious health risk to humans, especially children. Ever since plague-infected rats infested ships in the Middle Ages, rats and other rodents have been notorious for the spread of disease, and for good reason. According the CDC, rodent droppings can be responsible for the spread of dozens of diseasesincluding a variety of contagious viruses that are serious risks to health, some potentially fatal if left untreated.

Always wash hands thoroughly after any contact with a rodent, wild or domestic. Since humans and rodents share such a wide variety of diseases, it is wise to avoid contact altogether and always wear heavy-duty gloves when coming in contact with rodents and their droppings, says the CDC. It is equally important to avoid allowing any dried droppings to become dust, which can contaminate the air and lungs potentially spreading disease. Spray down any areas that have come in contact with rodents with a mixture of one part bleach per 10 parts water and allow it soak so that any viruses or bacteria will die. Items that cannot be treated with cleansers can be left in the sun for several hours to kill any germs or bacteria. 

The best way to avoid contact with rodent dropping is to remove the pests from the home. Put all foods in glass or plastic containers inside cabinets to hide the scent from rodents. Plug any holes or cracks that are big enough for a rodent to slip through, especially during the winter when they are more likely to enter homes in search of food and warmth.

If the problem is too severe for these measures, it is time to call a commercial exterminator like Truly Nolen. Extermination of rats and other rodents is best left the professionals in extreme cases and, considering the risks, is well worth the phone call.

Fish market in Ontario closed due to rat problem

A popular fish market in Toronto, Ontario, was recently closed because of health code violations, including a rat infestation.

The store, which is located near downtown and typically sells squid, salmon, scallops and other seafood, is rated four out of five stars on Yelp, though the last review was written this time last year. 

Global Toronto reports that a food safety website revealed that the market previously had two conditional passes, but was closed on January 28 for five different infractions, the most revealing of which was a sighting of roughly 15 rats. In an interview​ with the news source, the woman who spotted the rats stated that “you could see them crawling on the sinks on the windows through the back area …” She snapped a photo then posted it online to warn others of the violation. The conditional passes occurred in November of 2012 and in October of 2011. This is the first time that the market has been closed due to a rat problem. 

Rats pose the threat of spreading disease through direct contact, and occasionally cause breathing problems in the areas that they’ve inhabited. They transmit diseases such as the bubonic plague, salmonella, rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, tapeworms and murine typhus.

The market has been open for 50 years, and the owner has expressed concerns about whether or not the business will be able to bounce back. Customers have already begun to cancel their orders, but the Global reports that the market should be able to reopen soon.

Many restaurants and stores close due to infestations of rodents and other pests. Though the shut downs are often temporary (until the shop is cleaned up), many businesses have trouble regaining their reputation. At the first signs of an infestation, a pest control professional should be called to exterminate the critter population.