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2015: Strong El Niño Leads to The Year of the Pack Rat

When someone says the term pack rat, people likely think of a friend or relative who has trouble letting go of old souvenirs and clothes. Most people likely do not realize 2015 was the year of the rodent known as the pack rat! In fact, Truly Nolen website research shows “How to get rid of pack rats” was the eighth-most visited page for the company’s website in 2015 and the most visited one overall for any insect or rodent.

Pack rats, also referred to as woodrats or trade rats, are typically gray rat-sized mammals with large ears, large dark eyes and a relatively long tail. Although absent from most of the New England area, eight species of pack rats are widely distributed through much of the rest of North America. They are usually found entering homes in the winter to have their offspring, which means this is the exact time of year to be mindful.

“With El Niño on track to be one of the three strongest ever over the last 70 years according to NOAA, it should come as no surprise that pack rats became more common this year in terms of our service calls as well as people wanting to find information about them online,” said Scott Nolen, Truly Nolen Pest Control CEO/President.

In houses, pack rats are active at night, searching for food and nest material. Pack rats are known for their characteristic searching of materials to bring back to their nests creating an ever-expanding collection. As the name “pack rat” implies, they have a tendency to pack away small objects such as jewelry, utensils, can tabs, and other items.

 A peculiar characteristic is that if they find something they want, they will drop what they are currently carrying and “trade” it for the new item. They are particularly fond of shiny objects. They can also be quite vocal and boisterous.

Pack rats can cause extensive damage to your property. Not only do pack rats damage and destroy landscaping, they can also chew through wiring, spoil food, and leave behind fecal pellets. They may also shred upholstered furniture and mattresses for lining nests.

In terms of getting rid of pack rats, there are three standard things people can do. “The most effective rat control begins with prevention by disposing of trash properly and maintaining sanitary conditions in a home,” said Nolen. “When pack rats become a problem in and around structures, making sure any openings in the structure foundation and pipes should be sealed as well as checking for openings in attic vents.”

The majority of pack rat populations in structures can be controlled by using traps. “Pack rats show little fear of new objects in their environment,” said Nolen.

For more information about pack rats, visit our pest identifier page at http://www.trulynolen.com/pest-identifier/, or to take care of your pack rat problem, call one of our local branches to schedule an inspection.

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

“Toys in the Attic” Ended up Delivered by Mouse Cars in December

Long known for its iconic mouse cars, Truly Nolen Pest Control also enjoys giving back to its local communities. The company’s Las Vegas service office participated in their annual “Toys for Hope” Toy Drive which raised approximately $26,000 in toys for children in need to take home with them for the holidays.

“Over 100 families benefited from this toy drive with over 300 children,” said Lee Schroeder, Truly Nolen Manager, Las Vegas. “Our team also served over 350 hot dogs during the drive and we never tired of seeing the smile on the kids’ faces when they went to the area to pick up their new toy!”

Other service offices got into the community holiday spirit as well, including:

  • Parent Aid’s “Adopt a Family” for the Holidays, Corporate Office in Tucson, Ariz.
  • Toy Drive for Ronald McDonald House and FREE pest control service, Tucson (Ariz.)
  • 28th Annual South Florida President’s Council Toys in the Sun Run, South Florida District
  • Peoria Police Department’s Shop with a Cop Event, Sun City (Ariz.)
  • Toy Drive for Salvation Army, Sierra Vista (Ariz.)
  • Drew Saves Christmas’ Secret Santa, Pinellas Park (Fla.)
  • El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank Assistance, El Paso (Tex.)
  • “Giving Warmth & Spreading Hope”, San Diego (Calif.)

“One of our 12 core values as a company is to embrace and drive change for the better,” said Michelle Nolen Senner, Truly Nolen Director of Marketing & Philanthropy. “We’re proud that all of our branches across the country helped add value to the lives they touched this holiday season by embracing / this core value in a way that is meaningful to them and their community.”

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

10-Year-Old Boy Truly Understands the Meaning of the Holiday Season

As the holidays approach, paying it forward and giving back to those who are less fortunate than you are two common themes. On Sunday, December 13, 10-year-old Nathaniel Sandoval and his father Jorge distributed blankets to homeless people in the Santa Ana courthouse area as part of the younger Sandoval’s vision to help others in need.

Most youngsters who attend elementary school are thinking about what toys they will be getting for the holidays or which relatives they will be seeing. Jorge, the Branch Manager for Truly Nolen’s San Diego location, said his son was motivated by something he sees every day on his way to school in Santa Ana.

“One day, we were driving home from his grandparents’ house and he asked me if I could help him with something he had been thinking about,” said Jorge Sandoval. “He said he wanted to make the homeless people he sees on his way to school a little more comfortable and he wanted to provide them with blankets because they probably do not have friends and family that can help them.”

For his part, Nathaniel said he was reading a social studies book at his school in which he saw people giving blankets to the homeless. He wanted to help the people he sees everyday like the people in the book. “Once my father agreed to assist me, my father’s boss allowed me to talk to the other managers in his area by video conference and I asked them for help donating blankets as well,” said Nathaniel Sandoval. “My mother, godmother, aunts, and grandparents are also helping me collect blankets.”

Nathaniel named his project “Giving Warmth & Spreading Hope”, and with the help of his family, friends, and other Truly Nolen branches in Southern California, they will be riding around delivering blankets to those who need them. “I want to bring warmth and I want to give them hope, and I’m happy so many people have agreed to help,” said Nathaniel Sandoval. “I feel really good when I help people.”

“My son is a special kid and I could not be prouder of him,” said Jorge Sandoval. “I’m also happy so many of my co-workers as well as Nathaniel’s family members are donating blankets to help with this project.”

For those interested in donating blankets for future distribution, please call Jorge Sandoval at (714) 326-5848.

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TrulyNolen) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

History of the Model T

keep your pets pest free this season

Behold it is I, the one and only “Tin Lizzie”, the single most influential automobile in history. It was the year 1908 and Mr. Henry Ford and his automobile company had given birth to me and, if I do say so myself, I was quite the creation.

You see to the common working class American, an automobile was an unheard of luxury. Cars were still very scarce and expensive, thus making their adoptability limited, however I was able to change this the minute I rolled off the assembly line. Not only was I affordable to the average working class American, but I was reliable and easy to maintain. Mr. Ford developed the most crucial parts of my body out of a lightweight steel alloy known as Vanadium, which was important at the time because in 1908 there were only about 18,000 miles of paved roads in the U.S.!

Other Fun Facts:

  • The selling price of the Model T dropped from $800 in 1908 to under $300 by 1925.
  • Ford still hadn’t developed a logo, Henry Ford’s signature (pictured below) was placed on the front of the car.
  • At first a choice of colors were available, but from 1913-1925 the car was mass-produced in only black.
  • The engine generated 20 horsepower and propelled the car to a top speed of 40–45 miles per hour.
  • The Ford Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century in the 1999 “Car of the Century” competition and still makes top ten list of most sold cars (ranked 8th) as of 2012.

Henry Ford Signature