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Category: Rodents

Romantic Rats Ruin Parisian Parks

Rats in ParisMost folks like to do something special for New Year’s Eve – shoot off some fireworks, drop in at Disney, maybe even brave the crowd in Times Square to watch the ball drop. But one prime celebration location is suffering from an ages-old infestation that the most romantic city in the world just can’t get a handle on – the Parisian rat population.

We all remember from our history classes that the nasty little rodents spread the Bubonic plague – in fact, recent examinations of history have proven that the Black Death of the 1300’s that ravaged close to half of the population of Paris was not spread by rats and other rodents, although most people still assume they were to blame. Given their history, it’s no surprise that, despite the Pixar film, most rats are still not welcome at Parisian dinner tables.

Yet, despite the city government’s pledge to completely “de-raticize” the Renaissance tourist attraction in 2014, it’s apparently more visibly infested than ever before, forcing the closing of nine popular parks in the City of Light – including the famous Parc du Champ-de-Mars, home of the Eiffel Tower. In fact, animal control officers say this is the worst the city has seen in almost 40 years.

And there’s a reason that we said a visible problem – it appears the rats are overrunning the above ground city because of a huge overpopulation below ground. Now there’s something you don’t want to hear, especially if you were planning a trip to the city’s historic catacombs. And the most popular plan of attack? To drive the rats back into the sewers – not, we’re thinking, a viable solution to stopping the spread of a disease, should that recur.

The problem is apparently, two-fold – new European regulations, meant to mirror ones in the United States, changed the way rats were poisoned, as the old ways could also lead to water contamination as well as being accidentally ingested by curious pets and children. So now the rats have to seek out the poisoned bait in enclosed boxes – a lot harder draw for the rodents who can easily find a smorgasbord fit for the Rat King in open garbage pails.

In fact, in the weeks since the new regulations took effect, not a single rat has ventured into the boxes of death – and the ready supply of food means the rats can continue to reproduce at an alarming rate. Rats can mate every 3 weeks, producing a litter of 4-5 baby rats, and those newly born babies can get pregnant themselves within 6-9 weeks.

What’s worse – even if the rats in Paris’ past (Rattus rattus) didn’t spread the Black Death, their distant Asian cousins– Rattus norvegicus – which was responsible for the Modern Plague in the 1860’s, arrived in the French capital about 200 years ago and are now the dominant species as well as known spreaders of salmonella and swamp fever.

Still, the Parisian animal control people do believe the rats have a place in their city – just out of sight. When properly maintained, the rats work well as composting agents, devouring waste that would otherwise need to be disposed of, and their furry little bodies – they also work great as pipe cleaners. Once again proving that every living creature has its own God-given purpose. Who knew? 🐭

If you see rats in your home or on your property, give us a call. Good News Pest Solutions has been recognized as the Gulf Coast’s leading expert on keeping rats and mice out of your home and in reducing the rodent population outdoors as well. We guarantee your property for a year after treatment and, like all our solutions, employ biologically safe alternatives to harmful chemicals that protect your pets and family while eliminating the pests. Contact us today!

A Christmas Treat: Chocolate Peanut Butter Mice to Eat!

Christmas MiceTwas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… except for the spoon in the batter for these peanut butter chocolate mouse treats!

Here at Good News Pest Solutions, we normally shy away from inviting certain critters into your house, but we’re sure these delectable delights will be welcome in any home – and missed when they’re gone!

To make these fun peanut butter Christmas mice, you’ll need just a few things:

Inside:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Outside:

  • 8 ounces chocolate-flavored candy coating (almond bark)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • Red string or peel-apart licorice, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
  • Black decorator gel

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine peanut butter and butter in a bowl; beat at medium speed until fully mixed and creamy.
  2. Add powdered sugar to the batch and continue beating until dough forms.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, pinching 1 end to form the nose.
  4. Place onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets or trays and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.
  5. After the dough balls are firm, follow the package instructions to melt the candy coating
  6. Place waxed paper onto flat surface.
  7. Take one candy at a time out of the fridge and fix it on a fork.
  8. Dip the candy into melted candy coating, coating the entire candy, allowing excess to drip off by tapping fork against side of pan.
  9. Place dipped candy onto waxed paper. Immediately insert 2 almonds for ears and 1 piece licorice for tail.
  10. Repeat with remaining refrigerated candies. Let stand about 30 minutes or until coating is set.
  11. Use decorator gel to make eyes and nose. Store refrigerated.

For some fun variations, try vanilla-flavored candy coating to make white mice.

Or instead of decorator gel, mini chocolate chips work great for eyes and noses.

For an extra special treat, put the leftover melted chocolate into a ziplock bag. Snip off a corner of the bag and drizzle it on pretzel sticks in a triangular fashion to create delicious trees for your peanut butter mice to scamper around in. (of course, vanilla-flavored candy coating makes for snowy trees.)

Thanks to our friends at Land-o-Lakes Butter for the recipe!

We just know you’ll love these meeces to pieces! 😋

Do You Have Musophobia?

Do You have Musophobia?Outside of Stuart Little, Tom & Jerry, and Ratatouille, most people are at least startled, if not repulsed, at the sudden appearance of a mouse or rat. But if the fear or even the thought of such an occurrence causes extreme anxiety, you could be suffering from an irrational and unreasonable fear of mice, known as musophobia.

It’s not hard to figure out where this comes from. We were all taught in school that rats spread the Bubonic Plague (or was it gerbils?), that mice and rats live in dirty conditions, and that they’re prone to eat trash.

The symptoms of musophobia vary depending on the extent of fear the phobic experiences, but sometimes include:

  • Screaming, crying, climbing on beds or tables/chairs
  • Trying to flee
  • Shaking, trembling, and sweating profusely
  • Having accelerated heartbeat, breathing rapidly or gasping
  • Feeling nauseated, vomiting or having other signs of gastrointestinal distress

Probably the most famous person to suffer from musophobia was Mr. Walt Disney, who created the now iconic Mickey Mouse as a way to try and get over his intense fear of the rodents.  ⬅Who da thunk that? 😆

Unfortunately, while Walt’s fear has paid off well for him, drawing a cartoon character isn’t the best solution for the rest of us. And as the weather gets cooler, even here in Florida, mice can settle in to attics and crawlspaces to find more warmth.

And the saying, ‘they’re more afraid of you than you are of them,’ doesn’t always override our emotional reaction. Not to mention, whether you’re afraid of them or not, mice tend to chew on things – like furniture, clothes, and food left unattended.

Be aware that mice and rats are everywhere in Florida, even the most exclusive homes and neighborhoods. And not to worry you more, but you may not even be aware that the little critters are in your home as they tend to be more active at night!

Luckily, there are solutions. And, no, we aren’t referring to adopting a new feline friend. Good News Pest Solutions offers the most comprehensive rodent solution in the state.

Don’t give in to fear – contact Good News today for a free home inspection and evaluation. Taking preventative measures now will bring you peace of mind and a rodent-free home.

8 Pest Control Myths Busted

Pest Control Myths BustedIn the 27 years we’ve been providing pest control to our friends and neighbors in the Gulf Coast area, we here at Good News Pest Solutions have heard many crazy ideas about pest control. Some are old wives tales, some come from clever marketing, and others are so embedded in our pop culture consciousness, you might not even realize you believe some of them.

So we decided to “sit down” and bust a few of those myths.

Myth #1: Mice are Attracted to Cheese

It’s not hard to figure out where this one comes from. From Tom & Jerry to Chuck E. (the animatronic pizza mascot, not the rapper), we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that mice love cheese. While some may partake, the majority are far more interested in sugary sweets like cereal and cookies.

Bed Bug Myths: Dirty Houses and Bombs

A bed bugs infestation is no laughing matter, but unfortunately, in the midst of an often panicked reaction, sometimes we put faith in inaccurate anecdotal evidence instead of facts.

Myth #2:  Clean houses don’t have bed bugs

In fact, because bed bugs are drawn to blood, it makes little to no difference whether your house is clean or dirty. The only disadvantage for the owner of a cluttered house is more places for the bugs to hide when treatment is applied.

Myth #3: “Bug Bombs” can treat homes for bed bugs

It’d be great if you could just pop down to your local grocery or hardware store for the latest bug bomb to end the nightmare. But, in fact, studies like this one at Ohio State show that aerosol bug bombs can make the problem significantly worse by spreading the infestation out, and in any case does not last long enough to impact the bed bugs. The only viable solution is an ongoing treatment schedule from a licensed pest control specialist.

Electronic Solutions

Some well-meaning folks, in an effort to avoid harsh chemicals and DEET often associated with older, traditional bug treatments, embraced electronic solutions introduced in the 70’s and 80’s as a way to responsibly repel insects and other pests:

Myth #4: Ultrasonic repellents repel bugs

You can’t blame consumers for buying into the unscientific hype – ultra high frequency sounds that drive pests away but are below our threshold of hearing sounds fantastic. BUT… you can blame the manufacturers, which is why the Federal Trade Commission filed suit against the makers of these devices years ago. A careful reading of their claims shows that they talk exclusively about what the devices are designed to do and nothing on what they are proven to do – because they’ve never been proven to do anything.

Myth #5: Bug Zappers keep mosquitoes away

As you’re probably aware, mosquitoes are drawn to blood sources, not pretty blue lights.  So while annoying flies – and helpful moths – are drawn to bug zappers, mosquitoes don’t even notice as they target your infrared heat signature. And bite. Which leads us to:

Myth #6: Mosquitoes Only Come Out at Dawn and Dusk

We’re going to assume that the people who believe this are new to our Florida backyards. As most residents are well aware, mosquitoes can bite any time of the day or night. In fact, one of the main vectors of the Zika virus, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is a daytime biter! And while bug spray can be a temporary deterrent, with heightened concerns due to Zika virus and other unsavory illnesses spread by mosquitoes, you might want to check out other options for localized mosquito control.

Myth #7: A House on a Concrete Slab is Termite-Proof

If only there was a way to keep the termites from crawling OVER the concrete to get to the wooden guts still used to construct the frame of most homes. Until there is, termites are still going to be a potential issue for homeowners, and if you’re in the market for a new house, make sure the termite inspection is on your checklist.

Myth #8: You Must Use Harsh Chemicals to Treat for Bugs

While this might have been true in decades past, it is no longer the rule. In fact, here at Good News Pest Solutions, we specialize in cutting-edge, natural, eco-friendly pest control measures that are safe for you, your family, your pets and our earthly home, while being highly effective at controlling pests.

So, if you’re ready to dismiss the myths and are looking for a green pest control company, look no further! You have found the Gulf Coast’s leader in natural pest control; contact us today!

Time for the Rat Race

Time for the Rat RaceIt’s time for the rat race! You might be thinking to yourself, “Time for the rat race? It’s already started and I run that race every day!”

No, not that kind of rat race. We’re literally talking about rats (and mice!) racing… right into your HOME to escape the cold.

It looks like cold weather has finally made it’s way to Florida (along with all other kinds of weird weather— thanks a lot, El Nino!), and rodents will be seeking warmth and shelter. This usually means they try to find a way to get into your home, often your attic. And they’re quite good at it, too.

In fact, did you know rodents can fit into amazingly small spaces? If they can fit their skull through a space, their body will follow! Here’s a fun little video example for you.

So, how do you know if you have rodents in your home? Ask yourself these questions…

  • Do you hear noises coming from the attic just after dusk?
  • Do you see rats moving along utility lines or on the tops of fences at dusk or soon after near your home?
  • Have you found rat nests hidden behind items in your garage?
  • Are there smudge marks caused by the rats rubbing their oily dirty fur against beams, rafters, pipes, and walls?
  • Are there rodent droppings in your recycle bins?
  • Have you ever had to remove a drowned rat from your swimming pool?
  • Do you see evidence of something digging under your garden tool shed or doghouse?
  • Have you noticed tubes or tunnels in your attic insulation?
  • Have you seen rodent droppings in your attic?
  • Have you seen wood shavings, shredded paper or other gnawed items? Since rodents chew on almost anything, it may be a sign they are lurking in your home.

If you suspect you have rodents in your home, contact us immediately. We would love to help you get rid of rodents with our premiere rodent program and get you out of the rat race!

Stay tuned next for “What’s the difference between a mouse and a rat?”

 

 

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