Winchester Pest Control
Winchester Pest Control

Winchester Pest Control

 Integrated Pest Management

 Telephone - 781-729-1893

Rodents - General Information
 The rodents of greatest pest importance to humans are those which nest in or nearby buildings and structures. These rodents include mice & rats, red & gray squirrels, woodchucks/groundhogs, voles and chipmunks. A common factor of rodents is the 2 pairs of incisor teeth that are constantly growing with the 2 upper teeth growing against the 2 lower teeth creating a sharp edge that is well suited for gnawing. Mice, rats & voles are primarily nocturnal, whereas squirrels, chipmunks & woodchucks are not.

 Mice & rats can gain access into buildings through small cracks or holes around foundations, walls, openings around pipes or wires, windows, doors, garage doors, etc... They regularly cause damage to structures by the constant gnawing on building materials, electrical or telephone wires, the contamination of our food sources and can be of a human health importance as disease vectors or carriers.

 Rodents have been reported to spread as many as 200 human pathogens, such as those responsible for food poisoning, Lyme disease, plague, and the potentially lethal Hantavirus.

What is a Hantavirus?  A Hantavirus is a type of virus found in rodents in different parts of the world. In the U.S., human cases of Hantavirus infections were first identified in the southwest in 1993. Studies have shown that one common source carrier of this virus is the deer mouse. In recent years, sporadic cases have been found in several states including New York.

How is the virus transmitted?  Infected rodents shed the live virus in saliva, droppings, and urine. Humans can be infected when they inhale microscopic particles that contain viruses from rodent droppings or urine. Although human cases of infection are rare, sporadic or isolated cases may occur throughout the country, with larger numbers in dusty areas conducive to virus transmission. There is no evidence of person to person transmission in the U.S., and no health care workers have been infected while caring for infected persons. Pets or insect bites are not believed to play a role in Hantavirus transmission.

How do I clean areas where rodents have fed, nested, or left droppings?  It is important to keep rodent dropping particles from getting in the air, where they can be inhaled.

Follow these steps when cleaning rodent-infested areas:
1. The use of gloves, a respirator, long sleeved clothing, and protective eyewear may help prevent personal exposure.
2. Using a spray bottle with a fine mist, mix a solution of 1-cup bleach to 10 cups of water or use a household disinfectant.
3. Thoroughly spray or soak any droppings, nesting areas, or dead mice with the bleach solution or disinfectant.
4. Using a dampened towel, wipe up & dispose of any droppings, nesting materials, dead mice, and dispose of used cleaning towels.
5. Disinfect the area using a mop or sponge. Wash any gloves, clothing, equipment, and tools used in this operation.

Where can I get more information?
 Concerning Hantavirus or rodent borne diseases you should contact your physician, or Massachusetts Department of Public Health at 1-617-624-5757, or www.mass.gov/dph, or
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention at 1-800-311-3435, or www.cdc.gov.