Rodents and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

Rodents and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome are a duo that no one should ever encounter. According to Human Diseases and Conditions, the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is defined as a lung disease that causes respiratory distress and, in some cases, death. Hantavirus, the virus that causes the disease, is carried by rodents. Rodents and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

While the disease is carried by rodents, it does not make them sick. They shed the hantavirus through their saliva, urine and droppings. Humans come in contact with the disease when they disturb the dried droppings (ex. by sweeping) and inhale the particles that are sent into the air. People can also contract the disease by touching an infected animal or dried droppings and then touching their nose or mouth.

The most common carriers of HPS are the deer mouse, cotton rats, rice rats and white footed mice. People of every age, sex and race can contract HPS but it is not contagious and cannot be spread to other humans.

Symptoms

Rodents and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome

Symptoms of HPS usually appear 1-5 weeks after a person has been exposed to the virus. It can be difficult to diagnose at first because many of the symptoms are similar to the flu (fever, tiredness and body aches). From 2-5 days after the first symptoms, a person infected starts coughing and experiences shortness of breath. The disease quickly becomes more severe, and people who do not receive immediate treatment may become extremely ill and go into shock, requiring intensive care in a hospital.

How Can You Protect Yourself Against Rodents and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome?

The best way of avoiding contracting this disease is to eliminate sources of possible infection, which means avoiding woodpiles and other places where rodents live outdoors and keeping homes and workplaces free of mice and rats. Experts also recommend sealing off holes where rodents can enter and wearing a mask and gloves when cleaning areas with rodent droppings.

For more information on preventing rats and mice from entering your home, contact Massey Services for a free, detailed inspection and written analysis.

The Health Risk of Rodents

They surprise us by suddenly appearing, tiny eyes and long tails, squeaking as we scream. Just the appearance of rats and mice can scare us. The diseases they carry on their bodies and produce from their urine and droppings are just as frightening.rodent_02housemouse_enl

Rodents are known to carry at least 10 different kinds of diseases, including murine typhus, salmonella, rat-bite fever, bubonic plague and bacterial food poisoning, all of which can cause severe illness. Hantavirus, another disease carried by rodents can progress to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), which can be fatal. Cases of HPS occur sporadically, usually in rural areas where forests, fields, and farms offer habitats for rodents. Hunters and campers have been known to contract HPS when they make camp in areas that have been infested with mice. Deer mice, cotton rats and rice rats in the southeastern states carry the virus.

Keeping rodents at bay helps reduce the threat of illnesses they may spread. Here are some important things you need to know about rodents:

  • Block access points like holes around plumbing pipes, spaces in eaves and around doors and windows to keep rodents out of homes and sheds. Rats can enter a building through holes half an inch wide; mice can enter through holes one quarter of an inch wide.
  • Rats and mice tend to enter homes in search of food and shelter and will eat any kind of food that people eat. Store food in airtight containers. Rodents can gnaw through cardboard boxes and plastic packages.
  • Rodents can contaminate 10 times as much food as they eat, with urine, droppings and hair. Discard any food that may have come in contact with rodents.

Keeping rodents out of your home is one of the best ways to avoid the illness and disease that they spread.  Massey Services’ Pest Prevention program will prevent these pests from gaining access by identifying and eliminating areas they may be using to get inside your home.  Contact Massey for a free inspection today and avoid these frightening encounters!

Learn How to Avoid Furry Pests During Rodent Awareness Week

rodent_02housemouse_enlAs the seasons change, homeowners aren’t the only ones looking to keep warm indoors. In fact, many homeowners may start to notice they have unwanted houseguests – rodents – as they, too, seek shelter from the elements. To promote public vigilance against rodents and the hazards they pose, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has declared October 23-29 to be Rodent Awareness Week. Massey Services is joining NPMA in this important effort by educating homeowners on the threat of rodents and how they can lessen their chances of an infestation.

Rodents, such as mice and rats, are the most common pests this season. These pests are capable of causing damage to property by chewing through drywall, insulation, wood and electrical and automotive wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires. They are also known to spread a variety of diseases, including Salmonella, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, rat-bite fever and the potentially fatal Hantavirus.

The NPMA offers the following advice for preventing rodents from coming indoors:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages for evidence of rodents before bringing them indoors.
  • Regularly check under the hood of the car for signs of a rodent infestation.

For more information on rodents, including the signs of an infestation, please contact Massey Services for a free inspection.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR BATON ROUGE NEIGHBORS

termite-plansStructural damage isn’t the only problem that floods leave behind. The following pests may also become a significant problem:

  • Ants: When flooding occurs water wipes out ant nests that are underground. Ants are known to cluster on top of flood waters until they find a dry structure. This could mean an onslaught of ants in your home or on your property.
  • Rodents: Rats and mice will be seeking refuge from the water and may start to invade your home. They carry many diseases and other insects such as lice and fleas. An invasion of these rodents shouldn’t be taken lightly. Once they are removed from the home, entry points must be eliminated to keep them from returning.
  • Mosquitoes: Unfortunately, with all the standing water that is left behind after a flood, it is an ideal environment for mosquitoes to lay their eggs so you can expect the mosquito population to grow. Make sure you are taking proper precautions to guard yourself and your family against mosquitoes.
  • Cockroaches: Cockroaches are often seeking water sources, but after a flood they will be looking for a place to stay dry. They will multiply quickly and carry diseases so it is important to eliminate conditions, avenues and sources immediately.
  • Termites: Termites are attracted to moisture, and structures that have been flooded are more prone to an infestation. A thorough inspection of your home is critical to ensure termites have not gained access into your home from underground or through your attic.

If your drywall has been removed, Massey Services strongly recommends that these areas be treated with Bora-Care before the drywall is replaced. The Bora-Care treatment penetrates the wood in the structure and remains there for the life of the wood, providing residual protection. This treatment will be provided at no additional cost to current customers. Please call us to schedule your Bora-Care treatment.

If you need any help with your pest needs, please don’t hesitate to contact Massey Services at 225-752-7378 or 1-888-2MASSEY.

We’re here to help!

Avoiding the Pests Flood Waters Leave Behind

FEMA_-_37590_-_Community_Flooding_in_FloridaSeveral regions have been hit by heavy rains that left behind flooded homes and businesses. Now that the waters have receded, people will be dealing with the cleanup efforts. Pests that sought refuge from the flood waters add a safety concern to the process. Scorpions, snakes – venomous and non-venomous – mice, rats and ants, sought higher ground from the encroaching waters. Now that they’ve found nice dry places that likely have access to food and water, they won’t be leaving in a hurry.

Massey Services, a 31-year professional pest prevention company, offers these tips to help you take back your home or business from these flood refugees.

  • Be alert for wildlife that may have been displaced by the floodwaters. If you suspect pests have made a home for themselves in your home’s crawl space or attic call a professional pest prevention expert to inspect your home. They have the proper safety equipment should they encounter snakes, scorpions and other biting or stinging pests.
  • Chemical snake repellents may not be completely effective. Engage a professional snake handler to trap and remove any snakes you may find.
  • Glue traps and snap traps can work for a few small mice, but larger rodents may require professional-grade traps for removal.
  • Rodents have the potential to carry at least 10 different kinds of diseases, including salmonella, rat-bite fever, bubonic plague and bacterial food poisoning, all of which can cause severe illness and even death. Once they have been removed from the home or business, eliminate entry points to keep them from returning
  • Lock up any food sources in tight containers and eliminate any access to water/moisture.
  • Pests don’t care where their water comes from but they do need to drink water to survive. Drain all containers that may hold standing water, clean out drain pipes and make certain faucets don’t leak.
  • Fire ants are known to cluster on top of flood waters. Once waters recede, the ants tend to wander around for some time until they establish another ground colony.

If you need assistance removing pests after a flood, please contact Massey Services for a free inspection.

MASSEY SERVICES CUSTOMERS:  Please let us know if we can be of assistance in any way.

Keep Rodents Out During the Winter Months

After an unseasonably warm fall, even Southern climates are beginning to experience cooler weather. As temperatures fall, squirrels, rats, mice and even larger rodents such as raccoons will be looking for a warm place to take refuge. Many will be looking for a way to enter your home, garage or attic. Massey Services offers the following tips to keep rodents out during the winter months:

  • AC conduitMake sure the underside of the flashing that covers the air conditioning conduits to the attic is sealed. This is one of the most common residential entry points for rodents in the Southeastern states.
  • Check the edges of the garage door to make sure there are no gaps or openings.
  • Seal off openings around pipes with sheet metal or concrete.
  • Block all possible rodent entry points such as the bottom of doors, pipe entry holes, ventilation pipes, roof vents and eave vents.
  • Pick up any trash or debris around the outside of your home that could provide a shelter for rodents.
  • Rodents are always on the lookout for food. Keep garbage cans sealed and eliminate any areas of standing water. Do not leave open food items out including pet food.

Rodents can squeeze through any opening their heads can fit through. For mice that can be an opening as small as ¼ inch. Eliminating all possible entry points is key to keeping rodents out.

For more information on preventing rodents from entering your home, contact Massey Services for a free inspection.

Flood Waters Have Receded – What’s Next?

rodent_01roofrat_enlDallas has been hit by heavy rains that left behind flooded homes and businesses. Now that the waters have receded and everyone will be dealing with the cleanup efforts, pests that sought refuge from the flood waters are adding a safety concern to the process. Scorpions, snakes – venomous and non-venomous – mice, rats and ants, sought higher ground from the encroaching waters. Now that they’ve found nice dry places that likely have access to food and water, they won’t be leaving in a hurry.

Massey Services offers these tips to help you take back your home or business from these flood refugees.

  • Be alert for wildlife that may have been displaced by the floodwaters. If you suspect pests have made a home for themselves in your home’s crawl space or attic, call a professional pest prevention expert to inspect your home. They have the proper safety equipment should they encounter snakes, scorpions and other biting or stinging pests.
  • Chemical snake repellents may not be completely effective. Engage a professional snake handler to trap and remove any snakes you may find.
  • Glue traps and snap traps can work for a few small mice, but larger rodents may require professional-grade traps for removal.
  • Rodents have the potential to carry at least 10 different kinds of diseases, including salmonella, rat-bite fever, bubonic plague, and bacterial food poisoning, all of which can cause severe illness and even death. Once they have been removed from the home or business, eliminate entry points to keep them from returning
  • Lock up any food sources in tight containers and eliminate any access to water/moisture. Pests don’t care where their water comes from but they do need to drink water to stay hydrated. Drain all containers that may hold standing water, clean out drain pipes and make certain faucets don’t leak.

If you need assistance removing pests after a flood, please contact Massey Services for a free inspection..

There’s a Mouse in the House

While many of us will open the doors to family and friends this holiday season, we might not realize we may also be welcoming rodents into our homes.

As the temperatures begin to cool off, rats and mice seek shelter in warm and comfortable places, such as your home. These furry creatures can squeeze their way into your home through dime-sized openings in attics, crawl spaces and dryer vents.rodent_02housemouse_enl

What’s worse is that rodents can be hazardous to your health. Rats and mice are capable of carrying a variety of disease-causing bacteria. They spread germs through urine, droppings, and hair particles left throughout homes.

Massey Services, the nation’s fifth largest pest prevention company, offers pest prevention to help eliminate and prevent these pests from making your home theirs. Here are a few tips:

  • Seal off openings around pipes with sheet metal or concrete.
  • Block all possible rodent entry points such as the bottom of doors, pipe entry holes, ventilation pipes, roof vents and eave vents.
  • Pick up any trash or debris around the outside of your home that could provide a shelter for rodents.
  • Rodents are always on the lookout for food. Keep garbage cans sealed and eliminate any areas of standing water. Do not leave open food items out including pet food.

Don’t let uninvited pests into your home this holiday season.  Contact the experts at Massey Services for a free pest inspection.

Keep Rodents Out this Winter

Are you having an unintentional open house for the holidays? If your house has small openings to the great outdoors, even cracks and crevices, insects and larger pests, like rats and mice—could be making their way inside. Rats can squeeze through holes half an inch wide and mice can get through holes one quarter of an inch wide, taking up rodent_01roofrat_enlresidence in your attic, in the crawl space under your home, even where the dryer vents to the outside.

Rodents are generally nocturnal animals, with peak activity occurring shortly after dusk and again prior to dawn. Inside occupied structures, they often become active within about 30-60 minutes following the subsiding of evening human activity.

Here are a few important things you need to know about a rodent infestation:

  • Rats and mice tend to enter homes in search of food and shelter and will eat any kind of food that people eat
  • Rodents can contaminate 10 times as much food as they eat with urine, droppings and hair
  • In addition to contaminating your food, rodents are known to carry at least 10 different kinds of diseases, including Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, murine typhus, salmonella, rat-bite fever, bubonic plague and bacterial food poisoning.

Keeping rodents out of your home is the best way to safeguard your health and your property. Contact Massey Services for a free pest prevention inspection and recommendations on how you can help keep rodents out of your home.

Close Off Crawl Spaces and Other Hiding Places to Rats and Mice

Rats and mice are rodents that are very common in the Southeast. They tend to enter homes in search of food and shelter and will eat any kind of food that people eat. They can also contaminate 10 times as much food as they eat, with urine, droppings and hair. In addition, they are known carry at least 10 different kinds of diseases, including bubonic plague, murinetyphus and bacterial food poisoning.

When rodent-proofing your home, it’s important to keep in mind that rats can squeeze through holes ½ inch wide and mice can get through a hole ¼ inch wide.

Here are a few rodent-proofing tips:

  • Rodent-proofing requires the use of rodent-resistant materials. These materials include sheet metal (26 gauge or heavier),perforated metal (24 gauge or heavier with openings no more than ¼ inch),hardware cloth (19 gauge or heavier with openings no more than ¼ inch) and brick with mortared joints.
  • Seal openings around pipes with sheet metal or concrete.
  • Be sure to block all possible rodent entry points such as the bottom of doors, pipe entry holes,ventilation pipes, roof vents and eave vents.
  • Proper sanitation is a very important factor in rodent control. Be sure to cleanup any trash or rubbish around your property which could support or harbor a rodent population. Keep garbage cans sealed and eliminate any areas of standing water. Do not leave open food items out including pet food.

For more information on preventing rats and mice from entering your home, contact Massey Services for a free, detailed inspection and written analysis.