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Why are Rodents Invading your Home?

Filed under: Mice Control,Rat Control,Rodent Control — admin @ 10:00 am October 28, 2016

NJ Rodent ControlThe signs are all there. You hear scratching or squeaking behind the walls, you find evidence that something has been chewing on paper or wood, you discover droppings, you may even notice that food packaging in your pantry has been chewed. These are all signs that you might have a rodent problem. Even if you have actually seen a mouse or rat in your home, the first thing you probably want to know is why.

Forget the myths

There are plenty of old wives’ tales about why rodents choose one home over another. While there may be a kernel of truth sometimes, they should not be considered hard, fast rules. For instance, there is a general belief that mice and rats tend to infest homes that are dirty or cluttered. This is not necessarily the case. While a cluttered, unclean home can indeed attract rodents, many clean houses get rodent infestations. Rats and mice infestations can occur for a variety of reasons. Toss out the myths about why mice and rats get into a house. They won’t help you when you start looking for a solution.

What are they looking for in your home?

All household pests, whether they have eight legs, six legs, or four, enter a home looking for three things: food, water, and harborage. Even immaculately clean homes can have a rodent problem. Mice and rats will choose boxes in the attic, the inside of a mattress or furniture, chests containing clothing, and basically anything they can shred to make a nest.

Food left on counters or dropped on the floor can attract mice and rats. Pet food and water are also very enticing to rodents. However, food that is put away in the pantry can also become a veritable buffet if it isn’t stored properly. Rice, grain, cereal, and other similar foods should be stored in plastic containers with secure lids. Mice and rats can chew through food containers like cereal boxes and bags of rice.

You also need to find out how rodents get in so you can seal those access points and keep them out. This is tricky because mice can enter a structure through impossibly tiny cracks and openings. A trained pest professional is your best bet in helping you get rid of mice and rats – and keep them out.

If you have rats or mice in your home and are looking for rodent control in New Jersey, give Horizon Pest Control a call. Our friendly, knowledgeable technicians will inspect your home and property to identify the types of pest that are giving you problems and discover why you have a pest problem. From there we can work with you to find the best solution for your pest problems. Visit our website and complete our online email form to have a Horizon representative contact you. You don’t have to live with mice and rats in your home; Horizon can help.

Ways to Rid of Rodents in Your Home

Filed under: Mice Control,Rat Control,Rodent Control — admin @ 11:33 am March 31, 2015

Rodent ControlWhen rodents invade your home you want to get them out of there as quickly as possible. Many rodents carry diseases like Hantavirus and rabies. They can also introduce a flea infestation into your home. These tips will help you serve those unwelcome guests with an eviction notice.

Make your home uninhabitable (for rodents, that is)

Before you start getting rid of the rodents, you need to find out how they are getting into your home in the first place. Look around for cracks and holes in walls or near windows and doors. Make sure that your doors are sealed well. A mouse can go through an opening that is just 3/8 inches wide so any opening that is larger than around ¼ inch should be sealed.

Next, you want to clean your home well and put any food into air tight containers. Cereal boxes, bags of rice, and cookie packages are nothing more than open invitations to mice and rats. If it isn’t in the refrigerator, then it needs to be in an airtight container, preferable glass or plastic.

Types of extermination

There are two basic methods for getting rid of rats and mice: trapping and baiting. In severe infestations you may want to combine the two methods, but if you only have a couple then you are probably good with one or the other.


One of the best perks of trapping is that you can dispose of the dead mice and rats before their odor spreads through your home. You bait a trap, lay it out, the rat gets caught, and you dispose of the animal. It is that easy. This is preferable for smaller rodent populations.


Rat and mouse bait is a powerful poison that the animal ingests and then dies. If you have children or pets around you need to put the poison in a tamper resistant bait station so they cannot get to it. This is a good option for populations of just about any size, but when the animal dies it may be in your home – and you may not be able to find it. This means you may have to endure the smell for a few days.

Don’t be afraid to call in a professional.

If you see one mouse or rat it usually means that there are many more nearby. Typically, you would only see evidence of the rodents – feces or chewed food packaging. If you actually see a mouse or rat in your home then your situation may be bigger than you can handle on your own. If you have a large infestation or you can’t seem to get a handle on your rodent problem, your best bet is to call a pest professional and let them help you get your home pest free.

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How to Know if a Rodent is in Your Home

Filed under: Mice Control,Rat Control,Rodent Control — admin @ 10:46 am March 27, 2015

Rodent ControlNo one wants to think about the possibility of having mice or rats in their home, but it can happen to anyone. Maybe you have heard something moving in the cabinets or even a squeak or two. It might be your imagination or something completely, but it also may be rat or mouse. If it is, you need to find out because they can be destructive to your house and they carry diseases that can make you, your family, and your pets sick.

Once you determine that you do have rodents in your home you can move forward with getting rid of them. The first question before deciding a course of action, though, is do you have rats or mice? Look for these telltale signs throughout your home

Are your pets restless?

Cats and dogs will get restless or nervous when they smell, hear, and see rodents in the house. Your cat may stare at the bottom of the stove in a “stalking posture” or your dog may sniff certain areas very intently. Pay attention. Your animals can see, hear, and smell things that you can’t and they can clue you in as to what is going on.

Is there a musky odor in your house or basement?

Mice and rats smell bad. They have an odor that is heavy and musky. You may also smell urine or a smell that is similar to the urine of a male cat.

Have you found any rodent feces?

You can tell if you have rats or mice by inspecting the feces.


Rat droppings are black, shiny and blunt at both ends. They are about ½ to ¾ inches long.


Mouse droppings are black or dark brown, smooth and have pointed ends. They are smaller than rat droppings at just 1/8 to ¼ of an inch long.

Have you found any wood around baseboards, window sills, or even furniture that has been gnawed?

Mice and rats gnaw wood but you can tell by the size and type whether it is a rat or mouse. Rat tooth marks are about 1/8 inch long while mice tooth marks are smaller and appear scratchy or chipped.

Have you found any tail trails or small footprints in areas that are dusty?

They would typically be near sources of food or at points of access but can be found just about anywhere.

Have you noticed smears along the lower part of the wall, around baseboards, or on lower cabinet doors?

Rats have poor eyesight so they travel along walls. They usually rub against the walls so if you see greasy smears or streaks along baseboards it may be from dirt or grease from rat fur.

Have you found any food or packages in cabinets that have been torn up?

Rats and mice will chew through cereal boxes and food packages. They can make quite a mess.

Do you have insulation that is torn up or is the underside of your sofa or mattress torn?

Rats and mice will find soft areas to build nests. They will also build nests in dresser drawers, closets, and on shelves.

Have you actually seen a rat or mouse?

If you have seen them, you have them.


Tired of dealing with rodents? Contact Horizon Pest Control for reliable Residential Pest Control in New Jersey.

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Rodent Control Using Identification, Sanitation and Elimination

Filed under: Mice Control,Rat Control,Rodent Control — Megan Howard @ 2:44 pm March 24, 2015

Rodent ControlFinding mice or rodents inside your home can really be disturbing. Most of us will feel repulsed just by the sight of them. Having a single rodent inside a home can be dangerous because they have the ability to produce more than 60,000 droppings and 150 liters of urine. Imagine the risk of contamination by a single rodent, especially when it is not eliminated right away. The presence of rodents can bring about a spread of disease, contamination on foods and produce, and the damage to structures and equipment.

It is not safe to have these rodents in and around the house since they have the ability to feed on different types of foods while carrying different infectious diseases. One of the most dangerous diseases these rodents can pass is leptospirosis, which can be spread through their urine. Rodents also have the ability to spread and populate in just a matter of weeks. With the different complications these pests can bring, homeowners are always suggested to be cautious against them, and defend their homes from these unwanted guests.

Rodent Control


If you find a rodent in your home, it could mean that you have rats or mice inside and that a possible infestation is about to happen. Other means to know whether you have an infestation includes their gnaw marks, urine and feces, and distinctive odor. Once you have enough proof of their presence, your next step is to know the type of rodent problem you have. Rats and mice are two different pests with two different characteristics. Knowing who the enemy is, will make controlling them faster.


Sanitation involves the process of getting rid of any food sources that these pests might get attracted to, and the elimination of possible harborage areas. Rodents are normally attracted to garbage, which is why it is necessary to store garbage and rubbish in rodent-proof containers. Garbage containers should be water tight, rust resistant, and should have tight-fitting lids.

Pet foods should also be monitored since rodents may consume this type of food when they are left overnight. Make certain to just give pet foods that your pets can consume and not too much. Once your pets are done with their food, clear their bowls and keep them clean. Other food sources for rodents can come from fallen fruits from trees and garden vegetables, bird seeds that fall from feeders, unwanted trash on the ground, dog droppings, and the likes.


Finding where these rodents hide is one of the most crucial steps in properly controlling them. Rodents can hide in a variety of places that include unused appliances, abandoned vehicles, attics and basements, untrimmed shrubbery, and so many more. To eliminate these possible harborages, make certain to check on them and clean and get rid of these unwanted places. Outdoor harborages such as dense ground plants and untrimmed shrubbery should be trimmed. It is also essential to remove dead woods around the surrounding area. Eliminate the possibility of rodents crossing the roof by cutting branches that are touching the foundation of the home and utility wires.

Traps and Baits

Traps. Trapping rodents are the most common method in controlling and eliminating them. Traps can be easily bought in stores and can be placed in areas where rodents are frequent. Unlike baiting, trapping can yield good result, especially when they are done properly. Trapping can also allow you to dispose of the rat properly. The trap will not get lost along with its victim, thus it will not create any foul odor.

Baits. Unlike trapping, baiting should be meticulous and should only be placed in areas where pets and children will not have access on them. Baiting can be highly effective for homeowners who do not know where the harborage areas are. This can also be effective outdoors since the area for their harborage might be difficult to find.

How to Rodent Proof Your Home

  • Fill in even the smallest gaps that are seen in the house structure. Keep in mind that mice can enter openings that are just 1/4 inch while mice can enter gaps that 1/2 inch.
  • Always maintain your windows and repair them when needed.
  • Doors should always be maintained well and can also be fitted with sweeps or channels to avoid openings at threshold.
  • Attic vents should be screened with a sheet metal frame.
  • Crawl spaces should also be securely covered with no gaps
  • Gaps at intersecting roof eaves should also be screened.

Schedule a FREE appointment with Horizon Pest Control and let us worry about your rodent problems for a change. Visit New Jersey Pest Control TODAY!

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When Mice and Rats Enter Manufacturing Plants

Filed under: Commercial Pest Control,Mice Control,Rat Control,Rodent Control — Megan Howard @ 10:52 am October 14, 2014

Rodent Control

Mice and rat infestation can sometimes happen in manufacturing plants and other facilities when these pests create their nests inside these facilities. There are some ways to know if a manufacturing plant already has an infestation.

Signs of Infestation


Mice and rats, love to gnaw like any other rodents. They will chew doors, windows, and utility line. Gnawed packaged foods and boxes in the food storage area are a sign that rats or mice are just nearby.


The burrows of these rodents can be found outside the plant, such as under sidewalks, ditches, under floors, and platforms. They can also create holes and dig around the foundation of a building. However, these rats can also create burrows inside a facility and may stay in dark-hidden areas of the kitchen or food storage area.


Rats and mice continuously release fresh droppings anywhere they pass by or anywhere they gnaw. Seeing fresh droppings is an indication that a rodent infestation is already in place. Search for places that are commonly visited or even cleaned, near walls, and behind objects.

Foul odor

Rats usually leave a distinct smell that indicates their presence. When these rats live together, they create a strong foul smell that is hard to miss.


Rats usually run by rubbing their skin against the wall. They usually do this so that they can find their way, especially when it is dark. Search for possible smears along walls, and in openings where rats seen.

Protect Your Establishment

To avoid mice and rats from even entering your establishment, make sure to:

Remove their source of water

There are different ways for these rodents to gain access to water, especially in commercial places. Faucets may sometimes be left opened or there may be leaks on the pipes. Make sure that these areas are usually checked and fixed when needed.

Remove their source of food

Trash containers should always be sealed, especially at night when all the workers are gone home. It is also necessary to dispose garbage boxes, paper bags or in cans, food scraps and wrappers properly.

Remove their shelter

Trash should not be allowed to accumulate near the premises. Doors and windows should always be closed. It is also important to close all holes in walls and floors that are found. Check places that are not always checked and get rid of any items that are not necessary inside the facility. Make sure that the company also follows the right procedure in IPM or Integrated Pest Management and that the entire staff are trained to spot possible infestations to properly control and eliminate them as soon as they are found.

Protect your business from rodents. At the first sign of rats and mice in your  property, contact Horizon Pest Control for a Free Inspection. For more information, visit Commercial Rat Control.

Common Issues with Rodents in the Spring

Filed under: Rat Control — Megan Howard @ 9:37 am June 17, 2014

Rat ControlRodents, especially rats are a city-wide problem. And, with spring on the way, their population is expected to multiply. Rodents can grow to be a foot long and can easily squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter. They can reproduce quickly and will eat anything. They can chew through pipes, tread water for at least three days, and easily infest homes if solutions are not made.

In the spring, these rodents will try to find ways to get inside a house or building so they can stay warm. And, it is during this season that homeowners report rat invasions to their technician who will continuously lay rat poison in one corner after another.

What Common Issues can You Expect from Rodents this Spring?

Transmission of different diseases

Rodents are also responsible for the transmission of different diseases. This is because their feeding habits are deadly, and their nesting behaviors can undermine the area they are infesting. List of diseases these rodents can give homeowners are:

  • Bubonic plague
  • Salmonella
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Tapeworms
  • Murine typhus
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Ringworm


In the spring and fall, rats have reproductive peaks. Their gestation period is between 22 to 25 days and an average litter contains 5 to 10 offspring. Young rats are sexually mature at 3 to 4 months of age, and can have their own litter after mating. These rats do not recognize incest, so brothers and sisters and even mothers and sons mate. They can also create large litters if abundant food is available.

Rat Infestation

Rats do not commonly live in the wild. In truth, these rodents are widely associated with human activity. When rats start infesting a home, they can be troublesome and can create damage to the home they are infesting. They will eat and contaminate food, transmit parasites and diseases to other animals and humans, damage structures and property.

Once their number grows, these rodents can camp by the hordes in the sewers, chew through vents, invade trash cans and pantries, scurry through allies and under bushes, and harass residents at night. However, rats are secretive and will try to avoid being seen by humans.

Ways to Know if You Have an Infestation

The presence of dead or living rats

Rats like to hide, given that they have enough space. But if rats are seen in plain sight, it is likely that your home is infested. Since their reproduction is fast, it is likely that their living conditions become cramped, which forces them to expose themselves out into the open.

Rat droppings may be present

Since they cannot control their bodily functions, they excrete wherever they go. A single rat can leave up to 25,000 fecal pellets per year. Rats leave 30 to 180 dropping per day, and will range from one half to three quarters of an inch in length. When fecal dropping are seen, these can indicate an infestation.

Dirt or grease marks

Rats tend to leave dirt or grease marks along the walls and floorboards. Rodents have front teeth that are continually growing, so they must continually gnaw to reduce the size of their front teeth. However, these gnawing can cause damage to the structure and is a sure sign of rats.

Minor Problems in Houses

These rodents can also create minor issues in houses, especially with furniture, food, and insulation and wiring. Chewed wiring is one problem that should be taken into consideration this coming spring since this can expensive to repair and can also lead to fires.

Rats will Eat Anything

Rats are omnivorous creatures. They are known to eat almost anything. On average, a rat can consume 25-30 grams of food and drink approximately 60 milliliters of water per day. When they are in a house, they can eat anything not sealed in an air-tight container. But, because they have exceptionally powerful jaws, even air-tight containers are not safe. Rats can eat most food that is stored in paper, plastic, or cardboard containers.

They can come indoors searching for a nice place to nest with a good supply of food. If they find your home that offers an adequate amount of it, you are certain to have an infestation any time soon. Some items that can attract rats are:

  • Rubbish and litter
  • Pet and bird foods that has been left out and not eaten
  • Dog droppings
  • Discarded food
  • Fruits and that have fallen on the ground

An Easy Prevention

While rodents can greatly multiply this coming spring, it does not mean that we should just wait for them, then just get rid of them once they are there. Make sure that before spring comes that you have already rodent proof your home. Keep in mind that if there are no attractants present and if they cannot find access inside, they will look for other places to harbor. Repair and seal holes. Clean cupboards, keep all garbage in metal containers with tight fitting lids, ensure the compost is away from the house, remove fallen fruit from the yard, remove pet food at night are all simple steps, but can work wonders to stop rodents from even coming near your home.

Dealing with rat infestation? Call Horizon Pest Control for a FREE inspection. For more info, visit Rat Control.

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Learn how Rodents are Effecting Everyday Americans

Filed under: Rat Control — Megan Howard @ 6:32 am March 13, 2014

Rodents invade approximately 21 million of U.S. homes each year. These pest love the fall and winter since 45% of their occurrence happen on that season, 29% during spring, and 28% during summer.

Understanding America’s Rodent Problem will help you protect your health and property

To be able to guard you and your family from rodents here are the common places where you can mostly expect them:

  • 24% attic and garage
  • 11% bathroom
  • 50% kitchen
  • 22% bedrooms
  • 25% living room
  • 27% basement
  • 9% someplace else

Statistics of where these rodents are found around the U.S.

  • 28 % in the West
  • 22 % in the Midwest
  • 30 % in the South
  • 35 % in the Northeast


Damages These Rodents Make

  • Can create an infestation since a female mouse can lay as 12 young every three weeks
  • Can easily spread salmonella and carry disease-causing parasites such as ticks, fleas lice
  • Capable of dropping 25,000 fecal pellets every year
  • Can chew through wood and electrical wires, which increase the risk of electrical fires

At the first sign of rats and rodents in your home, call Horizon Pest Control for an appointment. To learn more about our programs or to set up a FREE inspection, click Residential Pest Control.

Great InfoGraphic about America’s Rodent Problem!

America's Rat Problem


Horizon Helps NJ Newspapers Protect From Winter Rodents!

Filed under: Mice Control,Rat Control — Megan Howard @ 4:47 am January 6, 2014

Check out Horizon Pest Control in the local north New Jersey newspaper helping educate the public on how to protect against winter pest threats. Our owner Bernie Holst Jr. was featured in www.Northnewjersey.com and the Bergen Record discussing how the cold winter weather is forcing rodents inside homes and businesses to stay warm. Read the full article here.

Identifying a Rat Infestation for Commercial Properties

Filed under: Commercial Pest Control,Pest Management,Rat Control — Megan Howard @ 3:09 pm September 27, 2013

The natural population of rats and mice grow through the summer months since they have increasing quantities of food such as fruits, nuts, and grains. However, when autumn comes, their food sources dwindle and temperatures drop. This is also becomes their opportunity to look for shelter and alternative food supplies. Homes are not just the only place they like to hang out since they can also be found infesting in offices, shops and factories. The bad part about this invasion is that most of the time, we don’t do anything to stop them until they have moved in, set up their homes and begin to infest the kitchen.

Rat infestation in a commercial facility

Rats are known to damage structures, contaminate food and transmit diseases to people. They spread more than 35 different types of diseases that can directly affect humans.  They also transmit various diseases indirectly through mites or fleas.

For commercial businesses, the presence of rodents can pause a great danger since they can contaminate human food.

Signs that a Building is Infested with rats:

Droppings.  Possible places where droppings can be found are behind the kitchen cabinets, pantries, cupboards, drawers, bins, and any place they might find food, or where they can run away from predators.

Hearing squeaks. Common sounds that they make are squeaks, rustling, and scampering sounds. Since rodents are not at all quiet, you will hear them moving about especially at night.

Urine pools. Rodents have weak bladders, and they will urinate anywhere they want to. House mice sometimes make things like “urinating pillars” that are consisted of grease, dirt and urine.

Nibble marks on food, boxes, and containers. These will also be followed by some droppings nearby.

Nests. Rats create their nests from soft, fuzzy or warm materials like fabric, furniture stuffing, shredded paper, grass and twigs. Then, they will stuff them into sheltered  boxes, cabinets and closets, walls, inside appliances, machinery, and even computer cases. Basically, they can nest anywhere they can feel comfortable and warm.

Grease marks. Mice can get inside even the smallest of openings. And, as they wedge through these small openings, they leave greasy smears that is made by their oil and dirt in their coats. If you find large greasy smears, this mean that you have a rat infestation.

Gnaw marks. All rodents love to gnaw. They do it because their incisor teeth keep growing. Rats will eat anything that they can chew on. Electrical wires are a common victim for these rats as well as wood. At most times, you will not see gnaw marks, but you will find wood chips or coarse sawdust along baseboards, door, window frames, and cabinets.

Holes in food packaging. Boxes and bags of rice, beans, pasta and grain products can attract rodents. Dog food bags can also be a prime target of rodents since they are also attracted to its meaty smell like dogs do.


Rat Control for Businesses

Where there is plenty of food and water, it is more likely that rats will get attracted to that area especially if the premises is not secure. To avoid having an infestation, it is necessary to limit food, water, and their access to shelter. However, different control measures should also be taken seriously since these rats can reproduce quickly.

Toxic baits. Rats can easily die when they ingest such bait. However, the location that they might die may be inaccessible, creating an unbearable smell.

Trapping. Trapping is known to be most effective and safest way to control rats. There are different types of traps and most of them are more effective than poison.

1. Snap trap. This type of trap can be used repeatedly. Trapping is less expensive than poison baits. However, snap traps need more attention. Traps can be easily set in areas where rats are commonly seen and can be left there indefinitely.

2. Electrocution traps. This type of trap is more expensive than other traps, however, this is commonly used in commercial buildings and mostly recommended by pest control companies because they provide good results.

3. Glue traps. Glue traps have the same principle as the flypaper, but they are more effective for mice than on rats. If a rat gets glued on this, it may still find a way to struggle and get out, thus sensing the danger of any glue traps. For mice or rats that will be stuck, the trap will not kill them, and you may have to kill the rat by delivering a sharp blow to the base of the skull using a rod or stick. They can also struggle and drag the trap as they escape.

Whatever type of traps you are going to use, remember to place them in secluded locations where rodents are seen. Places where the droppings, gnawing, and the rat damage are seen are the perfect areas where you can set the traps since they may be found in those places. If all else fail call a professional rat removal company since it is not a good idea to ignore a rat infestation especially if your business is on the line.

For more information on how Horizon Pest Control can help you keep rats and rodents our of your business, read more here Commercial Rat Control.