Rodent Control & Prevention

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Rodent Control is a community-wide issue that requires a community-wide solution.

Arlington, as well as other surrounding communities, has seen an increase in rodent activity. Arlington’s Health Department employs many strategies toward rodent control and prevention. This video series above is aimed at helping residents and businesses better understand the issues and how they can prevent rodents activity in their own neighborhoods.  Topics included in this five part series of short videos include: Rodent Prevention, The Norway Rat, Signs of Activity, Rodent Proofing your Property, Compost and Garden Best Practices, and Rodent Inspections. Rodent Control is a community-wide issue that requires a community-wide solution.

Why are we seeing more rodent activity?
Research suggests that the increase in activity is directly related to the following:

  1. Repeated mild winters
  2. Aging infrastructure 
  3. Improper trash and waste management practices

How is the Health Department combating rodent activity? 

  1. Assessing public areas and hiring licensed pest control operators to treat activity on public property.
  2. Inspecting residential property for rodent activity and providing residents with information on how to prevent rodent attraction. 
  3. Working with various town departments to remove rodent attractions from public property. 
  4. Conducting dumpster inspections of commercial property to ensure that food waste is not accessible to rodents.
  5. Educating business owners about proper trash disposal.

Rodent attractions commonly found on residential property:

  • Improperly stored trash and recycling
  • Bird feeders
  • Improperly maintained compost bins (click here for tips to rodent proof compost bins)
  • Stagnant water
  • Wood piles
  • Cluttered conditions
  • Overgrown vegetation
  • Animal waste

Signs of Rodent Activity:

  • Burrows (cluster of 2 or more smooth holes ~ 2-4 inches in diameter)
  • Droppings (curved and sausage shaped with pointed ends ~ 3/4 inches long)
  • Rodent runways (smooth, worn-down pathways resulting from repeated travel- often found along lines and corners such as building foundations, fences and sheds) 
  • Sebum/rub marks (oil and dirt from rodents' skin rubbed on walls, fences and flooring next to runways)

Rodent-Proof Your Home: Rodent control begins with sanitation. While rodents find warmth and shelter inside structures, food is their first reason for living in and around structures. Take the following steps:

  1. Sanitation: Remove attractants such as food, water, and harborage areas from your property. 
  2. Exclusion: Inspect your foundation to ensure it is free of holes and other rodent entry points. Seal all cracks and openings. 
  3. Elimination: Hire a licensed Pest Control Operator to treat  your property. Pest Control Operators should take an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to safely and effectively reduce rodent populations.