Collaring the Mice that Carry Lyme Disease-Causing Ticks

White-footed mice in Howard County, Maryland are being collared as part of a study to improve control of the ticks that spread Lyme disease. The mouse collaring research, never before done in Maryland, is a partnership of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks (HCRP), and University of Maryland (UMD).

The mouse tracking is part of a larger five-year ARS Tick Management Project evaluating the use of minimal pesticide or integrated pest management methods to lower the number of black-legged ticks. Some of those ticks carry Lyme disease-causing bacteria and are around single-family yards and gardens adjacent to large Howard County parks. Continue reading

Penn State and Philadelphia schools fight pests that trigger asthma

Asthma is a chronic lung disease affecting ten percent of school-aged children in the United States. In Philadelphia, this number jumps to almost 25 percent, and in some neighborhoods, nearly 50 percent of school-aged children have been diagnosed. The Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management (PA IPM) program — a collaboration between the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture — is partnering with the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) to reduce asthma triggers in schoolchildren by preventing pests, including mice and cockroaches, from entering schools.

“Asthma can limit physical activity, and is the number one reason for school absenteeism Nationwide,” said Michelle Niedermeier, community IPM coordinator for PA IPM. “While asthma cannot be cured, it can be controlled with medication and by avoiding common triggers such as tobacco smoke, mold, cockroaches, and mice. School buildings that can be easily penetrated by mice and other pests might be a contributing factor to this high incidence of asthma.” Continue reading

Expect invaders as weather gets colder

This post was written for Texas Extension specialists; however, the tips included are applicable to people in all states.

With temperatures dropping, many Texas residents likely will be getting some unwanted guests in their homes around the holidays, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service pest management experts.

“This time of year, squirrels, as well as raccoons, will try to make nests in attics,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension program specialist in integrated pest management, Dallas. “Also several species of ants will nest in the walls of homes for warmth and protection.” Continue reading

Don’t let mice and rats ruin your holiday

From the November Arizona Pest Management newsletter

There are many species of rodents, including ground squirrels, rock squirrels, chipmunks, muskrats, beavers, prairie dogs, gophers, packrats, roof rats and a variety of different mice. But do you know that rats and mice are considered the most successful mammals on Earth? In natural environments native rodents play an important role in the health of the environment, and are a major source of food for many predators and scavengers, including hawks, fox, bobcats, coyotes, snakes and even wolves. Continue reading

Keep Rodents out of Your School – EPA Webinar, January 27

A webinar, “Keeping Rodents out of Your School,” hosted by the EPA’s Center of Expertise for School Integrated Pest Management (IPM), will be held on January 27 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. This webinar will present the challenges schools face concerning rodents and an IPM strategy that engages the entire school community to successfully manage rodents. The webinar will feature:

  • Bobby Corrigan, Rodentologist, Corrigan Consulting
  • Claudia Riegel, Director, New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board

A moderated question and answer session will conclude the event.

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How to deal with mice

As the weather gets cooler, small mammals such as mice and rats look for warmth, sometimes in your home. The Pennsylvania IPM Program has a great fact sheet on how you can tell if you have mice in your house, along with the best ways to get rid of them. Below is information from the fact sheet, but go to their website if you want a printable copy.

Why Use IPM to Control Mice?

  • More likely to give long-term control
  • Less hazardous to human health
  • Less risk to nontarget organisms
  • More cost effective
  • More site appropriate

Steps to Managing Mice

Step 1: Pest Identification
Find out what kind of pest you have to make sure it is a mouse or a rat, if possible. Mice that infest houses are typically 5–8 inches long, including a long, hairless tail. They have large ears and their droppings are pointed, about the size of a grain of rice. Rats are much larger, 13–18 inches in length, including a short tail. Their droppings are blunt, about the size of a small raisin. Continue reading

Urban IPM webinars in the fall

Fall is a good time to brush up on information about urban pests such as fire ants, rodents and pantry pests. eXtension is offering several free webinars starting in September so you can fight off those pests without using an arsenal of chemicals.There is no need to pre-register for these events; just log on 10 minutes prior to the beginning time and enjoy.

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