Musophobia: Extreme Animal Phobia

posted by Prof. McFly on October 8, 2014

Do you identify a mouse as just a cute household pet, like Jerry on the old Tom and Jerry cartoon show? Or do you identify more with the cartoon character Mrs. Two Shoes, who would scream and jump onto a chair every time Jerry (the mouse) appeared?

A fear of mice is stereotypical for most women, but a fear of RODENTS AND MICE is known as musophobia.
Some people are just grossed out by how mice and rats feel, while others are afraid of being nibbled on, but for people with Musophobia just the hint that a rat or mouse is around can be terrifying. It is an extreme fear.

So for people that suffer from this phobia, what is the best way for protection against rodents? Or tell if you have them?

The best way to tell if you have mice or rats in your home or office is to (1) locate any fecal droppings (2) locate rubmarks (3) listen to any noise (4) locate track marks (5) find rodent gnawing

(1) Fecal droppings of feces are usually moist, shiny, soft and dark. Then after a few days they become dry and hard. Old droppings are dull and grayish and crumble with pressed with a stick or device. Droppings for rats are up to 1/2 inch in length, spindle shaped and curved compared to mouse feces which are smaller averaging about 1/8 inch in length and pointed.

(2) Rubmarks are dark, greasy marks formed from contact with a rodent’s body. As the grease ages, it dries and gathers dust and flakes. These marks are usually seen beneath beams or rafters where the rodent would rub its fur against the surface.

(3) If you hear any gnawing, clawing, climbing in walls, squeaks and fighting noises, a rodent infestation is a definite possibility.

(4)  Fresh tracks are sharp and distinct. Tracks of mice and rats can be observed if you place flour or dust material along runaways or areas of traffic. Tail marks are also often visible in dust or tracking patching. Remember that mice and rats will usually travel along edges.

(5) The teeth of rodents, especially rats, grow 4-5 inches a year, so each day rodents gnaw to keep their teeth strong enough to use. When gnawings in wood are fresh, they are light in color and show distinct teeth marks from chipping. With age, wood gnawings become dark and smooth from weathering and from frequent contact with a rodent’s body. The general rule to determine if a mouse or rat made the opening is:  if the hole has smooth edges and is the size of your pinky finger it is a mouse, if the hole has jagged edges and is the size of your thumb it is a rat.




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Pests are not just insects to some

posted by Prof. McFly on October 6, 2014

When you first hear the word pest…what is the first thing that comes to mind? Would it be deer? For many motorists in the East Coast, these four-legged creatures are just that…a nuisance and a pest!

Deer populations have soared in the recent months, with reports of more than 1,088 collisions between planes and deer, elk, or moose in the states of Montana and Washington.

They are a nuisance for airports and threats to pilots and planes and put them together and it can be a very bad day. Wildlife has always been an issue at every airport, whether it is birds, badgers, coyotes or bobcats, but deer have become progressively worse.

Since 2011, many airports have designed and built tall fences topped with barbed wire to keep deer and other wildlife out. In 2009, airport officials had to go as far as banging or screeching shells to haze wildlife from the runways. Interestingly enough, deer only need an 8-inch gap to squeeze through a fence and find their way in.

For more information on wildlife vs. aviation incidents, go to

filed under: Specialty Pests   

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Seasonal pest issues

posted by Prof. McFly on October 3, 2014

As summer ends and winter approaches customers need to be leery that each new season brings different opportunities for pests to find food, water and shelter.

Pest control is an important consideration for any owner at any time of year, but with summer ending it is a good time that owners change their focus and strategy if they want to keep insects and rodents out of their home.

Sometimes, depending on geographical location, winter can provide some relief from exterior pest pressures. However, other areas, as like in Arizona, will see year around pressure from outdoor insects. Several of these pests include:

  • Rodents
  • Boxelder Bugs
  • Beetles
  • Flies
  • Bed Bugs
  • Roaches

Chemical applications have offered some immediate relief in the past. Even environmental control methods that remove the water pests need to survive, has been a long term resolution. But sometimes, just paying close attention to landscaping can limit the opportunities for outdoor critters and insects to find their way indoors.

Many experts have introduced eradication technologies that focus on disrupting reproduction as stead-fast control methods. These innovations have helped many operators find a way to “go green.”

Proactive solutions are now underway!

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Revamping pest control with new age technology

posted by Prof. McFly on September 30, 2014

Some people may think a low-tech exercise is getting rid of bugs or rodents, but with new age technology, technology is beginning to reshape the way that pest control programs are executed.

Although, technology’s impact is already being felt, bigger changes are coming. Pest control experts in Altlanta are in agreement that electronics and the ability to store data in the “cloud” system is driving down costs and leading to greater acceptance of technology.

Although, the biggest changes are still expected a few years out from now. One area in particular, is focused on software improvement. There is a lot of development in putting trend data in a readable and understandable format. Information technology is going to allow for digitization. In a couple of years, there might not be anything on paper.

Northwest Exterminating, has already aimed its staff with tablet computers that put all documentation at the inspectors fingertips. Other firms have gone as far as issuing iPads to select clients to give them immediate access to trending and tracking information about their facilities. Facility maps that were used are now overlaid with data pinpointing hot spots in the plant and the degree of activity at each one.

filed under: Pest Control   

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Buffelgrass: Embarking on projects throughout Arizona

posted by Prof. McFly on September 12, 2014

Northwest Exterminating is at is once again, embarking on buffelgrass projects throughout Southern Arizona. Projects Northwest Exterminating has been rewarded include: Tucson Airport Authority, Town of Green Valley, Bureau of Land Management and Others. To the bottom is a journal of work now completed at Green Valley. Crews are working on completing treatments at all other locations through September.

Getting Ready:

Northwest employees walk the roadsides of Green Valley treating for buffelgrass. All employees working on the buffelgrass projects in the Pima County area are required to complete Buffelgrass certification program presented by the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center.

Firmly Rooted:

The extensive root system only becomes a greater challenge as buffelgrass grows. To remove the root, Northwest Exterminating had to dig down about 4-5 inches! Roots can grow to eight feet of depth! Buffelgrass’ strong roots rob native plants of water and potentially will upset our local ecosystem.

Yellowing of buffelgrass one week on treatment

Once monsoon rains start to hit, the buffelgrass treatment window begins. It is an imperative treatment to be down when the plant is healthy so that herbicide can be absorbed through the leaf cuticle and travel to the root system, and stop the life cycle of the plant. This will stop growth before seeds are produced and start repopulating the area through wind and water movement. When overgrown, buffelgrass can be a fire hazard.

Buffelgrass prior to treatment

Buffelgrass is a warm-season perennial grass. It has a bushy stem with a hairy ligule: small stiff hairs where the leaf meets the stem. They also have a “bottelbrush-shaped flower stalk with a reddish-purple hue or a sandy brown color when the stalk set seeds.

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