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The History of Rattus Norvegicus

People always assume that the sight of a rat means filth. They couldn’t be more wrong. Some of the most common things that people have problems with when it comes to rats are as follows: They don’t like the look of the tail, they carry diseases, they are aggressive and mean, or they are dirty animals. Although rats can be harmful in certain situations, they are often friendly, shy creatures who are just trying to fit in.

For people who find themselves repulsed by a rats tail, they are there for more than just looks. A rats tail is actually an evolutionary trait that assists in balance. It also works as a personal cooling system, allowing heat out, or constricting to preserve body heat when it gets cold.

Another common misconception is that rats carry deadly diseases. Of course, everyone always mentions the bubonic plague when speaking ill of rats. When in reality, the rats weren’t the cause of the bubonic plague. It was actually a breed of fleas who began the outbreak, they rode on the fur of the rats, and due to the unhygienic times, the disease spread rapidly. Luckily, because we have come so far as a society, we have become a lot more hygienic. Therefore, our chances of contracting that kind of disease are not as likely.

So when people find themselves saying that rats are disgusting, filthy creatures. It’s not that they’re awful people who don’t know what they’re talking about, they’re just uneducated. Of course, rats are still wild animals and deserve respect. So remember that even though they most likely will leave you alone, they still have a fight or flight reaction much like ours. It’s up to us to be smart about how we react with wild animals to make the world a better place for all of us.

The importance of protecting the protected

Although it may seem like many wild animals are nuisances that we are itching to get rid of, it is very important to remember why they are here in the first place. Many people overlook the importance of keeping balance in our ecosystems. Although it may not seem like it, as people we are a huge part of the ecosystems where we live. Everything from disposing of our trash, to how we decide to landscape our yard has an effect on the environment and how well it functions. Here are some examples on how you can help to support a healthy ecosystem in your area.
Learning how to properly dispose of waste is one of the biggest impacts you can have on your local ecosystem. One of the biggest mistakes people make when disposing of trash is overfilling their garbage receptacles. Not only does this attract animals that carry harmful diseases such as raccoons, feral cats, and skunks, but it also increases the risk of airborne illnesses. There is nothing that ruins the curb appeal of a beautiful house like an overflowing trash can swarming with flies. Frequently washing out your outside garbage can is also a great way to help prevent these things.
Another great way to help keep the environment of your hard healthy is to grow and maintain a garden. Growing vegetables and fruits allow the soil to become and maintain a healthy PH level. It can also attract good wildlife such as bees, humming birds, and necessary decomposers such as worms. Installing a small fence around the perimeter of your garden can keep out unwanted visitors. This is a great way to help boost the ecosystem and give your lifestyle a healthy boost. Any produce that is not used can be used as compost to further the health of your soil.
Many misconceptions say that being eco-friendly say that it costs lots of money and that the only way you can help is to purchase a hybrid car, and buying organic food. While these things are great options, they aren’t the only ways you can better the area you live in. Watching out for the little things such as picking up trash, keeping beehives, or even planting more flowers. Allowing our spaces to become safe spaces for other creatures will benefit our environment in multiple ways.

Backyard Bluster

There’s nothing quite like making a fool out of yourself in front of your neighbors. Sure, they live right next to you, you probably see them quite often. So realistically, they’ve more than likely seen you humiliate yourself on more than one occasion. But I can assure you, there is nothing quite as embarrassing as finding out your neighbor saw you battling it out with your mortal enemy in your back yard. In your boxers. With a face mask.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. How on earth did I find myself in such a compromising situation? Well allow me to tell you. It was a Tuesday morning in mid-August. Normally on any other Tuesday, I would be at work. But I had taken the day off for a sort of “Self-Care” day. I had gone to bed early the night before, slept in a little, and made myself a hearty breakfast of strawberry crepes and bacon. After breakfast, I decided to treat my skin as well. So I found a DIY recipe online for an avocado face mask, meant to brighten and enhance the skin. I was relaxing on my day bed in my living room, when all the sudden I heard a crash outside!
I sprinted to the back door, armed with a metal broom. I peeked through the back door cautiously watching for the invader. THERE! I spotted him! A fat raccoon was digging around inside my trash cans looking for a treat. I threw open the door and ran outside baring my broom. I expected the raccoon to run off when he saw me! Much to my surprise, the animal attacked me! I began swinging the broom around, trying my best to keep the animal at bay. He was so fast I almost couldn’t see him. I thought I had lost the battle, when a well-aimed swing sent him flying across the back yard. He quickly scurried away after that. I smiled to myself smugly, proud of my survival skills. I turned to walk into my house and saw for the first time, the neighbors sitting on their deck. They had seen the whole ordeal. Not a single one was able to contain their laughter.

Wormy Wonderland

There are very few things I can think of that are worse than finding a dead animal in your yard. Animals are riddled with diseases and they can stink up an area in no time! When animals die, it is extremely important to get them taken care of as soon as possible! Failure to take care of a dead animal can lead to disastrous consequences! The scent of a dead animal can lead to other dangerous predators making their way into your yard. The last thing any of us want is to have dangerous animals hanging around our homes.
Dead animals can be carriers for a great plethora of diseases. Diseases such as rabies, bubonic plague, and West Nile encephalitis have all been found on dead animals of all breeds. Even though we may have treatments for diseases like these, would you ever want to take the chance? Now that we’ve gone over a few of the dangers that dead animals can pose when they’ve been found on your property, let’s talk about the best way to take care of them.
There are several courses of action that could be taken to remove dead animals. The first would be to call the state health and safety department, this will ensure that they dispose of the carcass in a safe manner. Another way (depending on the size of the animal) would be trash disposal. For many, this is the preferred method. Using a shovel and gloves, carefully place the dead animal in a garbage bag. It is often easier if you “double-wrap” the dead animal. You can then place the animal in the garbage cans or dumpsters in your neighborhood. The final option, and probably best way, is to call a local exterminator or trapper. They will take care of the mess for you and ensure that the animal is disposed of properly. They may also offer cleaning and sanitizing services depending on the situation.
Please remember that if you are going to take care of the body on your own, WEAR GLOVES! It is extremely important that you wash your hands, wear gloves, and avoid touching the animal at all costs. Even though the animal is dead, the bacteria and viruses that the animal carried can still be a threat to you and your health. Make sure that the tools you use to dispose of the animal are properly cleaned after the removal takes place. Take care to clean the clothes you were wearing when disposing of the animal, just as a precaution.

Coon Con-artist

As most people know, raccoons are some the smartest, most cunning animals in the world. Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say smart I suppose, but they are extremely determined and it takes a lot to throw them off their prize. A good example of this is what happened to me in the spring of 2012, the beginning of the summer was fairly uneventful. But once the days got hotter and longer things began to take a turn for the worst. It started with just a few mishaps. In fact, I hardly would have noticed them at all if my visiting daughter hadn’t brought it up.
It all started when my daughter came down to stay with us a few days. After the first night she came downstairs in the morning complaining about the scratching and sounds she had heard in the walls all night. I was confused, I’d never heard any sounds like that. I assured her that I would spend the night in the upstairs room to make sure that there weren’t any sounds. Well needless to say, I didn’t get a wink of sleep that night! You could hear the little buggers crawling all over the place! The first thing I did the next morning was call up a professional trapper to come take care of our problem.
Well, after thoroughly checking out our house, the coon connoisseur found several entrances that the raccoons could be using. He set up cameras that would tell us which entrances the raccoons were using so that we could get them sealed. We had to endure another couple days of those dirty fur balls running around in our walls before we could check the entrances. When the day finally came for us to unveil the secret entrances those little bandits were using I could hardly contain my excitement! I was beyond ready to get rid of this problem. When the trapper got there, we crowded around his little video camera to see what the verdict was. And you’ll never believe it…
Not a single raccoon went in or out any of the entrances that we had been surveying. We were all in awe. How did the raccoons get in the house? It wasn’t like they could just walk in the front door! We sat around and talked for a while trying to brainstorm ideas of how the raccoons were getting in. We were onto the idea of them tunneling underneath the house when we heard a large crash coming from the upstairs bedroom. We rushed up the stairs to see what had caused the commotion, and there frantically running around the room was one of the raccoons!
After several minutes of frantic screaming and chasing, we finally had the raccoon subdued. The exterminator laughed when he realized that the raccoons had been getting in through the window that my daughter opened at night. Once they had entered the house, they found their way to the attic where they begun to wreak their havoc.

Star of Starlings

Starlings are considered to be some of the most breathtaking birds on the planet. With their vibrant coloring and gregarious personalities. They’re highly social birds, they often travel in large flocks. Some roosts can number in the thousands of birds. But, we are not to talk about the species as a whole. Although they are an incredible group of birds, we are going to focus on one in particular. Her name was Satine. She was the Star of all the Starlings.
She had the signature iridescent plumage of starlings, but hers was a deep royal blue that stood out against some of the more gray feathers of some of her counterparts. She flew between many flocks throughout the year. Touring the world and meeting other starlings. After a while they began to talk about this beautiful blue bird with a talent unlike any other. Most starlings can imitate multiple other bird calls. But Satine was different. For in her travels, she learned to imitate nearly 25 different species. She also learned to mimic some sounds from the human world. She mimicked ringing phones, and police whistles. Word of her talent spread across the world and soon, birds from all over asked her to teach them her ways.
She began to travel the globe, teaching starlings from all over how to sing the song of others. She became known as “Satine the Starling Star”. She was hailed and soon became a name known to every starling on the planet. As she got older, her song began to fade. She began to lose her imitations. One by one she lost the sounds she had learned. She continued to lose them until she only had one song left. It was her original song. And although it was nothing compared to the sounds she once sang, it became her signature. Instead of focusing on what she had lost, she became focused on teaching the starlings how to discover their own song. A tradition that many starlings still carry on today. She was the mother of the starling song. The beautiful Satine, The Starling Star.

Hidden Figures

People say that when you see one mouse, there are many more in the shadows. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a mouse infestation. But in my 17 years of being a licensed animal control specialist, I can confirm that this saying is true. Many people don’t understand that mice breed rapidly, The average female can give birth to about 10 litters per year (each litter contains 6-8 babies) and now imagine that inside your home. Hundreds of little mice scampering under your floors, between your bedrooms, darting across your kitchen floor. It’s because of this reason that it is so vital to contact an exterminator or animal control specialist as soon as possible.
Mice can do all sorts of damage to your home, things you wouldn’t typically think of. Because mice live in nests, they will chew and rip up anything that could be used to build their home within your home. Anything from wood, installation, and even electrical wiring. Mice have no respect for your belongings, they will chew through furniture, appliances, walls and anything in between. Structural issues become a very real problem if a mouse infestation gets advanced enough. The material items are the least of your worries.
On top of being incredibly destructive, mice are known for carrying all sorts of diseases and germs. Sure, from a distance mice are super cute and fluffy. With their small plush bodies, and their small eyes and adorable ears. But if you look at them from a biological standpoint, they are the ultimate breeding ground for bacterial and viral infections. From rat-bite fever, to the plague, even Leptospirosis. These dangerous and even deadly diseases transfer even faster if the mice get into your food and you living areas. This is why it’s so important to contact a proper specialist so they can make sure to sanitize and clean properly. So please, keep yourself and your families safe from these hidden figures

Swimming with Rats

The Throne, the Oval Office, the Porcelain Potty. Known by many names, the Toilet. For many people it’s a place of refuge. Somewhere to hide from your kids, read a good magazine, and enjoy regular bowel movements. It’s always been a place for me to do what I need to do and not be bothered. It’s a safe place. Somewhere I knew I wouldn’t be disturbed. Alas, how the times change. It was one of those days, those days when you’re walking on air, nothing can get you down! I had just gotten a promotion at work, I had gotten a free taco for lunch, and the girl of my dreams had just accepted my invitation to go get some dinner later. I was planning on stopping at home to freshen up before heading out to go pick her up.
I waltzed into the bathroom with thoughts of the first date with my dream girl floating through my head. I kicked off my shoes and began to shimmy out of my khaki trousers. I was just about to sit down when I heard the most terrifying noise. *SKREECH SKREECH* I jumped up alarmed, and whirled around to find my worst fears. For sitting in my pristine toilet bowl was none other than a large, black, hairy rat! I screamed and ran out of the bathroom. I wasn’t going to be needing it anymore (if you know what I mean). I bee- lined it to my phone and punched in the number for the pest control company I had relied on in the past.
My heroes in shining overalls were there within the hour to take care of my misfortune. They explained to me that the rat had probably swam up my sewer system and right into my toilet bowl. They assured me that they would take care of the rat and that they’d be here in a jiffy if I ever found one again. It took me quite a while to come to terms with what had happened. I had nightmares for weeks on end about that FILTHY rat. Lucky for me, the worst was over. I Hoped…

Hall of Horror

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a Halloween party, or a haunted house. But if you have, you’ve probably at some point at another been through what I call a haunted hallway. What that means is that there is an alley or hallway that is decorated like a haunted house. Meant to scare you in a short amount of time, these little rooms are jam packed with your worst fears. Now for many people these only occur during the Halloween season, and they end when you exit the hallway. For me, the hallway was year round, and it didn’t end until I faced my worst fear.
Now many of you are probably thinking, what does she mean? Does she have a permanent haunted hallway in her house? The answer is no. Or, at least not one of my own creation. My haunted hallway is the hallway in the back of my house that has bats living in the walls. I’m not sure if you’ve ever come face to face with a bat, but believe me when I say that it is the most terrifying experience I’ve ever had. Imagine, one day you are innocently doing your laundry when all the sudden a flying black mass, infected with all sorts of diseases, soars into your face. I know, not the most pleasant image. Now imagine that happening every time you walk down that hallway and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
I’d been in contact with my local animal control specialist for months, trying to fix the problem in a way that would prevent them from coming back. Lucky for me, the man I hired was the right man for the job! He walked me through every step of the process and he answered every question I asked. He was able to get all the bats out and after words he cleaned up the spaces in the walls. He made sure that every nook and cranny was secured to keep this from happening ever again. I don’t know what I would’ve done without him!

Squirrels For Dinner

“IF YOU CATCH A SQUIRREL YOU’RE GOING TO EAT IT!!!” my mom screamed at me as I booked it out the back door, eager to escape her wrath. My latest obsession in my adolescence has been catching animals. Everything from snakes, stray cats, frogs, and now my next victim: Squirrels. I knew catching squirrels could be tricky, they were fast, and not easy to trick. My previous attempts had been unsuccessful thus far. But I had spent weeks planning and I knew that I had a bullet proof plan that was surely going to catch me a squirrel.
My plan included a box, string, a stick, and a handful of nuts. Really my plan was simple. Prop up the box with the stick, which had the string tied to it. I would wait in a bush a little while away and wait for the squirrel to take the bait (the handful of nuts) once the squirrel was in the box, I pull the string which allows the box to drop on top of the squirrel, trapping it inside. Really there is no way this could go wrong! I went to work immediately setting up my master trap. I thought to myself what a good trapper I would make. After the preparation was done and the trap was complete I sat down behind a bush and began my wait for the ultimate prey.
I sat patiently for three minutes, then five, and after about 10 minutes I was getting worried. What if I didn’t have enough bait? Maybe the squirrels are too smart for this! I began to question my flawless plan. When all of the sudden, a squirrel descended from the tree next to the box. I held my breath as I watched the squirrel approach the box. It was weary at first. Staying on the edge of the box, circling it in order to avoid capture. I stayed still and quiet, hoping that the squirrel would fall victim to my trap. Slowly the squirrel began to make its way towards the nut pile. It would take a few steps forward and then retreat a little, as if testing the trap. Luckily for me, I was more patient than the squirrel. Because after a minute, the squirrel approached the nut pile, and began to feast.
MY TIME HAD COME! Faster than the blink of an eye I pulled the string and the box fell on the squirrel, trapping it inside. I jumped up and cheered! I FINALLY DID IT!! I CAUGHT A SQUIRREL! I was so excited that I almost forgot about my squirrel that was sitting in the box only a few feet away. I looked over and saw that the squirrel was trying to escape! NOT ON MY WATCH!! I ran over to the box and plopped down on top of it. HA! No way that squirrel escapes no- “YOUNG MAN WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT CATCHING SQUIRRELS?????” I turned my head to see my mother standing at the back door. Uh oh.