BOSTON -- As leaves begin to fall from the trees, and cooler temperatures send animals looking for winter shelter, Boston-area homeowners may notice unwelcome company scurrying through their homes.
Boston has been ranked by independent pest control analysts as the seventh worst city for rodent infestation.
The 2009 Rodent Risk Report said that an estimated 21 million homes nationwide could be invaded by mice or rats.
The city's main drawbacks are its age and dense population. Older buildings tend to have more openings where rodents can sneak in and nest, said researchers. The higher the population, the more buildings there are, which requires more constant maintenance to keep pests out.
Although Boston is still in the top 10, researchers said that the city has made improvements in infrastructure that have moderately reduced the risk that rodents will have ready access to buildings and homes. In 2007, Boston was ranked No. 2, behind New York City, for rodent risk. This year, New York remained No. 1, while Boston dropped five spots. Read more at http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/21252306/detail.html .
Tips to help reduce the risk of infestation:
1) Keep all trash in sealed containers and remove junk piles.
2) Avoid leaving food out on counters overnight and limit access to pet food and birdseed.
3) Seal up any hole or cracks in foundations -- rodents can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
4) Cut brush and bushes back at least a foot from the home or building.
5) Stock up on baits and traps before the appearance of rodents.
6) Avoid products with misleading effectiveness claims.