Author Archive: Joseph Martinez

Rat Snap Traps and Rat Proofing

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Roof rats can cer­tainly be a per­sis­tent pest requir­ing sig­nif­i­cant rat proof­ing work to keep them out of struc­tures and under con­trol. Here are some good tips on how to defend against a roof rat invasions.

Nor­way Rat

Roof rats have found their way into and around homes and build­ings since time began. Sir Richard Atten­bor­ough said that if you live any­where in the civ­i­lized world, you are never more than 6 feet from a rat. Its name (Rat­tus rat­tus Lin­naeus) is derived from the way it prefers to enter struc­tures via the roof area. Over the cen­turies, Roof rats arrived in the U.S. from Europe and South­east Asia by ships, so it can also known as a Ship rat. Yet another name for the Roof rat is the Black rat because its sub-species is com­monly black, except for its gray belly. Rats Exterminated

Found in many parts of the United States, the roof rat nests in high places, both out­doors and indoors. That is why rats in the attic are such a com­mon prob­lem. In south­ern Cal­i­for­nia it is not uncom­mon to see them nest­ing in the tops of palm trees. How­ever, as its pop­u­la­tion expands it may extend its nest­ing area to include loca­tions closer to the ground like ground floor lev­els inside and out­side of build­ings and in piles of var­i­ous build­ing materials.

The Roof rat lives mostly in warmer cli­mates of the United States in the South­east, some Gulf States as well as the Pacific Coast states. It can even be found in the Hawai­ian Islands. To iden­tify a Roof rat, as opposed to its near rel­a­tive, the Nor­way rat, look for a scaly, hair­less tail that is longer than their 6–8 inch body. Fur will be brown, black or gray with lighter gray, brown or white bel­lies. If you decide to weigh one (and I don’t know why you would,) they typ­i­cally weigh around 5 to 8 ounces. Whereas the Nor­way rat is larger, tip­ping the scales at as much as 19 to 21 ounces. That is over one-and-a-half pounds of rat… eck…Rat Snap Traps and Bait

Most exter­mi­na­tors rely on the sim­ple snap traps. You can choose from from the sim­ple Vic­tor spring / bar traps ( the Tom and Jerry vari­ety) or the T-Rex or pedal-set traps which can be set with your foot. For snap trap bait, I usu­ally rec­om­mend a a bit of peanut but­ter with a jar set a aside specif­i­cally for that pur­pose (it works bet­ter than cheese). Or for some­thing less messy, you might want to try some Rat Attract bait.Kaput Rat & Mouse Bait — 32 pla­cepacks — $35.99from:

Obvi­ously these traps are pow­er­ful and you want to make sure they are tucked away far from the reach of curi­ous chil­dren or inquis­i­tive pets. One addi­tional note on the use of snap traps, Once you have a rat in the trap, the trap should be dis­posed of. Reusing a trap is not rec­om­mended because rats will rec­og­nize the scent of the pre­vi­ous corpse and avoid the trap.

Like the Nor­way Rat, Roof Rats have a spring and sum­mer breed­ing sea­son with lit­ters 4 to 6 times per year, bear­ing on aver­age, 4 to 6 pups with ges­ta­tion period of approx­i­mately 3 weeks. The aver­age life span is about one year.Rats in the Attic

Roof Rats may be heard scur­ry­ing around in the attic. Their loca­tion can be traced by dis­cov­er­ing their gnaw­ing dam­age to util­ity wire insu­la­tion or plas­tic items inside the house. They are active mostly in the cooler fall and win­ter months. Of course, rodent drop­pings are also a giveaway.

Although the it is widely believed that rats like to eat cheese, the fact is that Roof rats eat what­ever is avail­able and con­ve­nient. This will include veg­e­ta­tion, nuts and fruits and of course any garbage that can be found in their nat­ural out­door envi­ron­ment. Once inside a home, such items as pet foods, cere­als or rice prod­ucts and any other avail­able food scraps are on the menu. Like most rats, the Roof rat usu­ally stays close to its nest when not out hunt­ing for food, usu­ally within around 200 feet or so.

Because rats have very poor vision, roof rats travel closely along walls at night by using its whiskers, body guard hairs and nose to touch and smell its way around in its efforts to locate its pre­ferred food. You can often find greasy marks on walls along elec­tri­cal wires attached to your home.

So, what is the best way to keep Roof rats from enter­ing in the first place? And how do you get rid of them once they are in the house? Here are a few sim­ple steps.

Prune and remove vines, trees and other veg­e­ta­tion that allow access to and from roofs and attics.

Place and main­tain obsta­cle guards on util­ity lines and fences where lines attach to or run nearby your residence.

Rats can squeeze into the hold the size of a quar­ter so repair and fill any cracks or other open­ings that make it pos­si­ble for rats to get in.

Use baits with roden­ti­cide as spec­i­fied by the label instruc­tions and con­di­tions of use.

If you choose to use a roden­ti­cide, know that a rat can ingest it and then later, die in a wall. Which is can be unpleasant.

Rats carry dis­ease and their drop­pings can be toxic. Do not han­dle a dead rat with­out pro­tec­tive mask and rub­ber gloves.

I do not rec­om­mend shoot­ing or rely­ing upon preda­tors such as cats and owls. Avoid the use of glue traps.

Finally, I per­son­ally do not like glue traps. Unless you plan on check­ing the traps every day, leav­ing a rat to starve in a glue trap seems unnec­es­sar­ily cruel. Most pro­fes­sional exter­mi­na­tors will not use them. We pre­fer to get the unpleas­ant busi­ness over quickly.

As always, when deal­ing with cleanup, it is impor­tant that you use rub­ber gloves, an appro­pri­ate dust or paint mask and a good bleach based disinfectant.Related posts:Rac­coon Removal: How to get rid of a rac­coons

Key Differences Between Business and Personal Car Insurance Policies

Key Differences Between Business and Personal Car Insurance Policies

Many people think that arranging auto insurance is a complicated task. Therefore, they may think that insuring a fleet of company vehicles will be too tricky to even tackle. Considering the coverage requests will be similar, the only thing you need to overcome is the overall arrangement. Take the company needs into account instead of individual insurance

Personal Auto Insurance

Most cars are bought for personal use such as going to work, traveling for essential needs and pleasure. Usually, they have one or two drivers and mostly they are family members or life partners. They are not advertised for gainful activities and kept at home when they are not being driven around.

Insuring for any damages and injuries you may cause to third parties is mandatory in the United States of America before you can legally drive a vehicle. This requirement applies to every vehicle regardless of the purpose and ownership. Furthermore, every driver must be covered one way or another before they can use cars owned individually or by employers.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance

An automobile policy bought for personal use does not cover business activities. For example, you cannot start carrying paid passengers in your private car or use it for your flower delivery business unless it is properly insured. In the same way, when you are using a company car it is for the purpose of making money for your employer. Therefore, it should be covered under an appropriate commercial policy.

Key Differences Between Business And Personal Policies

Essentially, both commercial and private policies will aim to protect for the same type of risks. However, the level of risk will be different depending on the commercial use of the autos. They will be driven by employees, not owners who care a bit more. Vehicles may be modified to carry the tasks better and they may vary in purpose. On the other hand, the type of cars for a family and where they might be used is pretty typical to work out.

Small business car insurance may only cover two or three cars. But a larger company will need to insure a fleet of vehicles. They may be the same type of cars, vans or trucks. In that case, it will be easier to have them covered with one multi-vehicle policy. However, it will be slightly trickier but you can insure all sorts of different vehicles under one commercial policy.

It is normally not a bother to buy off the shelf private auto insurance. There are many standard packages from various insurers to choose from. On the other hand, most sizeable commercial packages will need to be a custom policy to meet the needs of that organization properly. Those will be blanket coverage including many vehicles and drivers.

Essentially, you are not allowed to carry out any gainful activity or charge money for transporting goods and people in your private car. As soon as you do, you will have to include business usage. It may be possible to include this within a standard private cover when you are running a small trade and have only one car for both home and shop uses.

When a company car causes injuries and damages to other people, both the driver and the employer can be sued separately. Furthermore, companies will probably insure against the injuries employees may suffer while driving for the business. Those aspects should be considered and appropriate additions and endorsements made in a commercial policy.

Otherwise, the considerations for the protection of the vehicles are the same. Both individuals and firms will want to insure against fire, theft, collision, weather and accidental damages. Majority of those requirements can be met by comprehensive and collision coverage.

Most automobile insurers will be able to handle custom packages of any size for any businesses. You can find them here at and discuss your requirements, get quotes and buy whatever type of policy you need.Related posts:Cancelling Automobile Insurance Policies With Minimum HassleBuying Sufficient Policy Coverage For Cars Owned And Driven Minimum Legal Liability Auto Insurance Cover And Some MoreReverse Engineering An Auto Insurance Policy By Looking At Possible Losses

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Electrical Components – Best Brands to Use

Electrical Components – Best Brands to Use

How Your Electrical System Works

This section of the Electricians Texas website covers various brands of electrical components like breakers, outlets, and wiring.

Most homeowners will limit electrical repairs to changing out a light switch or outlet, replacing a worn circuit breaker or perhaps rewiring an electrical device like a garden well pump or old lamp in need of a new electrical cord.electricians

The most important thing to remember when doing these repairs, aside from general safety precautions when dealing with electricity, is to make sure you use the proper replacement parts.

Take a light switch for example. Most people would just run up to the hardware store and by a new switch. Many would determine what switch to buy based on price.

However, you need to make sure you get the proper switch for the job. What is the amp rating? Does your house have copper or aluminum wiring? Is it a standard switch or 3-way switch?

And what about replacing a breaker in your electrical panel? Do you know what type and brand to replace it with? You need to see who manufactured the panel and then use that manufacturer’s breaker.

In Buffalo, the most popular breaker manufacturers are: Square D, General Electric, Federal Pacific, Thomas and Betts, and Westinghouse. Here is a great website where you can type in information on your existing circuit panel box and it will tell you what breaker to order:

When it comes to wiring, the most important consideration is to use the proper gauge. Wiring comes in different sizes depending on the circuit amp requirements and number of wires, or conductors. So, if you have a wire in your home that feeds a standard electrical outlet, it will have two conductors… the black wire which is the hot leg, and the white wire which is the neutral leg. It will also have a ground wire but this is not considered a conductor so is not used to label the wire.

Depending on how much current flows through the wire, it will be rated by size and the electrical industry uses a set of numbers to indicate this size like, #8 gauge or #12 gauge. They combine the wire size with the number of conductors and name the wire like that. So, a typical circuit might have a wire labeled, 10-2.

This means it is 10 gauge and has 2 conductors. It is absolutely vital to choose the right size wire for the amp draw of a circuit or appliance. If you are replacing the power cord for an appliance that is rated at 10 amps, would you know what size wire to use?

Here is a great site that has a chart for all the amp draws and wire sizes to use for those draws:

So, do your homework and get the proper components and make sure they are rated for your electrical requirements. You will be glad you did and can rest easy knowing you have done the job right!

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