A Friend In Deed
Some professions are invaluable to have in your circle of acquaintances. I have always envied friends with a hairdresser in the family, and I sigh with relief when calling my attorney brother-in-law for legal counsel. I’m also thrilled that my son is engaged to a graphic designer—her lovely personality is merely a bonus. The jackpot professional perk that reigns supreme, however, is having a neighbor who is a master of pest control. Living near Artie the Rat Man, as he signs his name, provides me more peace of mind than living around the corner from the sheriff’s station. Artie has countless times swooped in like Superman to defend my home from every imaginable creeping or buzzing invader—whether dangerous or visually repulsive. Particularly, this year the rodent population has wreaked havoc on homes and restaurants (Artie told me which ones), and it has taken extra vigilance to banish the vermin from my house. Although you may not have the luxury of living next door to a pest control superhero, you can take some preventive measures to rodent-proof your house.
-First, start with your own thorough inspection, looking for traces of rodent activity.
-Inspect the foundation around your home. Repair cracks or gaps.
-Check doors, windows and frames. Replace screens and weather stripping that doesn’t seal.
-Cut tree branches and hedges back from the house. Trim bottom of hedges to expose soil beneath.
-Check roof shingles, ventilators and screens to be sure they are secure. Make sure the chimney is capped.
-Examine all utility entry points for possible easy access for rodents.
-Place metal rodent guards around pipes that run vertically up the house, or paint poles and bricks using high-gloss paint to deter climbing.
-Remove food and water sources, remove bird feeders, fix leaking pipes or drains.
-Call a rodent-control professional to inspect your home periodically. In my case, Artie detected vulnerable areas and provided effective solutions to prevent future varmint vexations. My home is now critter-free, and I intend to keep it that way!
You can find rodent control expert Art Psaltis, aka Artie the Rat Man, at