Be Weary of Rat Infestations

Rats are some of the most damage causing rodents in the United States.  They consume contaminate food, damage property and transmit parasites and diseases to humans and other animals. Rats can survive in various climates and conditions. They are often found close to human habits where they can find food such as around homes, buildings, farms, gardens, and open fields.

People don’t often see rats, but signs of their presence are easy to find. Once rats have invaded your garden or property, unless your home is truly rodent proof, it is only a matter of time before you find evidence of them within your home. It is recommended to control their numbers in population before they get to high. The need for traps and bait required to control them will be fewer if started early. It is a good idea to inspect your home thoroughly looking for rat droppings around dog or cat dishes. It is a good idea to listen for noises coming from the attic just after dusk. Rats are mostly active at night. Further, look for remnants of rat nests when dismantling your firewood stack. Additionally, look for evidence of rodents feeding on fruit and nuts that are falling from trees in your yard. Be sure to inspect to see any burrows among plants or damaged vegetables when working in the garden. Look to see if you notice rats traveling along utility lines or on tops of fences at night. Is there smudge marks caused by rats rubbing their fur against beams, rafters, pipes, and walls?

Rats are mostly active at night. They have poor eyesight but display a great sense of smell, taste, and touch. These pests are constantly looking to explore new locations and pathways to food, water, and shelter. They are survivors that know how to avoid new objects. As a result, they have the ability to avoid traps and baits for several days. They gain entry to structures by gnawing, climbing, jumping, or swimming through sewers and entering through toilets and broken drains. Young rats can squeeze beneath a door with only a ½ inch gap. If the door is made of wood, the rat may gnaw his way in.

Rats contaminate food and animal feed. They damage containers and package materials. They cause problems by gnawing on electrical wires and wooden structures such as doors, ledges, corners and wall material, and they tear up insulation in walls and ceilings for nesting.

Among the diseases rats can transmit to humans or livestock are murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis (food poisoning), and ratbite fever. Plague is a disease that both roof and Norway rats can carry.

If you believe you are experiencing a rat infestation, it would be best to consult a pest control professional that will rid your home of these pests quickly and safely.