Rats are highly destructive often devouring anything that gets in their way. A rat infestation can cause a huge amount of damage in a short time as they gnaw their way through wood and plastic, eating holes in walls and chewing through wires. Rats carry diseases such as Bubonic plague and Hantavirus and a dozen more according to the Centers for Disease Control and carry many other diseases, being linked to occurrences of Salmonella poisoning to Lyme disease. Rats are very aggressive and will bite if confronted. Their urine can cause as much damage as their chewing.
Rats are secretive and typically the only indication of their presence is the damage left behind or telltale paths left through grass or other plants as they go outside to forage. There is often a distinctive odor of decay in and around an infested property. Dead rats may be found, but seeing live rats means that the infestation if severe.
The Rat Culture
There are two main types of rats that infest homes, the Norway rat and the roof rat, or black rat. Norway rats may also be called sewer or brown rats. The Roof rat is smaller with a more pointed nose than the Norway rat and the tail is longer than the body. The Norway rat is bulkier with a tail that is shorter than the body. Roof rats are adept climbers living in trees, shrubs, and vines, using these to move from building to building.
Rats need shelter, food, and water and live any place that humans can provide that to them. They eat trash, berries, nuts, insects and virtually anything. They may be observed foraging around trash cans, woodpiles or other debris. They nest nearly anywhere and reproduce rapidly, averaging 5 to 7 litters per year.
Primary means of rat control is by exclusion, sealing any possible entrance points. Minimize plants around the base of buildings. Sanitize areas where there is food and clean up debris or trash inside or outside buildings. Traps can be set to catch live animals. Poison bait is also available but must be used with caution to avoid exposing other animals or humans.
As your pest control company, AJB Pest and Termite can help identify a rat infestation and get it under control. If you could use our help with a rat infestation or our pest control services please call us today.