Rats are nasty looking rodents with long hairless tails, sharp teeth and claws. They can cause quite a commotion within a household. When most people see a rat scurrying across the floor they will scream, run around or jump onto a chair just to get away from it. And, in many cases, it’s a good idea to get away from them.
Rats are dangerous to people, pets, and property. They carry many diseases in their saliva, feces, and urine that can make people and pets very sick. Trichinosis and salmonella are just a couple of the most common illnesses caused by rats. Rats are also known to carry fleas, ticks, and mites that can be troublesome for people and pets as well.
As far as property damage is concerned, rats have very sharp front teeth and powerful jaws that they use to chew, and boy do they like to chew! They will chew on almost anything, including pipes, floors, ceilings, walls, and electrical wires. This can cause water damage, sagging floors and ceilings, warped walls, and electrical fires. They will build nests or burrows under porches and foundations that can cause structural damage. Other items like clothing and furniture can be damaged as well, as they will use these chewed up items in their nest building. Food can be contaminated quickly by the presence of rats, as can utensils, pots, pans, and other items used for cooking in pantries and kitchens.
If you have a rat infestation, you will find droppings throughout your home, but mostly in the kitchen amongst food, scraps or food residue. You may even find urine pools or trails that are quite odorous. Anything that has been contaminated, shows nibble marks or even near an area that has been contaminated by rat urine, feces or hair should be thrown away entirely to avoid sickness. You may be kept awake at night by the noises rats make like scampering around, chewing or squeaking. Grease marks are quite common on walls or around small openings caused by oil and dirt coming off of the rats. Gnaw marks can sometimes be seen due to their incessant chewing to keep their teeth short and sharp. You may even notice your cat or dog acting a bit strange at times or overly excited, they may smell a rat or trying to catch one that they have seen. As you can see, there are many reasons you do not want rats inside your home.
In order to prevent rats from coming into your home and taking up residence there, you should really seek the help of a professional pest control service, especially if you already have an infestation. In the meantime here are a few DIY tips. First, you will need to prevent any more from coming in, so you will need to seal up any small holes and gaps that allow rats to enter your home. Remember, rats can fit through holes smaller than their own body, and you will want to keep other smaller rodents out too, so close off all entry points. Repair and replace any worn or damaged screens and vents, as well as window and door frames. Then you will need to make your home unattractive to rats by keeping your basement dry by using a dehumidifier and fixing leaky pipes throughout your home. Don’t leave any leaf, brush, wood or junk piles close to your home and trim back thick brush around your home. And, in your kitchen, you should keep all food tightly secured in sturdy containers with tight-fitting lids. You should also clean up food and drink spills immediately and take out your trash regularly. Keep outdoor trash stored in containers with locking lids. Now that no more rats can get into your home it’s time to trap them, using live traps, glue boards or traditional snap traps luring the rats with a bit of cheese.
OK, so there are a few problems with the DIY plan. Sealing up all entry points to your home is time-consuming, costly and you really need to know how to do it properly, because rats chew through things and may be able to get back in. It’s also very difficult to keep all food contained to keep rats out, again, they chew through everything. Lastly, are you really comfortable trapping the rats?
The best and most effective way to stop rats from infesting your home is to contact the professionals at Spencer Pest Services. We can eliminate the rats from your home using our customized rodent control programs. We are properly trained, experienced and have all of the special equipment needed to do the job right. Give us a call today and let us get rid of your dangerous and damaging pests in your home as soon as possible.