Rats

 

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Rats and rodents thrive in various conditions and climates and can easily be found around homes and other structures. They usually hide in areas where there is clutter as well as in drains. They are usually active at night but occasionally can be seen during the day. Since they can crawl through small crevices, it can be extremely difficult to control their movement.

Where there is food and shelter in any property, it will be a good ground for rat infestation. The first clue of their presence is their droppings, usually in kitchen drawers & cabinets, on kitchen counter and in the pantry. The rats may also leave a track (visible on dusty surfaces) in dust, mud or bare dirt.

To wear down their incisor teeth, rats need to gnaw continuously. Looking for holes in ceilings, walls and crawl spaces may find rat’s presence. Other signs of a rat and rodent infestation include urine stains, nests, burrows, runways, grease marks, partially eaten food and live or dead rodents.

The two most common species of rats are the Norway/sewer rats and the roof rats. The Norway rats are commonly found in the foundations of buildings, beneath woodpiles or rubbish and around fields and gardens. When they invade houses, they remain in ground floor and basement of building.

The roof rats which are also known as black rats are a bit smaller as compared to the Norway rats. These are agile climbers and therefore nest and live above ground in trees, shrubs and dense vegetation. In structures, they are commonly found in elevated or enclosed spaces such as false ceilings, attics, walls and cabinets.

Female rats breed when they are 40 to 45 days of age. Females can mate again within 18 hour of giving birth and their gestation period is around 21 days. Each female rat can produce more than 8 litters per year and continues to breed until 18 to 24 months of age.

Some of the most damaging and troublesome rodents in the US are rats. Rats contaminate and eat food, damage properties and structures and transmit diseases and parasites to humans and animals. Rats also cause certain diseases such as plaque which is deadly. They can also cause fires as they gnaw on electrical cables. Rats also bite babies as they are attracted to the smell of mother’s milk.

A tradition way to catch rats involve wooden spring-loaded traps which are baited with food such as bread or peanut butter. Glue traps do not require bait and are considered safer in homes with kids and pets. These traps are placed along ledges, walls in cluttered areas and other areas where the rats seem to frequent. Poisoning is another method of preventing rats. However, it poses a danger to children and pets.

The best rat control method is preventing them entering in the first place. Tasks like regular examination of foundations of properties, sealing any openings where rats and rodents could gain entry, repairing gaps or cracks, filling gaps around pipes, will minimise rat infestations. More importantly, ensuring there is no food and shelter for the rat by removing clutter from properties and storing trash in covered containers.

If, despite all preventive measures, you have an infestation, Star Pest Control has the experience and skills to get rid of it for you.