Rats eat and contaminate food, damage buildings and other property by their gnawing and burrowing, and can spread diseases that affect people and pets.
The presence of rats can be detected by droppings or evidence of fresh gnawing. Tracks can be seen in mud and on dusty surfaces. Runways and burrows may be found next to buildings, along fences, and under low vegetation and debris.
Rats will eat nearly any type of food, but they prefer high-quality foods such as meat and fresh grain. Rats require 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce of water daily when feeding on dry food. Rats have keen taste, hearing and sense of smell. They will climb to find food or shelter, and they can gain entrance to a building through any opening larger than 1/2 inch across.
More About Rats
Rats have litters of 6 to 12 young, which are born 21 to 23 days after mating. Young rats reach reproductive maturity in about three months. Breeding is most active in spring and fall.
Poor sanitation and the presence of garbage help rats to survive in residential areas. Good sanitation will effectively limit the number of rats that can survive in and around the home. This involves good housekeeping, proper storage and handling of food materials and refuse, and elimination of rodent shelter (harborage).
The most successful and permanent form of rat control is to “build them out” by making their access to structures impossible. Ideally, all places where food is stored, processed or used should be rodent-proof. Store bulk foods, bird seed and dry pet food in metal cans with tightfitting lids.
Trapping is also an effective method of control. It is the preferred method in homes, garages and other structures where only a few rats are present. Trapping has several advantages: 1) it does not rely on inherently hazardous poisons; 2) it permits the user to determine if the rat was killed and 3) it allows for disposal of rat carcasses, thus eliminating odor problems that may occur when poisoning is done within buildings. However, trapping is useless if the procedures to prevent reinfestation are not followed.
Call us to discuss your infestation and the best method for taking care of the problem quickly!