Rats are pervasive, found on every continent except Antarctica and found in all but the most extreme climates. These pesky rodents are responsible for the spread of disease, the devastation of crops and immeasurable economic losses each and every year. While it may be tempting to try to solve a rat problem with DIY lethal methods such as traps or bait, killing them may not be the most effective way to deal with an on-going rat problem.
Rats Got You Down?
Are you having rat problems? Call Critter Control today at (574) 825-1079 in South Bend and Elkhart,
or (260) 632-5106 in the Fort Wayne area and our trained staff will be there to help with your rat removal.
Call it the Norway rat, the brown rat, the house rat, the sewer rat, the wharf rat or by its scientific name, Rattus Norvegicus, but it’s the most common species in the United States. While others exist, this is the rat that typically causes the most destruction to homes and businesses. Varying in length from 13 to 15 inches long, including its hairless tail accounting for nearly half of that, these creatures are furry and typically brown with black or yellowish white markings.
Chances are you won’t identify a rat infestation until it’s gotten out of hand: rats are naturally wary of humans, with the possibility of hundreds nesting in a home’s sewers, roof or attic without any indication besides faint scratching noises and the occasional odd smell. They climb and jump with ease, and their small size makes it easy for them to enter homes through even the tiniest of cracks.
Rats cause problems across every area of life. They’re known carriers of zoonotic diseases that can spread to humans, pets and livestock, including bubonic plague, typhus, leptospirosis, food poisoning, rat-bite fever, infectious jaundice and tularemia. They can also introduce lice and fleas into your home.
Rats are indiscriminate omnivores and will eat nearly any food they come across — from the refuse in your garbage cans to the grains stored in your pantry. Not only that, but they’ll eat pet food and some non-foodstuffs, like toothpaste, as well.
Rats can cause significant damage to a home or business by nesting under concrete slabs or foundations, gnawing on doors, walls, insulation and electrical wires. Not only can this mean costly repairs, but the danger of a house fire increases as rats chew on a home’s wiring.
Dealing with a Rat Problem
Unlike other pests, rats require a multi-pronged approach for control. The entire population of rats must be controlled and not just the one or two individuals you see in your home. Non-lethal methods such as regular inspections, improved sanitation and rat-proofing of foodstuffs and exclusionary repairs to structures can be combined with lethal controls like rodenticides, snap traps and glue boards.
In order to successfully deal with a rat problem, all contributing factors to the infestation must be dealt with. Sealing up your home’s foundation and any cracks or holes in the exterior goes a long way, as does rat-proofing your dry goods storage. Making your home less appealing to rats as a source of food and shelter means the less you’ll have to deal with them in the long run.
A qualified rat control technician from Critter Control can help you identify likely points of entry and seal them up so rats can’t get in. They’ll also help you come up with a plan for sanitation, food storage and other exclusionary methods. Depending upon your unique situation, Critter Control wildlife professionals may recommend the use of rat repellants, fumigants and trapping systems to humanely control the problem without killing the rats, or safely help you exterminate the rats in the quickest way possible with lethal methods, depending on the severity of your problem.