So small, but so destructive! Rats are very dangerous pests that are hard to get rid of, and once the infestation is revealed, it should be suppressed immediately. How to detect their presence, and what can be done to kill the rodents and clear your dwelling from them?
Living With a Rat Infestation
Rats are discreet creatures – they tend to hide from people and avoid contact. For this reason, when they only start living in house, its dwellers don’t notice the “guests”. But as soon as the infestation gets serious, and rodents lack space in hidden corners, they go out to search for food and new shelter.
What Does a Rat Infestation Look Like?
How to identify the presence of rats in your apartments? There are several evident signs:
- Inspect dark corners and the space near baseboards: you will see small pellet-shaped dark-brown or grey feces up to ¾ inch long. These are rat droppings, and they should be carefully cleaned up to prevent infections.
- Since rats urinate frequently, you may observe small puddles that emit musty smell, especially noticeable in small rooms.
- Rodents also leave grease stains on the walls – this is natural fat and oil. If rat infestation in home is serious, you will start noticing these marks in bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom.
- Rats can bite through plastic, wood, and even metal and glass containers. Pantry and kitchen are especially attractive for them, so check all places where food is stored. Remember that rodents like foods with meaty smell, which is why they damage bags with cat and dog chow, canned foods. Check these for the traces of bites
- Another magnet for rats is the area under kitchen sink. If pipes leak, rats will get supply of water. In some rare occasions, they may bite plastic tubes.
- Also check wooden furniture and floor boards – rats bite into them just to wear teeth down.
Can Rat Infestation Make You Sick?
Besides, if an animal is scared or attacked, it may jump onto a domestic animal or even people. Some homeowners learn that their dwelling is contaminated after seeing their dogs and cats bitten and depressed.
Rodents also damage electric wires, furniture, walls and floor: they gnaw everything on their way to find foods or organize space for a quickly growing colony.
How to Control and Fix Rat Infestation?
Today, there are different ways to control rodent infestation, but not all of them are equally safe and effective.
Although rat poison is considered to be the most effective solution, many rodenticides are toxic and expose the risk of secondary poisoning for children and pets. Today, some of remedies are banned, and, of course, such method is considered to be inhumane.
Another rat infestation solution is traps that may be located around the house. But note that rats are intelligent animals, and they dread unknown objects on their way. Besides, this way is also inhumane, because even the safest traps may kill animals.
If you cannot deal with infestation on your own, contact a professional rat control company. In many cases, this solution will be less expensive and far more effective that experimenting with numerous traps, cages and poisons.
After all rodents were killed and eliminated, clean up debris and poop thoroughly – it may contain infections and bacteria.
How to Prevent a Rat Infestation?
To protect your house from infestation, do the following:
- Close all areas easy for access including gaps between walls, foundations, and on roof. Block all non-functional openings under house and inside it. Cover all ventilation openings with rat proof mesh.
- Keep your lawn vegetation low, and remove shrubs growing near to your house.
- If you have bird feeders, remove them for a while.
- Do not store pet food or any other eatables in your garage.
- Keep your house clean and free from any available sources of water and food.
- Repair pipes and tubes that leak.
- Do not feed your pets outside the house. But if it’s a must, remove all leftovers right away and wash bowls thoroughly.
Don’t panic, if you see rats in your house. An infestation can be quickly eliminated, if you act fast and take all the required measures.