WILL PEST CONTROL GET RID OF RATS?
Rats have been around to terrorize humans for a long time. They were around when the “Black Plague” decimated the numbers of people living in Europe. They are found in almost all places on earth where there are humans living in it. Today, they are known to be one of the most common household pests and continue to wreak havoc on every homeowner’s health and property.
Rats will happily infest any place where they can find food, water, and shelter. They also possess the rare ability to swim up sewer pipes and into toilets. They do not care about sanitation, and in fact, thrive in filthy areas.
Rats are incredibly smart animals, which is a huge reason why they have survived despite all efforts to eradicate them. As you are reading this, they continue to grow in numbers and would not stop unless we all do something about it. They are terrible pests to have around since they know how to destroy valuables, eat and contaminate our food, and transmit deadly diseases.
What are rats?
Rats are medium-sized rodents that look like the common house mouse, only larger, with longer bodies, longer tails, and longer legs.
There are two widely known species of rats, these are the black rat and the brown rat. The black rats, also known as the common house rats, are pests to both agriculture and the household. The brown rat is also known as the sewer rat.
Rats are very smart and have a great memory; they rarely forget. When it comes to trails, they easily learn of new ones when they find their old trails dangerous. They are also very curious and like to investigate, but avoid any form of confrontation. They are also highly social creatures. They are playful and you can even hear them laugh. They live in nests together with all the other rats, and they sleep cuddled next to each other. When they are left alone, they get lonely. They also feel depressed when they lose a loved one.
Two common types of rats
An adult black rat’s length ranges from 5 inches to 7.2 inches and weighs about 75 to 230 grams. They come in black to brown in color. They are omnivores and are not finicky eaters. Their diet consists of fruits, seeds, leaves, fungi, and stems; sometimes they would steal food that was supposed to be for cows, chickens, dogs, and cats. They attack and feed on crops and cause huge economic losses to farmers. They can live in houses, warehouses, and commercial buildings. They can also thrive in agricultural areas like crop fields and barns.
The brown rat is about 11 inches in length from head to tail, much larger than the black rats. They come in brown or grey colors. They can weigh up to 17 oz. They are nocturnal, and like the black rat, they eat almost anything.
What makes rats so successful?
One of the prime reasons why rats have survived over the ages is because they reproduce very quickly. Rats are already sexually mature by their fifth month and can reproduce every three weeks for a couple of years.
Another one of their qualities that makes them so successful is that they can live for 20 days without drinking any water. They get their hydration requirements from the food they eat.
It is a mystery though, how rat populations quickly recover after being exterminated in one area. Perhaps it is because as there are fewer competitors for resources, so they breed faster.
Why are rats pests?
Here are some surprising facts about rats. Rats attack homes in search of food, water, and shelter. Once they are in, they start munching on whatever food there is on the table. But food is not the only thing on their mind that is worth chewing. Rats have incisors that are ever-growing. Due to this, they need to find something to chew on to prevent it from getting any longer. This leaves many damaged items on their paths; papers, cardboards, boxes, books, and furniture.
Why are rats so dangerous?
Rats transmit several deadly diseases. They do this by contaminating our food through their droppings, urine, saliva, or simply by crawling on food. Once humans ingest food that is contaminated by rats or directly ingest the droppings. We have listed below the types of diseases humans can get from rats.
- Leptospirosis – This is a bacterial infection that can infect both humans and animals. It can pass to humans when an open wound on the skin comes into contact with soil or water contaminated with rat’s urine. It can lead to liver failure, kidney damage, and even death if left untreated. Signs and symptoms include headache, vomiting, nausea, high fever, jaundice, red eyes, rashes, and abdominal pains. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics as the main form of treatment.
- Salmonella – This is contracted by eating food that is contaminated by rat droppings. Symptoms of this disease include fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping.
- Rat-bite fever – This is a disease contracted by humans after getting in contact with rats infected with the bacteria Streptobacillus moniliformis and Spirillum minus. The most common victims are people with pet rats. The same is true for people who work close to rats, like those in the laboratories.. Signs and symptoms include vomiting fever, headache, muscle pain, vomiting, muscle pains.
- Haverhill fever – This disease is contracted by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated by rats. Symptoms are similar, except for a severe vomiting and sore throat.
- The Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) – This disease is a severe respiratory disease caused by hantavirus infection. It is a potentially fatal disease and is transmitted through direct contact with rats. Infection happens through exposure to rat urine, droppings, or saliva. Initial symptoms include fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. We can be infected with this disease if we are bitten by an infected rat; or we touch something that has been contaminated with rat droppings, urine, or saliva and then we touch our nose or mouth, too. Ingesting food that is contaminated by rat feces, urine or saliva also puts us in danger of contracting HPS.
Signs you may have rats at home
Rats are nocturnal, so you will most probably not encounter them at night. They do tend to leave signs of their presence. If you have these, you have rats.
- Presence of rat droppings. Their droppings look like little black pellets.
- You have boxes, cardboards, cables, and books with gnaw marks. Rats are always in need of something to chew to prevent their incisors from growing.
- Rats leave footprints and tail marks, especially in dusty areas.
- Actually seeing a rat.
How can we outsmart rats?
Rats are highly intelligent creatures and with incredible photographic memories. Getting them is not as simple as laying traps anywhere; rats recognize changes made to their paths and would likely avoid anything that looks unfamiliar to them. It is hard to know how rats move or anticipate where their next damage would be. They manage to sneak in homes, buildings, factories, and warehouses eating garbage, nibbling wires, chewing through cables, spreading diseases, all while they are out of sight. We, humans, like to think that we are the smartest creatures ever created, yet rats manage to be one step ahead of us all. No matter what people do, rats still persist.
Yet there are some pest control measures we can do to keep them out of our houses. Here are a few tips that you can easily do.
- Practice good housekeeping. Sweep and mop floors, vacuum carpets, couches, and other furniture.
- Throw away your garbage properly. This will cut a huge food source for them. Seal your garbage bags properly
- Cover your trash with a lid. This will prevent the rats from getting to your trash.
- Try to find cracks, crevices, and holes inside and outside your home and seal them by caulking. These holes are potential entry points for rats. Sealing them keeps the rats out.
- Practice good sanitation. Make sure your surroundings are clean. Avoid filth and remove clutter. Wipe off food and drink spills,
- Fix leaky pipes, faucets, and clogged drains. Rats like high moisture areas too.
- Put your food in sealed containers to prevent rats from getting to them.
- Remove clutter in your houses like old boxes, cardboards, papers, and other similar items. Rats might use these items as their hiding places.
Rats are truly unwelcome guests in every household. If you have rat infestation problems, call the local bug exterminators in Lake Norman since 1959, the Lake NormanPest Control.
Lake Norman Pest Control has a team of expert professionals who has excellent experience in handling pests like rats, mice, roaches, mosquitoes, flies, bed bugs, and poisonous spiders. They use family-friendly and pet-friendly methods, so you are assured of your family’s safety.
Lake Norman Pest Control has been around for more than 60 years now and has been trusted by residents and locals of Cornelius.