Homeowners in the U.S. face the threat of three different kinds of rats becoming unwelcome house guests. There are several types of rats that can get into your home. Norway rats are the most common rat and can be found across the U.S. But roof rats and pack rats also want to make themselves comfortable in your home.
Why are these critters trying to sneak into your home? Close proximity to humans usually means access to food, water sources, and safe harborage.
Beyond the uncomfortably thought of rats in your walls, there are plenty of reasons to get rid of a rat infestation. Rats can create significant damage within your home. Since they tear up insulation and chew on electric wires, these creatures present a big threat to your property. In addition to the physical damage, they bring ectoparasites and diseases into your home.
Signs of a Rat Infestation
Rats are a common pest. Although they may be numerous, that doesn’t mean you’ll easily spot them. Rats are wary creatures and avoid human contact.
But even if you can’t spot a rat, there are other signs you can look for to confirm your hunch. The first thing you’ll likely notice is unfamiliar sounds in your home. Rats communicate through squeaking, hissing, and chattering sounds. But you might also hear gnawing and rustling within your home.
After you hear them, you might start noticing other bits of physical evidence of a rat infestation such as:
- Gnaw marks
- Rat tracks
- Smudge marks on beams or walls
If you aren’t sure what kind of critter you have on your hands, it’s best to call in professional help. Rats can be relatively elusive to spot. But professionals can quickly spot the signs that can confirm the presence of a rat.
When you confirm that a rat is in your home, it’s critical to act quickly.
The unfortunate reality is that rats breed at an astounding rate. In fact, rats can produce up to 14 times per year with around seven offspring per litter. That means that a single female rat could produce nearly 100 babies within a single year.
It’s easy to see how this problem could get out of control quickly. Since rats can access your home through a small quarter-inch hole, you’ll need to get this issue under control quickly. Although store-bought rat traps can help, alone they are no match for a rapidly reproducing colony.
Professional Rat Control Program
If you determine that your property has a rat problem, it’s time to call in professional help. With the reproductive prowess of these animals sitting like a ticking time bomb in your home, a comprehensive rat control program is necessary.
When approaching a rat removal plan, the key to long-term success is to consider the entire rat population. A few rat traps won't solve the problem. A comprehensive plan will include careful inspection, trapping, removal, exclusion, prevention, and clean up. The goal is to exterminate the current infestation, prevent future issues, and reclaim a sanitary environment. Here’s a breakdown of the thorough process:
The process starts with an inspection from a professional. Our Wildlife Service Technician will look for signs of rats in your home. Although there might not be any rats visible, the professionals at Critter Control know what to look for and where. During the inspection, we’ll identify all current and potential entry points. It is imperative to seal any entry point because rats can follow odor trails from other rats.
With that confirmation, a professional rat control program can begin.
Rat Trapping Removal
If you have a rat infestation currently in your home, the first step is to trap and remove the rodents.
Generally, trapping is considered the most effective and safe way to control rats. The size of the infestation will determine how many traps, what types of traps, and what rat bait will be placed around your property. Typically, snap traps are the first choice. That’s because these traps can be used several times.
The trapping and removal stage usually takes between 5 to 14 days. But if you are dealing with a well-established colony, then the professionals might extend this timeline. With an especially large colony, other control measures including tamper-resistant bait stations may be required around the perimeter of your structure.
Due to the very cautious nature of these rodents, trapping won’t happen overnight. But with time, this is an effective way to remove any rats currently in your home.
Even if you successfully remove every rat in your home, other rats will likely return to the same comfortable spot. That’s why it’s absolutely essential to seal up all entry points of a quarter-inch or larger.
A few common entry points include foundation cracks, loose-fitting screens, holes for pipes, chimneys, and loose soffits. If there isn’t a readily available hole, Norway rats and roof rats are likely to gnaw through materials like plastic sheeting, wood, and caulking to break into your home.
Rats can gain entry through such a small opening. But Critter Control Wildlife Service Technicians have the experience and training to find all current and potential entry points. Once the weak points are identified, a whole home exclusion is necessary to prevent future rat problems.
The professionals will use sealants, wire mesh, and other rat-proofing structures to safeguard your home.
Rats make a mess in your home. They destroy insulation by using it for nesting materials, creating rat runs through it, and soiling it with urine and feces. Rats can bring many diseases into your home.
Rats contaminate any food they get into. A few diseases commonly transmitted through indirect contact with rats include leptospirosis, salmonellosis, tularemia, plague, and rat-bite fever. Finally, ectoparasites like mites and fleas can infest your home after hitching a ride on a rat.
Of course, no one wants to pick up a rat-related disease. The first step to avoiding any potential health hazards is to call in professional help to eliminate the rat infestation.
Once the animals are removed, it’s time to apply sanitization agents to the contaminated area. The Wildlife Service Technician will thoroughly disinfect where necessary. Additionally, all dead rats will be removed. With that, you can breathe easier in your own home.
Although improved sanitation is the first order of business, it’s not the only part of the cleanup process. Beyond sanitation, our specialists will put everything back in order. For example, let’s say that the rat colony tore up the insulation in your attic. In that case, our team would replace that installation to help you get everything back to normal.
Recurring Rodent Control Solutions
The rodent removal steps above will give your home a much-needed reset. However, the pheromone trails left behind can lead a new infestation of rats directly to your door.
Since rats can chew through most home materials, they can make new entry points into your home. Rat repellants and improved sanitation can go a long way to preventing the return of rodents.
The uncanny ability of rodents to find a happy home is a challenge for homeowners. But that doesn’t mean you’ll need to repeat the entire process again. Instead, regularly scheduled appointments can ensure that your home never sees another large-scale rat infestation.
A professional service that regularly monitors your home for rat problems can spot any future problems before things get out of hand. Although rats are incredibly resourceful critters, they are no match for a careful rodent control plan.
Critter Control near me