Rats are the by far the most despised pest problem to have in and around the home. Rats carry salmonella, E coli, Weil’s disease and tuberculosis- all of which can be passed on to us and our pets. Besides the diseases that the rodents can spread, rats also carry fleas, ticks and mites and can also cause acute allergic reactions.
So how do I know if I have a rat infestation?
Knowing if you have a rat infestation isn’t always as plain and simple as you’d imagine. This is largely due to the fact that rats are nocturnal animals and they tend to hide from us as much as they can. So besides seeing them, look out for evidence of rats at your home.
Here are some of the common signs of a rat infestation:
Rat droppings are the first identifying mark of a rat infestation. If you have dark and tapered droppings around 1 to 1.5cm long then you will most likely have rats.
A foul smell
Rats leave a strong smell behind similar to the scent of ammonia (urine). The smell will be strongest in the loft, cupboards and beneath the floorboards
Signs of gnawing
Rats are rodents and they constantly gnaw on plastic and wood so look out for chewed materials like this.
Rats can get into the strangest of places, from inside the cavity walls and in the loft, to under the floorboards or garden decking. If you hear scratching noises coming from any of these places then it’s almost always rats.
Why have I got rats?
Rats are no different to other animals in that they are looking for shelter and sustenance (food and drink for nourishment).
So to minimalize the likelihood of rats hanging around your home; check in and around sheds, garages and other outbuildings for signs of a nest. Next remove all food sources including uncovered bins, compost bins and all easily accessible foods inside. Indoor food should now be kept in sealable containers that the rats cannot chew through. Now, remove all accesses to water from pet bowls to dripping taps or pipes.
How can I get rid of them?
There are many pest control products available to purchase from supermarkets, garden centres and hardware stores. When using these products, always read the label and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
You can also deter the rats with ultrasonic repellers. These devices emit a high pitched sound which humans cannot hear but rats can and they dislike it which should deter them from your property. Ultra sonic devices will not be effective for rat infestations so it may be worth considering hiring a professional pest control expert to efficiently remove the rats.
Broken sewers are one of the major causes of rat infestations. To remedy this problem, repair your broken sewer immediately and consider installing a ‘rat stop’. These instruments allow water to pass through the sewer but stops rats from getting through.
Some pest problems are best left to professionals- especially pest infestations. For large pest problems, it’s strongly recommended that you hire pest control experts to efficiently and successfully remove your pest problem.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: www.sxc.hu
John Ramsay is an experienced pest control specialist who has dealt with dozens of rat infestation cases during his time with Essex Pest Control.
June 18, 2013 at 3:37 pm Comments (0)