What is a rat?
There are upwards of 50 different species within the rattus genus worldwide. You only need to be aware of a handful that are common in the United States. These species include: the Norway rat (rattus norvegicus), the Roof rat (rattus rattus), the Rice rat (oryzomys palustris), and the Cotton rat (sigmodon hispidus). The first two of these species are the most commonly found in homes and businesses. The second two species are known by the Center for Disease Control as potential carriers of the rare and dangerous hantavirus.
Since Norway and Roof rats are the most common rats for home and business infestations, we’ll talk a little more about their physical appearances for easy identification:
- Norway rats, also referred to as brown or sewer rats, can grow up to slightly over a foot in length with primarily gray and reddish-brown coloring. They typically weigh between 5 and 20 ounces.
- Roof rats have darker coloring that gives them their nickname “black rats.” They’re sleeker, and smaller than Norway rats, weighing between 5 and 10 ounces with smaller bodies and longer tails.
Can rats hurt me?
Wild rats can create a lot of problems. They’re responsible for a significant amount of disease transmission including:
- Leptospirosis (a bacterial disease)
- Rat-bite fever (transmitted through bites and scratches)
- Salmonellosis (from drinking or consuming water or food that has been contaminated by rat populations).
Spreading of illnesses aside, rat populations can inflict noticeable damage on the homes or businesses they inhabit. Rats are rodents, which means that their teeth are consistently growing. They need of things to chew on so their teeth don’t grow out of control. They’ll chew on nearly anything, destroying home furniture or structure. Rats chewing on your electrical wires can cause potential electrical fires.
Why are there rats in my home or business?
You have rats because your home or business had the perfect mix of shelter and sustenance to keep their colony alive. Rats seek seclusion, warmth, and accessible food. Keep track of those things and all the corners of your home that they could hide in to keep them out.
Rats are capable climbers. When you’re looking for potential entry points, look both above and below eye level. They can fit through holes as small as a coin so don’t overlook even the smallest opening.
How can I prevent rat infestations?
Rat prevention, like with most pest prevention, is best done through exclusion. That means sealing any potential holes, cracks, or areas of your home that open greater than half of an inch. Patch holes in screens, weather-strip doors and caulk cracks.
Stay on top of cleanliness both inside and outside to minimize the potential food and water sources available to rats. Thin outdoor home vegetation, especially on the perimeter of buildings. Remove any potential hiding places, such as wood piles, clutter, trash piles, or debris.
You can also attempt to catch rats using traps, but if your problem is bigger than one or two rats your best option is to contact a professional pest removal company.
How will Gregory Pest remove rats from my property?
Gregory Pest will send one of our expert technicians out. They’ll arrive at your home or business to identify the variety of rat that has made its nest in your living space and determine how they got in.
Once we’ve determined the variety of rat that’s made its nest, we’ll work to remove it. We will find the nests, remove any debris, and implement a plan to eliminate further infestation. Our methods are thorough and ecologically safe for you, your family, and the environment you live in. Don’t let a small rat cause a big problem. Call us today!
Do rats hibernate?
No. Rats in the wild stockpile food for the winter, burrow into a sheltered area and slow down their activity. While rats have survived winters on their own for thousands of years, your home is an enticing alternative to a snow-covered burrow.
Can rats climb walls?
Rats are excellent climbers and if the wall surface is rough enough to gain purchase, a rat could climb it. They have no problem climbing up drainpipes, bushes and stucco. Keep this in mind as you pest proof your home.
What causes rats to come into your house?
Rats enter homes to escape the elements and find food. They have excellent noses and can smell your dinner well outside your walls. They’re also experts and discovering small openings and finding their way in. Be careful, rats are social creatures and will likely inviter their friends.
Where do rats hide in a house?
Rats prefer dark, quiet places and often settle in attics, basements or between walls.
Are rats nocturnal?
Yes. Rats come out at night and are most active at dusk or dawn. Scratching, chewing and shuffling sounds at night could be a sign of a rat in your home.
What do rats eat?
Nearly anything. Rats are omnivores that will eat whatever they can find in your pantry or garbage. They tend to favor seeds and grains.
How long do rats live?
In the wild, rats typically live 1-2 years. Pet rats can live longer. Female rats give birth to 5-12 pups per litter and can have up to seven litters in one year.
How do pest control experts get rid of rats?
Typically using traps and baits. Your pest control technician will strategize the best placement of traps and what methods to use in your home or business. They’ll also identify how rats got in and help you prevent future invasion. Gregory offers full residential rat control.
Where can I get help with rats?
If you’re currently facing a problem with rats, give the team at Gregory Pest Solutions a call. Just because they’re causing you trouble now doesn’t mean they always will be. We offer our services in all of the states listed below. Our technicians are on standby and ready to provide their help.
Keep your home or business rat free with Gregory Pest Solutions. All you have to do is use the contact box below to get in touch.