What are Rats?
They are medium-sized rodents that are found all over the world. They differ in size from mice because they are larger and longer, having coarse hair and long legs. There are more than 60 species of rat. The most common are brown and house rats. They are everywhere as long as humans are present. Their instinct is just to eat and multiply. Rats can be considered social creatures because they live together in packs and noticeably have a leader which also is the largest among all of them.
Rats eat almost anything.
Their diet consists mostly of small insects, birds, fish, lizards, leftover food, meat scraps, and more. Like humans, they have basic needs which are food, water, and shelter. If they have these, they will just go on and mate throughout their lifetime producing at least 2000 offspring per year if unattended.
Rats contract diseases
Their growing numbers also endanger humans to contract diseases and viruses. Well-known infections are Hepatitis E, Salmonella, LCMV, Rat-bite Fever, Rabies (when bitten), and a lot more.
The good thing about rats is that they are easy to spot if you have an infestation at home. All you have to do is stop, look, listen and smell.
Rats are noisy creatures
Rats squeak loudly and scurry about inside your walls and roofs. They are also messy creatures leaving droppings all around your house. They have a distinctive pungent musky odor which is very hard to miss. One thing they are good at is that they are really good destroyers. Their incisors can drill and make holes in walls and cupboards just to establish their so-called highways. They are even known to bore holes on thin metal sheets.
How do you get rid of rat problems?
Eradicating rats can be tedious but attainable. You just need the right tools and knowledge on how to address them. These are some tips that you can use to solve a rat problem:
1. Assess and Inspect
You need to know where they are, where they nest, what they eat, and where they come in and out of your house. Make marks on their “highways” and trail. Locate their nests which are usually found in the attic or basement. Look for them in the dark corners of your home. They are not hard to miss because of the mess they make,
2. Fix and Seal
After inspecting, fix loose cracks and doorways and seal all their entry and exit points.
Once you find their nest or hiding place, clean them all up and remove all the debris that they collected. If you find pups or babies, you can place them inside an open container and place them outside. Their parents will come and get them.
After cleaning thoroughly, sanitize the area to get rid of their scent. Rats usually leave scents to mark their territory.
4. Traps and Baits
Other popular effective methods are trapping and baiting. Once you catch most or even the leader, all the other rats will follow. After gathering all of them in one batch, you can suffocate them or poison them to fully eliminate the vermin.
5. Natural Methods
Household items like pepper can be spread around your home. Rats cannot stand the pepper’s irritating abilities. This can help in stopping the rats from entering the premises.
6. Use of pets
Dogs and Cats are natural hunters. Having pets inside the house can already discourage rats from living with you. Rats do not like to get disrupted from their daily living, so they might as well vacate the area. Although this can also be on a case-to-case basis. Some rats get accustomed to your pets and vice versa so they will not bother to get interested in driving them away.
7. Call the Exterminator
If all those tips fail and your infestation is getting uncontrollably out of hand, you might as well call pest control professionals. They are more knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with rats and what methods to use. They know all about them and have a good arsenal of tools and technology. Also, they are updated regularly on what new discoveries and methods are available and more effective.
Stop, look, and smell!
There are still lots of methods online and readily available for research if you want to know more about how to deal with rats. These problems are manageable as long as it has been detected at an early stage. Rats become serious trouble once their numbers get high. The more they are, the greater the destruction they inflict.