Do I Have a Rat Infestation?
This is one of the first questions homeowners ask themselves after they spot a rat. Whether or not you have an infestation depends on a number of factors. If there’s just been a heavy rain and you haven’t spotted a rat before, it may be a single intruder.
If you notice symptoms of an infestation and multiple signs, there may be more than one. Rats also breed very quickly. A pair of rats can produce as many as 2,000 descendants in a single year. They are also much more clever than your average mouse.
The best way to determine if you have a problem? Call an exterminator from Anteater Exterminating Inc..
Signs of a Rat Problem
There are some simple ways to identify whether you have a rat or a mouse problem. Rats have behaviors that mice don’t and leave some key clue differences behind.
These are much larger than mouse droppings and maybe 1/2 to a 3/4 inches in length. They will be brown or dark colored and elongated like a grain of rice. Unlike mice droppings, Norway rat feces ends may be rounded or blunt instead of pointed. Roof rats feces averages 1/2 inch and has pointed ends.
Oily rub marks.
Wild rats are oily and greasy. They travel on familiar routes, and that makes it easy to identify areas they frequently rub against. A rubbed area is grayed and stained with dirt and grease. This happens on walls, boards, and even items.
You find live or dead rats.
The most obvious symptom is visual proof. Rats are easy to distinguish from mice. They are much larger and have longer tails and more pointed faces. If you see a live rat or find fresh dead ones (not mummified), your home is likely infested.
Scratching and scuffling noises.
One of the biggest problem rat species in Arizona is the black rat. They are great at climbing, earning them the nickname “roof rat.” If you hear scuffling noises in the rafters look upwards. You may spot a rat running from one location to the next.
If you find tiny little holes at different places; be it the ground, wall or anything like that, it is another sign that rat infection has become a problem you need to handle.
Of course, this one can’t be missed. If you have too many rats living at your home and they tend to eat, spread clutter, multiply, and even defecate, there is bound to be a pungent smell in your apartment.
The smell of rat’s urine is very typical and extremely foul. So, even before you see a puddle, you are likely to understand that the apartment has been infested with rodents.
Where do roof rats nest?
Rats nest nearly anywhere. Indoor rats like attics, eaves, and lofts. They will collect soft materials to make a nest out of. Pillow fluff, thread, cloth, toilet paper, and cardboard are all fair game.
- Attics and ceilings
- Storage sheds
- Beneath outdoor wall awnings
- Trees (Including palm trees)
- Roof line voids
- Areas of dense vegetation
How do I rat-proof my house?
The first step to take is to follow our mouse proofing instructions. There are additional steps required to prevent roof rats though.
Trim away any outdoor vines on walls. If you have a wall or rockery outdoors with vines growing on it, remove them. This removes the cover that rats use for nesting. Without the dense foliage, a wall or rockery makes a much less appealing nesting site.
Trim tree branches that are near or touching the roof. Rats want easy access to the areas they frequent most. If your roof helps them get indoors to a food supply or safe space, they will use it. A nearby tree or bush that is tall enough to reach the roof provides a perfect pathway for foraging.
What diseases do rats carry?
While rats are known for spreading the plague, they carry a wide range of other diseases as well. Even their feces carry dangerous pathogens, so do not clean up rat feces and urine without proper protection.
Wear a respirator if you work in a dusty or enclosed environment. This can prevent airborne pathogens from entering the lungs.
Diseases transmitted by a flea.
- Murine Typhus – Much like the plague, this disease is carried by the fleas that live on rats. It is more common in the summer months. It is caused by the Rickettsia bacteria. Symptoms include rashes and neurological signs like seizures, confusion, and stupor. It also includes fever-like symptoms like a headache, nausea, and muscle pain.
Diseases transmitted by a bite.
- Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome – The hantavirus is transmitted by contact with droppings, saliva, or urine. That means you can get it just by cleaning up after an infestation. It can be deadly. Symptoms are similar to that of the flu including dizziness, headaches, fevers, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Diseases transmitted by excrement.
- Leptospirosis – AKA Weil’s disease, this bacteria is carried by rats. They may not show any signs and humans that come into contact with rat feces or urine may become infected. Symptoms vary. The disease may be fatal in some cases while other show very few signs of contraction. Symptoms include vomiting, rash, fever, muscle aches, and headache.
- Eosinophilic Meningitis – This is caused by a rat lungworm, and can be spread by direct contact with an afflicted rat. It causes a brain infection and an increase in the count of white blood cells.
Rats are one of the common pests which can be traced in a lot of homes. Having even a few of them can lead to endless troubles and problems as they are definitely very damaging. So, if you would like to get your hands on the rat exterminator guide, we are here with the details you need to know to handle the problem before it becomes much more than what you can deal with.
The problems they pose
Rats end up damaging not just the property but they are also the bearer of a great deal of diseases too. There was a time when rats were confined to small and dingy places but they seem to have spread to just about everywhere.
By constantly burrowing, they can do massive damage to your furniture and end up ruining the overall appeal of your home. Not only this, it can infect your food and can lead to tons of medical ailments. They are known to be the bearer of various infections and can also lead to epidemics as well.
So, the last thing you want is to have rats at your place and some breeds tend to multiply quicker than you can imagine. So, you have to be really careful and cautious.
What can lead to rat infestation?
Rat infestation can be caused because of a number of different factors. Let us see what some of them are.
Rats tend to live mostly in dingy and unclean neighborhoods. If you feel that your place isn’t hygienic enough or it seems to be clustered with too many unhealthy things, you should see that as a warning sign of facing the troubles of rat infestation.
Scattered food particles
If your apartment is the kind wherein food particles loiter here and there, it is time to make a right call and do something at the earliest. As rats tend to pick up on scattered bits here and there, it is likely that you will have a rat infestation.
If your apartment seems to be an old building, the chances of facing rat infestation are pretty high. Even if you have a construction going, the chances of facing rat troubles could worsen. Rats tend to be attracted to old buildings as they can find many places to thrive there.
If you have water leakage in your house, it could be one of the biggest causes of rat infestation. This tends to give them the right passage to enter and they are likely to multiply and grow as well.
This could be a little surreal but if you have mice infestation at your place it is very likely that it will culminate into a rat infestation too. Rats hunt mice so it is likely that they will chase them there.
Now that you know some of the possible places and causes of rat infestation, let us look at other details.
So now that you know the symptoms, the next thing is to know how to get rid of rats in the right manner. Let us see some of the possible ways.
Know the breed
First of all it is important to understand the type of rats that had led to a problem. You should try and find out more details about the rat which has infested your home and then you can act accordingly.
Clean your place
The next thing you should do is come up with a rigorous cleaning regime. Like we told you, rats tend to prefer dingy and dark places. So, cleanse the place thoroughly and try and keep the rooms well illuminated even at night. This can help you spot the rats and even keep them away.
The food source
Rats would surely need something to eat so as to thrive. Keep all your food securely locked and away from the access of rats. Doing this is a great way to curb the problem of rats.
Why do I need professional rat control and extermination?
Rats are prolific breeders. You don’t want an infestation to get out of hand. They spread many diseases by waste products. Because rats leave trails of urine to follow, these contaminants are tracked all over a home. Our exterminators can stop your rat infestation and restore your home. Don’t wait until you get sick. Call us today.
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