Rats are well known to spread disease, damage property and contaminate food and animal feed. If they are able to gain entry into your home or business, they can introduce other unwelcome parasites like fleas, lice and ticks.
Acting at the first sign of a suspected problem can help to drastically reduce the length of time needed to effectively control an infestation. Rats are able to breed quickly and a small problem has the potential to develop into a serious issue if left unmanaged.
Discovering rats in your home or business can be very distressing. Luckily there are ways you can deter rats and prevent an infestation.
Proofing your home to deny them entry and removing easy access to food and water can really make a difference. Rats need easy and consistent access to a water source, even though they only drink between 15 - 60ml per day. They will eat almost anything available, but they do prefer to eat small amounts of a variety of different foods.
Signs of a rat infestation problem
As nocturnal creatures, rats are most active between dusk and dawn and usually hide from humans during the day. It is often easier to spot signs of a problem, rather than the actual pest.
- Rat Droppings usually found concentrated areas as rats produce up to 40 droppings per night. Brown rat droppings are dark brown in a tapered, spindle shape about 9mm - 14mm long. They can resemble a large grain of rice.
- Scratching Noises Think you might have rats in your roof? Black rats (also known as the roof rat) are agile climbers and can easily gain access into loft spaces and upper floors of buildings. Hearing scratching noises at night from above may suggest their presence. Brown rats on the other hand, are less adept climbers. You may hear them scurrying under decking, sheds and floorboards. They are more likely to be identified by a grinding noise they make with their teeth known as bruxing.
- Footprints (running tracks) Rats leave foot and tail marks in dusty, less-used areas of buildings. Shining a strong flashlight at a low angle should reveal tracks clearly. To establish if an infestation is active, sprinkle fine flour or talc along a small stretch of floor near the footprints and check for fresh tracks the next day.
- Rub Marks Rats use established routes along skirting boards and walls due to their poor eyesight. Grease and dirt on their bodies leave smudges and dark marks on both objects and surfaces they repeatedly brush against. These marks may indicate rodent activity, but as smears may remain for a long period of time, they are not a good gauge of an active infestation.
- Damage Rats have teeth that grow continuously. They need to gnaw on wood and plastic to keep them trim. They have the potential to cause fires by chewing through electrical cables. You may also notice ripped food packaging, as rats tear open food, leaving visible teeth marks.
- Nests Rats build nests in warm, hidden places using shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics. Nests will often contain young rats and are usually located close to a food source. Check behind and under appliances, such as fridges and freezers in or near your kitchen.
- Burrows Brown rats are well known for digging and excavating extensive burrow systems for shelter, food storage and nesting. Look for burrows in compost heaps, under decking or garden sheds, or in garages.
Do I Need Professional Rat Control Assistance?
If you have spotted signs of a rat infestation, such as droppings or an unpleasant urine smell, it is time to get professional treatment.
Regular pest control is often the most reliable form of prevention. Rat bait stations professionally managed by Jentel Pest Management is a trusted rat deterrent and is safe to use even in locations where children or pets are present.
Why call in a professional pest controller for your rat control?
If you think you have rats, it is important to act quickly to control the level of infestation and reduce the health risks posed by this rodent. Jentel Pest Management licensed technicians are backed by global knowledge and innovation and are able to provide the most effective rat control services best suited to your problem.