How can you identify if you have a rat problem?
Detecting a pest problem isn’t always a straight forward as it would seem, particularly when rats are involved. Despite the fact that they regularly invade our homes and business properties, rats are ultimately a wild animal and consequently they have evolved to keep out of sight of predators, including humans. This pest is a master of disguise – they will do all they can to avoid being spotted. As a result, it can be sometimes difficult to confirm if you have a rat problem. However, there are a few tell tale signs to look out for.
1. Gnawing marks
Rats teeth are very sharp and as with all rodents, they continually grow. Therefore, rats will gnaw on objects in order to prevent their teeth from getting too long. If you notice some gnawing imprints or gnawing sounds around your property, you could have an unwelcome rat problem. A bad case of gnawing could lead some structural damage, so keep your eyes peeled on the issue and get it rectified as soon as possible if you spot any damage.
2. Rat droppings
A sure sign of a infestation of rats is if you discover droppings on the floor. Rat droppings tend to be about half an inch long, usually a shiny black colour with many found in one group. You’re likely to find these droppings in areas which are insulated and warm, such as beside interior walls, as this is where the rat is likely to be sheltering.
3. Unpleasant smell
Rats smell – there’s no getting away from it. The scent of a rat infestation is often described as musky and it can linger throughout the home or building. The odor is often so pungent that it can be really difficult to get rid of. The cause of the smell is often a mixture of different things including rat droppings and urine, discarded food and even dead rats. In fact, dead rodents are often found in small nooks and crannies within a home or building and sometimes they can be there for weeks or even months. As you can imagine, this creates a horrendous stench as the rat decomposes.
4. Unusual noises
Have you heard the pitter patter of little feet up in the roof? Have you detected an odd sound coming from within your walls? Or perhaps you’ve heard scratching noises coming from the basement? A rat may have made its home within your property. Although it may be difficult to spot a rat, you can often hear them far more easily. Keep an ear our for any tell tale noises, particularly during the winter months when rats will be seeking warmth and shelter.
What issues do rats cause?
Like all pests, rats can cause numerous different issues and problems for property owners. The number one issue is the fact that they can cause serious health risks. If rats contaminate the food we eat or leave droppings on the ground or surfaces which we come into contact with there is a risk of the spread of diseases, such as weil’s disease. This is particularly dangerous if there are children or pregnant women around as these diseases can cause serious complications.
As well as the health risks, rats can also cause structural issues to buildings, even to really solid structures such as brick houses. This is because rats will find potential entry points and often chew or gnaw the hole to make it bigger or to create a larger space in which to build their nests. As a result, its imperative to promptly invest in professional pest control if you suspect that rats could be causing damage to your building.
How have rats got into my home?
You may be surprised to learn that there are many different entry points where a rat or other pest can get into a home. Rodents can squeeze through the smallest of holes and they are experts in finding different ways to get into a house. As pest control experts, we’ve seen it all!
From burrowing a tunnel from your garden through to finding a tiny crack in your outside door at night, if there is a potential safe space or food source for a rat, they will do all they can to get there. This is why it is important to ensure you consider all the potential entry points throughout a house and ensure that you do all you can to avoid the common rat being able to get inside.
How to get rid of rats
If you have a large infestation of rats, its best that rat removal is left to the professionals. Rat control and rat extermination can be complicated and its important that your rat removal service not only gets rid of the rats, but also prevents them returning. Pest control should offer this full circle solution – not just simply placing a few traps within a house.