Rats are some of the most formidable pests in the world. They damage and contaminate food, structures, and your health. Even when you do not see the actual rats, signs of their presence are quite easy to identify.
In the US, there are two common rat species – the Norway rats and the roof rats. It is believed that both rats were brought to the US by ships that were bound for the New World during the 17th and 18th century.
Although Norway and roof rats look similar, they do have distinctive traits that give evidence for their easy identification.
Norway rats are identifiable by their stocky gray-brown bodies. They are otherwise known as sewer or brown rats. They have tails that are shorter than their body length, but their eyes and ears are quite relative in size to their body. As compared to other rat species, they are larger. They often burrow in fields and gardens and beneath building foundations, woodpiles, and trash. Also, they use fibrous materials like cloth and shredded paper to line their nests.
On the other hand, roof rats are also known as black rats. Since they are excellent climbers, they nest above ground. They naturally live in trees, shrubs and dense vegetation. But if they invade your house, they seek out elevated places like cabinets, attics, sheetrock ceilings, and walls. Unlike Norway rats, they limit their geographical range to places with warmer climates.
Signs of Rodent Presence
Rats are active at night, so an infestation may develop even before you see an actual rodent running across your house. With that said, you must keep an eye on the signs indicating you have rats in your house. These include the following:
- Droppings, especially around food or in garbage bins
- Dead or live rats
- Scratching sound from your attic
- Evidence of gnawing of structural wood or wires
- Burrows around your yard or gnawed fruits in trees
- Piled nesting materials or nests in hidden areas
- Smudge marks on the walls
- Rodent hairs near food, along paths or in nests
Identifying rats is not enough to keep your house rodent-free. You must also know how to prevent and control a rat infestation.
Rat Prevention and Control
Modesto pest control experts say that prevention focusing on sanitation and exclusion is the best way to control rodent infestation. Often, rats enter your house to look for water, food or shelter.
Sanitation – You must employ sanitation methods in order to reduce the availability of water and food. These include carefully packaging or covering all food, keeping your trash areas clean, removing exposed water, and keeping food preparations areas clean.
Exclusion –Minimize the opportunity for rodents to seek shelter in your home via pest-proofing techniques and rodent-proofing.
You can hire the services of an exterminator in Modesto if you can’t completely get rid of rats in your house. These professionals employ techniques that are effective yet safe. Contact AAI Pest Control now.