Rats are a highly intelligent rodent which can be very adaptable to change. They can store each and every path they take in their memory. They can work perfectly in a team, and they are the most persistent species of the world. They are perfect hunters and can consume any food or water resource they find, and they populate in almost all ecosystems of the world. The genus Rattus possesses almost 64 species present all across the world. These species grows uncountably resulting in a huge number of rat population.
The most prominent feature of their family rodent is a pair of a sharp incisor in their upper jaw. These incisors help them in gnawing hard material, and they continue to grow throughout their life. Chewing hard material trims their teeth and assists in keeping them in the right length. If they do not chew and trim their teeth, they will grow tremendously resulting in rat’s death due to weakness and starvation.
When young, mice might look similar to rats because of similarity of their appearance. However, rats contain exceptionally long feet and head and their teeth marks are also larger than those of mice. Rats are one of the most frightening pests that can be found all over the world. They can cause irreversible damage to people’s property. Though rats are not easy to distinguish from other rodents or mice, the sign of their existence in particular area can easily be identified.
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Signs of Infestation
It becomes a bit difficult to look for signs of infestation because rats can not be seen during the daytime. They stay hidden inside their habitation and come out only if forced or having any contest with other rats. Anyhow, if rats are coming out during the day time too, then it means there is very large rat population residing inside your property. To check for further signs of rat infestation, one should follow these steps:
- One should check the presence of any type of nests or burrows near attics, trees, and foundation of the building.
- By hearing to the different type of noises produced inside a locality, one can easily get an idea about the rat infestation. Different sounds like scratching nest building or hitting sound can be heard that can give a person a signal about the rat infestation.
- It is mandatory for rats to chew different types of soft and hard materials. Therefore, to check for rat infestation, one should look for chewing and gnawing marks around their locality.
- Rat infestation can also be found through their rubbing marks. As walking through different parts, rats walks beside corner resulting in rats’ body oil marks on walls and corners.
- The most important thing that can help in finding the sign of rat infestation is their droppings. They normally produce many feces, and through the quantity of these droppings, one can easily get an idea about their population.
How to Get Rid of Rats
1. Inspection and Location
To get rid of rats, firstly their location should be identified. Inside the home or a building, they can hide in the attic, ground floor, cabinets, and other hidden corners. While outside the building, they can be found near trees, inside bushes and gardens, wood piles and near a heap of debris. To kick them out of the locality, their proper location should be inspected properly.
Rats can be excluded by removing shelter and food resources, and mainly by closing all small openings that are making the entrance for rats easier. Rats should be excluded by closing all small holes and openings through chalk, wood, steel or other hard material. All water pipes and drains should have a well-fitted net with the openings of even less than half of an inch. Frames of all doors and windows should be fine and closed tightly.
3. Trapping or Baiting
To reduce the population of rats, following two methods trapping and baiting should be applied. In trapping, one should place enough number of traps inside the home. Some traps should be placed according to the number of their population. Greater the number of traps, less time it would take to remove all rodents. Traps should be placed beside walls, and those areas revealed most affected by rats on the result of the inspection. This method is safe and effective as it does not involve usage of poisonous material and prevent rats’ odor too by manual removal of rats.
The baiting method involves giving poison to rats by preparing some tempting bait for rats. This method is mostly useful for outdoor rat populations. Baits are placed at highly visited areas, and rats on eating these baits get expired.
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After removing already present rat population, following preventive methods should be applied to prevent rats from entering the locality in future:
- All types of garbage and trash should be disposed of properly. If such garbage is left hanging around the house, then rats will get a good reason to dwell at home.
- All food items should be sealed properly. If anything is left open, it will attract rats to stay at that place.
- Openings of garage, chimneys, and vents should be sealed properly to prevent rats from entering and infesting the area.
- Adequate cleanliness is the most important thing to keep rats away from any area. If the area is properly cleaned and no open food source is available, then rats will not even enter that area.