Typically, anywhere humans go, rats go too.
Think of the word “pest”, and we think of rats – before shuddering at the thought of them in our homes.
A rat problem in the home requires immediate action.
Capable of spreading around 35 diseases to your family through contaminating food, or indirectly through infected ticks, fleas and mites brought into the home aboard their ratty chaperones, this is not a pest you want hanging around.
Rats shouldn’t be tackled alone. Contact with the rats themselves, their faeces or even saliva can transmit deadly diseases, so when a rat problem in uncovered, it’s best to call Key West.
Beyond the fear of contracting Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis), Rat bite fever or Salmonellosis from your ratty intruder, they can be destructive little blighters.
Causing damage to the properties they enter, pipes, doors, floorboards and insulation are areas of your house they’ll target with their constant gnawing.
Due to their ability to produce from 3 to 12 litters of between 6 to 8 young in a year, a rat problem should be handled quickly, as infestations can spread, fast.
Rats? Argh! How do I keep them out of the house?
Unlike their cuter counterparts, rats require access to water, daily. They may only drink in tiny quantities, but they need it, and they’ll find a way to get that refreshing slurp of whatever they can find.
The first rule of preventing rat activity in the home – deny them food and drink. You’ve got to starve the little nasties.
In regard to a ratty feast, they’ll famously eat just about anything, but like a varied selection of munchable treats.
In order to ensure your food doesn’t attract furry visitors, or become contaminated by their nibbling, don’t leave food out, and store all food stuffs in metal or glass containers with tight fitting lids.
Hoover food debris from the floor and under appliances to leave nothing to chance, and wipe surfaces to ensure all spillages are removed.
Pet owners should minimise the time pet food is left out for, clean up pet fdebris and store pet food in tightly sealed containers above ground level.
Moving outside of your home, ensure rubbish bags are deposited in bins, and that their lids can securely close. Remove clutter from the garden and tidy debris, to ensure you’re not drawing rats closer to your home.
Similarly, for the green fingered amongst you, don’t add organic waste to compost heaps, as this is tantamount to leaving a ratty feast right outside your door.
Eliminate outdoor water sources in yards and gardens, or you might have yourself a pesty bar on your hands.
Finally, and importantly, it’s DIY time. Time to seal all the possible entry points to your home.
Due to their incessant gnawing, rats can work on the smallest of holes to make them wide enough to squeeze their oily bodies through.
Seal holes in exterior and interior walls and floors, to deny them entry to your home.
Lastly, trim branches away from utility lines and roofs, remove foliage and plants from walls, and place metal or plastic sheeting over pipes outside the house, which rats could use to enter.
Where in the home could they be? What are the signs?
Most active at night-time, you might never actually see a rat, but there are clear signs of rat activity in the home.
Their oily bodies leave greasy marks where they’ve scurried past walls and surfaces, and they’re known to leave feet and tail prints in lesser used areas of our properties.
Their droppings are roughly the size and shape of a grain of rice – look out for these if you’ve got suspicions.
Unexplainable holes are another sign of a rat infestation, widely known to dig complex systems for shelter, nesting and storing food, they’ll try and borough through almost anything.
Finally, when shelter like our lofts are more easily accessible, they’ll save themselves the digging time, and often shred materials such as loft insulation and cardboard to make their nests.
Loft dwelling rats tend to be of the Black Rat species, who leave a further sign of their presence in our lofts. Gnaw marks on wires, cabling and items stored there are clear signs of a rat intrusion.
They’re already here – How do I get them out of the house?
When it comes to returning your home to its rat-free state, choosing the DIY route could be costly and ineffective.
Terrified of anything new, rats are neophobic, a trait useful when it comes to eluding their captors. Due to this phobia, many DIY options may be futile, with traps and other measures triggering their fear, reminding them to avoid your attempts to snatch them.
With this in mind, you may save large sums of money, time and stress by calling in the professionals. We battle this pest daily, and with Key West, expert treatments and advice come at a very affordable price.
If you can’t wait the short period of time for us to get to you, or If you wish to try and treat the problem without professional help, there are a few things you can try.
For a small-scale problem, you could look into deploying humane traps. These traps capture the furry little pests alive, so they can be released in the wild later.
For larger infestations, lethal traps are an effective way to control the critters, putting a more permanent end to your home-share.
The trick to cornering your ratty guests is patience. Eventually, after their neophobia wares off, just when you thought they’d elude your traps forever, they’ll begin to accept the trap as part of their environment.
While poisonous baits are available, we don’t recommend you use them without expert help.
Due to the size of these rodents, using poisons could leave you with a sizeable corpse on your hands. Not only a food source for maggots, a dead rat can cause a truly awful smell which releases particulates that could make your family very unwell, more so than if they’d had direct contact with rats themselves.
Every day spent in a ratty house share is a day risking the health of our families, and the integrity of our properties. Call in Key West pest control, committed to protecting your home and family.