Rats belong in the same family as the common house mouse, but their unique intelligence and physical strength make them a formidable pest. There are two main kinds of rat, and either one might be a call for removal by a professional pest control company. The Norway rat and the roof rat look similar but have different habits.
Both breeds of rat are common to the Vancouver area. Black or ‘roof’ rats weigh approximately 250 g or 1 lb. Norway rats can grow to 500 g or almost 2 lbs. While the two varieties have a similar appearance, their habits are different. Both varieties of rats are brown to black in colour. Both breeds have pointy faces, somewhat humped backs, and scaly, nearly hairless tails. Both varieties may be up to 40 cm long. Both types of rats are nocturnal, and daytime sightings could mean that there is a large infestation that needs to be exterminated. Rats reach sexual maturity between 2 and 5 months and are prolific breeders. The Norway rat has up to four litters per year with 4 – 22 pups in each litter. The roof rat raises an average of 40 young per year.
Like squirrels and mice, rats are adept at maneuvering in and around obstacles. Rats can fit through a hole the size of a quarter, meaning that there is really no area of Vancouver’s houses and apartments that are inaccessible to the pests. The Norway rat builds elaborate systems of tunnels and burrows at ground level. It prefers damp areas like crawl spaces, sewers, basements, or building perimeters and therefore their entry points tend to be at ground level. The roof rat is an agile climber and jumper. It prefers to live in trees and other dense vegetation. It will infest attics, rafters, roofs, and upper stories of buildings. Therefore, their points of entry tend to be around chimneys, eaves, and flashings leading to attic access.
Rats are mostly nocturnal, so the easiest way to tell if your residence has an infestation of rats is by their droppings. Often, homeowners can also hear scratching or scuffling sounds between walls. Chewed food, packaging, and chewed building materials are other ways of determining if your home has rats. Often there is a telltale dirty ‘rub mark’ on the baseboards that they pass by frequently. Be aware that if rats are visible during the day, there is probably a sizeable infestation to deal with.
Both varieties of rats can cause serious structural and electrical damage to the buildings that they infest. They can also damage roadways and entire fields of crops and crop storage. They eat building materials, including batt and foam insulation, wood, and wiring. Food products that have been investigated by rats should be discarded as tainted, due to the feces, saliva, and urine that the pests leave behind. Rats are known disease carriers. They can transmit diseases directly by contaminating food with their waste or by biting people. They can also transmit infection via their fleas. Rats carry diseases such as the plague, rat-bite fever, and Hantavirus.
Exterminating or rat removal of an established rat colony in or near your home can be difficult and time consuming. Instead, Vancouver residents are urged to take the following measures in order to making their home inhospitable toward rats. Below are some tips to prevent rats:
When it comes to rat removal homeowners can choose to use poisoned bait or physical traps to kill solitary invading rats. Due to the ingenuity and rapid breeding habits of the pests, it may be in your best interest to call in a professional team of exterminators before the problem grows.
Mice removal and rat removal consists of an initial service that include isolating the points of entry and sealing them, while placing strategic baits and traps throughout the areas of activity. We follow up with this service until the rodent problem is gone.
Do you need expert rat control? Call Onsite Pest Control in Vancouver. We offer full-service pest control services from insects to bird control. Our experts can help you eliminate your rodent problem quickly and completely.
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