Los Angeles County, California residents primarily have problems with two species of rats in and around their properties: the roof rat (Rattus Rattus) and the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). Both of these rats cause damage to homes and also spread disease. However, there are some things you can do to get rid of rats if you suspect that they've invaded your property.
How to Identify the Rats in Your House
Roof rats and Norway rats have different habits and tend to colonize different areas, so it's important to know which species is around your property. Both can simultaneously colonize your house, and both are identifiable by their distinct unique features.
- Are large and stocky
- Brown with a mostly gray belly
- Have scaly tails
- Weigh between seven and eighteen ounces
- Burrow to build nests
- Found in basements or the first floor
- Are sleek and agile
- Black with gray and white bellies
- Have dark, scaly tails that extend past their muzzles
- Weigh five to ten ounces
- Usually nest in trees, shrubs, and dense growth
- Usually found in attics, walls, false ceilings, and cabinets
Both rats are dependent on humans for food, water, and shelter. While they can live outside, they primarily thrive indoors.
Signs of a Rat Infestation
Rats are nocturnal, so the first signs of their infestation are usually their droppings. These are small, black, and banana-shaped. You can often find such droppings around your pet’s food and water dishes. Rats are often heard scurrying around attics and within walls at night when it is quiet, and given that rats tend to travel in packs, they can make a lot of noise.
You might find the damage they cause: rats eat nearly everything humans do and then some. Rodent's teeth never stop growing, so they often resort to chewing, gnawing, and contaminating everything they can get their mouths around, including the foundational material of your household.
Why Rats are Dangerous
Rats can chew through wood, plastic, concrete, copper, and lead. They can shred insulation in the attic and walls to make nests from. They may chew the wires inside the appliances, causing them to stop working. Worse, they may chew other wires and cause a fire. But even worse than that, rats pose hazards not only to the integrity of your home, but to the integrity of your health as well.
In addition to the destruction they cause to property, rats can spread diseases that are destructive to people. This can happen when the rats bite you, when you breathe in the urine or feces, or when you consume food rats have crawled on. Some of these unsavory diseases include murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis (food poisoning), and rat-bite fever.
Furthermore, rat fleas and ticks can accompany the rat, leaving a two-for-one deal of deadly disease vectors on your plate. Granted, while rats can carry fleas that have bubonic plague, they rarely spread it in the South Pasadena, California area. So, how do you mitigate these risks?
Preventing rats requires work on sanitation, rat proof construction, and population control. Your house and yard must be well kept. Garbage and plant debris should be in rat-proof containers such as metal trash cans. Thin plants like ivy should be well-trimmed so they don't give rats additional hiding places. Also, be sure to store household goods off the ground to avoid giving rats additional nesting places. Lastly, if you have any pets or livestock to feed outside, be careful not to leave extra food scraps behind.
To rat-proof your home, you must seal all cracks, crevices, and holes. Rats can squeeze through door gaps that are only ½ inch wide, and enter through holes that are only ½ inch in diameter. Therefore, it's imperative to do everything in your power to seal all possible openings and breakages at all costs.
If you already have rats in your house, you will have to trap them one by one and remove them. Rats are cautious about new things in their environment, so it may take a few days before they start showing up in the traps. While this can be effective at killing rats in isolation through the short term, it's not the most viable standalone strategy for removing full-blown infestations in the long term. If you need a long term last resort, here's what you should know.
Let the Pros Handle Rat Population Control
It is easier and safer to contact a pest control company if you believe you have rats, and Kat’s Pest Solutions can come out and take care of those rats. You don't have to worry about dead rats in the walls and attic, or handling rats that have been caught in traps. Kat’s Pest Solutions will even clean up the mess the rats have left behind in the attic, basement, walls, or other living areas.
They have the right equipment and trained personnel to do this safely and quickly. Call Kat’s Pest Solutions at (877) 528-5287 today and say goodbye to the rats in your home or other property.