Rodents, especially rats are a city-wide problem. And, with spring on the way, their population is expected to multiply. Rodents can grow to be a foot long and can easily squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter. They can reproduce quickly and will eat anything. They can chew through pipes, tread water for at least three days, and easily infest homes if solutions are not made.
In the spring, these rodents will try to find ways to get inside a house or building so they can stay warm. And, it is during this season that homeowners report rat invasions to their technician who will continuously lay rat poison in one corner after another.
What Common Issues can You Expect from Rodents this Spring?
Transmission of different diseases
Rodents are also responsible for the transmission of different diseases. This is because their feeding habits are deadly, and their nesting behaviors can undermine the area they are infesting. List of diseases these rodents can give homeowners are:
- Bubonic plague
- Rat-bite fever
- Murine typhus
- Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
In the spring and fall, rats have reproductive peaks. Their gestation period is between 22 to 25 days and an average litter contains 5 to 10 offspring. Young rats are sexually mature at 3 to 4 months of age, and can have their own litter after mating. These rats do not recognize incest, so brothers and sisters and even mothers and sons mate. They can also create large litters if abundant food is available.
Rats do not commonly live in the wild. In truth, these rodents are widely associated with human activity. When rats start infesting a home, they can be troublesome and can create damage to the home they are infesting. They will eat and contaminate food, transmit parasites and diseases to other animals and humans, damage structures and property.
Once their number grows, these rodents can camp by the hordes in the sewers, chew through vents, invade trash cans and pantries, scurry through allies and under bushes, and harass residents at night. However, rats are secretive and will try to avoid being seen by humans.
Ways to Know if You Have an Infestation
The presence of dead or living rats
Rats like to hide, given that they have enough space. But if rats are seen in plain sight, it is likely that your home is infested. Since their reproduction is fast, it is likely that their living conditions become cramped, which forces them to expose themselves out into the open.
Rat droppings may be present
Since they cannot control their bodily functions, they excrete wherever they go. A single rat can leave up to 25,000 fecal pellets per year. Rats leave 30 to 180 dropping per day, and will range from one half to three quarters of an inch in length. When fecal dropping are seen, these can indicate an infestation.
Dirt or grease marks
Rats tend to leave dirt or grease marks along the walls and floorboards. Rodents have front teeth that are continually growing, so they must continually gnaw to reduce the size of their front teeth. However, these gnawing can cause damage to the structure and is a sure sign of rats.
Minor Problems in Houses
These rodents can also create minor issues in houses, especially with furniture, food, and insulation and wiring. Chewed wiring is one problem that should be taken into consideration this coming spring since this can expensive to repair and can also lead to fires.
Rats will Eat Anything
Rats are omnivorous creatures. They are known to eat almost anything. On average, a rat can consume 25-30 grams of food and drink approximately 60 milliliters of water per day. When they are in a house, they can eat anything not sealed in an air-tight container. But, because they have exceptionally powerful jaws, even air-tight containers are not safe. Rats can eat most food that is stored in paper, plastic, or cardboard containers.
They can come indoors searching for a nice place to nest with a good supply of food. If they find your home that offers an adequate amount of it, you are certain to have an infestation any time soon. Some items that can attract rats are:
- Rubbish and litter
- Pet and bird foods that has been left out and not eaten
- Dog droppings
- Discarded food
- Fruits and that have fallen on the ground
An Easy Prevention
While rodents can greatly multiply this coming spring, it does not mean that we should just wait for them, then just get rid of them once they are there. Make sure that before spring comes that you have already rodent proof your home. Keep in mind that if there are no attractants present and if they cannot find access inside, they will look for other places to harbor. Repair and seal holes. Clean cupboards, keep all garbage in metal containers with tight fitting lids, ensure the compost is away from the house, remove fallen fruit from the yard, remove pet food at night are all simple steps, but can work wonders to stop rodents from even coming near your home.
Dealing with rat infestation? Call Horizon Pest Control for a FREE inspection. For more info, visit Rat Control.