Rats are one of the most common pest problems for Merrimac, Massachusetts property owners, and they are even more of an issue than you might think. While you likely know that rats can be invasive and rather disgusting, they are also dangerous and can cause property damage.
Rats are so prevalent because they have a rather dependent relationship with humans that they’ve adapted to over hundreds of years. Living near people allows them easy access to food, water, and shelter, so they have become quite skilled at living in all kinds of human dwellings. They can hide in many out-of-reach places such as behind walls or in attics. Some are adept climbers while others are great swimmers.
While you likely have an idea of what rats look like, it can be easy to mistake them for other rodents such as mice. You can tell rats apart from mice by looking for a few key characteristics:
- Rats are larger than mice and can grow up to about 16 inches long including their tails.
- Rats have blunt-shaped faces while mice have more pointed ones.
- Rats also have smaller ears and eyes in proportion to their faces than mice.
- Rats range in color from brownish-grey to black.
Just How Big Of A Problem Are Rats?
The first issue rats can cause is property damage, and while it might not seem like a lot at first, it can add up over time. Rats, like other rodents, have incisors that grow constantly. To keep these teeth from getting too big, they constantly gnaw on all kinds of materials including plastic, drywall, pipes, and wood. This can lead to safety hazards as they chew through plumbing and electrical wires.
However, the even bigger concern is all of the health risks that rats pose. They are known to transmit many diseases including salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and tularemia, and even their droppings, fur, and urine can cause respiratory problems. Plus, they often carry parasites such as fleas and ticks that can spread a host of other diseases.
Simple Rat Prevention Tips
While rats can be a difficult pest to completely prevent given their ability to get inside and hide in small places, there are some things you can do to help deter them. Keep in mind that rats can fit through holes the size of a quarter and can also chew through many materials, so this has to be taken into consideration when implementing preventive measures.
- To keep rats out, fill up holes and cracks in the walls and foundation using a combination of steel wool, wire mesh, and caulk.
- Keep pet food stored indoors.
- Rats are attracted to food sources, so keep kitchen areas cleaned often which includes wiping up food and drink spills right away.
- Place secure lids on all trash cans and take out the garage often.
- Fix any broken screens in doors and windows.
The Easiest Way To Remove Rat Infestations
While you can take steps on your own to prevent rats, they are a very difficult pest to control. The simplest and safest way to keep these dangerous rodents out of your home is with help from the professionals at Freedom Pest Control.
We provide ongoing residential and commercial rodent control options that will remove any current rat infestations and prevent them from happening again in the future. Just give us a call at (877) 737-8755 to get started!