Rats have rightfully earned their reputation as filthy vermin. They are living hotbeds of disease and parasites that cause nothing but destruction and stress in the homes and businesses they infest. It’s safe to say these pests are bad news, but just how dangerous are the rats in Merrimac?
What You Should Know About Rats
There are at least 60 known species of rats in the world, averaging between 7 and 11 inches long and usually brown or dark gray in color. They can be found in nearly every city on earth and have developed sneaky strategies to survive on the fringes of human civilization. In general, rats are not only physically stronger than many of their rodent cousins, but they’re also smarter — able to avoid many of the store-bought baits and traps used against them.
Rats can be distinguished from mice by their large size, blocky heads, long muzzles, and thick scaly tails that can account for nearly half their total length. In their quest for food, rats often travel through some disgusting places like dumpsters, sewers, and bathrooms. The diseases and parasites they pick up along the way can then contaminate your property.
An active female rat can give birth to as many as 60 pups per year, causing bad infestations to become worse. These industrious rodents will eagerly chew up structural materials like wood, as well as personal belongings made of plastic and paper. The more rats you have, the more disease and destruction you can expect.
Problems That Rats Cause
Rats cause just about every problem that a pest can — they can make you sick, destroy your property, and cause major stress. As rodents, rats have large incisor teeth that continue to grow throughout the course of their lives. In order to keep these teeth from growing too large, rats must compulsively gnaw on hard materials. They can easily chew through plastic, wood, and even brick, but are unable to chew through metal.
Parasites like fleas and ticks can be carried by rats, which can cause health problems of their own for you and your pets. Leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and hantavirus can all be caused by exposure to rodent droppings. In some cases, hantavirus infections can lead to hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. Rat-bite fever is another serious illness caused by rats that can be potentially fatal if not treated.
How To Prevent Rats
Getting rid of rats can be difficult given their numbers, intelligence, and aptitude for hiding. But preventing rats from infesting your Merrimac property is a fairly straightforward process. You can keep rats away by:
- Sealing entrance points – Inspect the exterior of your property for any holes or openings. An average rat only needs a hole about the size of a nickel to get inside. Stuff holes with steel wool or patch with metal mesh.
- Addressing trash issues – Make sure to always keep a lid on your trash cans, weighed down with a heavy stone or brick if need be. Store trash cans at least 20 feet away from the property and consider switching to a metal receptacle if possible.
- Reducing food access – Rake up any fruit or nuts that may fall on your property. Don’t leave pet food outdoors, even in a sealed bag. Indoors, store pantry items in glass or metal containers with locking lids.
- Fix leaks and clogs – Prevent rats from getting a drink by fixing any leaky pipes, faucets, or spigots. Ensure drains and gutters are free of clogs and flowing properly.
If you suspect that you’ve got rats on your Merrimac property, the best way to deal with an infestation is to call your friends at Freedom Pest Control. Our rat control services will get rid of the rats you have and stop new infestations from occurring. Contact us today for more information!