Rats

Identification

  • Colour Brown, black, grey, or white
  • Size From 30 cm to 50 cm long
  • Description Have coarse fur, protruding ears, and tails.

General Facts

Why do I have rats?

Rats are one of the most adaptable creatures on the planet and have spread around the world. The most common rat species in Canada are the Norway rat, also known as brown rats, and the roof rat, also called black rats.

Norway rats like to stay at ground level or in burrows, in crawl spaces, basements, or around the perimeter of the house. Roof rats like to nest in trees, attics, and rafters.

Both usually access homes by squeezing through unsealed openings, but they are strong swimmers, and can enter through toilets and drain pipes too.

Rats will generally eat anything and are attracted to any food easily available. Norway rats tend to prefer foods high in fat content, like grease and meat. Meanwhile, roof rats prefer grains, nuts, seeds, and plant-based foods, possibly because the packaging can be used for nesting.

How worried should I be about rats?

Back in the 14th century, rats infamously spread the Black Death plague, which led to the deaths of millions of people. The pests do not carry the plague today, but can still transmit many other diseases, like rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, and E. coli infection

These diseases can be spread directly through bites, body fluids and droppings, or indirectly by the parasitic insects, ticks and mites that feed on them or nest in their fur.

These pests also do structural damage which can be expensive to fix. Outdoors, Norway rats can leave unsightly holes in lawns and even undermine building foundations. Indoors, both species can tear up insulation, paper, and cloth to make their nests.

Rats can be heard constantly gnawing, even from behind the wall, and will leave teeth and rub marks around the home or business. Their remains and detritus can also clog up drain pipes and roof rats' nests often block gutters.

As a business owner, rats can ruin your reputation, eliciting reactions of horror and disgust from customers, causing structural damage to your property, putting your employees at risk, and harming your ability to operate legally.

However, an infestation can grow rapidly, as rats can reproduce exponentially, giving birth to litters of up to 12 new offspring every month. To effectively deal with a rat infestation and install the traps and sanitation program needed, professional pest control services are essential.

How can I prevent rats invading?

Check wiring for chew marks and gnawing, Check the walls for rubbing marks or holes, Look out for small, pellet-like droppings, Keep food preparation areas clean, Clean up spills and crumbs immediately, Remove food sources, including bird feeders, Clean and rotate dumpsters regularly, Make sure trash cans are covered tightly, Trim back vegetation from building exterior, Seal any cracks or holes with caulk or foam, Fix leaky soda or ice machines and HVAC units, Remove any standing water outside, Don't leave doors open for a long time, Install weather strips around doors and windows

Other pests related to Rats

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