There is a reason that horror books have been written about rats, they are incredibly nasty creatures. While some pests can be dealt with reasonably well without professional help, it is essential that you contact a professional as soon as you know you have a rat infestation so that they can implement the proper rat control procedures.
Rats are generally nocturnal animals, so you might see signs that you have a rat infestation before you actually see any rats. There are obvious things to look for, such as rat droppings, which share the general dimensions of a sultana. Also chewed bits of furniture or wiring could also be a sign of a rat infestation, although that could also be an indication of mice. If you find any tracks in dust on the floor followed by a tail mark that is a good sign; you can tell them from mice tracks because rat’s feet are quite big whereas mice’s feet are tiny. Of course if you have a mouse infestation that is also serious, but not as serious as rats due to the greater danger of contracting diseases from rats.
Rat’s teeth are strong enough to chew through aluminium.
Rat’s teeth are strong enough to chew through aluminium. Holes in the wall are another sign of a rat infestation, as are smears on the wall. These come from the oil on a rat’s fur which comes off when they rub against it. The most sure-fire way of knowing that you have a rat infestation, however, is when you come face to face with a rat. It’s not a pretty sight, and although they won’t attack for no reason, you should be careful that you don’t get into a position where they can bite you as this will be very painful and quite serious.
Again, a rat infestation is very serious and advice on rat control measures should be taken from a professional. What you can do, however, is keep your home clean. Although rats will chew on just about anything, they need food to sustain them so if you deny them that sustenance it is a good step to getting rid of rats, making sure they stay away and of not attracting them in the first place. This means generally keeping good hygiene standards, in fact the cleaner the better. In particular, make sure that refuse is stored in bins and rubbish bags are not left around the house. Also, keep all food in cupboards.
Other techniques for keeping rats away include having a well-kept garden, removing sources of water from ground level so rats cannot access them and clearing blocked drains immediately. More specific advice on rat control procedures applicable to your own home can be provided by a professional.
These rat control measures should be taken straight away, however they will not rid you of the rat infestation. The best way to do that is with rat poison, however even though rats will generally eat anything, they are generally mistrusting of new sources of food and it will usually take them a few nights before they take the poisoned bait. Pets and young children should of course be kept away from the bait. Once the rats have ingested the poison, it could take anything from a few days to over a week for it to be effective, so you will have to be patient.
Rats are a menace, but to defeat an enemy you have to know more about them than they know about you. So here is some more knowledge that may help with your rat control procedures.
The most common form of rats in Britain is, appropriately enough, called the “Common Rat”. Rats have long noses, and long tails which it is believed they use for balance and/or to control body temperature. In an attempt to gather material for their nests they will chew anything, including power cables, creating a possible fire hazard.
Rats are more common during winter, and cooler weather generally and like to live near supplies of food and water. They multiply rapidly, with each female capable of around six litters every year, with each litter producing half a dozen to a dozen baby rats.
It is therefore very important to contact a professional to exercise rat control procedures as soon as you notice an infestation.
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