When you see one rat you will, understandably, feel apprehensive. After all, rats are known to carry an array of diseases, including Hantavirus, Leptospirosis, and even plague. Most concerning is the fact that a rat doesn’t need to bite you in order to spread the disease. They can bite, scratch, or simply leave the bacteria in their droppings. You’re likely to find droppings all over your home.
The diseases they carry can make you seriously ill, if you see even one rat it’s time to call the exterminators. In short, just one rate means you almost certainly have an infestation. The only question is how severe the infestation is.
The Life Cycle Of A Rat
Rats are known to be social creatures. They prefer to live in large groups and are normally led by the largest male rat. The initial pack is simply a male and a female rat, they will have babies and gradually expand the size of the pack. It is difficult to say whether you are at the beginning of the pack setting up in your home or if they are well-established.
Rats are very good at breeding. They are sexually mature at just 2 weeks old and each female rat will have between six and eleven babies. The gestation period is just three weeks. That means in as little as three months one rat can have up to forty-four babies. By three months the first of these babies will be capable of producing more rats, dramatically increasing the number of rats in the pack.
It is worth noting that the average rat only lives for a year. Although this fact is unlikely to affect the infestation you are dealing with.
In short, if you have a single rat you need to learn more here about the experts and eradicating the pack.
Your Home Is Inviting
There are many reasons why rats will have chosen your property to live on. The good news is that you can do something about this and make sure your home is less attractive to them, potentially preventing issues in the future.
Seal Up Entry Points
Rats like to live as a family unit and they prefer to find somewhere warm and dry to live. If the location has food and water then they are in rat heaven. You can’t reduce the temperature in your home to make it less attractive to rats. But, you can seal entry points to prevent them from getting into your home.
Rats can squeeze through tiny gaps. You need to walk around your home inspecting the walls, where the walls join the roof, and especially around doors and windows. Any gap creates an opportunity for rats. Seal up the gaps as quickly as possible to eliminate their entry point.
It is also worth looking at the edging of your home. If you currently have soil against the walls of your house consider replacing it with concrete. This is more effective at keeping rats and other pests out of your home.
Don’t forget to check the trees near your home. Rats are known to climb trees in order to gain access to your roof and then your home.
Consider Their Food
Rats need food and water to survive, in the same way, that any other living creature does. That means you need to eliminate their food sources. This starts with cleaning your house regularly to ensure there are no crumbs around to tempt the rats.
You should seal open food packets inside plastic or metal containers. Although rats can gnaw through plastic, they won’t be able to smell the food and are unlikely to do so.
It is also important to consider what is outside the house. Rats are attracted to the garbage you put outside. Make sure that any rubbish bags are placed inside a bin with a lid or removed from your property. In addition, they like bird food, grass seeds, compost piles, and even dog waste.
Make sure your yard is clear of these things. If you need a compost pile or have to keep rubbish outside then make sure it is as far away as possible from your house.
Rats need approximately one ounce of water per day each. Any leaks you have are likely to give them the water they need. The first thing you should do is take a meter reading and then check it again several hours later. While waiting do not use any water in your home. If the meter reading has changed you have a leak and you are going to need to find and fix it.
Rats need somewhere to live and to hide. In many cases, the pack will live under your house or in the loft. As the colony grows you will start to hear them scratching, gnawing, and moving around. It’s important to remove all the clutter in your home and surrounding it.
This eliminates the availability of hiding spaces for the rats and discourages them from staying at your house. It can also help you to find them and eliminate them.
As one rat usually means an infestation of rats it is difficult to know exactly how many you are dealing with. That’s why it is best to leave this job to the professionals.
However, it is a good idea to put rat poison down, although you’ll have to keep it away from pets and young children. Rat poison is unlikely to kill an infestation. But, it will give you a warning that you have a rat issue and allow you to get the professionals involved.
If you are not comfortable with poison then you can use a trap. There are humane traps as well as those that kill. Again, this will help you to identify an issue and get expert help, which you are likely to need to resolve the issue properly and prevent the rats from coming back.