Not many pests evoke more fear in people in people than Rats. In many cases this fear is well founded.
Plague is infamous for killing millions of people in Europe during the Middle Ages. Today, modern antibiotics are effective in treating plague.
Without prompt treatment, the disease can cause serious illness or death.
Presently, human plague infections continue to occur in the western United States, but significantly more cases occur in parts of Africa and Asia. So one can understand why the “R” word creates fear and excitement.
Some Facts and Biology
- Contamination. One pair of rats shed more than one million body hairs each year.
- One Rat produces 25,000 droppings per year.
- Disease. Rats transmit Murine typhus fever (Rickettsia mooseri), rat bite fever (Strepto moniliformis), salmonellosis or bacterial food poisoning, Weil’s disease or leptospirosis andtrichinosis.
- Reproduction. A female Norway Rat averages 3-7 liters per year. There are anywhere between 6 -12 pups per litter. Let’s say that one female has an average of 5 liters per year with an average of 9 pups per litter that equals 45 new rats each year from ONE female! Certainly some of the pups in those litters are going to be female. In as little as 3 months (sometimes even less) these females are sexually active.
- Physical Capabilities. Rats can jump vertically 36 inches (I suggest you measure that small back door near the fire escape.) and horizontally 48 inches. Rats can scale brick or any otherrough wall, climb pipes, ropes and are great swimmers and divers.
Rat Prevention Tips
Although we as pest management professionals have many tools available for rat control, no one tool is a panacea. One basic tool that is a must is SANITATION! Some things that you can do which will greatly assist us in helping you are:
- Trash should be kept in tightly closed containers.
- Debris and possible nesting materials (i.e. books, papers, clothes, etc.) should be up off the floor and stored properly (i.e. bins, file cabinets, etc.)
- Rats love dark, protected places. Anything you can do to minimize these areas goes a long way in deterring rats. Closet floors are particularly attractive to mice. Store items up off the floor (i.e. shoes, umbrellas, sporting goods, etc.)
- Food items should be stored in rodent proof containers. If you have pets, their food should never be left in dishes. Feed the pet, clean the dish and put it away. Unused pet food should be kept in sealed, rodent-proof containers.
Although the best sanitation rarely eliminates rats poor sanitation surely adds to their longevity.
Be sure to keep your kitchen as clean as possible and NEVER leaves dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
As my mom use to say, “If you have time to make it, then you have time to clean it up”!
In addition to the above, rodent proofing is a vital component of any rodent control program. Rodent proofing involves sealing openings that the mice (or rats) are using to gain access to a structure. A mouse can enter an opening as small as 1/2″ so it is crucial that you are diligent and very thorough when sealing openings.
Need Help with Rats?
At Pestex we are experts in rodent elimination programs and would be happy to inspect your premises.
We would give you a free written report outlining how we would address your situation and the costs associated with our program.s
I hope that these tips are helpful. Together we can eliminate rats from your home or business and help prevent future infestations.