Importance of Timely Rodent Treatment
Rats Reproduce Rapidly
Rats breed at a frightening rate. A female brown rat (aka the Norway rat) reaches sexual maturity at 9 weeks and will typically birth six litters per year, with each litter consisting of 5-10 pups. This means a population can jump from two rats to around 1,250 in just one year!
While a small rodent infestation can quickly spiral out of control, the good news is that scarcity of food and shelter, disease, in-fighting, and, of course, pest control all help to restrict the population growth.
Signs Of Rodent Infestation
Strange Smells & Sounds
If you have rats on your property, their presence will soon become obvious.
You’ll often hear them before you see them, so listen out for scratching, gnawing, and rustling noises at night—especially if those noises are coming from behind your walls or in your roof space.
You may even smell a rat (literally), because their droppings and urine will leave a pungent, musky smell if not dealt with quickly.
When rats find a food source, like other animals, they will return to it until that source is gone. As they go back and forth, rats create foraging paths and their footprints will become visible—especially on dirty or dusty surfaces.
Look out for four-toed front and five-toed back footprints, about the size of a 5c coin.
As their namesake suggests, the black rat—aka the roof rat—prefers to nest higher up in buildings, usually in the roof space or attic. With so many hidden areas, rats can easily go undetected, which is when your property is at higher risk of structural damage.
Because rodents must gnaw on hard surfaces to keep their teeth at a manageable length, rats will chew through wood and other unyielding surfaces in search of food sources. In some instances they may chew through electrical wiring, which can run the risk of fires.
Droppings & Smears
Rodent droppings are a clear and obvious sign you have mice or rats on your property.
While nobody wants to find a pile of droppings, they can be helpful in determining which rodent you have in your home. Rat droppings are shiny black and 1/2 – 3/4 of an inch long, while mice droppings are smaller, with pointed ends.
Rats and mice will also stick close to walls and borders when moving, leaving behind greasy smears along the bottoms of your walls. So, along with bite marks, look out for any brown rub marks on your walls or surfaces.
What Makes Rats Dangerous in Your Home or Business?
What Are the Diseases that Rats Spread?
If you do have a rat infestation, it’s important to deal with it quickly to help prevent the spread of diseases.
Both black rats (aka roof rats) and brown rats carry a number of infections that can easily be spread to humans through direct contact—i.e. being bitten or scratched, breathing in contaminated air, touching contaminated materials and then touching eyes, or eating contaminated food. These diseases include:
- Lassa Fever
- Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection
- Rat bite fever
- Gastrointestinal infections (salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis)
Managing rat problems
There are many factors to consider when it comes to managing pests, but the important thing is to get to the root cause of the problem. All Bug Busters’ technicians are skilled at detecting evidence of a rodent infestation, identifying the species, recognising entry points and determining the best course of action based on your individual situation.
To eradicate rats and mice from your property, we use a range of toxic and non-toxic rodent removal methods:
Rat bait stations are small devices that hold rat poison, but are designed to prevent children and pets from coming in contact. The rat will consume the poison, but will not die inside the bait station and instead, goes back to its nest where it dies 24-48 hours later.
Rat traps come in a range of designs, from snap traps that kill the rat instantly, to catch and release traps that allow the rodent to be removed from the home and released back into native wildlife.
How To Get Rid Of Rats Outside Your Home
You stand a better chance of stopping rats from damaging property by keeping your outside areas clean and tidy.
Keep Your Garden Clean
If you have fruit trees, remove any fallen fruit, and also clear away piles of leaves and empty your compost bins regularly. If you keep pet food outside in the shed, be sure to seal it up so that it’s secure from rodents.
You should also seal any entry points where rodents may be entering your home.