Posted by & filed under Rodents

Did You Know?

  • The Norway Rat, roof rat, and house mouse are the most persistent rodent populations in need of control.
  • A group of rats is called a “mischief.”
  • Their tails keep them cool. Rats expand and contract blood vessels in their tails to regulate their body temperature.
  • Rodents can carry several diseases, including bubonic plague, murine typhus, spirochetal jaundice, Leptospiroses, rabies, ratbite fever, and salmonella poisoning.
  • Rats can bite sleeping children while trying to get bits of food that wasn’t washed off.
  • Rats and mice start fires by gnawing matches and electrical wires.

Rats are a common problem in many cities throughout the United States. In South Florida,  infestations are a consistent issue. Numerous West Palm Beach homeowners experience rat problems throughout the year, and no neighborhood is immune. If you are experiencing any signs of a rat infestation, handling it as quickly as possible is essential. Vulcan Pest Control has the knowledge and experience you need to know about eliminating rats in Palm Beach County.

The estimated economic cost of rat damage was estimated at $19 billion annually, many times greater than any other invasive animal species.

How to Keep Rats Away

Except in cases where people keep rats as pets, rats are generally considered pests that people don't want any part of. They certainly have a creepy appearance, but that's not the real issue regarding a rat infestation. Rats cause many problems when they get into your West Palm Beach home.  

Rats Damage Property

Rats are rodents, and one thing that rodents have in common is their constant need to chew. Rodent incisors never stop growing. To keep these teeth at a manageable length, they must gnaw on things regularly. Because of this, when rats get into your house, anything is fair game for their chewing.

A rat infestation will often compromise your belongings.  You may find holes chewed through the sides of storage boxes in your basement or attic and the contents inside destroyed. When rats get into your pantry or cupboards, they'll chew through boxes and containers to get to the food inside. Infestations not only make a mess but also contaminate the contents.

Rats will also damage your home itself. They will chew holes through your walls. Once they have access inside your walls, they'll damage your insulation with their urine and feces. They'll also use pieces of it for their nests. Having access inside your walls will allow rats to chew through pipework and wiring, which can cause water leaks. Water leaks damage your floors, walls, and ceilings and can also lead to mold problems. Rats will also chew through wiring, which can be a fire hazard. They mistake your wires for branches and limbs. In the wild, chewing branches provide water and nutrients.

Wherever rats choose to nest inside your house will suffer damage from their nests, feces, and urine.

Rats Introduce You To Parasites

Rats are often hosting many different parasites. When they enter your West Palm Beach home, they bring the parasites with them. Parasites such as fleas and ticks can fall off their rat hosts and find new hosts in you, your family members, or your pets. Intestinal parasites, such as tapeworms and roundworms, can be excreted through their waste, which your family can be exposed to from contaminated food, countertops, and more.

When rats introduce parasites into your living environment, rats spread diseases directly from themselves and indirectly expose your family through these parasites.

Rats Reproduce Quickly and in Large numbers

You may think that having a couple of rats get into your house isn't that big of a deal. Of course, you don't want them there, and you know they'll cause some damage, but how bad could two rats be? Unfortunately, the answer is not good.

Female rats typically give birth to four to six litters every year, with between five and twelve babies per litter. They are sexually mature at four to five weeks old. If unchecked and had two rats in your house, you could end up with over 1,200 rats after one year, with the population continuing to grow exponentially after that.

How To Identify A Rat Infestation

There are many signs that rats are present to the trained eye. They usually don't go undetected. Typically, a rat infestation has several hard-to-miss signs that they are present.

Droppings

You are likely to notice droppings first when rats get into your house. Rats leave droppings wherever they go, so you're especially likely to find them on your countertops and in your cupboards as they look for food.

Rat droppings are typically dark-colored and around one-half to three-quarters of an inch in length. Although similar in appearance, you can normally tell them apart from mouse droppings because of their larger size.

Gnaw Marks and Chewing

A rat’s teeth are its most important instrument. Rat teeth are extremely hard because they have very strong enamel. Along with finding holes in things, you may discover gnaw marks. Depending on the material an item is made of, rats may have difficulty chewing through certain things. They may also be startled away. If you find gnaw marks, they could be from a rat. Give us a call at 561753-7777 to be sure.

Scratching Sounds

What's that sound keeping you up at night? If you hear scratching or squeaking sounds in your attic or behind walls, something is there. It could be rats, mice, squirrels, bats, or nuisance wildlife. Regardless of what animal has found its way inside, you'll want the knowledge and experience of the professionals at Vulcan Pest Control to diagnose what is causing the noises.

Odor

As anyone who’s dealt with a dead rat or rat urine odor can attest, the smell is one you will not soon forget. Rat urine has a powerful musky scent. It is an unpleasant odor that will quickly permeate your house if you have an infestation. Additionally, if you've had a rat infestation for any length of time, rats may die within your walls, leaving a more robust and more pungent scent as time goes by.

Runways

When traveling inside a home, rats prefer to follow lines and stay along the edges of walls. They feel more secure when traveling along walls. As they rub up against your walls or baseboards as they walk, they'll leave grease marks behind from their fur. These marks are known as runways or sebum. If you find these marks along the bottoms of your walls, it's a sign of a rat infestation. Give us a call at 561-753-7777 to be sure.

Pet Behaving Strangely

If you have dogs or cats behaving strangely, it could be a sign of a rat infestation. Scratching or sniffing at areas under appliances or near your walls, barking or whining in a particular area and refusing to leave, and other similar behavior could signify that rats are sharing your home with you.    

Nests

If you find a rat's nest in your house is an obvious sign of an infestation. Rats prefer to nest in out-of-the-way locations, such as in attics or inside wall voids. They use many different types of materials to build their nests. When indoors, they'll use items they find around the home, such as pieces of insulation, cotton, fabric, and insulation.


Why “Do it Yourself” Rat Control Methods Often Fail

When West Palm Beach homeowners discover that rats have gotten into their house, they often try to take matters into their own hands to get them out. Unfortunately, these methods often fail for various reasons.

  • While you may be successful at eliminating part of your rat problem, it's much harder to get rid of every rat that has gotten into your house. Rats are clever, and when they sense danger, they will avoid the traps you've set for them.
  • Some methods of removing rats get you too close to the rats. If they feel threatened, rats can be aggressive, and there's a real chance of you getting scratched or bitten.
  • If you choose to use poisons or chemicals, you might accidentally misuse them, which could be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets.

The Trick to Handling a Rat Infestation in Your West Palm Beach Home

If you want to get rid of a rat infestation entirely and safely, you need the help of the rodent control professionals at Vulcan Pest Control. Not only can our experts eliminate your infestation in its entirety, but we'll also make sure that it won't happen again. We offer ongoing maintenance plans for your protection.

We provide elimination and exclusion services. Exclusion services seal up entry points which prevent rats from getting back into your house in the future. We'll also offer advice on modifications you can perform to make your home less appealing to rats.

If rats have gotten into your house, contact Vulcan Pest to schedule an inspection. Our trained service professionals have the skills, knowledge, and equipment you need to eliminate your rat problem to keep your family safe and healthy. We're here to help. Contact us today @ 561-753-7777.

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