Rodents threaten almost every aspect of daily lives; rats will invade buildings in search of food and shelter, and in doing so they become a serious nuisance by contaminating, soiling and destroying commodities and spreading pathogens that can lead to disease.
Large rodents which can measure up to 40cm in length (including the tail). Fur colour can vary but is usually brown to greyback with a lighter underside.
Rats are omnivorous and whilst they generally feed on cereals and grains, if hungry they can take small chicks and eggs from nests. One of the main characteristics of rats is that they are Neophobic – very wary of anything new and they can take 4-5 days before they except a new object into their environment. They prefer small-enclosed spaces and get around by smell & touch. They like to be up against something as they travel like a wall or pipe. Contrary to popular beliefs regarding rats being dirty they are in fact very clean animals and spend up to 20% of their time grooming. They are however carriers of a number of diseases, the most publicised of which is Weils Disease which can be fatal to humans. Rats take between 2-3 months to reach sexual maturity and can have up to 7 litters per year with the average litter size being about 8 young.
Rats are nocturnal so can be hard to spot, the typical signs of a rat problems are:
- sightings of live or dead rats
- common rat droppings can be 12mm long and taper at both ends
- runs – rats follow the same routes when travelling and leave trails through the grass and low vegetation
- footprints and tail swipes – on muddy or dusty surfaces
- smears – dark grey marks left on surfaces by repeated contact with rat fur
- burrows – entrance holes 7-120mm in diameter in grassy banks, under tree roots, at the end of paving or drain cover surrounds
- nests – sometime found indoors, in lofts or under floorboards
- gnawing – rats gnaw continually, even on non-food materials, in order to wear down their front teeth
Hiring a reputable pest control company like EnviroGuard to apply rodent baits, and traps in a responsible and professional manner will help to achieve quick control.
For further details about Rats or to book a free survey please enquire online or give us a call.