One of a homeowner’s worst nightmares is to discover that they have a rat problem. Because they are small, they can crawl through almost every hole and crack inside your home or business.
A rat infestation is a huge problem that needs to be controlled and should not be taken lightly. They will cause property damage by chewing up all the wire, and they are a huge health risk due to the scat they leave everywhere and because of the diseases that they can transmit through their bite.
Rat borne disease spread in the home
The chief vector for rat borne disease transmission to human beings is through rat droppings. Rats do not have a very civilized sense of waste elimination. They are out of control! They don’t think about your preferences when they decide on where to use the restroom. The sad result is, that they often do so all over your house. This includes places like your attic, countertops, closets, underneath furniture, inside walls and vents. Any time feces accumulates from any type of animal, the risk of disease transmission to humans and pets skyrockets.
Rats Transmit Hantavirus
Rats can transmit is the highly contagious virus called the hantavirus. This disease can be passed to humans when they come into contact with rat droppings, urine, or nesting materials. This risk makes it vital to control your rat infestation. If you venture into a rat infested attic and mingle with animal waste, or you have a water leak that spreads through rat urine or droppings, the hantavirus can become aerosolized and enter your lungs through the oxygen you breathe in.
The hantavirus symptoms resemble that of the common flu: fever, muscle ache, fatigue, impaired breathing, chills, etc. There is no known cure for the hantavirus, and symptoms need to pass normally. If you catch the virus in this manner, it is important to control access to yourself from friends and family until the contagious period can pass (usually around 2 weeks).
Damage and Hazards cause by Rats
Rats cause all kinds of damage to your home. They have no problem tearing apart your roof, sheet-rock, and insulation. They do this because they are looking for food to eat, water to drink , and safe and comfortable places to sleep. Rats also have teeth that continue to grow during the course of their lives, so they need to grind them down. Here are the main types of damage and risk they cause
- Chew through pipes: Rats will chew on metal pipes to grind their teeth down, and through PVC pipes to get at water from the line. A control program lowers this risk.
- Water leaks: If you fail to control a rodent infestation, it’s no surprise that you might have a leaky pipe or a full blow wet spot forming in your house.
- Chew through wires: Wires are another vulnerable target for Rats with teething issues.
- Fire Risk: When rats chew through wires, you run a high risk of fire from shorts.
Rodent Entry Points into your Home
It only takes a gap the size of a 1/2 inch for a rats to slip inside your house. Even if the hole is quite small, rodents are natural chewers and will widen small holes until they are big enough to invite all kinds of wildlife inside. They have very sharp teeth and do not mind using them to make their entry ways more accessible
One of the most common entry points that we see during a control program are A/C tubing exhaust gaps in your homes siding. We also see a lot of rats get in through the roof and eve areas, making it very easy for them to pop into your attic. Garage doors a big problem, as they are not sealed nearly as well as normal doors into your house.
It’s also important to look into exterior control issues, like cracks in your foundation, holes in pipes, and loose screens. DIY home repair and upgrades can often introduce gaps that wildlife are eager to exploit.
Rodent Behavior and Control
Rats and mice have different preferences, but you need to understand that they are all omnivorous (meaning they will eat both plants and animals) when they are hungry. Rat teeth continue to grow until the animal dies, so it is important for them to regularly grind their teeth down to control the growth. If you hear scratching or gnawing sounds at night, this is likely the reason. Because of this, rats have a high potential for causing significant property damage.
Rats and mice tend to be nocturnal, unless their environment becomes stressful. A threat of starvation or a predator might make rats active during the day. Rats enjoy all kinds of habitats, including ground burrows, trees and dense foliage, damp sewers, and also inside attics.
Rodents are generally very scared of humans, and they are smart enough to stay out sight, and do their best to stay out of mind. They have an exceptional sense of smell that will tell them when potential predators are nearby, so they are usually well out of site before you walk into a room. Because of this, you are unlikely to catch them red handed trashing your stuff.
Rat Control Procedure: Here are the steps
The most important part of a rodent control program is the inspection. Our Rodent Control team makes sure to do a thorough inspection of your house. Our job is to identify how exactly these rats and mice have been gaining entry in the first place. We check your attic, roof, pipelines, foundation and exterior walls for gaps and holes that your rodents could be sneaking through. We also make sure to check nearby trees, bushes, and poles that rats and mice might climb to get roof access. Once we see these risk factors and entry points, we have a good idea where rodents have entered your home and made their nests.
2.Rat and Mice Exclusion
Now that our control team has located the hotspots and entry points, we understand exactly how your rodents have been getting in and out of your home. Before we take any extermination action, it’s vital that your rodent control team seals these gaps and openings. One of the most effective solutions is to use steel wire mesh. This mesh allows vital openings like vents to stay open, but has small enough holes to control wildlife entry. The mesh we use is made out of strong, galvanized steel so rodents cannot chew through it.
3.Rat Extermination and Removal
Now that we’ve made sure that new rats and mice cannot get in, it’s time to take care move on to the main control method. There no methods that are both effective and fully humane to deal with a rodent control problem, so we empty the use of snap traps to quickly and promptly deal with an indoor Rat issue. We have spent a lot of years honing our trapping and control skills, so we know the best methods, locations for traps, and the proper bait to use.
We absolutely refuse to use poisons to control a rat population, especially inside your house. It’s never a good idea to introduce poison control into environment that you, your loved ones, and pets live in. It is a totally unnecessary risk! Also, most poisons cause rats and mice to search desperately for water before they dehydrate. This will put your water lines in serious danger.
4.Rat & Rodent Feces Decontamination
If your control program is successful, your rodents are gone, but the risk is not. Rat waste is a significant vector for disease transfer to human beings. It is also just plain nasty! Rodent urine, droppings, and nesting materials need to be properly and safely removed and decontaminated. If we skipped this step, you would have a biological time bomb sitting in your attic, inside your walls, or in your basement. We use personal protective equipment and special chemicals to properly decontaminate your home after an infestation has been resolved.
5.Rat Damage Repair
It’s likely that your rats did a number on your house. They might have trashed your insulation, damaged your pipes, chewed through your wires, or damaged your HVAC system. Our AAAC Wildlife Removal pros are also very well trained and talented at wildlife damage repair. We will return your home to like new condition!