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Rats: What You Need to Know

Need to get rid of rats? Read on to learn the answers to all of your important questions. Need help? Call our professionals today to get started.

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What Are the Common Types of Rats in the United States?

Rats are a kind of rodent that is medium-sized and long-tailed. There are several different species of rat found in the United States, however, only a few species of rat invade homes and businesses. The most common rats found in the US are the Norway rat and the Roof rat, though several other species of rat are noteworthy from a public health standpoint.

How Can I Tell If There Are Rats In My Home?

Rats are nocturnal, so you are more likely to find signs of rats rather than see the actual rats themselves. You might find droppings or evidence of gnawing around your home. You can use other senses to check for rats as well: You might hear squeaking in your walls or scurrying sounds that can alert you to the presence of rats. Rat infestations can also be accompanied by a musky scent.

Why Are There So Many Rats?

Part of what makes rats such pernicious pests is their incredible fecundity. They can begin breeding as early as five-weeks old and continue until age two. Females can become pregnant about every three weeks and can mate up to 500 times in 6 hours. Pregnancy lasts three weeks with a resultant litter ranging from 6 to 20 offspring.

What Damage Can Rats Do To My Home?

Rats are known for their ability to chew through just about anything: wood, plastic, electrical wires, aluminum, and even soft concrete and cinder blocks. Rats’ teeth never stop growing which means they are able to chew their entire lives with no real impediment to chomping away at whatever they please, but it also means that they must continue to continually wear down their teeth or their teeth will grow so long they will be unable to eat.

How Can I Get Rid of Rats in My Home?

Your best means of controlling rats is through preventative measures. Make sure to seal up holes both inside and outside your home. Don’t forget to check for any holes or cracks in your flooring as well. If the crack or hole is big enough for a rat’s head, the entire body can fit through, so don’t be fooled into thinking that small holes are not a problem. Seal up any hole that is one-quarter of an inch diameter or more. Always make sure your trash cans are tightly lidded and eliminate any outdoor sources of water which may attract rats in the first place.


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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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