Rats and mice are some of the most adaptable animals on the planet and can be extremely difficult to prevent from repeatedly returning.
Rodent populations grow very quickly so time is of the essence. It is best to target them when populations are small before it becomes a full-blown infestation. A successful and effective rodent control strategy typically involves sanitation measures, rodent proofing (exclusion), and population reduction (trapping).
When a rodent infestation already exists, some form of population reduction (e.g., trapping) is typically necessary to help control the rodent population already inside the home. Many factors, especially placement, account for the overall success. Rats are very leery of anything new in their environment and will avoid a freshly placed trap so this process could take a few days or up to a few weeks.
The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) is a stocky burrowing rodent, unintentionally introduced into North America by settlers who arrived on ships from Europe. Also called the brown rat, house rat, barn rat, sewer rat, gray rat, or wharf rat, it is a slightly larger animal than the roof rat. Adult Norway rats weigh an average of 1 pound (454 g). Their fur is coarse and usually brownish or reddish gray above and whitish gray on the belly. Blackish individuals occur in some locations.
First introduced into the United States around 1775, the Norway rat has now spread throughout the contiguous 48 states. It is generally found at lower elevations but may occur wherever humans live.
Norway rats live in close association with people. In urban or suburban areas they live in and around resi- dences, in cellars, warehouses, stores, slaughterhouses, docks, and in sewers. On farms they may inhabit barns, gra- naries, livestock buildings, silos, and kennels. They may burrow to make nests under buildings and other structures, beneath concrete slabs, along stream banks, around ponds, in garbage dumps, and at other locations where suitable food, water, and shelter are present. Although they can climb, Nor- way rats tend to inhabit the lower floors of multistory buildings.
Norway rats are not protected by law. They may be controlled with any pesticide registered by federal or state authorities for this purpose, or they may be controlled by use of mechanical methods such as traps.
Physical barriers can prevent rats from gaining entry to structures where food and shelter are available. “Rat-proofing” is an important and often neglected aspect of rat control. It is a relatively permanent form of rodent control that prevents damage from occurring.
Pet foods often are a source of food for rats in and around homes. Keep all such materials stored in metal rodent- proof containers. Feed pets only what they will eat at a single time.
Trapping can be an effective method of controlling rats, but it requires more skill and labor than most other methods. Trapping is recommended where toxicants are inadvisable. It is the preferred method to try first in homes, garages, and other small struc- tures where there may be only a few rats present.
For any removal or exclusion method, it’s best to let a professional handle it. Grade A Critter has tons of experiences handling rat infestations and problems. Give us a call today!
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