While any kind of rodent infestation is unpleasant, to say the least, rats are especially problematic. Weighing up to a pound, these large pests carry diseases and dangerous bacteria and can chew through cords, wires, and furniture, causing serious damage. Our rodent control company in Raleigh is sharing how to recognize signs of an infestation as well as how to get rid of rats in your home and around your property.

Recognizing a Rat Infestation in Your Home

In the Raleigh area, there are two common rats you need to look for:

  • Roof rat: Also called a ship rat, these rats have pointed heads and noses, long, scaly tails, and black or gray fur. They also have slim, smaller bodies, weighing around nine ounces and up to 12 inches long (including a tail that is longer than their bodies). Roof rats tend to live above ground and are very good climbers.
  • Norway rat: Also called a sewer rat, these are large rats that weigh up to a pound. They tend to be pack animals, living in colonies close to the ground or in lower levels of buildings.

Regardless of what kind of rat you may have in your home, they tend to leave the same signs of their presence, including:

  • Damage: This can include holes chewed in boxes, shredded paper and cardboard, or even chewed up cables and wires.
  • Smell: Rats leave a strong ammonia smell, especially their urine.
  • Greasy smears: Rats have oily fur, and because they have poor eyesight, they tend to run along walls. Often, they’ll leave greasy smear marks where they rub against the surface.
  • Droppings: Rats leave a lot of droppings and they’re up to a half-inch in length (significantly larger than mouse droppings). This is usually the most obvious sign you have a rat problem.

How to Get Rid of Rats

There are two main types of rat control methods: bait and traps. Rat bait contains a poison that is slow to work so it often takes a few days or longer to see any noticeable difference. Rats tend to be cautious around new food sources and often watch other rats see how they react. If a rat dies immediately from eating something, the other rats will steer clear. Usually, bait needs to be kept out and replenished for up to ten days, so it’s important to leave it in a place where rats will get it, but pets and children won’t. Also, it’s important to note that because the poison takes a few days to work, they will go off to their nest to die which means you’ll need to locate the dead rats.

Traps hold the rat in place so you don’t need to search them out like you do after they ingest poison, but it may be harder to actually catch the rat. You need to make sure they are located in a place rats will be travelling, which can be difficult if you don’t know where their nests are. Wooden traps are designed to kill the rodent immediately, and while glue traps are non-lethal, you have to dispose of the rat in the trash or another manner.

Preventing Rats from Entering Your Home

Rats and rodents want food, water, and a dry, warm shelter that is easy to access. Remove the access, and you’ll prevent rats from entering. This involves:

  • Keeping all food sealed and out of reach.
  • Keeping lids on trash and preventing access to all potential food sources, including pet food, compost, birdseed, and even cat litter.
  • Ensuring there are no water leaks in your home, including your basement.
  • Cleaning and removing any nesting materials, including papers, boxes, old insulation, and clothing.
  • Sealing entrances around your home, particularly around your foundation and crawl spaces.

Choosing Professional Rat Extermination and Prevention

While you can go to the hardware store to get rat traps or poison, eliminating the problem on your own can be almost impossible, especially if the females have a litter in your home. Instead, professional exterminators have the experience, knowledge, and equipment to pinpoint where the rats are located, how they’re accessing your home, and how to get rid of them quickly and effectively. There’s no trial and error necessary to determine what works because they already know and you can feel confident that the infestation will be handled swiftly and thoroughly.

Call Stomp Pest Control to Get Rid of Rats in Your Home

Stomp Pest Control doesn’t just get rid of rats, we will keep them and other pests gone with year-round pest control packages at affordable prices. Call for an experienced exterminator to come to your home or business today at (919) 231-3292 or fill out the form below to contact our office.