Rats are quite problematic especially when they invade the attic. These prodigious breeders remain active year-round. Since rats carry disease, it is essential to disinfect the traps used to capture them to avoid passing health risks to your family. But you don’t need to go through the trouble of rat infestation alone. Our qualified rodent exterminators in Napa can make your work more comfortable if you call (800) 430-3778 today.
Prominent Rat Species
√ Norway/ brown rat – Rattus norvegicus
√ Black/roof/ship rat – Rattus rattus
√ Polynesian rat – Rattus exulans
√ The Lesser Bandicoot rat – Bandicota bengalensis
The brown and black rats are found all over the globe, and they are the only species in North American urban places. The four species are commensal (living with people) and destroy 20% of total food harvest every year according to research, with the black rat causing billion dollars loss of property. They succeed due to their opportunistic nature.
Rats are small animals. The average size of a Norway rat is 23cm, and it weighs about 1.8kg. The largest known species – Phloeomys cumingi – measures 48cm and a 33cm tail; while the smallest species is 17 cm long with a short tail.
Rats have pointed heads furry ears, and big eyes. Their legs are moderately long with sharp claws. As for the coat, it is dense, soft, and somewhat short. The tail, feet, and ears are all black. A few species have dark fur while others feature brown and gray backs.
Rats live in colonies hence they are social animals. They are very protective of their territories, and that is why they hide their nests among rocks, vegetations, or shrubs in their natural habitats. These rodents are nocturnal except the brown rat which is active during the day and night. They are also terrestrial, and a significant population of the rat community is arboreal. Their climbing abilities are superb- they use electric wires and nearby bushes to reach the attic. The house rat, for instance, is very agile and climbs along thin branches and wires. A few species inhabit the ground particularly those with shorter tails. Most of them have excellent swimming abilities particularly those that inhabit aquatic environments.
Rats live wherever human beings are found. They prefer residential houses in the urban areas. They exploit food sources and can contaminate grains and kill poultry. The house rat and the brown rat are known to spread about 40 diseases including tularemia, leptospirosis, schistosomiasis, bubonic plague, and murine typhus. When it comes to research, the brown rat is used for medical and genetic experiments for improving human health. And in rare cases, people keep rats as pets.
The size of a rat colony is determined by two things namely food availability and population density. If the rat population is low say during winter, the female rats tend to give birth to more young ones to increase the population. While a high supply of food increases the colony size. At three months of age, a rat is mature enough to reproduce. A female rat bears 12 litters per year; each litter may have up to 22 young ones. The peak reproduction periods are autumn and spring with the gestation period ranging from 21-26 days.
As human beings, rats are omnivorous. That’s why they are used in scientific studies aimed at enhancing human health. You will find beef bones in their nests – they eat both the meat and some bone content. They can consume almost anything that is digestible. They like stored grains, and the brown rice prefers carnivorous meals such as insects, fish, mussels, bird eggs, snails, poultry, rabbits, pigeon, and amphibians.
Certain rat species which inhabit the rainforest consume seeds and fruits while the tropical species primarily take snails, slugs, and insects.
Rat Prevention Methods
1. Rat proofing
This is the first and most important step to controlling rats. Find all possible entries and repair them all before you start trapping the rats. Seal the broken attic structures and all holes in the walls with steel and concrete.
2. Starving the rats
Food and water are the main motivating factors of rat activity. Store your food in the fridge and enclose your cereals and grains in heavy containers with tight lids. Repair all leaking taps and water pipes, so the rats don’t find water.
If things get tough call us at (800) 430-3778 and we will sort things out for you.
Call for an Inspection! (800) 430-3778