Getting Rid Of Rats Safely And Effectively On Your Spring Property
Two large brown rats on garbage bags.

Getting Rid Of Rats Safely And Effectively On Your Spring Property

Rodents are members of the Rodentia order, a term based in Latin that translates as “to gnaw.” Rodents are aptly named based on their front teeth, known as incisors. Each rodent has an upper and lower pair of incisors that lack roots and grow continuously. Rodents keep their incisors sharp by grinding their teeth and chewing on various objects. 

Rodents are the largest single category of mammals in existence today, found in roughly 2000 different species. In Texas, more than 60 various rodent species exist. The majority of rodent species are small creatures; however, some types, such as beavers, might exceed 40 pounds or more. 

Local homes and businesses often face rodent infestations, which are often largely based on their strong reproductive capacity. Rodents are problematic pests for those involved with agricultural activity, electrical utility providers, the food service industry, and many other sectors of the economy. Many types of rodents flourish when residing near humans, and the local climate here in Texas offers a favorable environment for many of these critters—particularly during the months from fall through winter. 

Among the most common rodents in this area are mice, rats, squirrels, and gophers. Although some similarities exist between mice and rats, adult rats are much longer and heavier creatures. The two most common types of rats are the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) and the roof rat (Rattus rattus). 

According to the Natural Science Research Laboratory at Texas Tech University, the Norway rat or brown rat has a chunky body style and an overall body length of more than 17 inches and weighs up to one pound or more. The Norway rat exists throughout Texas yet is less common in the southern parts of the state. Norway rats are commensal creatures that often live near humans and primarily remain near ground level.  

Norway rats produce litters that range from two to fourteen offspring; however, the average litter ranges from six to eight. Females can generate four or more of these litters each year, meaning that small intrusions can quickly become progressively worse. Norway rats typically have a life span ranging from one to two years. 

Most researchers believe that roof rats or black rats originated in Asia and traveled aboard shipping vessels to the U.S. shores. They have a noticeably leaner body style than the Norway rat and usually measure roughly 14 inches, including their tail. Roof rats are great climbers that often travel across roofs seeking points of entry inside a home. 

Norway rats and roof rats are generally omnivorous creatures that will adapt their diet based on the local environment. For example, in natural, outdoor settings, these creatures often eat berries, nuts, seeds, fruits, and a variety of insect species. In aquatic areas, rats will target types of fish and other existing organisms. In urban settings, many types of rodents live exclusively on food scraps that people carelessly discard. 

Are you a property owner needing professional rat control in Spring? Seeking assistance from a professional is usually the best course of action, as too many property owners try do-it-yourself home pest control options that are largely ineffective. Some of the common mass-marketed pest control solutions include traps and baiting stations that stores sometimes tout using exaggerated claims of being a “simple, quick solution” for local homeowners. 

In reality, many of these products generate only limited, short-term results that are insufficient against more developed rat infestations where these pests are rapidly proliferating. In some cases, property owners find that the problem still exists several weeks or a month later. Also, some of the chemical formulas used in the production of these home remedies might pose health risks. Keep in mind that sticky and snap traps might also create risks for those with pets or small children. 

An experienced Spring pest control company employs a staff that receives the latest training regarding the most common kinds of rats that infiltrate homes and understand the best way to get rid of rats fast and how to keep rats away from the property. Professional pest controllers generally operate with an emphasis on safety, which is critical for families, pets, and the local environment that we all share. A local pest control company will typically understand the importance of properly sanitizing or replacing contaminated parts of the structure. 

Clear Signs Of A Rat Infestation On Your Property

As with the majority of rodents, rats are primarily nocturnal creatures that rummage around homes after dark. Often, a homeowner will first detect the presence of rats at night when hearing them scampering inside walls, attics, or crawl spaces. After entering a property, rats will often begin damaging materials used to create nests, such as insulation, paper materials, or cloth items. 

Look for greasy smears of material from rodents along the lower areas of walls and baseboards. Rats will spread urine and droppings as they move indoors, which poses health risks and will contaminate surfaces. For example, roof rat droppings usually measure approximately ½ of an inch long and have “pointed” ends. The droppings of Norway rats appear similar yet are slightly larger. 

During this time, many property owners will detect the presence of foul odors. Although rats are generally fearful of humans, they might infiltrate cupboards or pantries at night and damage packages containing a variety of dried foods. 

Keep in mind that rats and mice are natural enemies, and rats quickly oust mice; therefore, homeowners will only face an infestation of one or the other—not both. Household pets such as cats or dogs will generally detect the presence of these pests and may demonstrate unusual behavior. 

Rats Cause Property Damage And Spread Diseases

Rats often rummage through areas of a home with electrical wiring, which might represent a potential fire hazard. They also might gnaw on objects such as cabling, hoses, and thin pipes. In many instances, drywall or other surfaces will require removal and replacement following rat damage, which might get costly. Roof rats might damage shingles on roofs and gutter systems and use their teeth to expand small openings when seeking indoor access. 

Among the harmful diseases rats carry are rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, tularemia, and a host of other undesirable health-related problems. Invading rats might also introduce other dangerous creatures, such as fleas and ticks.  

Rats have also historically represented a source of bubonic plague, although cases are much less common today. As with most pests, rats might demonstrate aggressive behavior when “cornered” or otherwise face a threat and use their teeth as a means of protection. Although pets such as cats and dogs are effective rodent deterrents, you should never encourage confrontations, as these situations pose substantial health risks for pets. 

Five Tips To Prevent Future Rat Infestations On Your Property

Are you searching for answers regarding the best rat prevention methods? Those who experience consistently positive results when preventing rats rarely use only a single process; rather, they typically adopt a more comprehensive multi-faced approach.

These efforts often involve limiting the presence of attractants throughout the exterior yard area and interior of the home, properly maintaining the physical structure, and proactively implementing exclusionary measures that impede access. Consider the following five best practices for preventing rats: 

  1. Keep exterior areas free of food sources by cleaning up all remnants and packaging materials following barbeques or picnics in the yard, remove or relocate birdfeeders away from the home, and promptly remove pet waste and any fallen fruits. 
  2. Limit pools of water and excess moisture in the exterior by not overwatering flowers or gardens, repairing leaky spigots or hoses, and keeping gutters and downspouts free of debris. 
  3. Effectively manage all trash containing food scraps by ensuring kitchen trash cans have a properly functioning lid and always placing trash bags in durable garbage receptacles outdoors that limit access. 
  4. Closely inspect the exterior of the structure’s base near the foundation for any crevices or holes that might allow access and fill them with a weather-resistant caulk, sealant, or similar material. In many instances, rats will enter homes through tiny openings that surprise property owners. 
  5. Keep tree branches, shrubs, and other types of vegetation cut away from the structure, as roof rats may use these as tools for accessing upper areas of the home. 

The five aforementioned preventive measures serve as viable options for limiting rodent-related concerns; however, those facing an existing intrusion should consult with a local pest control professional. Why is seeking assistance from a licensed professional important? Rodents represent various public health concerns agencies face at the local, state, and national levels. 

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service explains that the Texas Occupations Code (T.O.C.) now requires that pest control operators obtain a pesticide license. The licensing process largely stems from the risks involved in using many of the products existing in the industry today.

For example, pesticide applicators might perform their services in densely populated environments, including large residential apartment buildings. In many cases, home pest control professionals operate in environments containing vulnerable segments of the population, including those struggling with illnesses in a hospital, seniors residing in long-term care facilities, or schools or daycare centers with small children. 

The Safe And Effective Way To Remove Rats On Your Property

As a well-established local provider of rat control services, Modern Pest Control uses many of the best traditional strategies for expelling rats and also will employ some of the newer emerging techniques associated with the Integrated Pest Management (I.P.M.) approach. Those who explore I.P.M. will find some innovative ways to get rid of rats that represent goals of sustainability, health, and more. I.P.M. advocates utilize an outcome-based process when making decisions that reflect sound scientific principles and may combine tools described as organic, natural, and enriching. 

What are the steps that guide the team with Modern Pest Control when they approach significant rat infestations? Our specialists recognize that achieving positive results when performing residential rodent control requires adherence to working through a series of distinct phases in the proper order—without taking shortcuts. Our three-step model consists of performing an inspection, employing trapping methods, and implementing proven exclusionary measures that will prevent these bothersome and potentially dangerous creatures from breaching the home’s exterior in the future. 

After arriving at your home one of our qualified pest control professionals will initiate a detailed assessment of the property that might include areas such as exterior doors, points of entry for utility lines, and features in the roof area including shingles, eaves, and soffits. The purpose of performing a thorough inspection extends further than merely identifying types of rodents involved and likely points of entry. A professional review provides a “big-picture” view of the property that might reveal the presence of secondary intrusions involving other types of pests that remain undetected. 

Next, our rodent control specialists will rely on their past training and substantial hands-on experience to implement a trapping plan. Strategically positioned traps are often also accompanied by the deployment of bait stations containing toxic material that rats will eat. After successfully completing the process of ousting these undesirable pests, we might perform sanitation services. The sanitation process is often critical when rodents contaminate certain materials or parts of the structure, including insulation, drywall, roofing material, or other areas exposed to urine, droppings, water damage, or mold. 

The final phase or step involves preventing possible subsequent rodent intrusions using exclusionary measures that physically limit entry. Some tools and materials might include screens of varying gauges, weather-resistant sealant, sheet metal, high-density plastic, and more. 

Keep in mind that Modern Pest Control always stands firmly behind the quality of our work with a satisfaction guarantee. For example, any of the openings that we seal during the final exclusionary phase include a one-year warranty period. Because of our firm commitment to customer service and satisfaction, our organization remains a leader in the local pest control industry after many decades. 

Contact our office today for a consultation with one of our friendly professionals. Remember to inquire regarding our year-round pest protection plans that involve treatment visits that target a host of common pests that exist in this region.

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