The chilly season is well known to be the time for rat incursions as they head towards your home for food and shelter, but what people may not be aware of is that rats can be a year-round issue. In fact, spring is just around the corner and Sacramento homes are still a target for rats to make their unwelcoming mouse warming party.
Nationwide, Sacramento has been listed in the top 29 cities for rat infestations and in California it was ranked in the top 5. The most common being the roof rat. These little critters may look small and cute; however, looks can be deceiving. They can actually wreak a great amount of havoc around your home.
Roof rats are often brown or black in color with large ears, a pointed nose, and slender in size. Ranging from 13-18 inches from nose to tail, these clever creatures are highly adaptive to a wide range of environments. They have superior climbing skills and will travel through trees and across electrical wires to find their way into attics and other parts of the home. Roof rats can squeeze in a hole the size of a quarter and will even chew around an opening to make it suitable to wiggle through. Once inside, food becomes their next objective, and they aren't picky eaters! They will find anything edible to make a mice krispies treat.
How do you know your home has been intruded by roof rats? There are many signs that will give away their presence. Besides spotting one around the home, sighting of rodent droppings and rub marks is a great indicator. You may also find gnawed areas of the home or food packaging. In some instances, people may hear them scurrying about in the attic space or wall voids.
Prevention is the best approach in making sure your home is rat free. The best measure you can take is ensuring that you have sealed up any openings around your home. Keep garbage bins and storage containers tightly sealed and eliminate any possibilities of other food sources such as fallen fruit, bird feeders, and your pet’s food bowls. It is also helpful to cut trees and shrubs away from the structure and move any wood or junk piles away from the home.
There are many threats that come with a rat infestation and contamination is a big one. This could be food or surface contamination. Rats carry disease, pathogens, and parasites through fecal matter and urine. The droppings and hair can also cause allergies and asthma. To make it worse, they can also carry other pests that can transfer to your household such as fleas, ticks, and mites. But that's not all! Aside from the health hazards, rats have razor sharp teeth that allow them to chew through almost anything including some metals. They gnaw on wires and pipes causing a lot of money in home repairs.
It's amazing how fast rats can reproduce. At just 2-5 months of age, they can find a squeak heart and produce as many as 6 litters per year! So be sure to follow these preventative measures or call a professional to properly inspect your home.
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