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Tips and Tricks Pests Residential Homeowners

Why homeowners should worry about a rat infestation

Picture of Margaret Townsend
By Margaret Townsend on November, 29 2022
Rat on plate with cranberry sauce

A rat infestation in your home isn’t just a scary sight–the presence of these pesky pests can also cause physical damage to your house, spread dangerous diseases, and put you and your family at risk.  Because of these various different serious risks, homeowners should always carefully check their home for any signs of rat activity. These pests can multiply rapidly and create chaos in your home, so learn all about what rats you might find, how to spot signs of their activity, and when to call a professional for help with a rat infestation!

Why Do Rats Want To Come Into My Home?

Your home is probably a great place for a rat–comfortable, with available food and water sources, and shelter. Inside your home, they’re safe from predators and have easy access to packaged food. There are also plenty of places for them to start nesting. All of these factors are incredibly enticing for rats and could serve as a reason why they’d want to enter your home.

What Types of Rats Can Enter My Home in California?

California is home to a range of different rat species. However, the two most common rats you’ll find in California homes are the Norway rats and the Roof rats. These two rat species frequently infest homes all across the state. Norway rats are larger, bulkier, and prefer nesting in darker spaces like basements. Roof rats are smaller, lighter, and often live in attics.

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What Are the Signs of Rat Infestations?

Once rats have infested your home, there are a lot of signs for homeowners to look out for. First, finding rodent droppings is a clear indication of a rat infestation. Droppings can often be found by food, in drawers or cupboards, and under sinks. Finding shredded nesting material is another sign of a rat infestation. Shredded fabric and paper are some of their favorite nesting materials. Gnaw marks on food containers, walls, or other surfaces are also a sign of rat infestations. If you see any of this activity in your home, call a professional for help.

Where Can Rats Hide in My House?

Rats are diverse. Once inside your home, they can hide in a wide variety of different spots around your property. They enjoy living in attics, basements, furniture, walls, and wherever else they can find a comfortable place to build their nests. Even just a tiny, quarter-sized hole can be big enough for a rat to gnaw open and push itself through. Because rats can infest so many different locations in your home, it can be hard to thoroughly check everywhere on your own, which is just one of the reasons why it’s often best to partner with a professional pest control company to rid yourself of rodents.

What Are the Dangers of a Rat Infestation?

Rats aren’t just a frightening pest to see scurrying around your property. They also can cause an alarming amount of damage to both your home, and to everyone living in it. Some of the most severe dangers that rats can cause include:

 

  • Diseases: Rats can easily transmit severe diseases and pathogens to any inhabitants of the home. Oftentimes, these diseases are spread from rat urine and droppings, and often don’t require direct contact to spread. Some of the diseases that rats spread, such as hantavirus, can cause fever, dizziness, and even death in severe cases. 
  • Structural Damage: With strong teeth, rats can chew through and damage a variety of tough materials, including plastic, wood, and even metal. They can destroy furniture, walls, support beams, and pipes, and even gnaw through electrical wires, which can cause fires if left unfixed.
  • Quick Breeders: Rats breed quickly, meaning that even a small rat problem can rapidly transform into a huge rat infestation in your home. Putting a stop to any rats spotted in your home–before they start breeding– is essential to containing the issue.

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When Should I Call A Professional for a Rat Infestation?

Rat infestations can start small and spread quickly. That’s why in almost all cases, it’s essential to work with a residential pest control company like AIPM to effectively provide a pest control solution. DIY remedies, such as rat poison, rodent traps, or natural methods like peppermint oil, might provide a temporary fix, but because rats can hide in all corners of your home, breed quickly, cause damage, and even spread dangerous diseases, it’s best to let a professional handle any rat infestations.

Conclusion

Rats pose huge threats to homes and everyone living inside, which is why all homeowners should worry about a rat infestation. It’s easier than you think for a rat to slip inside and start causing trouble, like destroying physical structures and passing along harmful diseases. And once one a rat is inside, there’s sure to be more to follow. Don’t wait until it’s too late–contact a professional ASAP to stop rats in their tracks and return your home to true comfort!

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