In the U.S, there are 2 types of rats that invade our buildings and homes. One is the roof rat and the other is the Norway rat. No one would like to live with them. The following are some FAQs about these 2 types of destructive rodents.
Q. How to know if there is a rat infestation?
A. If signs of rat evidence have been seen, it can prove an infestation is real. Rats are prone to be active at night, so it is a little difficult to find them during the day. However, some signs can tell us they are living with us. A terrible thing, isn’t it? Therefore, we should keep an ear and an eye on these signs. They include:
- Dead rats are found in some areas or live rats are found around you.
- Rats’ droppings are everywhere, especially around trash areas, food (both human and pet food). They are not picky and always looking for food to eat and shitting at any place.
- Rodents like gnawing something with their sharp teeth. If it is noisy in the dark, like scratching sounds, this means rats are gnawing something like food or furniture, wires.
- Rats also love burrowing. If burrows are found under your outbuildings, home or around the yard, they exist in or around your home or building.
- Gnawed fruits are discovered in the fruit trees.
- If you find smudge marks along paths, near food, on your desk, along walls, in or the nests, it is not a good news. Sometimes, you even can find some rodent hairs.
Q. How to distinguish between a rat and a mouse?
A. Generally, rats are larger than mice in size. Rats are average 9 to 11 inches long plus its tails, while mice are shorter. And rat droppings are also longer, from 0.5 to 0.75 inch in length., while mice dropping are no more than 1/4 inch.
Q. What do rats like to eat?
A. Well, rats are not picky rodents. They almost eat anything that can be eaten. They tend to love meats, some fruits and grains. And they have a good appetite. Normally, they can eat 10% of their body weight per day. Therefore, they eat more and shit more. So you can find droppings anywhere.
Q. How long will be a rat live?
A. Generally, the lifespan of a rat is about 1 year, but some can live longer if the conditions are great.
Q. A rat nest was found in my attic. Are they are really there?
A. The rat nest is probably a roof rat nest. Roof rats usually nest in higher places, like in the trees, in tall shrubs, in upper levels of our home (roof, or attic). They are good at climbing. Most of them access attics or roofs by running along wires, cables, or tree branches.
Q. Where is the best place to put rat traps?
A. The best place is the place where rats are very active. Therefore, the first thing you need to notice is the sings of droppings, gnawing, nesting, smudge marks, and footprints. Put these rat traps up against the water in hidden areas where they are very active.
Q. I has found rats. However, my traps cannot capture them.
A. Rats are very clever and wary of new things. If one rat triggers a trap but the trap doesn’t capture it, this trap may not get a second chance to capture it. The next time when it meets the trap, it will become vigilant and just walk around the trap. Therefore, to develop a habit, it is advised to place unset but baited trap first. Once rats get used to them, you can rebait and set the triggers. This can improve the success rate.
Q. What is the best bait for rat traps?
A. Rats love eating cheese, but it is not the best bait for traps. The best bait should be not so wet or soft. Therefore, unshelled nuts, dried fruits, or pet food can be the best bait. They are also attractive to rats. When placing the bait on the trap, make sure the rat is difficult to remove it unless it springs the trigger. This principle also is suitable for fine wire, thread and glue.
Q. Rats are in my home, but I never notice them. Why?
A. As a nocturnal creature, rats are very active at night. If you see the during the day, this means they are searching for food, or their nest has been disturbed, or there are more and more rats in your home.
Q. I only have 1 or 2 rats in the home. Do I need to deal with them?
A. Once you have found 1 rat, it is time to do something. 1 pair of rats can cause a serious infestation. 1 year later, the rats’ family can increase to 1,500 young rats. This is because 3-month old rats reach sexual maturity and start to breed and produce offspring. Generally, female can produce up to 12 offspring per litter and it has up to 7 litters per year.
Q. How do rats get in my home?
A. Rats, no matter they are young or adult, can pass through 0.5 inch wide gaps and holes. If holes or gaps are not large enough, rats also can gnaw smaller holes to enlarge the gaps and holes, making them large enough to pass through.
Q. How to get rid of rats in the home?
A. Actually, there are several ways to capture or repel rats, including baits, traps, rodenticides (rat poison), fresh cap etc. Or, you also can hire a professional to use a special tool to get rid of rats in our house.