Mice and rats can make wonderful pets, and there are many lovable rats and mice in popular culture, from Mickey Mouse to Stuart Little to Remy from Ratatouille. But in real life, rodents will get into your food, leave their droppings around the house, and even threaten to bite the kids. This can test the tolerance of even the most ardent animal lover and get anyone thinking about professional rat removal.
Throughout history, rats have caused incalculable human suffering and economic damage. Even today, it’s estimated that rats destroy up to twenty percent of the world’s food supply, by feeding and through contamination. Also, letting them run rampant through your home presents many hygiene and safety issues. We all know about the many diseases that rats carry, from bubonic plague to Hantavirus to salmonella and other germs. In fact, over thirty diseases are linked to transmission through rats and their droppings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The health hazards cannot be underestimated.
Once rats move into an area, they quickly take over by eating your food, causing damage to your home and possessions, stealing various things like fabrics to make nests, and being a general nuisance. Because they are omnivores, they can survive in many different environments and eat anything they can get into. Rat removal is tougher than getting rid of mice, as rats are bigger, meaner, and smarter. When you add their rapid reproduction into the mix, your rat problem can grow very quickly. We know you don’t want to worry about them invading and running around your house, apartment, or office.
You can’t always see them, but mice and rats nearly always leave unique signs. Before you try to tackle any rat removal problem by yourself, here is a list of indicators you can check to determine whether you need a rat removal service:
Rodent droppings are a sure sign that rats or mice are close by. If you notice multiple piles of what looks like dirt in your home, then take a closer look. Discovering a pile of rodent feces isn’t any fun, but based on their droppings, you can figure out several things: which type of rodent left it, the size of the infestation, and the locations where they’re most active. According to sci-insect.com: “Mouse droppings are small, less than one quarter inch, and pointed on both ends. Rat droppings are half an inch or larger. Norway Rat droppings are blunt at both ends, while Roof Rat droppings have pointed ends. New droppings are shiny and putty-like in texture, while old ones are hard and crumbly.” Did you know that a single rat can produce up to 25,000 droppings in a year? With all the diseases just in their feces alone, it’s all the more reason to think about quick rat removal.
Just like all other animals, rodents leave behind a distinct smell. If your house starts to exhibit a musky smell, and no amount of open windows or fans get rid of the odor, then it could be rodent urine. With large infestations, you can easily smell it. What’s more, rats and mice can quickly build nests and reproduce, and that will only worsen the stink.
3.Gnawed holes and gnaw marks.
Typical rat tooth marks are about one-eighth of an inch, while even smaller marks tend to be an indicator of mice. Gnawed rat holes tend to be well-defined and fairly small, about the size of a quarter, with rough, torn edges. Mouse holes are slightly smaller, about the size of a dime. Because rodents’ teeth never stop growing, they whittle down their teeth by chewing on hard objects. Once in a home, they chew on just about anything, including insulation, PVC pipes, and electrical wiring. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 1 on 5 of all unexplained house fires are caused by shorts in wires, after rats or mice have chewed on them.
4.Tracks and trails.
You might find tiny paw-prints or lines from trails that have dragged along dustier areas. Check along baseboards, in corners, the back panels of cabinets, and near food storage. If you find marks in these areas, you may be able to determine a rodent’s access points.
Since rodents are nocturnal, you have a higher chance of hearing or even seeing mice and rats at night. They often make scratching and squeaking sounds, as they run around inside walls and along floors. You may even spot them scurrying across the floor or along the wall, if you stay up late.
The behavior of your cat or dog is likely to change, when they hear or smell rodents in the house. They may appear extremely alert, they may bark or hiss at what appears to be nothing, or they may paw at spaces underneath stoves, refrigerators, or pieces of furniture. You may notice them paying extra attention to the fence line of your yard, especially at night, when rodents are more active. Be especially careful with your dogs: their immune systems are very different from those of cats, and they may not be able to handle some of the diseases that rats and mice are known to carry.
If you’ve encountered most or all the items on this list, then it’s very likely you have a mouse or rat problem. But rat removal isn’t as simple as putting out a trap, when you factor in the safety of your family, the risks to the environment, and the humane treatment of animals who are only doing what their instinct tells them to.
Solving your rat removal problem with poison may be a solution you don’t feel comfortable with. In addition to being inhumane, poisons simply won’t solve all of your rat removal problems. The rats that die could remain in your attic or walls, causing a horrible stench. Besides, new rats will keep coming, and the rats that don’t die will keep reproducing. And poison isn’t only toxic to rodents: poisons, both in their manufacture and their use, can pose risks to your children, your pets, and the environment. Most rodenticides available in supermarkets contain very toxic ingredients, such as Warfarin, Bromadioline, or Brodifacoum, but these chemicals cause animals to die horrible deaths from internal bleeding that lasts from three to ten days. And of course, nobody wants to think about what could happen if a family pet or a child ingests these.
There’s also the issue of “collateral damage.” In those three to ten days, as the rat becomes weaker, they become easy prey for predators such as cats or birds, who feed on the poisoned rodents and are then poisoned themselves. In addition, a rodenticide doesn’t become less poisonous when it’s flushed down the drain – it’s deadly in aquatic environments, too.
And then there’s the tolerance problem. Rats and mice are tough, hardy animals that breed frequently during their short lifespans, and it has been observed that many have already developed a resistance to many commonly-used chemicals. So, more of the chemical needs to be used, which means that pets and wildlife, who haven’t developed this tolerance, are put at greater risk.
You may also have considered glue traps for rat removal, but these carry their own problems. Not only can glue traps catch unintended targets, such as birds, squirrels, snakes, gerbils, and even kittens, but, if you came to our site, then you almost certainly believe that no animal deserves a slow, painful death from dehydration, starvation, or exposure. Also, did you know that glue traps even pose disease risks to humans? The CDC and Health Canada specifically warn against their use, because any person can be exposed to hantavirus when an ensnared animal panics and loses control of its bodily functions.
There are better methods of effective, humane rat removal – and that’s where Natran Green Pest Control comes in. We are a green pest control company, and we are a team of professionals who are dedicated to rodent and rat removal that’s friendly to people, to pets, and to the planet. Natran’s highly-trained professionals offer top-quality, minimal-risk rat removal services, so you can rest easy in the knowledge that your home is free of unwanted guests. Our team is accustomed to removing and relocating mice and rats, specializing in wildlife and rat removal that is green, gentle, and humane. Using the most powerful, botanically-based products, not traditional rodenticides, we will also ensure that entry and exit paths that rodents use to enter and exit your home will be sealed, keeping them out in the future.
If you’re suffering from a rat, mouse, or other rodent infestation, give us a call and let us help you solve your rat removal problem immediately. All our technicians are thoroughly trained in dealing with rat removal situations, and our combination of concealments, bait stations, and targeted trappings will remove rats quickly and securely from your home or business. Give us a call today and let’s solve your problem together.