Pest Factfile – Rats
Do you wake up in the middle of the night hearing strange noises such as scratching? Is there a strange smell in your house that you can’t get rid of? Have you spotted any holes in your floorboards or walls that weren’t there before? The good news is, you haven’t got a poltergeist. The bad news is that you’ve probably got a pest infestation. To find out more about which pest has invaded your space and how to recognise the signs, read the fact file below.
RATS – The facts
What do rats look like?
Rats have brownish grey fur and a long furless tail. Their bodies extend to 6-8 inches, however they are able to compress their bodies to enter a 1.5 inch space. Rats have extremely sharp teeth that continue to grow throughout their lives. They file down their teeth by constant gnawing.
How fast do rats multiply?
A female rat will live for a year, during which she will produce 5 litters of 6 to 8 young.
Where do rats live?
Rats live underground in sewers and drains, in attic spaces, around pipes, near rubbish stores and between walls.
What are the signs of a rat infestation?
- Droppings, these are spindle shaped and the size of an olive pip.
- Holes and teeth marks on packaging, piping, skirting boards, wooden floorboards.
- Spotting a rat. If you see one rat, chances are it’s got a family tucked away nearby.
- Smear marks along walls, these are caused by the grease in rat fur.
- Scratching and scampering sounds in the night. Rats conduct their business after dark.
Does a rat infestation need controlling?
Yes. Rats pose a serious threat and it is vital that an infestation be addressed immediately. Here are the reasons why:
- Rats carry life-threatening diseases including, Murine Typhus, Salmonella, Leptospirosis and Hantavirus to name but few!
- A trapped rat will bite. This is uncommon, but can happen. It is likely that a rat bite will transmit a disease.
- Rats can gnaw through metal and damage gas and water pipes causing leakage that is both dangerous and expensive to fix. They also chew through electricity cables causing fire hazards.
- Rats can burrow under buildings and walls undermining their foundations.
- Rats are intelligent problem solvers. They will quickly find another entry point when one is blocked up and easily identify and avoid commercially bought poison.