(626) 598-3842 (818) 869-4284 (562) 270-1546
(310) 388-4967 (714) 489-5846 (951) 373-6348 (909) 366-3525
Below is rat information for both indoor and outdoor pests. The indoor information is for overall description of rats and their habits, however, we only control rats outside with bait stations and/or outdoor traps - WE DO NOT TRAP RATS IN THE ATTIC OR DO ANY INDOOR PEST CONTROL.
Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions about rats, their habits and rat pest control. If you are a local area resident and need to hire a professional, feel free to contact us, by phone or see our price page. Not sure what type of rodent you have? Give us a call so we can discuss what is going on.
What exactly is a rat?
Rats make up the largest single group of mammals on earth, an estimated one-third of the earth's total mammal population. Several kinds of rats and mice are found around the United States. However, only the Norway Rat, the Roof Rat, and the House Mouse are common pests found around farms and homes. They are referred to as "commensal rodents" because of their need to live with humans. Rats belong to the order of Rodentia. Rats are short-bodied rodents, usually having a pointed muzzle, long slender, almost hairless tail and dexterous forepaws.
The term rat usually refers to the two most common nuisance rat pest species, the Norway rat and the Roof rat. Both species originated in Asia, but have spread throughout the world by human travel overseas. They both belong to the genus Rattus, which includes 51 species. The average life span of a rat is 2 years. Rats have poor eyesight and are colorblind. They primarily see light, shadow and movement. They do have very developed senses of hearing, smell, touch and taste. Their hearing is ultrasonic.
Can rats get into my attic?
Yes. In fact, it is a very common rat pest problem.
What types of damage do rats cause in an attic?
The main problem rats present, other than the noise they create and diseases they carry is the possibility that they will chew electrical wires creating the potential for a structure fire.
Other damage includes: Insulation damage thereby decreasing the thermal efficiency of your home. Rats may also cause water damage from chewing on roof shingles, water pipes and fascia boards.
Should I use poison for rat pest control?
If you are having a rat control issue outside of a large commercial building poisoning may help reduce the number of rats present. If you are a home owner, we recommend you DO NOT use poison baits for rat pest control due to the risk of rats dying inside your home, causing an odor problem. Poison should be used by professionals after inspecting and determining if it is a viable option for that location.
I am hearing noises. How can I tell if it is, in fact, rats?
Rats are nocturnal. So if you are hearing chewing and shuffling in the attic or walls, at night, chances are you may have a rat problem. Noises at night may also indicate squirrels, raccoons, or another intruder. These rodents need much larger holes to enter your home and much less common to be the pest.
How many rats can possibly be living in my home?
Rats are colonizing rodents and the number of rats present in your home usually depends on how long the problem has been present, the number of rats can be in the double digits. If you are treating the area soon after hearing them the population is most likely small and we can take care of the problem fast.
There are several species of rats in California. The two most common, rat removal professionals deal with, are the Norway rat and the Roof rat, both of which thrive in urban environments throughout California.
Norway rat, or Rattus Norvegicus, brown rat, house rat, sewer rat, wharf rat, is not a native to the United States. They hitched a ride over on boats with our European ancestors. These rats typically have a brownish gray color fur on their back and head with a whitish underbelly. An adult Norway weighs about 1lb. They have small ears and a tail that is shorter than their body and head. The Norway rat has swept across America and can be found anywhere in the continental U.S.
Roof rat, or Rattus Rattus, black rat, is also not a native to the United States. The adult roof rat is smaller than the Norway weighing about ¾lb. It is uniform in color. The tail is longer than its head and body and its ears can be pulled over its eyes. The roof rat is found along the coast line of the United States
Rat removal may be essential for a healthy home. Rats can become a nuisance for a number of reasons but, the primary concern is the fact that they carry just about every disease known to man; Murine Typhus, Rat-bite fever, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, and Eosinophilic Meningitis.
Rats will reside in attics, walls, basements, crawl spaces, or in any living space accessible to them. Rats are considered colonizing animals, it is not uncommon for buildings and homes to contain several of them and can sometimes get into triple digits. These groups of rats can keep you up at night with nocturnal attic noise or noise in walls.
One female rat can live up to 2 years and is capable of producing 200+ offspring in her life span. Rats will live inside buildings and carry out their breeding and damaging habits year round.
Chewing- Rats are members of the rodent family. Like all rodents, to keep their teeth sharp they must chew. Rats will damage soffits and facia boards by chewing and allowing water to enter into your home. Worst of all, they will chew electrical wires. A rat will chew wire insulation until only bare copper is left which if gone unnoticed, can be a potential fire hazard. It has been reported some 25% of house fires in the US is attributed to rodents chewing on wiring and causing a fire.
Contamination- When rats and rodents are occupying your home they will use it as a latrine and can leave behind a lot of droppings and urine in the attic (a single rat defecates up to 60 times daily). These rodent droppings not only smell bad, but they pose a potential health risk, and the smell will attract new rats for years to come. After the rat removal process is complete a home owner may want to consider cleaning and removing the contamination.
Insulation- Many Southern California area homes are already under-insulated since the time of construction. Because homeowners do not spend much time in the attic little consideration is given to the attic insulation. After rats have resided in the attic for any period of time insulation damage is a common site. Loose fill insulation will become matted and compressed allowing heated air to escape into the attic in the winter and hot air to enter the home in the summer.
Rats cause millions of dollars of damage each and every year to all types of structures and food stocks.
Rodent trapping, habitat modification, and exclusion are the most successful ways of taking back your property from these pests. Outside rat infestations can be controlled by poison located in professional rat bait stations that keep the poison safe from children and pets. This is by far the most cost effective and fastest way to control rats on your property including horse stables with feed, vinyards and many others.
Although it is seemingly impossible to remove all rats from outside your property they can be controlled to suitable levels. Rat removal is a challenge and it takes a lot of factors to fall into place for successful long-term removal and control. Please see our price page for an idea of cost to remove rats.