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Rats are pests that have grown completely dependent on human interaction over the years, which makes their entry into your Houston home very easy. There are two main types of rats that you are likely to encounter in the area. This is what you need to know about them:
Also known as a sewer rat, this light brown-colored rat measures between six and nine inches long, not including their hairless tail. The sewer rat is nocturnal in nature, meaning that they lurk around primarily at night. This factor makes them harder to find, which means that an infestation can go undetected and grow more damaging for quite some time. This kind of rat makes their nests underneath homes, buildings, and other structures on your property like sheds and garages. That said, if they’ve made their way inside your home, the Norway rat may burrow in secluded areas, inside storage boxes, or inside wall insulation.
Measuring at least one foot in length, the roof rat is gray to black in coloring, making them easy to identify. Also nocturnal, the roof rat will hide in dark, lonely places in Houston looking for food, water, and shelter. They’ll rummage through your garbage or feed from bird feeders or fruit and nut trees; this isn’t a particularly fussy type of rat. And because the roof rat is adept at climbing, they will seek to burrow high up in trees, in your attic, or inside wood piles.
Rats that you are most likely to encounter in Houston can cause serious problems in your home, including:
Structural and home damage. Rats, like house mice and other rodents, are incessant chewers, and they do so to keep their teeth, primarily incisors, from growing out of control. And while the chewing is helpful for them, it’s a lot less so for homeowners. Rats will gnaw on everything from your duct work to electrical cords to your possessions and furniture. Chewing on electrical work is also known to cause house fires.
Disease and parasites. Did you know that rats are credited with spreading the Bubonic plague? Throughout history, they have been credited with the growth of various diseases and viruses, and that reputation continues to this day with good reason. Rats spend their time in squalor, which means that they are more likely to contract diseases and given all of the places rats can access, they have the ability to spread them easily. Rats are known to carry lymphocytic choriomeningitis, the plague, and salmonellosis, and can pass them along either through something like a bite or scratch or by leaving behind saliva or fecal matter. Rats carry fleas and ticks, which present a whole other host of issues and potential for further infestations.
Rats are a nuisance that should be kept out of your home due to the damages they cause and the diseases they spread. Here are few tips to keep them from finding their way inside your home:
Rats have the ability to sneak through the tiniest of holes and cracks, so make sure that any vulnerabilities are sealed up, including foundation cracks, damaged door sweeps, and gaps around utilities entering the home.
Store food and trash securely and be sure to clean up any spills thoroughly. Make sure outdoor trash cans have a tight-fitting lid and use metal where possible.
The most effective and safest way to handle a rat infestation is to contact the professionals at All-Safe Pest & Termite today. We provide effective pest control in Houston.
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