Brown rats, sometimes called sewer rats or Norway rats, are grayish brown in color. Their tails are shorter than the length of their bodies, and their eyes and ears look small in relation to their body. All species of rats are generally larger than mice. Rats are dangerous to our health and our properties. If you have rats in your home or business, you need to do something about it immediately.
How to Know if You Have Rats
Rats tend to stay away from humans as much as possible. They are pretty secretive so unless you have a high population of rats in your home, you may not actually see the rodent itself. Obvious signs of rat infestation include rat droppings, dirt, and grease marks along floorboards and walls.
Rats and Health Concerns
It is possible for rats to transmit diseases to humans. They can transmit disease if they bite or scratch humans and also by leaving their droppings and urine around the home. Humans can also get sick when rats contaminate their food or run across counter tops where food is later prepared. Some of the most common diseases transmitted to humans by rats include:
- Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) – viral infectious disease that is transmitted through the urine and saliva of rats.
- Black Plague – transmitted through fleas that come from the rats and bite humans. Fleas from rats also transmit bubonic plague, typhus, and hantavirus.
- Salmonellosis – if you consume food or water that has been contaminated by rat feces you can get this disease.
Structure Damages Caused by Rats
In addition to the health concerns of having rats in your home, the rodents are also known for being destructive. They gnaw on plastic and wood, leaving large holes in walls and floorboards. You can actually see teeth marks on objects that rats have chewed on. They tend to nest beneath building foundations, in wood piles, in dense vegetation, and inside walls, ceilings, and cabinets. They can enter your home through tiny holes and cracks in the foundation or walls.
How to Get Rid of Rats
In order to avoid hantavirus and other possible diseases caused by rats and minimize the structural damages caused by rodents – you must take steps to remove rats from your home. Nest materials and any dead rodents should be removed from the home. Always wear gloves when handling dead rodents or their droppings, and invest in a respirator with cartridges to avoid breathing in contaminants. If there are signs of a rat infestation (more than a single rat that made its way into your home) it is better to consult professional pest control experts than to take it on yourself. The risk of disease and illness is too high if you do not know how to get rid of rats properly. Not only do you need to rid your home of existing rats, but you need to prevent future infestations. The highly trained experts here at Nozzle Nolen can help you with both.