When it comes to rodent pests, few are more adaptable and clever than rats. Several species roam throughout North America, but black and Norway rats are the two that have adapted best to human environments. If you are dealing with a problem with rats on your property, learning about their habits and behaviours, along with some help from Truly Nolen’s pest control in Guelph, can help you eradicate these troublesome rodents.
Common Rat Behaviors
Before you take action against the rats invading your home, it can be helpful to understand some of their typical behaviours. While these rodents have a few habits in common, their nesting preferences are often quite varied. For example, while the Norway rat prefers nesting in areas that are low to the ground, such as in woodpiles and basements, black rats nest in trees and other locales off the ground. Because black rats often invade human homes via the roof by chewing their way into attics, they are sometimes called roof rats.
Both Norway and black rats are active at night and forage for food and nesting material during this time. They have an excellent sense of smell, and once they locate a food source, they might nest nearby to make it simple for them to gather food and rear their young.
Identifying a Rat Species
Understanding which rat species you are dealing with can help you move forward with protecting your home. While the team that handles pest control in Guelph can help you identify different species, you may be able to tell black and Norway rats apart with a few variances in their appearance.
Norway rats are generally brown or reddish-brown in colour and may have lighter patches on their bellies. The tails are not as long as other rat species, and they have blunt snouts. Unlike field mice, they have naked ears and tails and can grow to over a foot long. Their backs are raised, giving them a bulky appearance. In contrast, black rats are smaller, more slender and exhibit pointed snouts. Their tails are often quite long, usually longer than the lengths of their bodies. Both rat species tend to approach human habitats when food and water are readily available.
Preventing a Rat Infestation
Because both of these rat species are so highly adaptable, they have little fear of entering human homes and making nests in gardens, attics and in your trees. Roof rats may gain entrance through open attic windows, as they are adept climbers. Both types might be attracted by gardens, open pet food bags and woodpiles on your property.
You can keep rats away by protecting your garden with high fences with a closely woven chain link that does not allow a rat to squeeze its way through. Even larger rats can make their way into holes smaller than a half-dollar, so you might want to shop for fencing that is designed to keep rodents out. Our pest control team can inspect your home for places where rodents might enter, such as holes in your home’s foundation or overhanging trees that give black rats access to your roof.
Using Traps and Sanitation Measures
You may be able to reduce a rat population with traps and by cleaning up clutter on your property. Store wood and building materials in a shed or garage where rats cannot access or nest in them. Set traps along walls where you see rub marks and rat droppings. Our pest control team can enhance these measures by ensuring your home is rat-proof and providing additional population reduction measures.
Keeping rats away from your home can protect both its interior and exterior from chewing damage and reduce the danger of your family members or pets being bitten or clawed. Contact us today for additional rat control assistance.