Toronto Pest Control: What To Do About a Black Rat Infestation

Toronto Pest Control: What To Do About a Black Rat Infestation

Black rats are the quintessential pest; they carry diseases, nibble essential house structures, and raid your pantry. If you suspect an infestation, it’s time to contact pest control in Toronto. How can you tell if black rats have moved into your residence? Here’s everything homeowners should know about these unwelcome guests.

What Do Black Rats Look Like?

As you may have guessed, black rats usually have black fur, though some have grey or brown. Like other rats, they have bald tails and rounded ears. Black rats are considered medium-sized, growing up to 8.5 inches in length.

Compared to other common house rats, this species has more prominent ears and longer tails. Their teeth continuously grow (a common trait in rodents), and they can chew through aluminum, plastic and wood. When black rats settle in houses, they may gnaw through wiring, creating electrical issues and posing fire hazards. They may also tear up cardboard, paper and even insulation to build nests.

Where Do They Live?

While popular culture often depicts rats as sewer dwellers, black rats aren’t great swimmers and therefore don’t nest too close to water. Instead, they rely on their superb climbing skills to create nests in trees and, unfortunately, rooftops.

Ironically, black rats infiltrated trading vessels as far back as the Roman Empire. As a result, you can find this species all over the world, though populations are largest along coastlines.

When these rodents live in human habitats, they tend to settle in roofs, lofts or attics, visiting lower levels to forage for food. In some cases, they may build nests in kitchens or pantries for easier access to food and water. Black rats often live in groups, which increases their chances of survival in the wild but spells trouble for homeowners.

What Do They Eat?

Rats have incredibly versatile diets, allowing them to live off human leavings. Studies indicate that black rats can subsist on the following:

  • Bird eggs
  • Insects
  • Fungi
  • Fruit
  • Seeds
  • Leaves and stems

They’re also well-known for munching on crops such as cocoa, coffee, sugar cane and wheat. They can decimate kitchen gardens and have no problem munching pet food, garbage and compost.

What Should You Do If You Have an Infestation?

Since rats are nocturnal, you probably won’t see one in the flesh. Instead, you’ll run into signs of their presence:

  • Tiny footprints
  • Chewed furniture
  • Droppings
  • Grease smudges on walls or floors from contact with fur

You may also hear scratching, scurrying and squeaking late at night. Since black rats prefer high places, you’ll likely hear these noises in or near the ceiling.

If you suspect an infestation, call rat removal experts immediately. They can inspect your home and pinpoint nest locations. You shouldn’t attempt to handle black rats yourself; they can become aggressive, posing a risk of injury as well as disease.

However, you can take steps to keep more rats from entering your home. For example, you can trim tree branches and shrubs that grow too close to your house, as they help rodents reach your roof. You should also secure trash cans and compost bins since the smells attract hungry critters. Additionally, food is a major attraction for rats, so don’t leave pet dishes outside for a prolonged time.

Why Contact Professional Pest Control in Toronto?

Rodent pest control companies such as Truly Nolen Canada understand the risk rats pose and have the proper equipment to remove them safely. We inspect properties thoroughly to identify potential entryways and seal them to prevent future infestations. We take great care to remove all rodents, including nests with young ones, and even offer preventative treatments tailored to the season. To schedule your inspection, give us a call or submit a request online.