Rats are some of the most troublesome and damaging rodents in the United States. They eat and contaminate food, damage structures and property, and transmit parasites and diseases to other animals and humans. Rats live and thrive in a wide variety of climates and conditions and are often found in and around homes and other buildings, on farms, and in gardens and open fields.
Rodents are responsible for the contamination and destruction of 1/3 of the world’s food supply. They are also carriers of many diseases and are estimated to be the cause of approximately 25% of “undetermined” structure fires. Additionally, rodent control has been credited as one of the top 3 reasons that the average life expectancy has increased throughout the years.
What threats can mice or rats pose to me or my home?
Both mice and rats are public health pests and are known to harbor and transmit many diseases, such as Murine Typhus, Leptospirosis, Rickettsialpox, Rat Bite Fever, Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, Salmonella and Plague have all been associated with rodents. These are spread by their contamination of surfaces with their feces, urine and even in some rare cases, bites. In addition to the health risks associated with rodents, their gnawing can pose a risk to homes. Rodents gnaw to wear down their teeth throughout their lives. This gnawing has even led to wires being chewed, thus starting fires.
Eliminate rodent invasion through rodent exclusion services:
If you are concerned that rodents are, or could invade your home, you should consider eliminating the threat of invasion through a rodent exclusion service, also called “rodent proofing”. Through rodent proofing, you are identifying potential entry points for rodents and eliminating their access to your home.
Rodent Proofing – How it Works
There are a few steps in the rodent exclusion process. If performing these steps on your own, make sure you are meticulous in how you approach each step. Rodents find ways to get through weak protective measures. When hiring On the Fly to perform rodent proofing on your behalf, its nice to know you can trust us to identify and seal off all potential entry points.
The first part of rat and rodent proofing any home or portion of a home is to inspect the area. During this process we keep our eyes out for the telltale signs that rodents have invaded your space, or could invade your space. These signs include droppings, signs of chewing, nesting materials, or any holes or openings that rats and rodents could fit through. You may also be hearing sounds in your attic or walls.
On the Fly will identify weaknesses in your home’s protective barriers – entryways where rodents can make their way into and out of your home. These can be large or small, and can be hard to spot to the untrained eye. Rats, mice, and other rodents are wily, dexterous creatures that can fit through very small openings and even scale walls. It often takes a professional eye – someone with years of experience – to identify all entry points rodents could be using.
Once weaknesses have been identified, we work to shore up those weaknesses and seal off entry points, closing off rodents’ abilities to make their way into your home. We do this through closing up holes and/or reinforcing weak barriers. Often insulation and drywall are hiding rodent entry points. The sealing process could require insulation replacement and repair to ensure your home is 100% rodent-proof.
We always recommend an attic cleanup for homeowners that have dealt with a rodent infestation. An attic cleanup ensures any hazardous rodent droppings are removed and that the space is fully decontaminated. This process keeps your family safe and healthy and also eliminates odors that could attract new rodents.
If you’re ready to rodent proof your home, or are looking for more information about rat and rodent exclusion services, give us a call. One of our technicians can walk you through the process, answer any questions you may have, and help you get started.
How do you Spot a Rat Infestation?
Because rats are active throughout the year, periodically check for signs of their presence. Once rats have invaded your garden or landscaping, unless your house is truly rodent proof, it is only a matter of time before you find evidence of them indoors. Experience has shown it is less time consuming to control rodents before their numbers get too high, and fewer traps and less bait will be required if control is started early.
Inspect your yard and home thoroughly. If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, you may have a rat problem.
People don’t often see rats, but signs of their presence are easy to detect. In California, the most troublesome rats are two introduced species, the Roof Rat and the Norway Rat. It’s important to know which species of rat is present in order to choose effective control strategies.
While rats are much larger than the common house mouse or meadow vole, a young rat is occasionally confused with a mouse. In general, very young rats have large heads and feet in proportion to their bodies, whereas those of adult mice are proportionately much smaller. While both rats and mice gnaw on wood, rats leave much larger tooth marks than mice do.
Belly: white with gray under-fur
body weight: 7 t0 16 ounces
tail: shorter than body
head: muzzle blunt
ears: do not reach eyes
Norway rats, Rattus norvegicus, sometimes called brown or sewer rats, are stocky burrowing rodents that are larger than roof rats. Their burrows are found along building foundations, beneath rubbish or woodpiles, and in moist areas in and around gardens and fields. Nests can be lined with shredded paper, cloth, or other fibrous material. When Norway rats invade buildings, they usually remain in the basement or ground floor. Norway rats live throughout the 48 contiguous United States. While generally found at lower elevations, this species can occur wherever people live.
body weight: 1/2 to 1 ounce
tail: as long as body; up to 4 inches
head: pointed snout
ears: moderately large
House Mouse, Mus Musculus, Excellent hearing, vision, smell and touch have enabled the mouse to be highly adaptable to homes and indoor buildings. All they need is a 1/4″ opening to be able to enter a building, so they often have access to many places along the building’s perimeter.
Belly: all white, all buff, or all gray
body weight: 5 to 10 ounces
tail: extends to snout
head: muzzle pointed
ears: can be pulled over eyes
Roof rats, R. rattus, sometimes called black rats, are slightly smaller than Norway rats. Unlike Norway rats, their tails are longer than their heads and bodies combined. Roof rats are agile climbers and usually live and nest above ground in shrubs, trees, and dense vegetation such as ivy. In buildings, they are most often found in enclosed or elevated spaces such as attics, walls, false ceilings, and cabinets. The roof rat has a more limited geographical range than the Norway rat, preferring ocean-influenced, warmer climates. In areas where the roof rat occurs, the Norway rat might also be present. If you are unsure of the species, look for rats at night with a bright flashlight, or trap a few.