If there are pests that love to live where people live, then they are the rats. They are quick to adjust to any environment or location and are sure to thrive on just a small amount of food and water on a daily basis. When they invade a home and gain access to food such as grains, vegetables and even meat, they simply stay for good.
They prefer to live and feed around the restaurants, private homes, commercial buildings – just about any place that has food and that can shelter them. Rats can settle for scraps from garbage bags, private yards or whatever else they find at a place, for example at the community refuse disposal. If they can’t find refuge at your place, then they get their shelter from surrounding tall grass, weeds, walls, abandoned appliances, fences, to name but a few.
How do you check for rats?
If rats are suspected to have invaded your home, pest control experts recommend you take a fast and appropriate action to get rid of them. Here is how to determine if rats have entered your home.
During the night, turn on the lights in a basement or any other dark room and listen for scurrying sounds. If you hear some gnawing noises in here, then chances are that rats have invaded your home.
If you find tail marks or paw prints in any dusty room at your home, chances are they are from the resident rats. To be sure, sprinkle some flour around the area and check for tracks for a few days. If this doesn’t work, then place a small amount of food, for example grains where the local rats can get at it. On a daily basis, check for signs of feeding.
Uncover rats hiding places by moving furniture and stored materials from one section of your room or home to another. While at it, check for signs of gnawed electrical cords, packaged items, baseboards, doors, windows, etc. If you discover wood shavings or chips, tooth marks or chewed marks, then chances are that rats have invaded your home. Dark smears near the beams, pipes, stair edges and along hallways is a clear indication that rats have found habitat in your home. Old droppings or even old ones near the walls, pathways and food supplies is another indication of rat manifestation in a place.
How do rats get into your home?
Upon determining that you have a rat infestation at your place, it is time to investigate how they got in. Once you have determined you have rats at your place, it is now time to check out on how they got in, eradicate them and then take the necessary steps to prevent them from coming back. Rats get into a building in any of the following ways:
• By squeezing past thin openings in the piping systems, in the foundations, wall cracks and the likes
• By digging under shallow buildings foundation
• From inside large packages that are brought in a home
• Through open doors, vents, windows, sidewalks and the likes
• Through foundation or wall holes or cracks, (even as small as a dime)
• Through door gaps, fan openings, floor drains, letter drops, etc.
Keeping the rats out
It is easier to keep rats at bay than getting rid of them. But how can this be accomplished?
• Make sure there’s no appropriate shelter for them
Indoors: Replace wooden basement floors with permanently poured concrete. Storage racks should be placed at least 18” above the floor. Appliances such as refrigerators, cabinet and sinks, etc, should be moved out far away from the walls so that cleaning behind them can be achieved.
Outdoors: Start by restricting their shelter by rat-proofing all structures in a given area. Unnecessary structures, scattered disused appliances, old fences, junk piles and walls need also to be removed from an area. Areas behind wooden steps particularly those that lead into a building need to be thoroughly cleaned.
• Cutting off their access
Install outward opening self closing doors and make use of spring locks or latches to keep your doors closed. Ensure that all the doors and windows in your home are tightly closed. Make sure to use metal screens on all windows that are normally left open. Basement windows should be protected with 0.5 “wire meshes (hardware cloth). Window and door edges should be covered with screens that can be gnawed by the offending rodents. Floor drains need to be tightly fastened in order to keep sewer rodents from finding their way into your home or property.
Surefire ways to get rid of rats
Trapping and poisoning the rats are two common ways for getting rid of them. However, when you do it on your own, you can encounter many types of inconveniences as well as mishaps. The best solution for you to take when you want to fight off a rat infestation is to look for an animal control specialist in your locality so that they can use professional ways to get rid of the rats. Today, animal control services in Toronto have become very affordable and therefore, there’s no reason why you should not try them.