What are rats?
Rats are members of the rodent family, a group that also includes gophers, squirrels, and mice. In California, both the Norway rat and roof rat cause significant problems for property owners. Both grow upwards of 15 inches (from nose to tail) but vary in color and behavior. Norway rats are reddish brown with gray undersides. They typically are found on ground levels of structures as they are poor climbers. They are excellent swimmers. Roof rats are black with grayish white undersides. They are adept climbers and are likely to be found in higher levels. Unlike Norway rats, they are poor swimmers.
Are rats dangerous?
Rats carry and transmit diseases to humans and pets and therefore should be considered dangerous. It is best to avoid contact with rats, their droppings, and their urine to prevent health and safety risks.
Signs of a rat infestation
Rats are nocturnal and rarely seen during daylight hours. If rats are appearing during the day, it could be an indication that their numbers are significant. Common signs of a rat infestation include:
Feces and urine
Scurrying and scratching sounds
Gnaw marks on wood, plastic, and other hard surfaces
Nests inside structures, outside structures, and even in trees or other landscaping.
Oily rub marks in areas where rats travel
Common complaints from residents in Smith’s service area include rats in their chicken coop during the daytime, the gardener has noticed rat activity, and something has chewed car wires.
Tips for preventing rats
To prevent rats from infesting, good sanitation is essential as is making your property less attractive and impenetrable to these destructive pests. To accomplish that, we recommend:
Keeping trash cans covered
Removing crates and boxes from loading docks and from around dumpsters
Clearing away ripened fruit and vegetables
Eliminating water sources
Sealing cracks, gaps, and openings that rats could squeeze through (rats can fit through holes the size of quarters)
If rats are already a problem in your home or facility, Smith’s can help. Our rodent management programs rely on a combination of trapping, baiting, repellents, and exclusion to eradicate rat activity. When you contact us, we’ll develop a plan of action based specifically on your situation to help get rid of rats once and for all.
For effective rat control in the San Francisco Bay area, the Monterrey Bay area or for help getting rid of rats in Sonoma County, contact Smith’s Pest Management today!