Controlling rats and rodents is extremely important to prevent a number of serious illnesses, which rats are known to spread. The Center for Disease Control has noted numerous diseases linked to rodents.
Rodents can be extremely determined and if they are able to get into your property, they may spread such diseases, cause damage around the home and contaminate food.
- Pests can ruin your home’s insulation.
- By chewing on electrical cables they can cause fires
Rats in the garden or yard also present a risk where children and household pets play.
What is the difference between rats and mice?
There are just two species of rats and one species of mice that have become the most common pests in homes and businesses, and this is due to their ability to adapt to the human environment. These are:
- The brown rat (Rattus norvegicus, also called the common or Norway rat),
- The black rat (Rattus rattus, also called the roof rat) and
- The house mouse (Mus domesticus).
Effective Techniques to Control Rats
Pest Works can help you avoid costly damage to your property and prevent the transfer of disease by providing effective services to control rats.
An efficient solution when removing rodents is with the use of rodenticides. Pest Works have a wide selection of pet-friendly rodenticides which can be used in the home and garden.
How to Identify Signs of Rats
Rats are nocturnal and are most active between dusk and dawn keeping a low profile from people in daylight. It is most common to see the signs of the rat rather than the pest itself.
- Rat facies tend to be found in concentrated areas as rats produce up to dozens of droppings per evening. They are dark in colour, in a tapered, rod-like shape which looks similar to a grain of rice.
- Scratching Noises– Johannesburg has both rats that are agile climbers as well as ones that are able to burrow extremely well. Keep a lookout for signs of scratching in the attic and under the flooring.
- Footprints- Rats are generally quite dirty and leave marks all over. Look out for marks on walls and areas they might gain access to the house. Leave flour around areas you suspect and see in the morning if there are footmarks in the flour.
- Rub Marks– Rats are quite greasy and oily, and leave smear marks around walls and areas where they might gain access to your home.
Rat Prevention Tips
- Keep foodstuffs strong containers that cant be bitten through.
- Clean around your home and garden – less clutter means fewer places for them to hide.
- Put outdoor rubbish containers in strong dustbins with securely fitted lids which will stop rats from gaining access to the waste in the bins.
- Regularly clean dog pellets and other pet food including birdseed and ensure they are discarded in a well-sealed bin.
- Clean up any debris from your garden and any waste such as food compost heaps should be in a well-sealed container
If you have already spotted signs of rats, such as droppings, prevention may already be too late.
Proofing Your Home
- Entrances– seal the bottom of doors and use rubber strips the outside of doors which will prevent rats from gaining access. Small rats can enter your home through cat flaps and other small gaps. They are also known to chew away at wood and other plastics to make a hole to gain access.
- Gaps in exterior walls– rats are able to enter into your home from making holes in pipes, concrete, steel and wire fences. Keep a lookout around your property for instances where they can get through. Keep in mind that rats can jump so ensure 1.2m from the ground has been checked for vulnerabilities.
- Roofs-rats are also known to enter your home via the roof. Ensure roof tiles are adequately sealed and overhanging branches are cleared from the roof.
- Drains and sewer pipes – rats are known to enter properties through drain pipes. Ensure the toilet lid is closed and drain pipes have a grid over them, preventing rats from gaining access.
- Discard items like waste, old building materials and firewood around your home.
Thinking about going the DIY route?
If you are considering going the DIY route we recommend exercising extreme caution as you are using poison that can contaminate food and areas where children play.
If you have noticed that your property potentially has a rat problem, we don’t recommend taking matters into your own hands, our trained professionals handle each job with professionalism and care. Store-bought rat control product has health risks, particularly to animals and children.
Need Professional Rat Control?
Pest control is not just a once off solution and has to be regularly carried out to ensure its effectiveness. Rat bait stations professionally managed by Pest Works is a trusted rat deterrent and is safe to use even in locations where children or pets are present.
Your Pest Works technician can provide the most suitable treatments to a rat problem identified in your home or business. Professional rat maintenance services are often the most reliable way to guarantee long-term solution to a pest problem.