How Rats Break Into North Carolina Homes in the Fall
December 7, 2018
Finally, the blissful cooler temperatures of late fall are upon us here in North Carolina. When the chill in the air brings us indoors to enjoy the warm comforts of home, though, beware… because we may not be alone in seeking shelter from the elements. Wild animals detect the changing of seasons too and start looking for a cozy place to live during the fall and winter. Rats are unwelcome visitors any time of year, but as soon as the temperatures dip, they’re going to need to find sources of food, water, and warmth, and your home is the perfect place to start. Here’s how to detect a rat infestation, tips to prevent them from entering your home, and what to do if you suspect they’ve already moved in.
Rats may be cute (well to some), but they are dangerous pests that cause a multitude of problems for humans and pets. They carry a variety of diseases, parasites, and contaminate food sources with their saliva, urine, and feces. Rats have sharp front incisors and powerful jaws, and a need to chew constantly to keep their teeth from overgrowing. So they cause extensive property damage to pipes, flooring, drywall, electrical wires, insulation, clothing, furniture, and similar items. They can also bite if threatened or cornered. Rats will make a terrible mess wherever they nest, shredding paper and fabric, and leaving droppings everywhere.
Two types of rats are common to our region - roof rats and Norway rats - and while both live in different areas of your property, they will both cause significant damage if allowed to remain. Roof rats are excellent climbers and will enter your home through gaps in gutters and chimneys, holes in the roof, and any unsecured openings. Norway rats are slightly larger in build than roof rats and tend to enter homes at ground level, often burrowing beneath structures, squeezing through cracks in the foundation or underneath outside doors.
How can you prevent these nasty critters from infiltrating your home? It takes effort and time, but it can be done. Make sure you repair any openings on the exterior of your property, including cracks in and around the foundation, holes in the roof, poorly-fitting windows and doors, and vents. Keep doors closed when not in use, including garage and basement/cellar doors. To prevent roof rats from finding another way into your house, trim tree branches away from the roof. Remove potential food sources such as trash cans near the house and bird feeders, and don’t leave pet food out for extended periods of time. Indoors, store food in sealed containers and keep your kitchen areas clean. Don’t leave food sitting out or have dirty dishes left out overnight.
If you do find yourself with a rat infestation, getting rid of them yourself will be very challenging. Rats are extremely difficult to remove without professional assistance because homeowners don’t always know what methods to use, how to use them effectively, or are unable to identify the source of the problem. At A-1 Pest Control, we have the knowledge and the tools to get rid of rats safely and quickly, restoring order to your home as soon as possible. We have years of experience dealing with rats and rat behavior, so give us a call today for your free estimate!