They chew, they scurry, and they gnaw on electrical wires – for Oklahoma residents, rats always spell bad news, and there are two different types you’ve got to worry about, Norway rats and roof rats.
Including their shorter tails, Norway rats, or brown rats, are the larger of the two types, growing up to eighteen inches. They tend to have off-white or lighter underbellies with black eyes and smaller ears. Although they usually only grow up to fourteen inches long or less, roof rats are a lot more agile than Norway rats and are known for their exceptional climbing skills.
Both brown rats and roof rats have been dependent on humans for centuries, and they aren’t shy about entering homes in search of food, water, or even just a warm place to hunker down for the winter. However, these rodents tend to overstay their welcome. Here’s what Oklahoma homeowners should know about the big problems that rats bring into homes, how you can prevent infestations, and what to do if you’re already battling a rat problem.
What Problems Do Rats Cause?
Not only are rats unwelcome visitors in Oklahoma City homes, but they’re also dangerous and destructive ones. Rats can cause a variety of problems, including:
They can cause property damage: Although rats like to hide in areas where they won’t be disturbed, they’re not gentle about entering your home or making a nest. Rats may tear up the siding of your house, chew through electrical wiring, or create holes in walls and insulation as they enter your home. The bigger the rat infestation is, the more likely it is that you’ll have issues with property damage.
They can spread disease: Rats are far from unsanitary, and when they enter your Oklahoma City home, they can bring dangerous diseases and bacteria with them. This includes diseases and bacteria like hantavirus, rat-bite fever, tularemia, and salmonellosis. They may contaminate your home through urine, excrement, or even scratching and biting if they feel threatened.
They can bring parasites: Along with putting you at risk for certain diseases and bacteria, rats also have the potential to bring parasites into your home. If they’re carrying fleas or ticks, these parasites may infest your pets or family members too.
How To Prevent Rats
Dealing with a rat problem in your home can be scary, and good rat control begins with preventing these pests from getting in at all. The following steps can help deter rats from getting inside your home:
Block off the entrances: Unfortunately, rats don’t need an open doorway or a lot of space to get inside your home. Adult rats only need a hole that’s the size of a quarter, and they can often use their powerful teeth to turn smaller holes into bigger gaps if they need to. To prevent rats from crawling in, you’ll need to block off tiny cracks, crevices, and holes in your wall and foundation with a rodent-proof material like steel wool.
Don’t leave food unattended: Rats are drawn to homes where they have easier access to food, and food that’s left sitting out can lure them inside. Make sure to keep food items in airtight containers or sealed packaging, including pet food.
Don’t ignore drainage and moisture issues: Rats need water just as much as they need food, so you’ll want to address plumbing problems and moisture issues as soon as you notice them.
Keep up with landscaping: If you have low-hanging tree branches or overgrown shrubs near the side of your house, roof rats may use them to climb onto your roof or enter into your attic. Regularly trimming tree branches back from your home can help prevent them from doing this.
The Most Effective Form Of Rat Control In Oklahoma City, OK
While rats may be troublesome, they also have the potential to bring disease, destruction, and parasites with them – and that’s not something any homeowner should have to face. The most effective way to rid your home of rats and other rodents in Oklahoma City is with professional help from Guaranteed Pest Service of Oklahoma.
If you think you’ve got a rat problem in your home, there’s no reason to wait and let the infestation continue to grow. Contact us at Guaranteed Pest Service of Oklahoma today for more information about how our rat control services work and how we can help.