As summer nears, some homeowners will find the unexpected presence of rats on their property. Many pests wait till the weather turns cold to head indoors, but these rodents are often driven from their outdoor burrows by summer storms. They mate year round but tend to look for new places to nest with their families during the summer. With nearly four decades of pest control experience under our belts, the team at Advanced IPM can help you identify and prevent a summer rat infestation at your home or business in Merced, CA.
Signs of a Rat Infestation
While you’re unlikely to spot a rat inside your home, these nocturnal rodents leave behind many clues to their presence. Rats trim their constantly growing teeth by chewing on almost anything they can find. You may hear gnawing sounds in these areas:
• Under decks
• Beneath floorboards
Scratching and clawing sounds are common, especially inside walls and attics. These noises let you know rats are gnawing away at your home’s insulation, wood, plastic, soft concrete, and even wire coating. This chewing habit has been known to cause both costly damage and dangerous electrical fires. Other clues include dusty tracks, compost-heap burrows, greasy marks along walls, and signs of digging along fences and air-conditioner boxes.
Rat droppings are dark brown and measure from about 1/3″ to just over 1/2″ long. These rice-like spheres, which serve as signs of an infestation, can be dangerous. Certain types of rats carry the potentially deadly hantavirus. When rat feces or urine breaks down into dust and the dust is disturbed, the virus can become airborne. Improper cleaning can endanger your health, so leave this nasty job to the pros. Claw marks or clawing sounds near your kitchen signal another type of rat-related hazard. If you see open food containers with teeth marks, contact a trusted pest control company right away.
How to Prevent Infestations
Like many pests, rats are attracted by odors. They’re most active in summer, when yard waste emits smells and nourishment is plentiful. They prefer warm, damp places and are adept at finding ways to sneak inside your home. Rats can squeeze their bodies through quarter-sized holes, so it’s important to inspect your home’s exterior. These tips will help keep rats out of your home in Merced, CA:
• Keep your basement dry and clean
• Seal off holes, gaps, and cracks in walls
• Trim tree branches and remove lawn debris
• Fix or replace screens with holes or tears
• Protect vents with special rodent-proof covers
• Keep trash in a container with a tight-fitting lid
• Store pet food properly and place wildlife feeders at a distance from your house
Advanced IPM Can Help
Professional pest control is the key to preventing or treating a rat infestation. Rats can reproduce in your home, bring along parasites, damage your home, start fires, contaminate your family’s food, and transmit deadly viruses. Advanced IPM offers safe, effective treatment plans in Merced, CA and other communities. Contact us today to keep your home or business rat-free!