Information on Rats
A rat infestation can be a huge problem to both your home and your health as rats can carry up to 70 different types of diseases some of which may be lethal including the Bubonic or Black Plague. If you believe that you may have a rat problem it is important to educate yourself on how to identify special indicators that may point to a rat infestation, and to learn how to properly treat and dispose of anything that may have been infected by these pests.
Facts about Rats
Due to a rodent’s nocturnal nature it may be hard to identify if you have a mice or a rat problem. Mice are only about 3-4 inches in length from head to tail, contain large ears, furry tails and can be white, brown or grey in color. In opposition, rats are large and can reach up to 2 feet in length, have hairless tails, pointed snouts and large feet. Further evidence that you have an intruder will be black feces, sounds of them running or squeaking, dark grease marks on the carpet or on furniture and belongings that appear to be chewed on. Rodents have soft cartilage and therefore they can fit into tiny spaces, even some spaces the size of a quarter. The main types of rodents that are most likely to inhabit your home are the Norway rat, and the Roof or Black rat.
Rats can enter a home through a number of different ways including climbing nearby trees to get onto the roof of your home and into attics, lofts, wall voids, air vents, and even through sewers and porches. Once inside they will chew on plastic or wood in order to saw down their constantly growing front teeth which can eventually cause structural damage to your home. Unfortunately, chances are that if you have evidence that your home may be a nesting ground for one rat then you may have an infestation of several rats. If this is the case, the number of males inside of a colony affects mating and the rate of growth of the rat infestation. If there is only a single male and several females then that male will mate with all of the females, but if there are several males then they will mate based on their social dominance in a hierarchy. Rats are mammals and female Norway rats can have up to 4 to 7 live litters in a year, through continuous breeding and produce up to 8 to 12 pups per litter resulting up to an average of 50 new rats from a single source. Roof rats produce at much the same rate and can produce up to 40 new pups from one female.
Rodent Diseases and the Severe Health Problems They Cause
The largest problem with a rat infestation is that your ability to contract a serious virus or a disease is extremely high. If you find evidence that you may have a rat through what looks like rat feces or even by finding a rat carcass then it is important to prevent any unsuspecting person or children from coming near before the area is disinfected and cleaned. First, put on old clothes, heavy gloves and a mask. Then open nearby windows to air out any odor and disinfect the feces, or dead body and any surrounding surfaces that the rat may have touched. Afterwards, discard the body, or feces, gloves, mask and old clothes immediately, and wash your hands for several minutes. It is extremely important to follow these exact instructions due to the possibility of contracting the deadly Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome through ingestion of particles that the rat or feces may exude. HPS can cause renal syndrome, tachycardia, andtachypnea, and symptoms include what may feel like the flu that will develop into difficulty to breath. If you feel these symptoms it is important to go to the hospital immediately as HPI can cause death if not caught early and even then it has a low survival rate.
All types of rats carry diseases or viruses that can be contracted through contact such as the Bubonic Plague which developed in the 14 century and killed 25 million people. Other health problems include Leptospirosis which can be contracted through ingestion of contaminated water by rat urine and salmonella which is contracted through rodents contaminating a person’s food as rats are omnivorous and are attracted to all types of food.
Handling a Rodent Infestation
Evidence of a rat infestation often causes people to try to treat the problem themselves with store bought rat poisons, but even coming into contact with some poisons can be extremely dangerous to humans. Therefore, it is important to let a professional exterminator handle any infestations. This will ensure not only that you and your family stay healthy, but will ensure that the infestation is completely eliminated.
Call CANTU Pest Control at 972-885-3618 (Dallas, Fort Worth) or 713-999-3495 (Houston) and schedule an appointment today if you suspect that rodents have invaded your home.