Pest Guide: What to Know About Rats

How to Know If You Have Rats

Rats are relatively large rodents that infest homes throughout the Washington, D.C., area. They are an average of 9 to 11 inches long, including their tail, which can be up to 7 inches. They tend to chew on wood panels but can even make their way through concrete or bricks and leave rough marks around the edges of their holes. Rats also leave large, sausage-like droppings around your home.

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How Does a Professional Remove a Rat Infestation

Rat on trash

A professional exterminator will take a holistic approach to removing your rat infestation. Rats that move into your home identify an ideal habitat inside, but in many instances, features outside your home draw them inside. Some of the steps an exterminator will take may include the following:

  • Sealing gaps and adding flashing: Rats can chew their way indoors if they want to, but by sealing gaps and adding flashing where it’s missing, you can make your home less tempting to rodents.
  • Sanitization: A professional exterminator will sanitize the interior and exterior of your home to remove potential sources of disease spread by rats.
  • Removing Cover: Rats can quickly move into your home when they have exterior foliage to push through, which a professional exterminator can remove.
  • Trapping or killing the rats: A professional exterminator can thoroughly search your home for rats and safely and humanely remove them.

Common Questions About Rats

Rats are hazardous animals to have inside your home. They can transmit diseases, including salmonella, dysentery, and more. They are also highly destructive and can chew through your walls and destroy wiring, potentially leading to fires.

Sealing gaps in your home’s envelope can help to make it less appealing to rats. Removing bushes from along the sides of your house can also deprive rats of an obvious path indoors. You’ll also want to remove potential sources of food and habitat for rats on your property, such as leaky pipes, rotting tree stumps, or open garbage cans.

Rats are difficult to remove safely without the help of a professional exterminator. Rats can be dangerous when cornered and may attack if they feel threatened. Contacting them may also transmit any diseases they are carrying to you. They also leave behind droppings that can be difficult to find or clear. You may also not find all their young if you try removing them alone.

Tips for Preventing Rats

  • Make sure to keep wood piles, garbage cans, and compost piles away from your home.
  • Cut back trees and other vegetation and animal feeders on your property
  • Remove garbage from home frequently and make sure trash is stored in sealed containers.
  • Seal up any cracks or crevices in the home’s foundation and exterior as well. Remember, even a small crack can be an entryway for a rat.
  • Keep garage and other doors closed.
  • Clean up spills and crumbs immediately and do dishes as soon as possible to reduce food sources.
  • Mow the lawn and trim trees around the house.
  • Minimize hiding places for the rats as well by cleaning up storage areas like basements and attics.

How My Pest Pros Helps Eliminate Rats

The best way to get rid of rats on your property is to go straight to the professionals at My Pest Pros. Our pest experts have protected families and businesses from rats in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. for more than a decade.  We will inspect your property to fully understand the situation and create a customizable plan. We always use EPA-approved products to ensure the most effective treatment as well as protect the safety of children and pets.

With our protection plans, rats and other invaders will be eradicated both now and in the future with regular treatment visits. These visits are effective at treating and preventing rat infestations.

For ultimate protection, our professionals will work with you to find a customized solution for your rat problems, today and tomorrow.

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