The thought of having rats in your house may immediately give you the heebie jeebies, but it is an unfortunate reality faced by many homeowners and residents in Tulsa. Rats are extremely successful mammals that have become widespread on every continent except Antarctica, and are especially common in urban areas. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent rats.
Rat Species in the Midwest
The two main species of rats that cause problems are Norway rats (rattus norvegicus) and Roof rats (rattus rattus). Norway rats are the larger of the two species. They have brown or gray fur, blunt noses, small ears, and tails that are shorter than the combined length of their body and head (up to 11 inches long). Roof rats, on the other hand, are more slender in shape with big ears, big eyes, pointed noses, and tails that are longer than their body. Roof rats also tend to live in higher areas like trees or attics, while Norway rats like to live at ground level or underneath.
Dangers Posed By Rats
Rats carry a number of pathogens, which can result in diseases like hantavirus, leptospirosis, rat bite fever, and toxoplasmosis. They will spread these through urine and feces and can contaminate your home and food supply. They are not only unhealthy to have around, but rats can also do damage to your home. Rats constantly chew on things to keep their teeth a manageable length. They will often chew on pipes, woodwork, insulation, and electrical wiring, which can be a major fire hazard. Long story short, rats are dangerous and should not be allowed to remain in your home!
Rat Prevention Methods
There are many things that can be done to help prevent rats. Taking these steps will help keep your family and home safe and comfortable.
- Seal the exterior of your home
- Trim your lawn, shrubs, and bushes regularly
- Store firewood away from your home and off the ground
- Declutter your yard and home
- Make sure that drain covers are in good repair
- Keep your trash cans covered
- Don’t leave your pet’s food and water out overnight
- Don’t overdo it when using bird feed
- Remove excess moisture by fixing leaky pipes and faucets
If you are still having trouble with rats around your home, call a professional from Midwest Pest Control. Rats can multiply quickly, and it is best to get the problem under control as soon as possible. With offices in Tulsa, OK, Northwest Arkansas, and Springfield, MO, Midwest Pest Control is your go-to source for rodent control.
For more information, check out How to Deal with Rats.