What Turks & Caicos Property Owners Ought To Know About Rats

roof rat pest control identification

Rodents aren’t just a problem for unclean homes and untidy yards, they will invade any property that provides them with shelter and easy access to food. Only by learning how to spot rats, and what early prevention steps you can take, can you keep your property protected from the many serious problems they cause.

How To Spot Rats

Rats are the largest invasive rodent species, meaning they will look for ways inside of structures in order to stay warm and forage for food. Rats are similar in appearance to their rodent cousins, mice, however. It’s important to be able to spot the often subtle differences because a property is almost never infested with two types of rodents at the same time. Here are some physical traits and behaviors you can use to spot rats: 

  • Appearance: Rats are often much larger than mice, frequently growing to several inches in length. With their larger frames come an elongated appearance, having slender, pointed faces and large haunches.
  • Ears:  The most discernible feature to tell a mouse from a rat is in their ear shape. Mice have large, circular ears right atop their heads whereas rats have pinched ears that sit further back. 
  • Nests: Rodents like to burrow and dig their way into tight, dark spaces. These secure areas provide them with places to brood and produce even more rodents.

The Trouble Rats Can Cause

You may not even notice that a rat population has moved in until the signs become apparent and nauseating. They are good at keeping out of sight and the first signs of rodent activity are often the damage and destruction they leave in their wake. Here are just some of the most common issues that rats present for property owners: 

  • Damage: Rats must chew on hard surfaces to keep their growing front teeth filed down. This causes marks on anything they can get into their mouths, plus their scratching and burrowing can lead to holes in walls and floorboards. 
  • Disease: Rats are some of history’s worst transmitters of disease, believed to be responsible for the Bubonic Plague centuries ago. They still carry and spread harmful pathogens to this day. Even if a rat isn’t contaminated it can be infested with parasites like ticks that are also hazardous.
  • Odor: As their discarded urine and feces pile up, the foul odors of a rat infestation permeate an entire structure. This is especially true when rats nest inside walls or vents, which is very common. 
  • Proliferation: Rats breed quickly and often, meaning a small problem can quickly grow out of hand. This is why only professional methods are guaranteed to root out and eliminate all rodents that might be hiding.

Key Rat Prevention Steps

The best way to solve a problem is to avoid it in the first place. You can help your own cause when it comes to rodent prevention by taking the following steps around your property: 

  • Food storage: Rats will attack stored food packaging in order to access the treasure trove of sustenance that pantries and cupboards provide. Sturdy plastic or metal containers are more protective against gnawing rats than weak or flimsy packaging. 
  • Trash storage: Rats will also root around in the garbage can or dumpster looking for a few morsels of food, so it’s also important to store waste in secure bins and areas. 
  • Debris: Excess yard debris or clutter inside of storage areas simply provide rats with ample areas to hide and nest. Consider downsizing your stuff and keep yard debris stored away from your exterior.

Effective Protection From Parkway Pest

There’s really no substitute for professional pest control. While DIY prevention can help you limit your risk of infestation, rats aren’t a problem you want to have to deal with on your own. Luckily, Parkway Pest Solutions is here to help, with a friendly staff that can provide you with even more tips on how to avoid and act on a rodent problem. We can get started right away on an inspection of your home and, if any rats are spotted, implement treatments that will rid your property of any issues.