How Do I Get Rid Of Rats In My Tampa Home?

close up of baby rat

One of the reasons people call for pest control in Tampa is a rat infestation. You may have an infestation if you see droppings in your house. Rats also like to chew through things, so you might also see gnaw marks or damaged items. You may even hear these rodents lurking within your walls.

If you notice any of these signs in your home, you'll want to get rid of rats right away. Read on to learn more about the rat species in Tampa and how Haskell Termite & Pest Control can stop rodents from ruining your home.

How Big Do Rats Get In Tampa?

There are two types of rats commonly found in Tampa: the Norway rat and the roof rat. Norway rats are brown with sporadic black hairs throughout their fur. They have a white or gray underbelly and have a blunt muzzle. The average length of their body is between seven and nine and a half inches. Their tails are shorter than their bodies, and they have small eyes and ears.

Roof rats are a bit smaller than Norway rats. They are between six and eight inches long and have tails of the same length, making their total size around 16 inches. Roof rats are a mixed black and brown color. Their undersides can be white, gray, or black. These rats have ears and eyes that are noticeably larger than Norway rats.

Can Rats In My House Really Make Me Sick?

Both types of rats are known to spread harmful illnesses that can make you and your family sick. A bite from an infected rat can result in you catching their diseases, but there are other ways you may become ill. If you handle a rodent in any way, it can still transmit diseases to you through skin-to-skin contact. Touching rat feces, saliva, or urine can also make you ill. If you are cleaning up rat nesting areas after an infestation, these secretions have most likely contaminated the area, even if you can't see it with your naked eye.

Here are six of the most common diseases rats carry:

  • Hantavirus
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • Tularemia
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV)

At the first sign of these pests in your home, contact a trusted company like Haskell Termite & Pest Control that knows how to get rid of rats.

What's The Best Way To Get Rid Of Rats In My House?

There are several home remedies to get rid of rats and steps you can take to prevent an infestation. Try following these tips to keep your home rodent-free:

  • Place natural deterrents like peppermint oil, crushed black or cayenne pepper, or cloves throughout your home.
  • Seal and repair all interior and exterior wall gaps and cracks with caulk or cement. Consider filling any significant gaps with metal kick plates or wire mesh for reinforcement.
  • Declutter areas of your home, like the attic, where rats choose to nest.
  • Clean your kitchen regularly, wiping up all food messes immediately.
  • Keep trash in bins with lids that close.
  • Place poison-free rat traps throughout your home, using peanut butter, seeds, or fruit as bait.

Sometimes you may still wind up with rats in your home, even after taking these precautions. The best way to get rid of rats in the house and protect your home from the diseases rats carry is to call for professional extermination.

How Do I Keep Rats From Returning To My House?

When your home remedies to get rid of rats fail, turn to the experts at Haskell Termite & Pest Control. We're the largest family-owned and operated pest control company in the Tampa area. Our Guaranteed Rat Elimination System solves rat problems fast and ensures these pests never return to your home. Call us today to find out more about our effective pest control solutions.