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Rat Infestations Unveiled: Signs, Risks, And Swift Solutions In Tampa

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Rats behave in mysterious ways. They have surprising abilities and even more surprising behavior patterns. If you're wondering if you have rats in your yard, attic, or walls, you'll find some great tips and insights here.

Join us as we look at the warning signs rats provide, the risks you can expect when dealing with rats, and some insights that will help you take swift action to get rid of these pests. We'll discuss specific examples and help you zero in on what will work for you.

As always, your Haskell Termite & Pest Control service team is here to help. Contact us to learn about professional rat control in Tampa or to request a rodent inspection. We're here to help.

Do I Have A Rat Infestation?

It isn't always easy to tell that rats have invaded. Sometimes, they're quiet as a mouse. But, even if they aren't being quiet, you may hear bumping and scraping and not know if you have rats or some other animal. These tips should help you figure out what's going on. Here are the signs of a rat infestation.

  • Roof rats get into Tampa homes through high entry points, such as ventilation that leads into attic spaces. If you see damaged screens, soffits, or roof trimming, you may have a roof rat problem.

  • Norway rats typically enter homes through low entry points. They may squeeze through a gap around a pipe or wire conduit. They may get into an air conditioning duct. They may slide under an exterior door. Look for the damage, and you'll track these pests.

  • Rats typically leave black smudges on surfaces as they go in and out. If you have roof rats getting into your eaves, you'll see black streaks on the wood. If you have Norway rats getting in through your foundation, you'll see black around the gaps.

  • Rats leave their droppings for you to find. Check along your foundation. The fecal matter of rats is slightly larger than grains of rice, black in coloration, and pointed on one end. It is easy to mistake rat droppings for coffee beans, raisins, or large pieces of dark brown rice, with just a glance.

These are the easiest ways to check your home for a rat infestation. You can also perform an inspection of an unfinished attic space or a crawl space under your house. In these secluded areas, you may find nests, droppings, urine, or the rats themselves. Wear a respirator and gloves, as there are health concerns in areas contaminated by rat habitation. Let's take a look at these.

Rat-Borne Diseases: Common Illnesses Transmitted By Rats

The primary issue with rats is that they cause damage to structures and destroy items in storage. But there is also a health risk to having rats in your home. It is critical to know something about these dangers. Here are a few facts to help you understand the problem.

  • Rats can transmit diseases by contaminating things with the hair on their bodies, their droppings, and their urine. Some of the diseases rats carry are salmonellosis, leptospirosis, tularemia, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, and trichinosis. When rats get into your food storage or climb around in your kitchen at night, they can make you sick.

  • Rats carry ticks and fleas, which also transmit diseases to humans. Some of the diseases these parasites carry and transmit are murine typhus, bartonellosis, ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, southern tick-associated rash illness, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

  • Along with presenting disease concerns, rats can also pose a direct threat to your safety. Rodents will chew on wires and cause structural fires. Experts believe that 20 to 25 percent of all fires that originate from unknown sources are likely the result of rodent infestations.

  • While not common, it is possible for a rat to bite a child, dog, cat, or adult human. They are wild animals that will defend themselves if cornered.

We could say more on this topic, but you get the point. You definitely want to take the steps necessary to keep roof rats and Norway rats out of your Tampa home. There are far too many ways they can impact your health and safety. Let's look at our top rat prevention tips that will help you do just that.

Top Rat Prevention Tips: How to Keep Your Home Rodent-Free

Long before you have to call a rat control company, there are steps you can take to prevent a rat problem. If you don't have rats yet, these tips are well worth your time. Let's start outside your house and work our way in.

  • Pick up clutter in your yard. Rats can navigate in absolute darkness using their sense of touch. When a rat encounters an open yard with no clutter, it may not enter.

  • Keep your grass cut. Rats prefer to travel through tall grass and overgrowth.

  • Rake up nuts in your yard. Squirrels aren't the only rodents that enjoy eating nuts. They are a staple for rats as well.

  • Rake up fruit underneath fruit trees and use screens to guard berry bushes.

  • Keep trash in closed receptacles. Wash the containers if odors persist. If needed, consider disposing of trash within scented bags.

  • If you have bird feeders, manage them so rats can't climb up to them and gain access to the seeds. One approach is to fasten bird feeders on slipper metal posts. If rats can claw their way up, they can't get at those seeds. Keep in mind that a rat can jump 3 feet vertically.

  • Use rodent guards to stop rodents from climbing trees and pipes. Many rodent guards look like upside-down cones. As the rat climbs up, it meets the cone and cannot climb around it. You can also use rodent guards to prevent rodents from traveling across electric power and other utility lines.

  • If you don't use rodent guards on your tree trunks, consider trimming branches that touch your roof or roofline.

  • Use expanding foam to fill in wood cavities and gaps between wood members. While rats can chew through foam, they aren't likely to do so if they don't suspect a hiding place on the other side. Rats make small holes larger.

  • Use hardware cloth screens to bolster your protection in key areas, such as ventilation for your attic or gaps around plumbing and other utilities.

  • Make sure all of your exterior doors have up-to-date weatherstripping and door sweeps to seal all the tiny gaps that can attract rats. A rat can chew through rubber in a matter of seconds. Don't give them a reason to try.

  • Keep the interior of your home clean and free of food debris. If a rat finds its way inside, it may go right back out if your house has no food options available. Rats like to live near food sources.

  • Store certain foods in sealed, airtight containers. A good example is using a large plastic container for dry dog food. Not only will the container help keep the rats out, but it will also seal in the scent of the food inside the container.

  • Keep your attic space neat. Rats prefer unfinished attics, dusty spaces, and lots of clutter.

These and other home maintenance tasks can help you deter rats from getting into your home. You should need more protection than this, but if you do, contact Haskell Termite & Pest Control for rat control options. Let's look at how rat control works.

Experienced Professional Rat Control: Call For Expert Help

There are two ways your Haskell Termite & Pest Control team can help with rat control in the Tampa area. If you currently have a rat infestation, we can apply a multi-pronged strategy to arrest rat activity in your home. If you don't have rats yet, we can use rodent control measures around the exterior of your house to prevent trouble.

Rat Removal:

  • We inspect your home and examine your rat infestation.

  • We select control products and methods to address your specific issue.

  • We will seal some of the entry points the rats are using and encourage the rats inside to exit.

  • We may trap and collect the rats in your home if necessary.

  • We will work on the interior problem until no rats remain.

  • We will seal the remaining points of entry so that rats stay outside.

Rat Management:

  • We will inspect your property and catalog the conditions present.

  • We will use a multi-pronged strategy to manage rodent pressures.

  • We will apply exclusion work to prevent rodents from entering.

  • If necessary, we will deploy tamper-resistant bait stations to reduce the population of rodents.

Whether you have a rat problem or hope to avoid one, contact Haskell Termite & Pest Control for rat management or rat removal in Tampa. We have the experience to help you get the control you need. Connect with us today by phone, text, or our contact page; we look forward to helping you live your rat-free life starting today.

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