Did you know: Norway rats can have up to 2,000 offspring in one year? This jaw-dropping statistic is one of many reasons that rat populations are so difficult to control. Rats have lived among humans for centuries - in our streets, sewers, transportation systems, and homes. These rodents have never been well-received, famously blamed for spreading the bubonic plague in the Middle Ages, which killed 200 million people in just four years. In modern times, rats continue to be reviled as dirty, disease-ridden pests, and people are understandably wary of them.
Rats are problematic in our society for numerous reasons; they cause extensive property damage, transmit disease, and carry parasites. To keep Norway rats out of your Opelika home, you must be proactive about rat prevention. This article will explore how to identify Norway rats, the dangers of these pervasive rodents, and what you can do to prevent and control them.
Identifying Norway Rats
Norway (brown) rats have origins in Asia but were carried to the United States on ships from Europe in the 18th century. These rats are now found across the U.S. and are common throughout Alabama, including the Opelika, Daphne, Fairhope, Orange Beach, and Foley areas.
Norway rats have brown fur peppered with some black hairs and a white or gray underside. They are typically 7-9½ inches in length, with a long body and hairless tail. These rats have small ears and eyes and a blunt muzzle. They are colorblind and have poor vision in general, but their other senses - hearing, smell, touch, and taste - are very acute. Norway rats can run, jump, climb, and swim and often live in packs called mischiefs.
Other than sighting the rats themselves, Norway rats may be identified in your home through certain telltale signs. Gnaw marks throughout your house can indicate Norway rats; new bite marks will be rough while older existing holes are smooth from wear and oftentimes greasy. Capsule-shaped droppings with blunt ends may also point to Norway rats, while roof rat droppings typically have pointed ends. Greasy rub marks on walls from the rats’ oily fur can also be a sign of a Norway rat infestation, as well as footprints, nests made of shredded paper or fabrics, and strange noises in the walls.
Problems Caused By Norway Rats
A Norway rat problem in your home can be severe. Rats are not only unsettling to discover in your house; they are actually quite dangerous to humans. They are vectors of numerous diseases, such as rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, and tularemia, and their droppings can trigger allergic reactions. Rats also contaminate food and can introduce other pests such as fleas into your home.
Norway rats are also extremely destructive to property. These tenacious rodents will gnaw through nearly anything - even plastic or lead pipes - while searching for water and food. This can result in severe structural damage costing thousands of dollars in repairs.
How To Keep Norway Rats Out Of Your Opelika Home
The best way to mitigate the risks of Norway rats is to keep them out of your house in the first place. There are many preventative measures that you can take to keep these dangerous pests off your property.
Check out these rat prevention tips for Opelika homeowners:
Store firewood away from your house and remove piles of debris.
Norway rats can fit through holes the size of a quarter - seal any holes or cracks on the outside of your home with caulk or steel wool.
Eliminate sources of moisture in your home, such as leaky pipes, particularly in basements or crawlspaces.
Always store food in sealed containers to prevent contamination from rats.
Secure garbage in trash cans with tight-fitting lids, and dispose of it regularly.
Keep an eye out for signs of infestation, such as gnaw marks or oily stains on walls left by the rats' greasy fur.
Maintaining a clean, organized, and secure home will help to reduce the likelihood of a Norway rat infestation. Still, unfortunately, preventative measures are not always enough to keep rats at bay. Be sure to call a licensed pest control service if you see any signs of rats on your property.
Safe & Effective Norway Rat Control In Opelika, AL
If Norway rats have invaded your home, don’t go into battle alone. Contact the professionals at Prewett Pest Control - your allies in the war on rats. Prewett Pest Control is proud to provide Alabama with modern, convenient, and effective pest control services.
We’ve brought pest control into the 21st century, offering online scheduling and purchasing to our customers. We guarantee our services, so you can rest assured that your property will be 100% rodent-free. For the highest-quality Norway rat control in Opelika and the surrounding areas, contact Prewett Pest Control today.