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What Happens When Rats Get Into Our Homes?

May 10, 2018

rat in the basement

There is nothing quite so horrific as discovering that rats have infiltrated your home. Not only are these disease-ridden creatures terrifying to encounter in a dark corner of your basement, they can be an indication of a number of other pest problems, as well as structural issues in your foundation, walls, and roof area.

The following is a list of problems rats bring with them when they find their way into structures. It is not an exhaustive list, by any means, but it should give you an idea of why it is not a good idea to allow rats to continue living in your home.

  • Rats chew. All rodents come equipped with a set of teeth that never stop growing. Like a cat sharpens its claws on things to wear those claws down, rats need to gnaw on items to keep their teeth filed down. These animals are adept at chewing on just about anything. They will chew holes in your walls to get in and out. They will chew on items stored in your attic. And they have been known to chew on electrical wiring, which is a fire hazard.

  • Rats cause structural damage and heat/cool air loss. Because of chewing, rats can open holes in roof areas (or other areas) for heat or cool air to escape. This will cause heating/cooling bills to go up and can be costly to repair.

  • These holes can also let rainwater in, which can lead to wood rot and a host of other problems.

  • Rats multiply. The average female rat has 4-6 litters per year, each having 6-12 young. And a female rat becomes old enough to mate at a mere 6 weeks old! This means a couple of rats can become many in a very short period of time.

  • Rats bring bacteria and disease. When rats traipse through dumpsters and sewers and then squeeze back into your house to walk around in kitchen and pantry areas, they can deposit disease-causing bacteria via their fur or droppings. A few diseases rats are known to transmit to humans include rat-bite fever, salmonella, and the plague.

  • Rats cause unpleasant odors. If rat populations are allowed to grow, a smell will grow right along with them, as they deposit urine and feces wherever they roam inside your house.

  • Rats bring parasites. When rats infiltrate, they rarely come in alone. Rats are known to carry secondary pests such as mites, ticks, and fleas. And, all of these come with their own set of problems.

  • Rats open doors for other pests to get in. Not only do rats bring parasites on their fur, but when they chew holes in foundations, walls, and roof areas, this opens doors (literally) for pretty much any other household pest to waltz right in. A few other pests rats can let in are mice, ants, cockroaches, flies, spiders, earwigs, millipedes--and the list goes on.

The moral of this story is that rats are not a good thing to have inside your home. If you want to be sure to keep rats and other pests out, or you need them removed, let the pest professionals here at Moyer Pest Control assist you. We have been helping folks be pest-free for close to 50 years, and have developed residential pest control plans that are guaranteed to keep rats and other pests out of your home.

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