Rat infestations aren’t just scary, they can also cause a lot of damage. From chewing through walls, furniture and electrical wires to passing on diseases and eating your food supplies, it’s surprising how much trouble these small pests can cause, do you think you may have the beginnings of a rat problem in your home or business? Here we discuss why this may be happening.
What exactly lures rats into our homes in the first place however?
Rats stay active throughout winter but as the temperature plummets, it’s going to become increasingly tempting for them to make their way inside. This is because natural food sources are becoming increasingly scarce and also because they need to maintain a warm body temperature in order to survive.
While it’s tempting to neglect the garden when it’s bitterly cold outside, do make sure you keep it well maintained even in the winter. Wood piles, leaf piles, shrubs and debris all provide great shelter and some much-needed warmth.
If it’s easy for a rat to get into your home, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t venture in to assess whether or not it’s a good place to find food and set up camp. There are many ways rodents can gain entry to a property including:
- Structural damage – the more cracks and openings your property has, the easier it is for all sorts of pests to get inside. It’s a good idea to do a thorough check of the outside of your home (including the roof) and fill in any holes that are bigger than half an inch. Don’t forget to check that doors and windows are properly sealed too
- Plumbing issues – water is very important to rats so they’re drawn to leaks. It’s also very common for them to gain entry into homes through pipes
- Air conditioning units
- Overhanging trees – few people realise that rats are actually very good climbers and can easily navigate their way up brick walls, trees and telephone poles. If you have any near your home, they can climb up and then jump up to three feet to gain access to your roof. If you have any holes or loose tiles on your roof, it won’t take rats long to work out how to get inside
- Open windows and doors – if you leave windows and doors open in the summer, rats may even just brazenly walk in. If you’re worried about infestations, a great solution is to install screens so you can let air in without worrying about pests or insects making themselves at home
Possibly the biggest reason rats come into our homes is for food. It’s vital for survival and if you’ve got plenty of it laying around, it won’t be long before you have some unwelcome guests.
Some common food sources for rats include:
- Pet food (both inside and outside)
- Crumbs which haven’t been wiped or hoovered up
- Rubbish bins
- Compost piles
- Bird food
- Food in our cupboards
- Water from leaking pipes
- Rats particularly like eating grains, seeds, fruits, berries, nuts and meat so try to avoid leaving any out on the counters and once these food items have been opened, store them in a tightly sealed container
If you think you have a rat infestation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Prokill and one of our qualified local pest controllers will be able to advise. Alternatively you can call us on 0800 328 9354 if you have any questions at all.