Rats have a way of being relentless. A rat problem can appear minor at first. You may see a few droppings on a utility box. You may find a hole in the ground that leads underneath your shed. You may hear a bumping sound in your walls. Over time, however, these subtle signs can turn into obvious signs of rats. What can you do about relentless rats? We'll tell you. But, before we do, let's look at why rats take over, why it is bad to have them take over, and how to prevent them from taking over if they haven't yet done so. For immediate assistance with rat pest control in Raleigh, feel free to reach out to us at any time for help. The Go-Forth Pest Control team is one of the best in the business; our friendly and knowledgeable technicians are happy to answer your questions and guide you toward an effective solution. With that said, let's look at the different rats that visit Raleigh properties.  

rat on a log
rats eating garbage

Habits And Behaviors Of Common Rats

In our area, we have two common rats. They are Norway rats and roof rats. These two types of rodents share many similarities but are also uniquely different in several ways. The similarities and differences give insights into why they start to take over and why it is hard to stop them.

  • Both of these rats reproduce like crazy. If given the right conditions, a population of rats can quickly go from a small group of rats to an army of rats.
  • Both of these rats have strong teeth that can chew holes through wood and scrape at concrete.
  • Both of these rats are capable climbers and can scale trees, leap several feet, and fall from great heights without hurting themselves.
  • Both of these rats can live inside your home and go in and out as they gather food sources outside.

As you can see, it is hard to keep rats out of your home. They are gifted with abilities that allow them to gain access to homes in surprising ways. Now, let's look at the differences.

Norway Rats: If you see a brown rat waddling across your lawn, you should know that it is a Norway rat, and that Norway rats are burrowing rats. They create holes in the ground, tunnel underneath structural skirting, and typically enter homes through low entry points. While sometimes easier to control than roof rats, Norway rats are more likely to access dirty areas found outside and bring harmful organisms inside as they go in and out. Roof rats can also do this but they are less prone to doing so if they can find indoor food sources.

Roof Rats: If you see a black rat waddling across your lawn, that is a roof rat. However, most of the time, you won't see roof rats because they're black and all rats are nocturnal. When roof rats enter structures, they prefer to stay permanently. They usually get in by following routes to higher entry points and vulnerabilities on roofs. They can scale pipes that run up a structure, work their way up through gutter downspouts, run along wires that attach to structures, and leap onto roofs from branches near rooflines.

These behavior patterns are sometimes disrupted, and Norway rats and roof rats can switch roles if needed. Norway rats can climb, and roof rats can tunnel through the ground. But they don't prefer to do so.  

How Dangerous Is It To Have Rats In My House?

When Norway rats or roof rats take over your house, it is bad. While rats attacking humans is a rare occurrence, there are other ways rats can impact your health. Some may surprise you. Here are a few facts to consider.

  • Rats are known to chew on wires, and experts believe that many structural fires are caused by rats. Of all the ways a rat can impact your health, this is the most severe.
  • Rats carry ticks. In recent years, ticks have grown into a significant health concern. Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases have chronic symptoms that can plague people for years. One rat can have more than a hundred seed ticks on its body. 
  • Rats carry fleas. While not as dangerous as ticks, fleas can carry diseases such as bartonellosis and typhus. They also impact the health of cats and dogs in many ways.
  • Rats leave their droppings and urine as they explore. These are a source of contamination. They can directly contaminate stored foods and food-storage areas. They can directly contaminate furniture, boxed items, and other things you store in your attic spaces. They can indirectly contaminate the air in your attic and also the rest of your home as droppings dry and become airborne particulates.
  • Rats leave their hair as they move about in your home. These hairs are a source of contamination because rats touch many things that are unsanitary.
  • Rats chew holes that can allow moisture into your home, and mold can result. If black mold takes root, it can create a health concern.

As rats grow a population, their ability to impact your health and damage your property increases. It is best to take immediate and effective measures to stop rat activity and keep rats out.  

Effective Tips To Prevent Rats On Your Property

If you don't have a rat problem yet, there are ways to keep rats in Raleigh from taking over. The secret is to address the reasons rats want to live on your property and the factors that allow them to thrive in your yard and inside your home. 

  • Keep trash covered, clean your receptacles, and get your trash to the curb weekly. All of these will help to reduce or remove the odors that attract rats to your home.
  • Remove bird feeders or move them well away from the exterior of your home. Rats love bird seeds. While seeds aren't a dietary staple, they are a snack food rats can't resist.
  • Pick up nuts that fall from trees. If you have a tree that produces nuts, you should know that squirrels aren't the only animals that love to eat nuts. Raking nuts up is essential for wildlife and rat management.
  • Pick up yard clutter. Rats have poor eyesight and must use their other senses to navigate. When a rat comes into your yard, it will use its whiskers and body hairs to feel objects that are on the ground. Remove ground objects and rats will have a harder time getting across your lawn.
  • Remove piles. Norway rats prefer to create their ground burrows underneath piles of objects. They love junk piles, brush piles, stacks of wood, wood pallets, and construction materials. Move piles away from your exterior if possible.
  • Install fencing material. Rats eat vegetables and fruits. If you have a source of food in your yard, guard them with fencing material. You can also use fencing material to keep rats from getting underneath structures. We recommend using hardware cloth that is made for rodent control. 
  • Trim branches away from your roofline to prevent rats from getting on your roof. Apply guards to pipes that run up the sides of your home. Insert wire mesh into gutter downspouts to keep rats out. All of these will work to prevent rats from getting onto your roof and getting into your home.
  • Use a caulking gun and expanding foam to seal gaps in your exterior to create a physical barrier to deter rats from getting inside your home.

When you take steps to make your yard less inviting to rats, you'll have fewer issues with rats. It is hard work; we know. But that hard work can prevent you from having to deal with the misery that comes with a rat infestation

Call The Pros At The First Sign Of Rats In Your Home

When rats are taking over your property, it is time to contact a licensed pest management professional, but what about when you see initial signs of a rat problem? It is our recommendation to get assistance at the first sign of trouble. Rats are sneaky pests. They can enter your home and move about quietly. If they do this, they can present a threat to everyone in your home without you realizing it. If you wait until rats are taking over, you may allow rats to cause significant harm to health and property.

Every rat problem is different. Sometimes it is easy to correct an issue and sometimes the factors that are leading to an infestation are hard to correct. An experienced and licensed pest management professional will inspect your property, evaluate conducive conditions, track routes, inspect entry points, and provide you with the data you need to properly address your problem.

If you're in Raleigh, contact Go-Forth Pest Control for help with a rat control issue. We have seen pretty much everything rats can do. They are amazing and resourceful critters. We use field-tested methods and the most trusted products to achieve and maintain control of rats, mice, and other pests. Navigate to our contact page and connect with us or give us a call. We have the solution to your rat problem. 


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