Long before you see a rat in your yard, it is important to start thinking about rodent control. Rats can damage your home and your stuff, and also spread diseases. It is best to be proactive, and get in front of rodent problems. Today, we're going to share with you a few facts about rats and the problems they can cause. We'll tell you how you can detect rodent activity around your Raleigh home, and share the best way to get rid of rats in your yard - so they don't get inside. How does that sound? Great. Let's get into it.

a norway rat in a foundation crack
a norway rat in a basement

Are Rats Dangerous To Have In My Raleigh Home?

There are a few ways rats can present a threat to you and your family. We're not going to get into the details because it is easy to start thinking of rats as much scarier than they actually are. Here are some simple facts:

  • It is important to be aware of the diseases rats carry. If a rat is exposed to something filthy or eats something filthy, it can become contaminated. In an urban environment, this is more likely than in a woodland environment. A few diseases rats carry are hantavirus, leptospirosis, tularemia, salmonella, E. coli, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, and plague.

  • Rats don't just carry diseases. They also carry ticks and fleas. These tiny bugs can also be a source of diseases, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Murine typhus.

  • While not common, we see cases of rats attacking humans. In general, rats aren't looking for a fight, but they can attack. They are wild animals that are more than capable of defending themselves.

The Damage Rats Can Cause To Raleigh Homes

When rodents get into a home, they often damage structural materials. Rats have strong teeth that can chew through wood and gnaw away at concrete. Here are a few ways a group of rats can present a threat to you:

  • The worst situation is to have rats chew on the wires in your home. This can lead to a fire.

  • The holes rats chew in your exterior can allow moisture in and this can lead to mold and wood rot.

  • Rats chew on interior building materials to gain access to food.

  • Rats will destroy food packaging as they contaminate foods and food-storage areas.

  • Rats damage items in storage areas.

Signs Of Rats In Your Raleigh Home

Now that you know a few important facts about rats, let's discuss the warning signs you can look for around your home. These will alert you to a problem and give you some clues as to where you need to focus your rat management efforts.

  • Fresh rat droppings can let you know you have current activity. These droppings will be black and moist. Old droppings will be dry, grey, and powdery.

  • There are several estimates as to how many droppings a rodent will leave in a day. If you're seeing more than 80 droppings, it is likely that you have several rats.

  • Inspect your home for gnaw marks or holes. A rat can fit through a hole the size of a quarter, so you'll need to look closely.

When you see signs of rats on your property, use these signs to track where rats are hanging out, what areas they're attempting to penetrate your exterior, and how many rats you're dealing with. If you have a group of rats leaving several warning signs, you may want to contact a licensed professional to make sure the rats stay on the outside of your home.

How To Get Rid Of Rats In Your Yard

It is impossible to kick rats out of your yard and keep them out, but you do have some control of how many rats are active around your home. When you deter activity, you reduce the chances that rats will get inside. Use the following tips along with sealing exterior entry points and you'll have success deterring rats:

  • Keep trash in covered containers that can't be easily knocked over by a rat.

  • Remove bird feeders. Rats in Raleigh love seeds and will go to great lengths to get to seeds.

  • Pick up acorns or other nuts that fall to the ground.

  • Remove hiding places, such as leaf piles, brush piles, and yard clutter.

  • Use fencing material to keep rats out of the voids under your deck or other structures on your property.

  • Keep pet waste cleaned up. While not a preferred food source, urban rats can take to eating the droppings of domesticated canines.

When More Control Is Needed

If you have higher-than-normal rodent pressures or conducive conditions that are difficult to control, it may be necessary to contact a licensed professional to manage and control rodents on your property. For reliable pest control in Raleigh, reach out to Go-Forth Pest Control. We use industry-leading control methods to keep rats out.


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