Is wildlife living in your home or destroying your yard? Signs that you might have an animal infestation are obvious and usually include visible animal droppings, strange odors or noises in your attic, ceiling or walls. Animals love to destroy insulation, chew wires and contaminate living spaces; if you have discovered these signs, it is best to contact our animal control experts for permanent removal. Common animals in Southwest Florida include: Raccoons, opossum, birds, snakes, squirrels, rats, and bats.
There are several species of rats. These rodents include the black rat ( Rattus rattus rattus), the Norway or brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), and the greyish roof rat, attic rat (Rattus rattus alexandrinus).
Identification by color only can be misleading since individual color variations can occur and resemble another species. Rodent control in Naples, FL area often involves the attic rat or roof rat which is a common rodent species to invade dwellings particularly into the attic areas and garages.
Rodent Entry Points
Rats can enter homes and buildings through openings as small as a 1/2 inch. These rodents are notorious gnawers and can enlarge a small opening with sharp teeth to gain entry.
Common entry points for homes is where the A/C tubing enters the siding and any small gaps around the roof or eve areas where rats often can gain access to the attic. Breezeways attached from the garage to the home can often provide rats easy access to the home. Garage doors are generally not sealed well enough to exclude rat entry.
Rodent Food & Habitat
Food preferences vary somewhat by rat species but rats are basically omnivorous and will eat virtually anything when hungry. Rats must gnaw to keep their teeth ground down and this results in property damage to homes, facilities, food packaging, cars and other property.They are night time creatures primarily unless they’re under stress to find food or their habitat is disturbed. The roof rat is a particularly good jumper and climber. Rat habitats vary by species with some preferring nesting in ground burrows, sewers, others in trees and dense foliage, and some in attic sites.
Rats are capable of breeding year round especially in warm climate like the Houston area producing up to five litters per year. The rodent gestation period is only 21-23 days and each litter can number usually 7 but up to 14 offspring can occur.
The life span for rats is up to three years but due to predators and species conflicts most rats live for about one year. However, any significant population loss is quickly restored by an increased reproductive rate restoring the previous rodent population level.
Health Hazards of Rodents – Rats
Rats are dirty creatures that have been responsible for spreading serious illnesses and diseases. Rats damage property with their daily gnawing and have been known to chew through auto wiring harnesses costing hundreds in repair costs. Many attic fires have been attributed to rats chewing on and shorting out attic electrical wiring.
Everyday rats contaminate dishes, utensils, and food in homes and businesses with their saliva, urine and droppings.
Rodent Control & Prevention
1. Sealing holes and gaps around the perimeter of your home will help reduce rodent entry opportunities.
2. Pet food should not be left outdoors especially at night which can attract rats and mice to your home or business.
3. Bird feeders are fun to have but can feed many rats and encourage them to nest nearby – possibly inside your home or garage or attic.
4. Professional service can help intercept and eliminate rat activity early on.
Rats live near people and take advantage of all available resources to survive and even thrive. It is estimated in some cities that the rats out number the people.