Professional Rat Deterrent Tips from Your Local Rat Exterminator in Boston
Mice infestations can be annoying, and even damaging, but rats take things to a completely different level. They only need about a half-inch of a gap or hole to get into your home. Once inside, the damage they can cause is limitless if the problem is left untreated. Dealing with a rat infestation quickly is crucial, but prevention is always your best bet.
Mice vs. Rats: How Do I Know?
If you haven’t actually seen the critters that are invading your home, it can be difficult to determine what they are. Mice and rats have common habits, living arrangements, and food sources. In the U.S., the most common rodent pests are the roof rat, the Norway rat, the house mouse, and the field mouse. Small mouse traps might not work for larger rats. Plus, floor traps aren’t going to catch roof rats that often stay in high places. That’s why you have to know your target before you choose a pest control solution.
The biggest difference between rats and mice is caution versus curiosity. Mice are naturally curious and will investigate anything that they find along their path. If you set a trap for a mouse, it’s likely they will get caught because they want to see what it is.
Rats, on the other hand, like to play it safe. They have learned how to live with humans in a different way than mice. If you set a trap for a rat, they will probably avoid it because it’s new. They need time to adjust to changes. Therefore, you may have to lay unset traps at first. The rats will initially see them as harmless and won’t bother avoiding them after a while. Then, you can bait and set the traps to catch them off guard.
One of the best indicators of which rodent you are battling is size: the gnaw marks, droppings, and tracks left by rats will be significantly larger than those left by mice. It can be difficult for the untrained eye to tell, of course, so you may need to consult a professional.
Rats are Ruthless
Rats are cautious, but they are also far more aggressive than mice. The Norway rat and roof rat mentioned earlier will actually fight each other to the death if they cross paths because they don’t get along. Rats also kill and eat mice. Therefore, if you have a rat problem, it is unlikely that you also have a mouse problem.
Rats will eat almost anything. While they prefer meat and fresh grains, these rodents are known for their trash-digging skills. They also need fluid in their diet on a regular basis, so if they cannot find it in food, they will come for the water supply. This could include puddles, leaks in damp basements, and more. Rats are also great swimmers, so while they don’t travel more than 300 feet from their nest, they can come from anywhere and go more places than the average house or field mouse.
Proactive Tips for Rat Remediation
Like mice, rats only need a small opening and the prospect of a good meal to come into your home. They do eat more than mice, but not much. If you know what to look for, you can often resolve a problem before it gets too serious. Of course, prevention is always the better option for those who haven’t had an infestation yet.
You can deter rats from choosing your home as their own by:
- Sealing Your Home: Check door and window seals. Look for cracks, holes, and gaps in baseboards, walls, ceilings, and the foundation of your home. Even the smallest crack or gap could be an invitation to a rat colony.
- Keeping Clutter to a Minimum: Because there are rats that prefer the ground and rats that like high spaces, you need to keep your attic and basement both clean and decluttered. The fewer potential nesting spots available in your home, the less likely rodents are to stick around.
- Securing the Roof: Check shingles, vents, and the chimney for gaps, leaks, or damage that could allow rats in. A lot of rat infestations start from the top, because most homeowners don’t realize they need to check these areas.
- Keeping Food Secure: Store all food in sealed containers and keep pet food put away in between feedings. If you’re used to free-feeding pets, this can be a difficult habit to break. However, any open or exposed food is a neon sign for rodents looking for a new home.
- Sealing Your Garbage: Use sturdy garbage bags to contain all of your trash. If possible, put food waste in a garbage disposal or compost it so that you don’t have to worry about rodents and other animals getting into your trash. Store your trash in cans that have latching lids or secure the lids with a rope or bungee cord to keep rats and other pests out.
Professional Rat Extermination and Prevention Tricks and Tools
You can also seek out professional assistance from a rat exterminator in Boston when it comes to preventing rats in your home. Professionals can come into your home and do an inspection, just as they would for pest control remediation. Instead of identifying and resolving an existing rat problem, they will be focused on proactive control.
Once a professional exterminator has inspected your home, they will go over the details of their inspection with you. They should discuss things like:
- Potential entry points that need to be sealed (any opening over ½”)
- Sanitation efforts that can be improved (food storage, kitchen cleanliness, etc.)
- Potential outdoor attractions, such as unsecured garbage bags or mulch beds that could be ideal for nesting or burrowing
- Clutter areas, such as basement or attic storage, which could be inviting homes for a rat colony
Usually, prevention starts from the outside in. The fewer creatures you have hanging around the exterior of your home, the less likely you are to have pests find their way into your home. Work with a professional rat exterminator in Boston to keep your home pest free and avoid the need for rat control services in the first place.
Call In the Pros to Prevent & Remove Rat Problems
For assistance with mice and rat prevention, contact the experienced team at AAA Exterminating Company. We have over 80 years in the pest control industry and can help with all kinds of pest prevention and extermination needs. Your home can potentially provide the perfect nesting spot for a rat colony – but not if you have AAA Exterminating Company on your side!