Rodent Removal Services - In the greater Pittsburgh area

How to Spot a Rat Infestation

Because rats are active throughout the year, periodically check for signs of their presence. Once rats have invaded your garden or landscaping, unless your house is truly rodent proof, it is only a matter of time before you find evidence of them indoors. Experience has shown it is less time consuming to control rodents before their numbers get too high, and fewer traps and less bait will be required if control is started early.

Inspect your yard and home thoroughly. If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, you may have a rat problem.

signs that rats are in your home and business

  • Do you find rat droppings around dog or cat dishes or pet food storage containers?
  • Do you hear noises coming from the attic just after dusk?
  • Have you found remnants of rat nests when dismantling your firewood stack?
  • Does your dog or cat bring home dead rat carcasses?
  • Is there evidence rodents are feeding on fruit/nuts that are in or falling from the trees in your yard?
  • Do you see burrows among plants or damaged vegetables when working in the garden?
  • Do you see rats traveling along utility lines or on the tops of fences at dusk or soon after?
  • Have you found rat nests behind boxes or in drawers in the garage?
  • Are there smudge marks caused by the rats rubbing their fur against beams, rafters, pipes, and walls?
  • Do you see burrows beneath your compost pile or beneath the garbage can?
  • Are there rat or mouse droppings in your recycle bins?
  • Have you ever had to remove a drowned rat from your swimming pool or hot tub?
  • Do you see evidence of something digging under your garden tool shed or doghouse?

Damage caused by rats

Rats eat and contaminate foodstuffs and animal feed. They also damage containers and packaging materials in which foods and feed are stored. Both rat species cause problems by gnawing on electrical wires and wooden structures such as doors, ledges, corners, and wall material, and they tear up insulation in walls and ceilings for nesting.

Norway rats can undermine building foundations and slabs with their burrowing activities and can gnaw on all types of materials, including soft metals such as copper and lead, as well as plastic and wood. If roof rats are living in the attic of a residence, they can cause considerable damage with their gnawing and nest-building activities. They also damage garden crops and plants.

Among the diseases rats can transmit to humans or livestock are murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis (food poisoning), and ratbite fever. Plague is a disease that both roof and Norway rats can carry, but in California it is more commonly associated with ground squirrels, chipmunks, and native woodrats.

Health issues with common house mice

Mice are agricultural pests when dwelling in farming locales; they consume and contaminate stored human food with their droppings in residential settings. In addition, they contribute to the spread of diseases such as murine typhus, rickettsial pox, tularemia, food poisoning (Salmonella), and bubonic plague. Recent research has also shown that they carry a virus–the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)–that may contribute to breast cancer in humans.

Rodent Proofing your home

Mice are deadly pest too

  • Repair or replace damaged ventilation screen around the foundation and under the eaves.
  • Provide a tight-fitting cover for the crawl space.
  • Seal all openings around pipes, cables, and wires that enter through walls or the foundation.
  • Be sure all windows that can be opened are screened and that the screens are in good condition.
  • Cover all chimneys with a spark arrester.
  • Make sure internal screens on roof and attic air vents are in good repair.
  • Cover rooftop plumbing vent pipes in excess of 2 inches in diameter with screens over their tops.
  • Make sure all exterior doors are tight fitting and weatherproofed at the bottom.

If you have rodents in your home or business they can be a tough problem to remove. StinkBugSpecialist can help you with your rodent removal needs if you are located in the greater Pittsburgh area.

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