A Guide To Effective Control And Removal Of Jacksonville's Rats From Your Home

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Have you ever said, "Ah, rats!" when you accidentally broke something or couldn't get a part to fit when assembling a piece of furniture? If you don't use that phrase, chances are you've heard someone say it in a moment of frustration. 

Why do people say, "Ah, rats!"? Perhaps the reason is that if we see rats in the house, we immediately get frustrated. Although they are furry, and some people think they are cute, we don't want rats running around in our homes, hiding in our walls, or scurrying in the attic. 

If you are saying, "Ah, rats!" not out of frustration but because you see rats run behind the refrigerator, then you need the Jacksonville pest control team from B&T Pest Control. Our third-generation family-owned company has removed rats and alleviated fears since 1982. Our fast, friendly, and professional service recently earned us the 2021 Best Pest Control Companies in Jacksonville award. You can rest assured that our highly trained technicians, backed by decades of rat removal experience, will get the job done quickly and efficiently. This article gives information and tips to help you win the war against rats, so please keep reading.

Signs Of Norway Rats In Your Home

rats eating

There are many types of rats in the area, but the rat commonly in Jacksonville homes is the Norway rat. Norway rats likely came from Asia, but a naturalist in the 18th century mistakenly assumed they arrived in Western Europe on Norwegian ships. If you have never heard of Norway rats, don't worry because you probably heard them referred to as brown rats, wharf rats, or common rats. Some call them brown rats because they have brown fur mixed with black hairs on top and a white underside on their heavy, thick bodies. Norway rats have a blunt muzzle, a 7-inch to 9-1/2-inch hairless tail, and a 7-inch to 9-inch body. The males have larger bodies than the females and may weigh slightly over one pound. 

How do you know Norway rats are infesting your Jacksonville homes and not house mice? Are there indicators that point to Norway rats versus roof rats? Norway rats, roof rats, and house mice all leave the following signs, but some distinctions point to Norway rats within these indicators:

  • Runways: Rats are creatures of habit. Once they find a food source, they will travel the same path to the food and their nest. You will find the other items in this list along these trails. 
  • Droppings: Rats and mice constantly defecate as they move through a house. Norway rats produce olive-sized, black, shiny feces with blunt ends, while roof rats and mice leave smaller, rod-shaped poop with pointed ends behind.
  • Marks: The oily fur on Norway rats attracts dirt and grim in the sewers, drains, and garbage where they forage. Since they have poor eyesight, Norway rats bump into objects and walls when they are in a home and leave dark, greasy smudge marks.
  • Stains: Norway rats consume up to one ounce of water daily. As they move through Jacksonville homes, they release urine that stains floors and walls.
  • Holes: Norway rats have sharp incisor teeth; they use these teeth to create two to three-inch holes in drywall and wood near floors.
  • Tracks: Norway rats leave large four and five-toed prints in dusty areas in the house. 
  • Food: Although rats typically consume their entire meal in one sitting, occasionally, they take food back to the nest, and some of it gets dropped along the way. 
  • Odor: Rats release a pheromone in their urine to mark territory and to woo potential mates. The pheromone has a musty smell; the aroma is noticeable when a large concentration of rats is present. 

If you see these signs, you need B&T Pest Control to get rid of rats in the home fast! Our trained technicians know where to investigate and what indicates the presence of rats. They can identify if the infestation is from Norway rats, roof rats, or house mice. 

How Dangerous Is It To Have Rats In My House?

You are probably reading this article because you saw a rat dart behind a cabinet, or you've heard scratching sounds in the walls or ceiling, and you suspect rats are the culprit. If you suspect rats are in the house, you want them out. Something inside you tells you that rats are harmful, but why are they dangerous?

When rats forage in unsanitary areas, their oily fur not only attracts dirt and grim but is also a magnet for the bacteria and viruses in those areas. Leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, tularemia, and salmonellosis are the diseases spread by Norway rats. Rats may also spread viruses like the cowpox virus. These illnesses cause diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, body headaches, and other symptoms that may result in hospitalization.

Rats not only spread these disease-causing pathogens through their oily, nasty fur, but they also spread bacteria and viruses through feces, urine, and saliva. Rats have ever-growing incisor teeth that they must constantly trim, or they will become too large and hinder them from eating. Therefore, rats chew on plastic, paper, glass, aluminum, and just about anything else they can find in the house. When rats chew on these items, they leave saliva, which can contaminate the food. When the saliva dries, it is no longer visible; when an unsuspecting person eats the food or from contaminated food packaging, he may consume the bacteria from the rat saliva.

The same is true for rat urine. Bacteria may be present in a rat's urine, and as it moves inside kitchen cabinets and drawers, it urinates on utensils. After the urine dries, it is not noticeable, so when a household member eats using a contaminated fork, spoon, or knife, she may be ingesting bacteria which will cause an illness.

There are hitchhikers in the pest world; these insects use humans, clothing, furniture, and rodents to move from location to location. Fleas, ticks, lice, bed bugs, and mites are examples of hitchhiking insects, and although bed bugs do not catch a ride on rats, the others do. When these hitchhikers enter a house, they jump from the rat and look for a host. Fleas and ticks spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Heartland virus, tularemia, bartonellosis, tapeworms, and more. 

Rats cause allergic reactions. When their feces dries, the particles become airborne. Inhaled particles may trigger a runny nose, coughing, and itchy and watery eyes. 

Rats and other rodents constantly chew to avoid getting to the point where they cannot eat due to overgrown teeth. Inside a home, rats chew on furniture, wiring, plastic and glass containers, and aluminum siding. Rats can cause short circuits and harm appliances and electronic equipment as they chew through the wiring. If you work from home, rats can disrupt internet service by destroying the ethernet cables. The worst-case scenario is when rats cause house fires as they short out the wiring. 

Rat prevention from B&T Pest Control is necessary to protect the health of those in your home and to avoid damage to the house. 

Why It's So Hard To Get Rid Of Rats On Your Own

When you see a rat, the first instinct is to purchase traps. It is satisfying to hear the trap snap and see a dead rat. You may think you have solved the problem until you see another rat running through the house.

Traps can kill a few rats, but they cannot kill all of them because Norway rats reproduce quickly. The average Norway rat lives six to 12 months and can reproduce at three months. A female Norway rat produces three to six litters of seven to eight offspring in each liter. If you do the math, you notice that one female Norway rat could deliver over 40 offspring in her lifetime. As you can see, when several female rats are reproducing, the population quickly grows exponentially. 

Don't mess with traps and the potential for contracting a disease by mishandling dead rats. Let us worry about removing rats from your Jacksonville home. B&T Pest Control is the best rat control company in Jacksonville. Our decades of rat control experience, investment in the latest technology, and extensive training are a recipe for success. 

The Safe And Effective Way To Remove Rats From Your Home

When you schedule an inspection from B&T Pest Control, our highly trained technician will thoroughly inspect your house. We will listen to your concerns and note the problems you have been experiencing. We will look for entry points, attractants, and signs of a rat infestation. We will create a custom treatment plan utilizing strategically placed mechanical traps and baits. We will implement rodent exclusion by sealing foundation cracks, vents, drain pipes, and other entry points into the house. We will work with you to identify and correct those items attracting rats to your property. 

The best way to get rid of rats fast is to use your local, family-owned pest control company. Contact us today to learn more about our affordable, comprehensive treatment plans and satisfaction guarantee.

What B&T Customers Are Saying

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"They do a great job. Very conscientious and easy to schedule with."

David D.

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