2010 might be remembered as the year of the roof rat in Hampton Roads. This year there has been a very noticeable increase in roof rat activity. Usually these pests will invade homes that are in close proximity to a natural water source: lakes, rivers, ditches, etc. However over the last 12 months, HomePro has received many calls in areas that are quite removed from these natural habitats. How do you know if you have a roof rat problem?
1. Droppings in the crawl space or attic are a definite indication of a rat problem. You have probably heard the saying “Where there is smoke (poop), there is fire (rats). OK maybe not, but its true.
3. Smells. Roof rats don’t care where they relieve themselves. Overtime an area that is frequented by rats will begin to smell like a hamster cage or pet store. It’s a smell most people will recognize.
4. Gnawing or Chewing marks. Roof rats are nervous nibblers. They constantly chew to wear down their incisor teeth. They will chew on wires, hard plastics, wooden furniture, wall studs, or any other hard surface. They can remove the covering on electrical wires which is the cause of many home fires.
Roof rats are a difficult pest to resolve. The best first step in control, is to seal all entry points around the home and in the crawl space and attic. Otherwise you are battling a never ending pest, because as soon as you remove one the next takes it’s place. Over the counter rodenticides (rodent poison) usually require multiple feedings to work. If a rat eats this type of bait, it will probably make them feel sick before it kills them. They will then avoid the bait, effectively making it useless. For this reason, we don’t recommend hardware store poisons. If you plan to tackle this pest without professional assistance, you should seal the holes and buy good quality, large rat traps.
If you would like professional assistance, HomePro Pest Control offers a full service rat program. We will seal entry holes, set traps, and introduce the population to professional strength rodent baits. We will then clean the traps and refill bait stations as necessary. It’s no mess or work for you. Give us a call at 757-499-1078 to get a free estimate.
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