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Rat Control

Effective Rat Control

Rats are one of the most hated animals EVER. Asides from being filthy cringe-worthy creatures, they are also carriers of several diseases – some of which can be fatal. Do you know that rats were the primary carriers of the bubonic plague that killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe and Asia in the 14 century?

But our history with rats goes way longer. The earliest archeologist finds suggest that rats – roof rats in particular – began to live with humans more than 4,000 years ago. And despite the efforts of our ancestors to rid themselves of these nuisance species, they remain with us even till today. 

So, what is it about rats that have made them thrive? And by thriving, they are arguably the most successful mammals on the planet, numbering more than humans even. From their high adaptability to survive the harshest conditions to their high fecundity, rats have evolved to become one of the greatest survivors the planet has ever known. 

However, all of this is bad news for humans. Why? Because rats will actively try to take advantage of you if given the chance. Just to mention a few, they will gain access into your house through small holes or by chewing through vulnerable spots. In the house, they will chew on wood, wires, and just about anything they can lay their teeth on. They will contaminate food sources, posing severe health risks to you and your family. 

Rat control is the process of making your home and property rat-proof. To attain the desired results, rat control can be very challenging. That’s why you need a professional wildlife company that knows what it means to effectively keep rats out for good. A Team Services specializes in rat control – particularly in Los Angeles County and Orange County California. 

In this post, we explore everything you need to know about rats. But more importantly, we explore effective rat control strategies that can save you from these nasty rodents. 

Rats in California

Rats are found almost everywhere on the planet – and California is no exception. In California (as well as the United States), there are two predominant rat species. They are:

  1. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) 
  2. Roof rats (Rattus rattus)

Let’s take a brief look into each of these species. 

  • Norway rats

Also known as sewer rats, brown rats, or house rats, Norway rats are large members of the rat family, averaging 16 inches in total length, including the tail. The length of their tail is a bit shorter than their body. Their color usually ranges from gray to brown, often with lighter coloring on the underside. Their eyes and ears are smaller than those of roof rats, and they can weigh up to 1 lb. 

Norway rats typically live in nests and underground burrow systems found in sewers and creeks. They can also live in buildings, basements, under woodpiles. 

  • Roof rats

Also known as black rats or ship rats, roof rats are slender, agile, and on average, smaller than Norway rats. On average, they are about 15 inches long, and the length of their tail is longer than that of their body. They can weigh up to about three-quarters of a pound. 

Roof rats usually nest above the ground. That’s why they prefer to roost in the upper parts of buildings such as attics and rafters. But they are very adaptable and can also be found under and around structures, as well as in woodpiles or debris. 

What Attracts Rats?

Nothing brings more dismay to a homeowner than to hear the squeaks of rats at night, or to see their droppings littered around, or to have them destroy household items. When that happens, the first thing that comes to mind is: What attracts rats? How exactly did these nasty rodents get into my house? 

Rats are mainly attracted for the following reasons:

  • Food

Rats love to eat. And the strange part? They can eat almost anything. Hence, if there’s easy access to food on your property, don’t be surprised if you see rats in their droves. 

Some of the most common sources of food for rats include:

  1. Leftovers in trash cans
  2. Pet food
  3.  Seed crumbs from the bird feeder
  4. Plants, vegetables, and fruits in the garden.
  5. Foodstuff – like sugar, cheese, peanut butter, grains, etc. 
 
  • Water

Like all living this, rats need water to survive. It’s then no surprise that they are attracted to sources of water. Common water sources that may attract rats include leaky faucets, swimming pools, irrigation lines, stagnant water, and water bowls for pets. 

  • Shelter

When rats want to build their nests, they look out for three major factors. The first is safety from predators. The second is warmth and comfortability. And the third is proximity to food. 

Unfortunately, buildings fit these requirements. For instance, rats love the attic because its height provides safety from predators. What’s more, they can easily tear up the insulation as well as other building materials to build their nest to maximize comfort. And since it’s right in the building, they can easily derive food from leftovers, food crumbs, pet food, and the likes. 

It is for similar reasons that rats are also attracted to chimneys and the basement. They also look out for hiding spots like tall shrubs and bushes, woodpiles in the yard, abandoned objects, cluttered garages, and so on. 

Damages Caused By Rats

Rats are highly destructive animals. And the destruction they leave in their wake can frustrate anyone. Over the decade, we at A-Team Services have seen it all when it comes to the destructive power of rats. 

Here are some of the most common damages caused by rats:

  • Damage to building materials

Once a rat gains access to your house, its first task is to build its nest. For that, it will need all the materials it can get – and that means tearing off the insulation and chewing through wood, pipes, wires, and so on. 

Damaged insulation reduces the heating efficiency of your home. Damaged wooden beams reduce the structural integrity of your home. Damaged wires expose your house to a fire hazard. Damaged pipes result in water leakage that compromises your home quality.

  • Damage to properties

If rats invade your settlement, they can destroy your clothes, food, plastic, and any other thing they can chew through. 

  • Pollution

No one likes the squeaks of rats, especially at night. Not to mention the smell of rat droppings and urine. But with a rat infestation, get prepared to face all of these. 

  • Risk of diseases

Rats are carriers of several diseases, many of which are harmful to humans and pets. Examples include rat-bite fever, salmonella, tularemia, and hantavirus, among many others. 

Rat Control Methods

Rats are also very intelligent animals. Hence, to get rid of them, you need to outsmart them. This starts by having an adept understanding of rat behavior. This not only helps you to easily identify the source of the problem, but it also helps in the design and implementation of effective control tactics. 

Over the past ten years, A-Team Services have gotten rid of rats in hundreds of homes and businesses in Los Angeles County and Orange County California. And now, we share some of the most effective ways for getting rid of these nasty pests:

  • Seal potential entry holes

Listen carefully – rats are not magicians. They simply cannot get in if there are no spaces for them to take advantage of. However, the main issue is that rats can elongate their bodies to pass through small holes – holes as small as 20 mm. 

That’s why every effective rat control starts with a thorough inspection of the entire property to identify how they are getting in. You should look out for spaces between broken walls, overlapping, and tile roofs, broken sewer systems. 

These holes should be sealed with caulk or hardware cloth. Ensure you use a strong material so that rats won’t chew their way back in. 

  • Trapping

Looking for an easy and inexpensive way to get rid of rats? Trapping is your best bet. There are several types of rat traps. Some of the most common ones include:

Snap traps

This is the most preferred rat trap. It works by delivering a devastating impact on the rat as it tries to pick up the bait. Effective bait options include bacon or peanut butter. Ensure you set the trap at areas frequented by rats. Also, set multiple traps to increase your chances of killing them. 

Electric traps

This is a relatively new type of rat trap. Instead of delivering a devastating impact like a snap trap, an electric trap sends a lethal electric shock to kill the rat. 

Glue traps

Although inhumane, glue traps are also effective for catching rats. Glue traps contain a strong adhesive. Once the rat climbs on the board, it is unable to break free. You can then kill the glued rat by hitting its head with a heavy object.

  • Poisons

There are several kinds of rat poisons (or raticide) in the market, including bromethalin, cholecalciferol, zinc phosphide, and strychnine. However, based on our experience at A Team Services, rat poisons come with a whole lot of problems. Hence they should be avoided. 

First, they are inhumane, leading to a slow and painful death for the rat. What’s more, the dying rat will retreat to a hidden corner of your house and die, making it difficult to find the carcass. Also, unintended wildlife, pets, and even children can unintentionally consume rat poison. 

Rat Prevention

No matter what you do to get rid of rats, as long as there’s easy access to food and shelter on your property, rats will keep returning. That’s why rat prevention is important to make your yard unattractive to them. 

Here are some things to bear in mind:

  1. Secure your trash cans properly.
  2. Take your pet food inside, especially at night. 
  3. Sweep away seed crumbs from underneath your birdfeeder. 
  4. Seal all entry holes to your yard and house.
  5. Fence your garden to protect plants.
  6. Remove abandoned objects from your yard. 
  7. Mow your lawn regularly.
  8. Remove woodpiles and debris from your yard.
  9. Cut off tree branches overhanging your roof to deny rats entry to your attic. 

A Team Services Rat Control

Are you currently dealing with a rat infestation problem? Have you tried all you can, but the rats keep coming back? It’s high time to get the professionals involved. A Team Services can help devise and implement a control strategy that’s guaranteed to deliver the results you long for. 

Asides from effective rat removal and control, we also provide decontamination and repair services. Decontamination helps to kill the pathogens left behind by nuisance rats, while repairs help to restore your house to the state it was in before the infestation. 

So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to put an end to the reign of rats on your property.

trapped rodents

How to Prevent Rats from Getting Inside the Home in Orange County, CA?

Rats are a very persistent pest for many different homeowners. These resourceful critters seem to be able to find their way anywhere they please, time after time. They can spread deadly illnesses, destroy property, and contaminate food, making them a nuisance animals that should be disposed of as soon as possible. Continue reading to learn how to prevent rats from getting inside the home in Orange County.

Professional Help

 One of the best options for preventing rats from getting into your home is to hire a professional wildlife removal company to help out. If you have a pre-existing rat problem, they will be able to remove them. Once they remove the rats from your home, they are able to provide exclusion services that will prevent any future rats from being able to get into your home. This is done in a variety of ways, but you can rest assured that by hiring a wildlife removal company with experience, you will not have to face rats inside your home again.

Home Repairs

One of the best methods that you can use to keep rats away from your home is to keep your home in the best shape possible. If you remove all of the easy access points that rodents utilize, they will be much less likely to force their way inside. To begin with, start with a thorough inspection of your home. Check your attic, your walls, your baseboard, your basement, and every other spot in your home. Be on the lookout for any holes, cracks, or other weak points that a rodent could use. If you find any of these problem areas, be sure to repair them using whatever material would work best. This usually means using all-weather sealant, aluminum sheeting, new lumber, new shingles, or other repair materials. Once these repairs are done, you will be much less likely to run into a rodent problem.

Clean Your Yard

 One great way to cheaply and effectively keep rats from your home can be done by limiting the attractiveness of your yard. One of the best ways to do this is to keep in mind that yards often attract rats for two primary reasons: food sources and shelter. Many of the animals and food sources that rats commonly eat often live and hide in yards. Some of the most common places that rats decide to shelter in are in yards. This means that by removing any protection and food from your yard, they will be much less likely to stick around and try to get into your home. To begin this process, it is helpful to mow your grass and weeds, as tall vegetation encourages rodents. Another great step is to clean up any old leaves, wood piles, or other accumulations of debris. By doing these simple and cheap steps, you can help keep rats away from your property and home. 

Repellents

One of the more common strategies employed by many homeowners is to utilize different rodent repellents. There are many options available when it comes to repellents, as some can be bought and others can be homemade. One of the more common homemade varieties involves the use of essential oils. Peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil are absolutely hated by rodents and they can be deterred by simply smelling them. To use these oils effectively, consider mixing oil and water in a spray bottle and then applying it to different surfaces. Some people will even plant different plants that rats hate, such as lavender, sage, catnip, and mint plants, in their gardens and along the sides of their homes. Finally, another common repellent is to mix cayenne pepper powder and vinegar in a spray bottle and then spray it in rat-prone areas.

Backup Traps

Just in case a rat does make its way through your first line of defenses, there is a method you can employ that will make sure they do not get very far into your home. Wherever rats are most likely to get into your home, you can place a few traps around the edges to catch them instantly. There are many choices of traps, such as sticky traps, live repeater-style traps, and classic snap traps.

rat removal

How to Remove Rats from the Wall?

Removing rats from your home is one of the most important tasks that can be done. Rats are nasty harbingers of disease and destruction that can end up costing you thousands of dollars, or a very serious illness. If you are having a rat problem, be sure to get it taken care of immediately. Continue reading to learn how to remove rats from the wall.

Why are rats attracted to my home?

    Rats are very similar to other nuisance animals in that they are most interested in finding a safe place to live with some food options around. Homes that allow access to rats have already given them the shelter component, as rats are happy in walls, attics, basements, and virtually everywhere else. The food component is often the abundance of food options in your yard that the rats can access. This can be the result of high insect populations, food scraps, and other food sources that rats love.

What damage do rats cause?

    Rats are a very bad critter to have in your home for a couple of reasons. The most important reason to be worried about rats is the number of diseases that they can spread to humans and pets. Diseases like rat bite fever, hantavirus, and other viral and bacterial infections can potentially put you or your family in the hospital. Rats do this by spreading their illnesses in three different ways. One of the most common is humans coming into contact with an infected rat’s urine, feces, or saliva. Another method is through a scratch or a bite. Finally, rats can contaminate food and food preparation areas in your home.

    Beyond their disease potential, rats also tear up homes. This is particularly the case when they get into your walls. Once inside of your walls or attic, rats will tear up the different wiring, which can potentially cause a fire. They will also chew through your drywall and lumber in order to find more places in your home with better food or shelter options. These are the main reasons why rats should be removed as soon as possible.

How can I prevent rats?

    Preventing rats is a far more simple task than removing them once they find their way in. This can be done with a few important steps. The first and most effective method to prevent rats from getting into your walls is to inspect your home. Look at all parts of your house with a fine-tooth comb, looking for any type of holes, cracks, or gaps that could allow for a rodent to get in easily. If you find any of these areas, you have two options. If the repair seems like something you are able to do, you can repair it on your own using any number of different repair materials. If the repair seems a little more complex than you would like to mess with, consider having a professional perform the maintenance. This is the single best method to prevent rats.

    Another great way to prevent rats from getting into your home is to make your yard less attractive to them. This will reduce the amount of time that rats spend around your home figuring out ways to get in. To do this, begin with just keeping your grass and weeds mowed short, as tall vegetation will encourage rodents to move closer to your home. Another important component is to keep all of your garbage and food scraps out of reach of rats.

How should I remove rats?

    Rat removal seems like a simple task, but it is very important to understand that a DIY removal attempt can lead to rats not being completely eradicated, causing a very large and expensive infestation. Unless you are sure that there are just one or two rats that you will be able to remove with traps, you should consider looking at calling in for some backup. This is the main reason that it is recommended to hire a professional wildlife removal company to get rid of your rat problem. These professionals are able to not only remove rats from your home, but they can also perform services that will prevent any future rats from getting access to your home. 

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