Do you have a rat control problem?
Are you sure it's rats? How do you plan to get rid of them?
Know Your Rats
Adult weight: 5 to 10 ounces
Total length: 12 to 18 inches including tail
Color: Grayish-black with a pale yellow underside
Body: Sleek and graceful
Tail: Longer than body, furless
Gestation period: 21 to 23 days
Litter size: 5 to 8
Litter number: 3 or more per year with heaviest production in the winter and spring
Weaning: 3 to 4 weeks; reach reproductive maturity at 3 months
Life Span: 1 to 2 years
Adult weight: 7 to 18 ounces
Total length: 11 to 19 inches including tail
Color: Gray with a white underside
Body: Large, robust
Tail: Shorter than body, dark above, pale below, furless
Gestation period: 21 to 23 days
Litter size: 2 to 14, average 7 to 8
Litter number: 4 to 6 per year with heaviest production of young in the spring and fall
Weaning: 3 to 4 weeks, reach reproductive maturity at 3 months
Life span: 1 to 2 years
Humans can contract the potentially deadly Hanatavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) just by breathing the airborne virus found in infected rat urine,droppings, and saliva. According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, infected rats can also infect humans with HPS, Murine Typhus, Rat-Bite Fever, etc. Read more about rats and disease.
Rats are also very cautious when it comes to new items in their environment, so we have to be a little tricky when we set traps. Read about rat control solutions.
Many customers believe they have a rat problem, when actually they have a mouse control problem. The best way to differentiate between mice and rats, is to examine their droppings. Rat droppings tend to be larger, usually 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in length, while mouse droppings average about 1/4 inch in length. If you think you have a rat problem, please read our rat control suggestions, below. If you have a mouse control problem, please visit our kill mice page.
How to kill the rats you have and make sure more don't take their place
Rat control is a little tricky because they are very cautious. If something new is introduced into their area they will normally stay away from it until they think it is safe and won't cause harm.
NOTE: The Environmental Protection Agency has recently disallowed the sale of certain baits until they can be manufactured in tamper-proof packaging. We apologize for the inconvenience!
When using glueboards or traps, I usually don't expose the glue or set the traps until I notice activity near them. This tells me it is accepted and then we can set the traps or expose the glue and start to get rid of the problem. Mice on the other hand are very curious and will inspect new things quickly so I will set the trap or the glueboard as soon as I set them out.
Killing the rats you have is only half of the problem. Exclusion is the process of making sure new rats can't get in to roost in your home. A careful inspection of openings around attic spaces, pier-and-beam foundations, etc. is necessary. Holes can by blocked with 1/4 inch opening wire mesh found at your local hardware store, or metal flashing. Small openings can be blocked with steel wool.
EPA recently made a ruling to not allow certain baits to be sold unless they are in tamper proof packaging. At this time I am trying to find out how I need to proceed with this. I apologize for this inconvenience.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS): Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings, or saliva. Humans can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. HPS was first recognized in 1993 and has since been identified throughout the
Murine Typhus: Murine typhus (caused by infection with R. typhi) occurs worldwide and is transmitted to humans by rat fleas. Flea-infested rats can be found throughout the year in humid tropical environments, but in temperate regions are most common during the warm summer months. Travelers who visit in rat-infested buildings and homes, especially in harbor or riverine environments, can be at risk for exposure to the agent of murine typhus.
Rat-bite fever (RBF): Rat-bite fever (RBF) is a systemic bacterial illness caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis that can be acquired through the bite or scratch of a rodent or the ingestion of food or water contaminated with rat feces.
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium: As its name suggests, it causes a typhoid-like disease in mice. In humans S. Typhimurium does not cause as severe disease as S. Typhi, and is not normally fatal. The disease is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and nausea, and generally lasts up to 7 days. Unfortunately, in immunocompromized people, that is the elderly, young, or people with depressed immune systems, Salmonella infections are often fatal if they are not treated with antibiotics.
Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans it causes a wide range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or a rash. If the disease is not treated, the patient could develop kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, and respiratory distress. In rare cases death occurs.
Eosinophilic Meningitis: Eosinophilic meningitis is an infection of the brain occurring in association with an increase in the number of eosinophils, white blood cells that are associated with infection with worms that penetrate into the body. The organism most commonly causing eosinophilic meningitis is a rat lung worm called angiostrongylus cantonensis.
Check out Big Al the Bug Man's tips for rat control
Rats are a little more cautious when it comes to new items in their area. When you first put out the T-Rex snap trap or the Masterline Rat glueboards, leave the traps closed not set and leave the glueboards together the way they come in the bag for at least 3 to 5 days to lull them into a false sense of security and then SNAP they will be history.
Big Al’s Tech Tip’s