Rats are smart and intelligent pests for a reason, and notoriously challenging to get rid of rats in Singapore. Besides being highly sensitive to unfamiliar environments and efficient in hiding capabilities, rats are nocturnal and do not exude obvious signs of pest infestation. Rentokil shares their expertise in terms of the ten essential questions you need to ask about rat control
- What are the common species of rats in Singapore?
- What attracts rats to your home or premise?
- Are rats harmful and damaging?
- How do I get rid of rats effectively?
- How much is pest control for rats?
- Why are rats eradication challenging?
- Rats prevention tips to apply in your environment
- Natural way to get rid of rats effectively
- Signs of rats infestation to lookout
- When do we need to call for rodent control services?
What are the common species of rats in Singapore?
While rats do look similar with their long tail and scurrying habits around for food, there are some differences among the different species of rats. For example, in terms of size, brown rats for example are bigger in size compared to those of black rats or also known as roof rats. Diet preference wise, these roof rats prefer moist fruits, seeds and nuts whereas the brown rats are less choosy and even feed on waste and other insects.
However, there are some obvious difference between rats and mice besides their visible body appearance and size. Because of their body size variance, naturally the feeding portion and amount of dropping excretion are lesser compared to rats. However, they do breed in larger volumes, thus creating a challenge in rats population without adequate intervention. It is important to identify their difference because the choice of trap and placement will differ that affects efficacy in mice control.
What attracts rats to your home or premise?
Firstly, rats are easy on food preference. They feed on a variety of food choices on the menu. These include fruits, nuts, plants or vegetable scraps, seeds, nuts, meat and even the less appealing choice such as garbage and waste. In fact, homes with pets are also a risk factor whereby rats do feed on pet’s food. These items tend to be found conveniently within the home, including pet’s corner, kitchen, and bin area and dining hall.
Secondly, they are attracted to smell, particularly if their food source is left open that allows them to pick up these scents. Such as an unclosed waste bin with decomposed and decaying matter or unwashed dishes and containers, that bear a foul smell. Hence, not disposing of your trash regularly not only attracts unwanted pests but also brings about other pest infestation challenges.
Thirdly, water is not just a human’s source of survivor needs but among pests too. Be it rats or other common household pests, they require water to survive. Water source can come from various sources including:
- After watering of plants with excess water and drips
- Washing of your vehicle with leftover spills splash
- Wet bathroom after washing and showering with no ventilation for drying
- Rainy weather that causes water spills and puddles within the premise
- Food preparation and dishwashing that leaves kitchen full of moisture
- Poor hand hygiene by flicking excess water instead of drying them with towel
Finally, everyone needs shelter and a comfortable place to rest and hide in the case of pests. Hence, they are attracted to the dark and warm corner, particularly among clutters and piles of items that they can hide safely from your detection.
Are rats harmful and damaging?
All pests are harmful as they bring a series of health risks. They include the commonly known diseases such as Salmonella, E.Coli and Dengue caused by Aedes Mosquitoes. With their presence among unhygienic and poorly sanitised environments especially among drains, garbage and waste areas and feeding on decomposed items, they bear harmful microorganisms. In particular, if they land their urine, saliva and feces on food, preparation tools and contact surfaces, they can cause some harmful diseases.
In addition, some pests can trigger allergies besides cockroaches and termites, rats similarly can cause allergies through their dropping. No pest bites are welcome while some cause more detrimental effects like the Dengue, and in the case of rats infected with the Hantavirus, it can transmit to a human causing some serious symptoms. This includes vomiting, chills, diarrhea and severe cases with respiratory problems and shortness of breath. Other diseases caused by rats include the Plague and Tularemia.
Lastly, rats can cause harm and danger on a larger scale with their gnawing habits on hazardous items such as cables and wires. Exposed wires not only cause electric shock when in contact, but also risk in short circuit and fire depending on the severity.
How do I get rid of rats effectively?
Unfortunately, you need more efforts to get rid of rats effectively. Effective pest eradication requires embracing the concept of restriction, elimination, destruction and management. Not only does it include the diligent housekeeping and sanitation standards you need to upkeep in your home, but constantly removing any food source and water that attracts rats. In addition, rats may be larger compared to other miniscule pests such as cockroaches and ants, rats have efficient capabilities that allows them to squeeze through with their flexibility and hide in the most impossible spaces. Hence, proofing and preventing their entries with adequate barriers is key in rat elimination.
Engaging a credible and efficient pest control company that provides optimal rodent control is key. As rats are challenging to eradicate given their smart nature, sound detection of rat presence and their hiding spots is important to design an effective rat control programme. This is also the fact that rats are nocturnal and are far more difficult to spot their visibility easily. Be sure to have a programme in place with quality detection techniques, utilises digital and sensing technology to optimise the control level and experienced pest control specialist who can identify root source and monitor trends efficiently. Rentokil Initial designs a connected rodent control programme that triggers seamlessly in the event of rat activity. This allows the team of experts monitoring your premise in a connected manner.
With all control and barriers in place, maintaining and constant monitoring of the home is essential. There should be no lapse in cleaning standards and regularly check for gaps and crevices that allow rats to enter. Above all, do proactive and diligent checks in any new infestation signs or unusual rat population noticed in your home recently.
How much is pest control for rats?
Pest control can cost from basic and very affordable to more comprehensive and integrated control. However, we should not evaluate base on the absolute pest control price, because there are considerations in place such as:
- Is the pest control solution effective that prevents additional treatment and investment?
- Can the treatment bring about a longer protection thus enhancing the value for money?
- Do you require more frequency and treatments that could result in price increase?
- Have the health and safety of your premise and family considered in pest management?
- Are the treatments for long-term protection or one-time off localised jobs?
Different methods of rat control render different price ranges. It includes a simple placement of glue board that aims to trap rats as they run along those sticky boards. Alternatively, a baiting unit with a lure within is used to trap rats. However, most will observe some form of inefficacy where the unit not only does not trap the rats, but causes an increase in population. There is also a sophisticated and enhanced rat control that uses digitalisation to heighten the detection and control level.
Why are rats eradication challenging?
Firstly, rats are not easy to spot especially within their hiding areas that are either not visible, impossible for human reach or their active hours. Secondly, they may not produce clear infestation signs that normal households would recognise. These include their smear marks, droppings or urine stains. Thirdly, they are intelligent pests that do not fall into tricks and traps easily that explain why you have observed no rats trapped in your bait unit. Fourthly, their root source may be difficult to detect and identify, thus causing a less effective rat control with wrong or inadequate placement of control units. Finally, rats can travel especially when their current hiding nest is disturbed, hence extending their presence to other locations. Above all, urbanisation and environmental conditions can increase the control difficulty. Factors may include the design or the building, more construction work taking place or introducing open concept spaces.
Rats’ prevention tips to apply in your environment
How mighty they may sound, there are additional pest prevention methods you can adopt to heighten the population.
- Remove any unwanted items, cartons and junks inside and outside
- Apply proofing at common pest entries including door, gaps and windows
- Ensure adequate rat lines of defense for large compound environment
- Perform diligent housekeeping and cleaning or the premises
- Dispose all garbage and any decomposing items promptly
- Keep the surfaces dry from water, moisture and leaks
- Pay attention to crawling spaces and hide outs with traps and monitoring
- For food sensitive businesses, keep doors closed at all times
- Utilise rat repel methods to chase them away from the premises
Natural way to get rid of rats effectively
Another way to keep rats away is to apply natural deterrent remedies at strategic hotspots. While it is not the best and long-term solution, deterring them can help resolve their presence in your premise for a while short. For example, using essential oil including the peppermint oil and citronella, which is also commonly used to repel mosquitoes and flies, and spices with strong and pungent smell. These include pepper, garlic, cloves, bay leaves and onions. However, some will also use the less natural and safe approach methods with some form of harm and toxicity. Examples include the mothballs and cleaning agent that contains ammonia. Extra care has to be considered in using these remedies as they can cause harm if ingested by mistake, particularly among kids.
Signs of rats infestation to look out
We all do not hope to come up close and personal with rats in order to detect their signs of infestation. Here are additional signs and tips you can look out:
- Droppings that are dark and brown in colour and resembles like a rice grain
- Bite and rub marks that they leave behind from their gnawing activities and greasy body
- Scratching sounds as they move around, usually on the ceiling and crawl spaces
- Burrows and holes that they dig for their resting and good storage purposes.
- Foot print or their running tracks especially on surfaces that are dusty or sandy
- Nests that build out of cardboard, papers or insulation material in warm and dark places
The other undesired way of identifying the presence of rats is through complaints or feedback from your tenant, neighboring unit, users, employees or worse of all customers. This mode of identification can easily turn into a media and image crisis, causing business suspension or disruption. Instead of relying on self-inspection efforts, it is best to leave the job to the professionals whom are equipped with the tools, technique and certifications to detect rats’ signs efficiently.
When do we need to call for rodent control services?
Some pests due to their less detrimental impact or rate of reproduction, can allow some time delay to engage in professional pest control. However, for species such as termites, mosquitoes and rats in this instance, procrastination should be avoided.
Firstly, if you are running a food sensitive business such as a restaurant, food manufacturing, pharmaceutical or health care where regular compliance is mandatory and safety is a priority. Secondly, for premises or homes that are located at high-risk areas into running a rat infestation, proactive protection helps to eliminate rat infestation. Thirdly, for homes with pets, kids and older generations that require stringent health protection is recommended to have a rat programme in place. Finally, when there are unusual or distinctive signs of rat problem, your premise could be a result of rat problem. These signs include damaged wiring, droppings or urine sighted or experiencing the scratching sound.
In summary, pest control engagement should not be a reactive approach when serious problems arise. However, it should be a proactive and protecting approach to ensure problems stay in control.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for pest control services today.