Why are Rats Difficult to Get Rid?
Rat infestations can happen anywhere including your home and it can take a painstaking effort to get rid of them.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. If you know the early signs of an infestation, you can take better control of the problem by taking some preventive measures such as engaging pest control. However, easier said than done, and we will soon realise, we might caught into a series of obstacles and challenges during your rat eradication process.
Rats live pretty much wherever we do, particularly in highly urbanised cities. Take Singapore, for instance. While we do not know exactly how many rats there are, the National Environment Agency (NEA) recorded over 43,000 rat burrows in 2015, giving us an idea just how many of them are living among us. Burrows are hideouts and pathways that rats create to store their food and take their rest. They are under bushes, vegetation conditions with their main entrance and an exit hole.
Various reasons contributing to massive rat populations
Rats reproduce fast
The primary reason why getting rid of rats is difficult is that they are extremely efficient in reproduction. Rats reach sexual maturity in as little as 4-5 weeks and each female rat can reproduce up to 8 times in their lifespan, with an average of 4-7 pups each birth.
They are flexible and agile
Rats are quick to move but what makes them more difficult to control is that their flexible body allows them to sneak through the smallest of cracks and narrowest gaps in your home. In fact, an adult rat will only need as small as a 1 cm gap to squeeze into your home. They also have a good sense of balance even on thin wires and narrow beams and hide at impossible corners and spaces beyond our reach.
They are intelligent creatures
Rats are some of the most intelligent creatures. They are very adaptive to urban environments and neophobic. In addition, they are highly suspicious of new things such as traps, baits, and other pest control tools and tend not to fall into lures and tricks easily.
They have grown immune to baits and lures
The new breed of rats and off springs have developed some level of immunity and chemical resistance to baits, and with their smart nature, the chances of trapping into the control stations may be challenging. Therefore, it will take diligent and extra effort to ensure effective rat control.
They are skilled in hiding
Rats are as flexible in sneaking through gaps and holes and are skilled in hiding. They hide themselves well out of sight in places such as the attic, basements, or crawl spaces that they can live in your home for a long time without you noticing them. This is also not to mention heir nocturnal nature that surface at night, thus making detection a challenge. Rats favour warm and cosy spaces to rest and harbour, such as sewers, underground and drains. Find out what are some other favourite haunts among these intelligent rats.
Food is always available to them
Just like many other pests, rats need food, water, and shelter to survive. Unfortunately, all these resources are always available in our homes. In fact, they feed on a series of diet including plants, seeds, food waste, meat, vegetables, nuts and grains. Controlling a rat infestation is a matter of preventing rats from accessing them by adopting optimal sanitation standard and diligent housekeeping regime.
There are mice as well
Although both rats and mice are rodents, there are some differences in their behaviours and habitat. Therefore, what works to control rats will not necessarily work on mice and only by fully understanding these that your control efforts will be successful. Mice are a lot smaller, have different feeding preference and signs of mice infestation differs such as their dropping presence. Find out why it is so important to differentiate between both species in terms of rat eradication.
Why are Rat Infestations Harmful?
A rat infestation can pose health and safety risks to you and your family as rats, like many other rodents, are responsible for carrying various diseases including Hantavirus, Salmonellosis, Plague, and Leptospirosis. They can also cause damage to your electrical wiring, furniture, even the structure of your home. Additionally, they contaminate your food and the area where you prepare food with the bacteria they carry as they move along filth environment. Here are more damages caused by rats.
- Rats can destroy food packaging and parcels that are damaging to business and production.
- Business implications include damage to brand reputation, penalty, suspension, or worse, closure.
- The electrical wiring damage they cause out of gnawing habits can also result in short circuit and fire.
- Besides food and food preparation areas, they can also contaminate your drinking water with saliva, faeces, and urine.
- Rat bites can cause fever which symptoms include high fever, chills, skin rashes, and vomiting.
Signs of Rat Infestations to Lookout For
It can be difficult to tell if you have rats at home unless you see an actual rat. Nevertheless, there are several indications that rats may have taken shelter in your home:
- Squeaking, scratching, or scurrying sounds within the walls, ceiling, cabinets, or drawers.
- Sounds of soft footsteps at night.
- Piles of rat droppings, particularly behind a stove, in the attic or basement, or on the ground.
- Chewed or gnawed food packages, electrical wires, among other materials.
- Signs of nesting such as shredded materials like cardboard, paper, or cushion stuffing.
- Rub marks, footprints, and tail marks that may appear to be dirty grease marks along the walls or baseboards.
- Holes and burrows that rats dig for shelter, food storage, and nesting.
Rats vs Mice: Are the Infestation Signs Different?
Rats and mice are two different types of rodents, however both can be damaging to your home and business. It can manifest almost the same impact of infestation damages. The primary difference is that rats are bigger than mice. Here are more difference among both for your effective pest detection.
- Rats are more careful and avoid new and unfamiliar environment. Whereas mice are more curious and tend to explore around.
- Mice’s hiding spots are usually in a hidden area both indoor and outdoor where is dark and undisturbed. For the rats, they will rest in their burrows, walls, attics, trees and among vegetation and move around sewers, drains and toilets.
- Droppings outlook is different where mice dropping has pointing end and quarter inch wide. Rats droppings and cylindrical and sausage-shaped that is around three quarter inch in size.
- You may find lines of mice droppings along edges while rats are clustered together
How to Prevent & Get Rid of Rat Infestations at Home
Discourage rats from taking up residence in your home by removing food and water sources as well as the items that can provide them shelter. Here are some useful rat prevention tips.
- Seal any cracks, gaps, or holes in your home to keep the rats out from entering
- Remove potential rat nesting sites from your property, including the piles of leaves, clutter, junks in your backyard
- Clean up any food and water sources in and near your home (indoors and outdoors)
- Seal your garbage cans with tight-fitting lids and dispose of them regularly
- Store your food properly and if possible, keep them in airtight containers
- Install pest-proofing around the home such as door entrance, grease trap covers
- Adopt active and regular rat detection and early signs of rat infestation
Which Locations are at More Risk of Rat Infestations?
The risk of rat infestations are associated with environmental factors that can support harbourage opportunities for rats. These include damaged fences and walls that provide access for these rodents into your property as well as places with construction where their nesting is disturbed, thus forcing the rats to relocate somewhere else. Below are some other factors that can trigger a rat infestation:
- Environment with poor sanitation and inadequate hygiene standards
- Waste and recycling centre in close proximity
- Environment with food preparation and consumption driven – presence of food, water, waste
- Large compounds such as warehouses, manufacturing plants, and offices where there is food, water, and shelter
- Tenants with open-concept architecture designs such as outdoor café or connecting units
Professional Rat Control by Rentokil Singapore
Rats are some of the most difficult pests to control. Do not try to deal with this problem yourself as the risks of you, worsening the infestation, is high. Our pest control specialists at Rentokil Singapore are trained in rat control. They possess the professional technical-know-how and pest knowledge to conduct rat treatment effectively. Firstly, they can advise on specific and targeted locations and spots to place the unit. Secondly, they will decide the type of bait to lure the rats. Thirdly, they will recommend bait alternation for optimal efficacy. Finally, they study pest trend, monitor activities and assess the surrounding environment risks.
We offer an innovative and digital solution to control rats in an enhanced manner. Rat Riddance, a smart rat trap that uses sensing capabilities to detect and monitor rats remotely and accurately, and triggers an activation in rat removal. With this technology, it resolves challenges and doubts on where are rats’ activities, are the units placed correctly and more importantly are we trapping rats? For severe conditions or premises with heavy rat infestation, Rentokil suggests the intensive multi-trap that has the capability of containing up to 20 rodents at one time.
When you book an inspection with us, we will help you determine where and how the rats are getting in and provide key strategies and modern solutions to eliminate the sources of infestation, harbourage areas, and food sources.
We will also provide an extensive range of 24/7 remote monitoring tools for complete protection and control against rats.
For more information on Rentokil Rat Control, visit our website or contact us at (65) 6347 8138.