The Basics: What are Rats?

Cute or creepy? Rats are furry rodents that can be great companions as pets but can also cause havoc in your life if they aren’t. Let's just say that not all rats are as friendly as Remy from Ratatouille, nor nearly as clean. These small rodents vary in size, but they tend to be 6-9 inches in length, not including the tail. Most wild rats are brown or gray with a naked tail.

Which ones do I have to worry about? Around Humboldt and Del Norte, there are two species of rat that you’ll find: Norway rats and roof rats.

  • Norway Rats: are notorious for being able to chew their way through almost anything which makes keeping them away harder than other pests.
  • Roof Rats: are smaller than the Norway rats, but that doesn’t make them any less of a nuisance in your home.

When Should I Worry about Them?

Fall is the time that rats will find a way into your home but you will also see they trying to find entry during the winter seasons. As soon as the weather cools across Northern California, and more specifically Humboldt and Del Norte county, they will start working their way inside; a feat they are usually successful at given their ability to chew through anything to find food or water.

How Do I Know if I Have a Rat Infestation?

  • Feces or Urine. Finding rat feces, whether moist or dry, is a clear indicator that rats have been in your home. The wetter they are, the more recent they’ve been dropped. Be careful cleaning up these droppings as rats are known carriers of several diseases that can be transmitted through their waste. Typically you will also smell the strong and potent scent of urine when a rat is within your home. 
  • Dark tracks. Wild rats have an oily fur which can pick up dirt easily. Since they also follow the same trail from their nest to their food supply, dark smudges or tracks can build up on your floors or walls. 
  • Gnaw marks or Entry Holes. Like with other rodents, rats have teeth that grow continuously throughout their life. They are constantly gnawing and chewing on whatever they can find to keep these teeth a manageable length. If you see what looks like small teeth marks, or leftover shavings beneath, you have a rodent problem.
  • Scratching noise. Often time the first sign that you have a rat or another rodent within your home is a scratching noise that is caused by them running around in the roof or walls of your home. This has an annoying habit of occurring at bedtime, which can (from personal experience) be alarming at best.
  • The rat itself. If you see a rat in your home, or any other rodent, it’s a good sign that it’s set up shop in your house somewhere. 

How Can I Prevent a Rat Infestation?

  • Seal everything. Rats can chew their way through almost anything, but sealing food in glass and metal containers, trashcans properly, and any small holes in your house is a good place to start.
  • Proper yard maintenance. Clearing any vines, bushes, and even trees away from your home will make it harder for rats to enter into your home. And if nothing else, clearing away such vegetation will help you identify possible entry points later.

Can I Treat Rats Myself?

When Do I Need to Call Someone?

While traps and baits can be useful for dealing with the lone rat that accidentally wandered into your home, you should call Humboldt Termite and Pest as soon as you suspect a problem. Rats can often carry diseases like hantavirus, rat bite fever, or even trichinosis, most of which can be spread even without even touching the rat. With diseases like hantavirus, it’s possible to even inhale the virus made airborne as the rats dispose of their waste.

So yes. You can use DIY methods for treating rodent infestations, but we urge caution. Especially if you decide to make use of any poisonous solutions. It should go without saying, but we are compelled to state it for absolute clarity... poisonous solutions for combating and killing rats can also be dangerous for humans and our beloved family pets. Furthermore, if a rat does indeed die from a poison, the very last thing that you would want is for it to die within your walls, potentially attracting other pests to enjoy a snack, or leaving you dealing with the stench of a decaying corpse in your home - GROSS!

If you suspect rodents, please do not hesitate to call a professional for extermination and extraction. 

How can we help?

At Humboldt Pest, we provide a variety of treatment options that will take care of your pesky rodent problem and give you peace of mind. It can be tempting to try and resolve the issue yourself, but there are of course potential problems that can arise. Because of this, we provide treatment solutions to our local community to help them live Rat Free. 

  • Step 1: Identification – We’ll find out how the rats are getting into your home and help you determine whether or not it is a larger potential problem for your home. 
  • Step 2: Eradication & Repair – We’ll treat the infestation as quickly and effectively as possible with the best products to make sure you and your family is protected. It's important to note that it doesn't do any good to simply remove Rats if the way the entered into the home is not sealed. We can help you fortify your home against future infestations. 
  • Step 3: Ongoing Prevention – We’ll keep your home rat free today and tomorrow and the day after that giving you to peace of mind that you deserve. Our Quad-P service is designed to provide you the proactive protection you need to protect your home, investment and family from rodents. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you not only combat today's rats, but keep them away for good. 

Remember! We offer a warranty on all of our services. If the pests come back, so do we. No extra charge. We are confident that the service we provide will keep rats away. So rest easy, we're on the job.


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