How to Identify a Rat Problem In Your Home
The sooner you can identify a rat problem, the sooner you can get rid of them in your home.
This species of rat originated in Norway before immigrating to Canada by way of England. Having lasted for centuries, Norway Rats have developed into rodents that can resiliently find their way to sources of food and water, which can also mean the food and water in your home.
These rats have a bulkier body than Roof Rats and can reach up to 40cm (16 inches) in length. Unlike Roof Rats, Norway Rats have more of an interest in staying low to the ground and have an affinity for chewing cables, baseboards and holes in walls while in pursuit for food and water. Norway Rats scavenge through garbage and sewers and are known to bring hazardous oils and other residues into your home that can drastically alter your quality of living.
With steady access to food, water and shelter, Norway Rats can live up to 18 months with a gestation period of 23 days. Female rats of this species can birth up to 12 babies at a time which is a testament to how quickly rat colonies can develop when at full health. In order to thrive, Norway Rats will set up their nest as far as 100 ft away from a source of food and water to maintain their colony.
As its name suggests, Roof Rats have the capability to climb into higher areas of your home that other species of rodents do not typically favour. These rats can be found burrowed in attics and are known to have tails that are longer than their bodies. This species of rat has fur that is darker than Norway Rats with a more slender body.
Despite its unique ability to climb like no other rodent, Roof Rats look for similar opportunities to enter your home and scout the same types of food and water sources as Norway Rats do. When at full health, Roof Rats can live up to 18 months and birth up to 8 babies in the span of 22 days. To feed their colony, Roof Rats can set up a nest as far as 91m (300 ft) from what they’ve identified as a main source of food and water.
Commonly found in western parts of North America and named after living in wooded forest areas, Woodrats have been found in arctic parts of Canada despite also being known to live and survive in the desert regions of the United States. With a grayish-brown fur, Woodrats are the most fluffy of rats and use their coat to withstand harsh conditions of the arctic.
With the ability to grow up to 18 inches in total length, Woodrats vary in size based on their location. These nocturnal rats spend the majority of their life outdoors in forestry and are vegetarian by nature. Seeds, nuts, berries and leaves are all these woodrats need to survive the arctic and deserts that they scavenge.
Marsh Rice Rats
Named after the conditions that these rats choose to live in, Marsh Mice Rats are rarely found in Canada despite being seen as close as New Jersey, NY in the U.S. These rats are semi-aquatic and choose the wetlands to live where they consume vegetation, fungus and marsh grass. Despite not being known to frequent homes the way that other species of rats do, Marsh Rice Rats are known to burrow and nest in drier environments like houses nearby to bodies of water.
Signs of Rats In Your Home
The one thing that all signs of rats in your home have in common is that they all lead to poor living conditions for you, your family and your pet animals. Rats are not only a nuisance when it comes to maintaining a clean home and maintaining your food, but rats can bring toxic pathogens into your home that will greatly affect your quality of life very quickly. As soon as any of these signs are seen in your home, it is important to control the issue immediately:
The Significance of Droppings and Urine Ordour
Droppings between the two rat species are distinctly different with Norway Rat feces being larger and more oval shaped than droppings from Roof Rats. Rat droppings in general are dark brown and range between ½ to ¾ inches in length. Rat droppings are significantly larger than mice droppings although all types of droppings should be treated the same and with the utmost caution. With rats defecating 40 to 50 times per day on average, droppings are likely to be seen anywhere in your home that they are most active. With droppings also comes urine which has a toxic smell that contains pathogens that can drastically change the air quality in your home for the worse.
The longer you leave droppings unattended, the more it is likely to increase in amount in your home which can lead to an infestation of rats over time.