How To Keep The Norway Rats In Virginia At Bay

rat inside home

If you've been wondering, "How do I get rid of rats?" wonder no more. This guide will tell you the signs Norway rats leave, why they're dangerous, how to prevent them from taking up residence in the future, and how to get rid of them for good. Virginia pest control companies such as Albemarle Termite & Pest Control are ready to help.

Signs Of A Norway Rat Infestation

There are many different types of rats in Virginia, but we're going to concentrate on one of the most common: Norway rats. They're commonly called street rats or sewer rats because that's where many of them have migrated to, living off the scraps of human lifestyles. They're brown with black hairs interspersed throughout their coat. They have white or gray bellies, and their blunt bodies and short tails measure from seven to nine and one-half inches long. 

Some common signs that you have Norway rats in your house include:

  • Finding droppings that are capsule-shaped and 3/4 inch long. You'll find these with oily puddles of urine on kitchen counters, floors, and other flat surfaces. 
  • Gnaw marks throughout the house. Norway rats constantly gnaw to keep their teeth sharp and not overgrown. Their front teeth can grow up to nine inches yearly if they don't chew on your furniture, walls, baseboards, floors, wall studs, floor joists, cupboards, doors, and door jambs. 
  • Footprints. Norway rats have relatively long feet, so their prints may give them away if you spot them on flat surfaces.
  • Finding dark, greasy marks along your walls or baseboards. Norway rats have oily hair and prefer to stick to the walls as they move around your home. The oil rubs off on the walls as they do, leaving these marks behind.
  • Burrows. You may find Norway rat burrows in your attic, basement, crawl space, and hot water closet. 
  • Damaged or rummaged-through food products. Norway rats can chew through things like cardboard cereal boxes with no difficulty. 

If you see any of the above signs, it's time to call in the pest management professionals at Albemarle Termite & Pest Control.

Norway Rats Can Be Dangerous

Norway rats are dangerous for two reasons: the property damage they can cause and the diseases rats carry. Those diseases include: 

  • Leptospirosis
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Tularemia
  • Salmonellosis

Some diseases can be fatal to your family or pets, especially in young children and the elderly.

Norway rats cause property damage through their constant gnawing since they don't contain themselves solely with wood. They also chew on pipes, cables, and electrical wires. That can cause leaks of water, gray water, or natural gas, leading to water damage, raw sewage seeping through your drywall or carbon monoxide poisoning. When the rats chew through electrical wires, it creates a significant fire hazard, especially when combined with natural gas. 

Between the diseases they carry and the property damage they cause, it's clear that you need professional rat control if you have any signs of rats in your home.

Five Simple Tips To Prevent Future Norway Rat Problems

The best way to get rid of rats outside involves removing areas where they could build nests and removing food and water sources. If you follow these tips, you'll be on the way to preventing future Norway rat problems:

  • Move your firewood 20 feet from the house and store it on racks that keep it at least 12 inches off the ground.
  • Seal any cracks and crevices in your foundation. Rats can fit through holes the size of a nickel – they have collapsible rib cages, so if their head fits, their body will too.
  • Get rid of water sources, especially leaky pipes in crawl spaces or basements, which can attract Norway rats. Also, eliminate water sources in your yard, including bird baths, leaky faucets or sprinkler systems, and puddles near your home from downspouts.
  • Keep your food in airtight containers or the refrigerator. If rats can't smell food, they won't go in search of it, and if it's sealed away, they can't contaminate it.
  • Keep your outside trash cans tightly covered. If it's in open-topped receptacles, your kitchen trash can attract Norway rats by the dozens. 

While the above prevention tips will help control Norway rats, the best way to get rid of them is by contacting the pest management professionals at Albemarle Termite & Pest Control.

The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Rats For Good

If you want to know how to get rid of rats, the most effective way is to call your local pest control company. Albemarle Termite & Pest Control has been serving Virginia for decades. Contact us today to schedule your free inspection.

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