Rat Identification & Prevention

Learning to control and prevent rats is vital as they are one of the most common rodents to find their way into our Sonoma County, California properties.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Rats

a rat on a mossy log

What are rats?

Rats are a common type of rodent associated with people and our structures. These mammals thrive wherever their basic needs (food, water, and shelter) are met. Rats are prolific breeders and can take over our indoor and outdoor spaces in very short periods of time.

All rodents are set apart from other species of mammals by their front incisor teeth. A rodent's front incisors grow throughout its entire life. To stop their teeth from overgrowing and causing them pain and the inability to eat, rats and other rodents continuously gnaw on objects they can fit their teeth around.

Rats range in size from 15 to 17 inches (from their nose to the tip of their tail). Their oblong bodies are usually covered in black or brown fur. A long scaly tail, powerful jaw, and hairless, rounded ears also help to identify these rodents. The two most common species of rats in Sonoma County that have adapted to living near people are the Norway rat and the roof rat. Reach out to us today for pest control in Sonoma County.

Are rats dangerous?

In history, rats have been connected to the cause of several plagues. While the spread of bubonic plague by rats in the United States is no longer a significant threat, rats are still dangerous. Rats carry and spread many different types of bacteria, human pathogens, and parasites.

Rats living with people is a recipe for disaster; not only do rodents pose serious health risks, but they are quite destructive. Using their sharp, chisel-like front incisors, rats damage trees, wooden structures, wires, pipes, drywall, furniture, and more. They also contaminate food, stain surfaces, and produce foul odors. Rats are also attracted to and eat vehicle wires, upholstery, and insulation, leaving you with costly repairs.

Why do I have a rat problem?

While rats have long been considered a pest problem in urban communities, their populations have spread and can also become a problem in rural or suburban homes.

Rats are scavengers and live where they can easily find food to feed themselves and their young. Unfortunately for people, our homes and commercial properties offer rats a buffet of dinner options. Rats forage for food in trash cans, dumpsters, outdoor eating areas, animal feed, gardens, and fruit trees. Rats also enjoy pet food and processed pet excrement/feces. Remove these rat food sources from your property.

The more rat activity outside your home, the greater the chance these rodents will find their way inside. Our houses offer rodents shelter away from weather extremes and predators. Our kitchens and pantries supply them with food. Getting inside is often easy for rats as they are able to fit through minimal gaps and holes that are easy to overlook. Adult rats can fit through a hole the size of a quarter, while juvenile rats can fit through a much smaller hole.

Where will I find rats?

Depending on their species, rats live in a variety of habitats. Roof rats are agile and exceptional climbers who like to nest off the ground. We find roof rats in trees, tall shrubbery, vines, and the roofs of homes and other buildings. Inside our homes, roof rats nest behind wall voids, vents, the tops of cabinets, and attic spaces.

Norway rats are stout, heavy-bodied, and prefer to stay at ground level. These rats burrow under building foundations, rocks, woodpiles, fallen trees, and brush piles. They move into our homes at ground level and nest in crawl spaces, wall voids, and basement clutter.

How do I get rid of rats?

Get rid of rats with the help of the professionals at California Exterminators Alliance. We have an advanced understanding of the rats that call our region home. Our professionals will come to your property, identify the species present, and eliminate your rat problem. We will then provide the exclusion services necessary to keep them out in the future.

Our home pest control and commercial pest control experts have the experience and knowledge to help Sonoma County residents keep their properties free of these destructive and dangerous pests. If you are tired of sharing your property with rats, call today to schedule a rodent exclusion inspection!

How can I prevent rats in the future?

Rats can be frustrating to prevent because they are curious, cautious creatures. Use the following rat prevention tips to help prevent them from taking over your property. 

  • Use steel wool, metal flashing, or another strong material to seal holes in your home's exterior. 
  • Clean up yard debris that can offer rats harborage spots.
  • Remove bird and other wild animal feeders from your property. 
  • Cut overgrown vegetation away from your home. 
  • Keep all trash in containers with lids on trash cans, pick up uneaten pet food and pet poop (a possible delicacy for rats), and regularly harvest fruit trees and vegetable gardens.

Reach out today to learn more about rodent control in Sonoma County.

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