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The Dangers of Rats in Your Home

Dec 18, 2023

Discovering rats in your home is more than just a nuisance– it’s a serious problem.

Although rats might seem harmless, they can pose a significant threat to our wellbeing, both in terms of health hazards and property damage. If you’ve spotted evidence of rats in your home, you should be aware of the potential risks they can bring with them.

Health risks of rats

Rats are unsanitary– they’re carriers of disease, posing significant health risks.

Their droppings, urine, and hair can transmit illnesses like leptospirosis (which is a bacterial disease causing high fevers, headaches, vomiting, kidney and liver damage, and even death), or salmonellosis (the infection caused by salmonella bacteria, which can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, fever, chills, and abdominal pain).

Plus, the allergens that rats carry, or leave behind, can exacerbate respiratory conditions, making a rat infestation a serious concern for individuals with asthma or allergies.

Property damage and fire hazard

Beyond health concerns, rats can inflict serious structural damage on your home. Rats are notorious for their ability to gnaw through just about anything, extending their destructive tendencies to all kinds of materials– including electrical wiring. This increases the risk of electrical fires. Unfortunately, these issues often go unnoticed before it’s too late.

The consequences are major safety hazards that require potentially expensive repairs. Understanding the capability rats possess to cause serious property damage is more than reason enough to take the necessary steps to prevent an infestation!

Preventing a rat infestation

Preventing rat infestations goes beyond just addressing the immediate threat. You can greatly reduce the risk of a rat infestation by maintaining a clean living space– paying careful attention to areas where food is prepared and consumed. Making the extra effort to clean up crumbs and spills can reduce the risk of attracting not just rats, but any kind of pests.

Dispose of garbage regularly in outdoor, rodent-proof garbage bins, and keep inside garbage containers sealed with tight-fitting lids.

Maintenance around the home

You should also inspect your home for potential entry points, like gaps around doors and windows, holes in walls, and openings around utility conduits. Seal these entry points with tough materials like steel wool or caulk. While rats can chew through lots of materials, like wood and plastic, they cannot chew through steel wool without injuring themselves. Caulking is also effective at sealing off holes that rats and other pests would normally be attracted to.

Make it a point to regularly inspect your home for signs of infestations, like droppings, evidence of gnawing, and nests.

The role of pest control

Pest control isn’t a luxury– it’s a necessity when it comes to effectively combating rat infestations.

Regular inspections and meticulous cleaning practices can be a big help, but rats can be a serious problem that only pest control professionals are qualified to tackle.

The methods that your local pest control company will use to deal with a rat infestation will vary depending on where you live and the severity of the problem, but they may utilize bait and traps or ultrasonic devices. In the event of a serious infestation, fumigation may be recommended.

If you’re currently dealing with a rat infestation in your home, it’s time to reach out to West Termite & Pest. Keep your family safe and healthy by ridding your home of these pests as soon as possible.

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