With the recent cold spells in SW Florida, rodent proofing is key! Rats and other rodents pose a real threat to our homes and our family’s health.
Here are a few key facts to know about rats and mice and what to do about a possible infestation.
How Do Rats and Mice Get into My Home?
They are incredibly talented in finding their way inside your home. In the dead of night, they scurry up drainpipes, crossing “bridges” such as tree branches, and utility lines to your home. This pathway is perfect for them to slip into your happy place via small gaps and holes (as small as a quarter) in your roof line or garage.
You can prevent them from entering your home by sealing gaps and holes. More Tips here.
Since they are nocturnal, you may hear scratching, scurrying, or squeaking noises inside a wall or ceiling, or within ductwork throughout your attic, garage, or home. It may be a situation where you think, “Did you hear that?” Pay attention to your gut and investigate.
Dogs and cats are very keen at detecting the presence of rats or other pests. Therefore, if Fido is fixated on a seemingly blank spot on the wall or ceiling, their sixth sense may be kicking in!
These rodents normally travel up to 300’ from their nest in search of food and water and to guard their territory. However, if there is no nourishment, they will look elsewhere. This is why it is important to keep food contained. Click here for more Prevention Tips.
Can Rats and Mice Make My Family Sick?
Rats and mice are known to spread more than 35 diseases. These diseases can spread to humans directly through handling of rodents, contact with their feces, urine, or saliva, as well as bites.
Diseases carried by rodents can also spread to humans indirectly through fleas, ticks, or mites that have fed on an infected rodent.
Rodent droppings can trigger allergies and transmit food borne illness such as salmonella.
Furthermore, mice can drop up to 25,000 fecal pellets each year, an estimated 70 times each day.
How Often Do Rats Have Babies?
One of the most astonishing things about a rat is their reproduction rate. Rats can produce thousands of babies in just one year!
These rodents give birth to multiple babies in a noticeably short time. In fact, a female rat will have six to 10 babies in one litter. Keep in mind, a female rat can produce up to 5 litters per year. And that’s just one female!
Here’s something else to consider. It takes on average only 35 days (just over a month) for a rat to reach sexual maturity from birth. But wait…there’s more!
The gestation period – the time required for a baby rat to be born – is only around 3 weeks.
After every birth, there are at least 5 to 7 new baby rats in the world.
At this rate, you get the gist on how quickly rats can multiply!
How Large Are Rat’s Teeth?
All rats have incisor teeth, two on top and two on bottom. The upper incisors are about 4 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, the lower ones about 7 mm long and 1.2 mm wide.
Their teeth are open rooted, which means they grow throughout life at a rate of about 5″ per year.
Rat incisors are perfect for cutting and chewing. In fact, they spend their lives gnawing and wearing their teeth down, so the constant growth of their incisors prevents them from wearing their teeth away.
This incessant need for gnawing can wreak havoc on your property! They love to chew on drywall, wood, PVC piping, insulation, and yes, even wiring.
These silent invaders can cause major structural issues, including electrical fires from exposed wires.
What if I Suspect a Rodent in My Home?
Call us! Prevention and immediate removal of a potential rodent infestation is priority. Our recent cold spells are especially concerning since rodents are looking for warmth.
If you suspect an infestation, contact us and avoid losing control of your home to these dirty rodents.
Larue Pest Management is a locally owned full-service Fort Myers pest control company, providing lawn care, termite protection, and pest control services to residents throughout SW Florida. Our #1 priority is to responsibly protect your health and property by developing smart solutions that are backed by guaranteed results. Contact us today, 239-334-0880.