Let's Talk About Rats In The Bay Area

rat near a rock wall

Rats sneak around inside Bay Area homes. They hide in wall voids, storage rooms, attics, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, and other secluded spaces. Whether they find a place inside or outside, it is best not to have them on your property or inside any structures. Catch early signs of rats and take steps to keep them out if you can. Are you curious about how to do this? Join us today as we talk about how to detect rat activity, what sort of things rats do in Bay Area homes, and how to get rid of rats. We'll also share some DIY tips to help you keep rats away after they're removed. Don't have rats yet? You can use these tips to prevent an infestation. Before we start, we'd like to quickly remind you that help is always available. Bay Pest offers advanced solutions for rodent pest control in The Bay Area. We'll guide you toward the right plan for your home and family.

How To Tell If It's Rats Scurrying Around Your House

two rats in a house

There are a few simple ways you can tell if you have a rat problem. You'll need a flashlight. Start in your garage, work your way indoors, and up into your attic. If your home has a crawlspace, you may start there. Inspect the floor, baseboards, beams, and pipes. Here's what you're looking for in these places.

  • Grease marks. Rats typically have greasy fur and will leave marks on baseboards as they run along walls, or on pipes as they run across the tops. You can also find grease marks on top of rafters.
  • Droppings. Rats leave their black excrement as they explore. Their droppings are slightly larger than rice grains and are tapered on both ends. Old droppings will look grey and have a crumbling texture. Wear a mask in areas where you find droppings and use protective gloves when cleaning up droppings.
  • Urine. Rats mark the areas they explore. They do this to help with navigation. They map out aromas as they explore and use them to determine their location. Along with smells that already exist, they find it useful to leave a smell of their own. The more rats you have in your home, the stronger the scent will be.
  • Holes. Rats chew holes in building materials, food packages, stored furniture, foam insulation, and more. While holes won't let you know that you have rats in your house, they provide some assistance in tracking other clues.

Use your flashlight to look underneath objects and to peer into voids. Check behind appliances. Look in the backs of your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Check the cabinet under your bathroom sink. Inspect recesses in your attic. Leave no tight space unchecked.     

All The Damage That Rats Can Cause To Your Home

There are a surprising number of ways a rat can damage property. It is essential to understand what rats damage and why. You can use this data to help you locate rat activity, evaluate the size of your infestation, and determine the best way to get rid of rats fast.

  • Rats chew holes in seals around doors and windows. These can allow moisture to get in and mold to take root. They can also allow secondary pests to enter.
  • Rats chew holes in baseboards, sheetrock, and other indoor building materials. They do this to gain access to areas where food is available.
  • Rats chew on wires as they climb around in wall voids. If you hear noises in your walls, it is time to contact a licensed professional. Rats are considered a fire hazard.
  • Rats can do quite a bit of damage to stored furniture. They rip stuffing out and use it as a nesting material. They may also nest inside couch or chair cushions, mattresses, and box springs. When they do this, they contaminate these items with urine and feces. Contamination like this is often impossible to clean.
  • Rats contaminate insulation in attics. They leave their droppings and waste on insulation, which can soak right in. They also rip insulation up and use the material for their nests.
  • Rats get into kitchens and pantries and damage food packages as they attempt to get at the food inside. If you don't have your food stored in sealed containers, you may routinely find food spilled on shelves or the floor. That's wasted money.

Along with damaging your home and your belongings, rats can damage your health. It is important to learn about the diseases caused by rats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer webpage resources to help you look into these. While you're at it, check out their pages regarding diseases spread by ticks and fleas. A rat can have more than a hundred seed ticks on its body. That is a potentially serious risk, particularly if you have a group of rats living inside your home. While the risk of serious illness is low for rats, ticks, and fleas, minor illness is surprisingly rampant. We encourage you to learn the facts and know the risks so you may protect yourself and your loved ones.      

The Safest Way To Get Rid Of Rodents In Your Home

It is likely you already know what works to rid a home of rats. Traps are the most effective method. When deployed correctly, they only present a risk to rats. Unfortunately, DIY rat control is challenging. Misapplied traps can fail to arrest an infestation and will allow rats to continue to cause damage. Correctly applied traps can remove rats from your home but are not a complete solution. For example, failing to seal exterior entry points will allow additional rats to enter continually. You'll have to keep removing rats until you seal those entry points. Also, keep in mind that sealing exterior entry points has its own set of challenges. You can trap rats and cause them to do more damage. Rodent control is a science that is best applied by a trained and experienced service technician.

When you contact Bay Pest, you can expect complete service and the highest level of rodent control. We use Integrated Pest Management and industry-leading strategies to capture rodents and keep them out.

Inspection: We check your home, evaluate conditions, track rodent activity, consider routes, and more. The findings from this inspection are the bedrock for establishing an effective rodent control plan.

One-Way Doors: We install these and allow rats two weeks to exit. When they leave through one-way doors, they can't get back inside.

Exclusion Work: We apply exclusions to openings that are larger than ΒΌ of an inch, using construction-grade materials.   

Traps: We apply traps strategically and monitor the success of the trapping strategy, using other products and methods.

Sanitation: We offer services to sanitize and deodorize contaminated areas. No corners are cut. We use DSV for deodorizing and industrial-strength vacuums to clean up droppings. 

Insulation Replacement: When attic insulation is soiled by rat waste, no worries! We provide insulation replacement services as well.

Monitoring: If you want to keep rats out of your home, we can do that too. We offer exterior rodent monitoring and population control. You can continue with exterior services for as long as you need.

When you want comprehensive rat management services, you can trust Bay Pest. Our on-staff experts have developed a complete strategy for addressing rat issues. You won't have to go to several professionals for all the services you need. We do it all.   

DIY Tips To Keep Rats Away From Your Home 

If you want to keep rats away from your home on your own, we understand. You're not without options. There are many ways to deter rats from coming into your yard. You may have success doing this yourself. Here are some suggestions:

  • Manage your trash. Your trash receptacles are not only a source of food for rats, the scent is an attractant. Keep your receptacles free of rat-attracting odors and get your trash to the curb weekly to prevent organic matter from sitting too long in your receptacles.
  • Remove seeds, nuts, and fruit if possible. These are all staples in a rat's diet. We understand that this is hard to do. But your dedicated effort is not in vain. 
  • Remove yard clutter. Rats can't see well and must use their whiskers like a blind man uses a cane. Remove ground objects and you'll make it harder for rats to cross your yard.
  • Seal voids underneath exterior structures, such as your deck or stairs. Hardware cloth works well for this task. Use this material like fencing. Insert it at least a foot into the ground to block Norway rats from tunneling under.

These tips work well for rats in The Bay Area. As long as you don't have conditions that help city rats establish themselves in your yard or home, these are enough to keep them away. If you have conditions that aren't easily corrected or particularly relentless rats, contact Bay Pest. We'll help you find a good solution for your specific needs and budget.     

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