Rat Remediation in Phoenix and Tucson AZ
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Rats dwell in cities, suburbs and rural areas. They are capable of thriving in human environments are therefore are considered commensal rodents. Rats are known to travel great distances and are wary of unknown objects in their established foraging paths. This skepticism can make trapping a rat particularly difficult for a homeowner.
Rats are fairly opportunistic feeders. They will feed on an array of items from carcasses to fallen fruit. Human environments provide them with an abundance of resources. Particular species of rat may have a tendency for certain foods. Norway rats often prefer foods high in protein such as meat scraps or pet food. Roof rats usually prefer fruit, which is why people often refer to them as fruit rats. They may be attracted to areas with fruit tress.
Prevention methods should be implemented early in order to maintain a rodent-free home. Rodents reproduce rapidly, and small populations become full-blown infestations in very little time.
Keep any possible food sources away from rodents. Small crumbs and garbage are popular sources of infestation, as are dry goods such as grains and cereals. These should be kept in sealed metal or glass containers to prevent contamination. Fruits and vegetables should also be stored properly, and resulting waste should never be left in sinks or on counters. Cardboard objects prove attractive to rodents, as they tend to chew them up for use in their nests.
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When living near humans, the availability of foods will drive a rodent’s habits. They often will travel outdoors and indoors searching for nutrition. They can take advantage of many food sources such as garbage cans, open containers of food, pet food bowls, and they will even cannibalize their own dead. Homeowners should try to eliminate or minimize the abundance of rodent food sources as well as contact a pest control professional.
When rat populations are large, a hierarchy develops within a burrow. Stronger individuals become dominant, while weaker ones are subordinate. Males no longer protect female burrows. When a female is estrous, several males mate with her sequentially, in the order of their social dominance.
Rats exhibit aggressive behavior when threatened. They may fight, chase, bite and box. Rats also display some behaviors such as sidling and belly-up defensive postures.
Signs of An Infestation
Rats are responsible for the transmission of many diseases. Their feeding habits are destructive, and their nesting behaviors can compromise the structure of infested buildings. However, rats are secretive and not seen by humans when populations are low. Therefore, an infestation may prove difficult to confirm.
The most obvious sign of a rat infestation is the presence of dead or living rats. Rats prefer to hide, given enough space, so if rats are observed in plain sight, it is likely that a full-blown infestation already exists. When space becomes limited due to increased population, rats are forced out into the open. Rat droppings may be present, indicating a healthy, feeding rat population. Rats also tend to leave dirt or grease marks along walls and floorboards.
If these obvious signs are not present, examine the surroundings for rat runs. These tracks are left in grass and low vegetation and act as foraging paths for rodents. Rats tend to follow the same paths after they have been established. Norway rats dwell in burrows found in grassy embankments, beneath the roots of trees and at the edges of paving and drain covers. Roof rat nests may also be found inside in lofts, attics, beneath floorboards and in other dark, infrequently visited locations.
Rats gnaw incessantly on materials such as plastic and wood. The presence of damaged materials and large holes in floorboards and walls are sure signs of infestation. Rat teeth marks are large and rough in appearance.
In the event of an infestation, it is best to consult a pest control professional. Although various traps are available, they address only individual specimens and will not prove effective in the face of an infestation. Additionally, rats tend to be wary of unknown objects in their established foraging paths, rendering many traps initially ineffective.