In our West Chester service area, we have two rats that create issues. One is brown. The other is black. Brown rats are referred to as Norway rats, though they don't just live in Norway. They're found all over the world. Black rats are called roof rats. This is because they are great climbers and they usually access man-made structures through high entry points, often found on roofs. The first step in effective rat control is to understand what type of rat you're dealing with.

mice on kitchen table
mouse on floor

Norway Rats

If you see a brown rat scurrying through your yard, there are a few things you may be able to assume about that rat.

  • While they can live inside man-made structures, they prefer to live in ground burrows.

  • They usually establish burrows under junk piles.

  • They prefer to be near a food source.

  • They can live in colonies.

  • They prefer to live in close association with humans, and almost all Norway rats do.

  • While they are frequent groomers, they get into garbage, sewers, and other dirty places. This makes them a health concern. The brown rat may also be called a sewer rat.

  • They're likely to exploit foundation gaps, crawl spaces, unprotected vents, and vulnerabilities around exterior doors and windows.

Roof Rats

If you see a black rat on your roof, in a tree, or on the ground, there are a few things you may be able to assume about that rat.

  • These rats prefer to live in structures, and they have more than earned the name house rat. When these rats get in, they often create a nest and stay permanently.

  • They get into attic spaces, wall voids, and secluded spaces within a home.

  • They prefer to be near a food source and may establish themselves in a wall void near your pantry or kitchen.

  • They can live in colonies.

  • They live off the generosity of humans and do not prefer to live in the wild.

  • These rats forage in dirty places and pick up harmful microorganisms.

  • Black rats are smaller than Norway rats.

  • They're likely to exploit seals around roof penetrations, such as skylights, exhaust pipes, and chimneys.

The Tools For The Job

If you want to keep rats out of your home, you need to consider exclusion. Sealing entry points is a natural, eco-friendly way to manage rats. It can be difficult because an adult rat can squeeze through an opening the size of a quarter and is capable of making a hole that size with its strong teeth. Here are a few ways you can stop them.

Metal Flashing. If you have an area that is being chewed on, you can apply metal flashing to keep rats out. Though a rat can chew through metal flashing if sufficiently motivated, it is generally not going to do so. It would much rather exploit a soft target, such as rotting wood, weatherstripping, or a door sweep.

Wire Mesh. This material, which is sometimes referred to as hardware cloth, works somewhat like metal flashing but has some unique applications. You can use it to seal off access to voids under structures, or in your exterior. It has holes, so it won't be as noticeable as metal flashing. When installing under structures, be sure to plant it at least a foot in the ground to prevent rodents from burrowing under.

Caulking. There are many applications for caulking. While not as effective at resisting rats, it can conceal holes so that rats don't immediately realize they can squeeze in. Use caulking to fill in wood holes, seal gaps, and cover cracks.

Modifications

Rats come into your yard and explore your exterior in search of food, water, and harborage. If you limit these, you can resist rat activity.

  • Keep trash in covered containers.

  • Move bird feeders away from your walls.

  • Don't feed pets outside.

  • Pick up dog droppings.

  • Remove containers that capture rainwater.

  • Address conditions that cause ground saturation and puddles to form.

  • Remove yard clutter to limit hiding places.

  • Seal off voids under the structures in your yard.

  • Protect gardens, berry bushes and fruit trees.

Rodent Control

If rodents are in your Oklahoma City home, or you're having issues with rats appearing in your yard, remember that the service team at Masters Touch Pest Solutions uses industry-leading methods to reduce rodents, remove rodents, and keep rodents out of man-made structures. We'll develop a treatment program specifically for the rats you're dealing with. You don't have to live with the health threats rats present, or the damage they can do to your home and your property. Reach out to Masters Touch Pest Solutions for guidance or to schedule a service visit from one of our rodent control professionals. We support Oklahoma City homeowners and business owners with advanced pest services. Connect with us today.

 

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