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How Dangerous Are Rats On My Orange County Property?

January 05, 2021

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Rat Identification

Data from the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management Program explains that the two most commonly found types of rats in Orange County are Norway rats and roof rats. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are a larger type that may weigh in excess of one pound, and generally have a gray appearance and blunt muzzle. They are often referred to as “sewer rats” that tend to enter building foundations, basements, and other areas of lower elevation.

Roof Rats (R. Rattus) have a long and lean body type with dark brown or black fur, and a gray or white underbelly. They are smaller than Norway rats, generally weighing between five and ten ounces. Roof rats are aptly named for their agility. They commonly create above-ground nests, and will access homes from the roof.

What Dangers Do Rats Pose?

Both Norway rats and roof rats are capable of spreading leptospirosis, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and a host of other harmful problems. If rats access the interior of a home, they could contaminate stored dry foods and pet food. The potential for damage to property might be of greater concern once rats access the interior of a structure.

As with most rodents, rats are constantly gnawing on things, which can include electrical wires that are a potential fire hazard. When in attic areas, or within interior walls, rats will cause damage by burrowing through insulation and other possible nest-building materials.

Best Ways To Prevent Rats From Invading Your Property

There are no fool-proof methods for keeping rats from scavenging around your property, but there are a few helpful tips may discourage and deter them.

  • Exterior garbage cans should have tight-fitting lids to prevent them from becoming a source of food.

  • Keep the area around the property’s exterior free of debris, such as firewood piles, and trim back branches and shrubs away from the structure.

  • Closely inspect the property’s exterior for possible points of entry, and apply screens, caulking, or sealant as needed.

  • Place leftover food in metal or glass containers, promptly remove uneaten pet food, and clean up food spills from bird feeders.

Do I Need To Contact A Professional Exterminator?

Rats and other rodents can be potentially troublesome and dangerous. Some people might notice indications of a possible intrusion, such as evidence of burrowing in the yard, sounds of rummaging in attics or crawlspace, or rodent droppings. Failing to react to these, or other possible signs of rats, can result in a somewhat minor intrusion quickly developing into a major infestation.

Some of the baiting products cause rats to die in hidden and inaccessible locations of a home, such as within interior walls. Several days later, a property owner might detect a powerful odor from the dead rat, and parasites including fleas may also be drawn to the smell. Many of the poisonous options on the market today may also pose a risk to dogs, cats, and other pets. The best response is to promptly contact a licensed rodent controller in Orange County.

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