Another Pandemic Crisis
This past year of 2020 has been a year of challenges; some of these have almost been overwhelming. We are seeing many business closures putting thousands of local people out of work.
Many of these closures are related to the food service industry; restaurants in particular. This has created an unusual and unique problem…a huge increase in the residential rat activity.
With the closure of many restaurants and the availability of food from the garbage dumpsters gone, rats are being forced to look for another primary source. As it turns out your home may now become a major target.
A Local Issue
In the Eugene-Springfield and surrounding areas there are two predominant species of rats. The Norway Rats and Roof Rat. Both can be found in and around homes and commercial facilities. These species cause damage to electrical appliances by gnawing on the wires. Then there is the damage they cause to wooden structures such as doors, baseboards and even the insulation in the attic and walls of your home.
They also present a serious potential health threat to you and your family, and even your pets. For it is well known fact that rats contaminate more food than they consume. However it’s not just the contamination that is the problem, they will also damage your storage containers and sealed packaging materials
Quite often the first indication you may notice of a rat problem is the presence of their droppings, or the pungent odor coming from under your kitchen sink, or in the stack of clutter in your garage. You may even hear them in the walls as they scurry along investigating their new environment.
Once rats establish themselves outside, and are comfortable with their new environment, they will begin to move into and investigate your home. So if you have a problem with rats, be sure to check your garden, compost, and trash receptacle areas regularly for signs that they are building a nest.
They will gnaw through wood, concrete, and even sheet metal to gain entrance to your home. They will climb trees and gain access to your attic by branches that overhang or touch the roof. Being excellent swimmers, they may even gain access by swimming through the sewer into your bathroom toilet or a broken sewer pipe. It should be noted that, while Norway Rats are excellent swimmers, Roof Rats are excellent climbers. They both have the capability of easily squeezing through an opening that is ½ inch in diameter; which means they can go underneath a door that has a small gap.
What Can I Do?
Dramatically reduce the chances of your home developing a rat problem with sanitation. If you fail here, there is very limited hope of solving your rat problem. Keeping the kitchen clean and free of clutter and an accumulation of food is an absolute must, no exceptions. Remove any paper or plastic bags stored between the refrigerator and cabinet. Do not let garbage build up inside or outside your home. Keep your pet food and water picked up at night. Store all pet food that in a sealed metal container.
Outside your home, trim and keep bushes at least 2 feet from the house, remove all tree limbs that hang over and touch the roof. Be sure to thin all dense ground cover, and dense hedges. Doing so will make it more difficult for rats to nest in these areas.
When food, water, and shelter are available, rat populations can and will increase very quickly. Seemingly overnight a small rat problem becomes one that is out of control. Good sanitation practices make your home a most undesirable target.
For more information and helpful hints call Merle at Merle’s Pest Control 541.915.7581. She is always available to answer your questions and address your concerns.