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It’s the Night Before Christmas and All Through the House Not A Creature Was Stirring, Not Even the Rat! Because I Got It.

By Chris Williams on December 22, 2015.

Rats are more common than one would think.  These cunning omnivores are not only intelligent, but have a high reproductive capacity.  Despite living only 12-13 months in the “wild”, much damage can occur in a short time if rat populations are left unchecked.  The common rat found causing problems in  Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts is the Norway rat.  Originating from tropical regions and spreading globally through shipping and overland commerce, rats have had a large impact on mankind likely dating back to the earliest human settlements, and those of our earliest ancestors.  These rats are not From Norway.  Rats are known reservoirs, or carriers of disease organisms including Plague, Typhus, and Leptosporosis.  Rats have also been found to transmit Salmonella bacteria, E-Coli bacteria, potentially Lyme disease, CMV, and other dangerous organisms.  Rats are also host small pests like fleas, and Black Legged ticks, and mites, all of which can feed on other mammals including Humans! (Note: When a rat dies, and they always do, the pests living on them will seek a new host  and try to survive, sometimes causing a new problem!).  Rats and other rodents are part of the Ecosystem, and serve as movers of soil, decomposers, and a food source for larger predators including Owls, Hawks, Minks, Foxes, Cougars, Lynx, Bobcats, Weasels, Fisher Cats, Badgers, and Coyote.  Despite their ability to cause trouble in our homes and structures, they are only trying to survive.  In nature, populations tend to fluctuate according to natural rhythms.  As habitats change due to various reasons, populations shift in accordance.  Global warming for example, can  benefit animals who live outside, but may cause displacement of animals that live near rising water bodies.  Food sources can  play a huge role in rodent populations.  Rodents with lots of food produce larger litters than when food is scarce, so when conditions are great for reproduction, populations can quickly spike.  Population dynamics also come into play.  Sometimes there are places with a high population of rodents(rats), like an abandoned home, a barn filled with rotting couches and junk, a hog farm or horse barn with massive feed storage, chicken coops, piles of mulch, river banks etc.  These areas are what I call Hot Spots.  Hot Spots may be located in areas that you cannot get to or cannot treat.  As the population grows at these centers of activity, Older rats push younger rats out of their territory or are forced out. In either case, you get a rat that needs a new home.

Since rats can eat almost anything edible, Yes, including dog poop, food is not an issue, but finding a safe place is.  Since rats are prey items they seek out quiet places to sleep during the day, and are typically active at night, rat sighting during the day indicate a large population.

Signs of rats in your home include but are not limited to: noises in the wall, loud rustling and chewing, debris or chewed items, moved or chewed items, wall board or other siding chewed, holes in wall, insulation pulled out or disturbed, rat feces and urine( you would know it if you saw it!), holes in cellar floor, piles of soil on cellar floor, runways along walls, holes in foundation with no spider webs, burrows outside along foundation or other areas, stains from sebaceous oils, chew marks and disturbance, and sightings of live or dead rats.  If you suspect you have a Rat or other Rodent infestation, including Flying Squirrels, Grey Squirrels, Red Squirrels, and Mice, Call Colonial Pest Control Inc. and let the Professionals solve the problem! 1-800-525-8084

Tim Chace 12/18/2015

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