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Lots of rats!

By Chris Williams on March 7, 2019.

Norway Rats. Shutterstock.

I’m not quite sure what is going on, but rural rat issues are definitely on the rise. Residents of neighborhoods in my former home town of Dover NH in close proximity to commercial areas have certainly been having their share of problems over the past twenty-four months due to many construction projects. Demolition of existing buildings and massive disturbances to the surrounding habitat (including some wetlands) caused rats to flee into surrounding neighborhoods. This is in no way surprising, but what is surprising is having several recent calls for rats invading homes in quiet, undisturbed neighborhoods.

And, I’m not talking about neighborhoods where a homeowner is raising chickens for eggs or perhaps another having a paddock with horses, or a herd of dogs that they don’t clean up after, as these are all open invitations for rats to move in and take up residence. The most unusual incident involved a very industrious rat that entered a home I believe by tunneling from the street following the water service line right into the basement of the house! There were breaks in the foundation slab that allowed the animal to gain entrance and once inside the rat had easy access to food. The exterior of this property was spotless, with no overflowing bird-feeders of any kind and they didn’t own a dog so really there was no blame to assign to the homeowner for having set the stage to be invaded.

Hole in Fieldstone Foundation where water pipe (AND RATS) enter the basement. Z. Ciras

I’ve seen plenty of homes (including the one I grew up in) where the hookup for the water meter enters the home in sort of a dry well with loose soil that never experienced a rat invasion like that. The bottom line here is that rats are very clever creatures that will exploit whatever opportunities are presented to them for their survival and if there are none, they’ll make them.

Problems with rats? Give Colonial Pest Control a call.

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