Some of the most destructive rodents to homes are rats. These small creatures are capable of causing serious harm to the integrity of the home and make life extremely challenging for the homeowners that have to deal with them.
There are several types of rat species, but there are two primary species that live in North America and are commonly found in the Pacific Northwest. They are the roof rat and the Norway rat.
Roof rats (sometimes called black rats) have a pointed nose, large eyes, large ears, a light and slender body, and a tail that is longer then their body. Their slender bodies allow them to navigate tree branches, power lines and tall bushes with relative ease. The longer tail helps them maintain their balance while they traverse narrow walkways to potential home sites. Roof rats tend to make their their home in the attics or the walls of homes. They find these locations by climbing up to the roof in order to find an entrance into the home. Their presence in the home can cause damage to the insulation in the walls, crawlspaces, or attic of a home. Furthermore, by their repeated entry into the home, they can create a way for rain or other debris from outside to get into your home.
Norway rats (commonly called the brown rat or sewer rat) are more ground-bound than the roof rats. They have a more blunted nose, smaller eyes, smaller ears, a stocky body that is typically gray or brown, and have a tail that is shorter then their body length. They have a larger body to help them stay warmer since they live closer to the ground. These rats will make a home anywhere there is access to moist ground and the ability to burrow to a safe nest. These rats make their homes underground and while their nests are typically found in a foundation of a home, they can also be found in gardens, wood piles or fields. They will burrow into and under the foundations to create a living space for their colony. They will gather fibrous material such as paper or cloth to build their nests. If a rat is able to build nests or tunnels under or around your foundation, you could potentially experience significant risks to your property in the form of cracks or settling of the home.
In addition to the potential risk to the home structure, there is also risk to other areas such as the food supply or water sources. Rats will find a way to access food in the home if left undetected. This means that rats will enter a home to look for food which will result in harmful contaminattion. If you are experiencing rats in your home it is time to work with a professional to help eliminate them immediately. Contact us today so that we can help you take control of your home.