The Problem with Rats
Having lived along side rats for millennia, humans have a naturally disgust for rats being as they are associated with bites, disease, filth, and destruction of food and property. The following are some of the specific reasons why rats are such significant pests here in the greater Seattle/Puget Sound region:
- Rats aren’t natural to the Puget Sound basin, they are an invasive species competing with other, native species.
- Rats damage many thousands of homes’ attic, crawlspace and other insulation annually. And the cost to replace rat-damaged insulation in such difficult places to reach costs thousands of dollars to remove and replace.
- Rats damage other structural items of homes, and rats chew or gang on electrical wiring of homes and businesses, often requiring repairs by an electrician and occasionally starting a fire.
- Rats love to nest in cars, stored RVs and boats. Rats gnaw on auto and other wiring causing expensive repair costs.
- Rats spread filth and disease, contaminating many surfaces and/or stored food.
Rat Damage is Costly—Cascade’s rat control and prevention is the cure.
The two most common and costly problems caused by rats in our area are damaged insulation and ruined automobile wiring.
When rats enter an attic or crawlspace, they are attracted to live within our insulation. Rats both nest in, and create travel tunnels, in and over structural insulation. This leaves the insulation compressed or shredded to where it has little R-value—it no longer properly insulates your home. This also leaves your insulation, which is just inches from your living space, filthy and contaminated. Removing and replacing rat-damaged insulation in these tight spaces is a dirty job, and expensive costing a lot per square foot of area.
Car, Truck, RV and Boat Damaged Caused by Rats
Rats are very attracted to nest in the enclosed spaces found within automobiles, boats, RVs and travel trailers. Cars and Trucks are hit the worse. Rats nest in various areas of a car, but most often in the engine compartment and rat-damaged engine wiring is very common and expensive to remedy. Rats love to chew the insulation on wiring and use it for nesting. And some “environmentally safe” plastics may even be edible.
How Fast Rats Breed & More…the evolutionary success of rats
- Rats can climb, jump, swim, and even balance along power wires.
- Rat breed quickly, with large litters and runaway populations.
- Rats are geared for survival. Their every move is “life and death” so they are extremely persistent.
- Rats can gnaw through wood (siding, etc), and many roof materials.
- Rats are opportunists—able to eat most anything—from garbage, leftover pet foods, spilt bird seed, barbecue drippings inside BBQ units, many and plants, and even dog droppings.
Cascade’s Rat Control and Prevention Services
- Rat Inspection
- Rat Trapping & Baiting
- Rat Exclusion
- Rat Damage Remediation
- Rat Prevention Service
In order to control rats at any residence and/or business two things are required:
Initial “clean-out” of the present infestation and preventive maintenance to keep the rats from coming back.
First off, if you already have rats in your home you need decisive control and relief. It is seldom just “one rat.” Rats living in attics and crawlspaces are seldom even noticed. In most cases rats have had multiple litters of baby rats before they are ever noticed.
Cascade’s initial rat control service includes an inspection of the premises and some combination of baiting and trapping for rats. If your rat infestation is new this first step may contain the rats present. However, as much as we all like simple solutions, without further protective steps re-infestation will occur, often quite soon. This is why you also need ongoing periodic service and some rat-exclusion measures.
Cascade’s periodic rat control service is designed to maintain a protective barrier around the home to contain those rats that are prevalent in our area neighborhoods from getting established and nesting in your house structure. Without an ongoing service rats can easily chew and gnaw their way into roofs, siding, vent screens and more. Our rat control service not only replenishes and resets rat baits and traps, but also inspects your property frequently enough to maintain an awareness of any assaults by rats. Remember, rats thrive in neighborhoods here in the Northwest and they are constantly trying to find shelter and food.
Cascade Pest Control Inspection & Assessment for Rat Infestation
Cascade has been combating rats in the Puget Sound basin—including such cities as Gig Harbor, Auburn, Woodinville, and Arlington—since 1979. We have the experience to detect details of rat problems and locate vulnerabilities to rat encroachment.
Cascade’s rat inspection, part of our Initial Rat Treatment, covers such items as:
- Rat nest sites—nests may be found in attics, crawlspaces, garages, and other locations.
- Rat entry points in/on home (or commercial building)—entry points range from gaps or holes in construction, to roof issues (roof rat species), and more.
- Rat burrows—ground nesting of the Norway rat (a.k.a. “sewer rat”)
- Structural locations that are vulnerable to future entry by rats—partially damaged vent screening, uneven garage door closure, etc.
- Food sources for rats
- Rat-damaged structural components and/or stored items.
- …and more
Traps are the quickest remedy for active rat problems. Traps are most often set in attics, crawlspaces, and inside of tamper-resistant “Rat Station” placed outside the home or business. While anyone can be lucky with rat trapping it takes experience and know-how to be successful trapping rats. Rats have initial “new object shyness” that can prevent them from approaching traps and utilizing the best attractants is important.
NOTE - Image: is specific to rat trapping in warehouses, industrial or storage facility where children, pets and non-target animals are not present
Rat Baits and Bait Stations
Rat control and prevention relies on the use of baits. These rodenticide baits are kept inside tamper-resistant ‘bait stations’ which are strategically placed outside a residence or other structure. The bait stations prevent access to non-target animals such as dogs and cats.
NOTE - Image: rat bait placed inside tamper-resistant rat bait station. Bait is secured so that it is difficult to fall out or for pets and non-target animals to gain access.
Rat or rodent exclusion amounts to “building them out” by placing metal flashing, steel wool, or steel mesh over gaps, holes and other vulnerable spots to prevent easy access to rats. Many aspects of homes and other structures are built with gaps that are never sealed; and even if they are they are often sealed with caulking or other materials that rats can easily chew through.
Your Cascade technician can note areas where rat-exclusion is needed, and often we can provide an estimate for such work. Sometimes a qualified contractor or roofer is required to provide proper rat exclusion solutions.
Rat abatement refers to quickly reducing numbers of rats on a given property prior to demolition and/or construction and is required by an increasing number of cities in the region. Cascade Pest Control has extensive rat and rodent abatement experience.
For more information on Cascade’s rat abatement call us at 1-888-989-8979
Non-Lethal, Humane Rat Control
Non-lethal or humane rat control is a new and challenging project that Cascade has initiated. Many people, desperately needing rat control, do not want to kill the rats. Using live trapping methods and relying heavily on rat-exclusion it can be done in many cases, however, this approach is significantly more labor intensive and costs more. And in some cases it may be difficult or impossible to provide a rat-re-treatment warranty.
For more information on non-lethal rat control call Cascade Pest Control at 1-888-989-8979