Rats
Species Identification

Of the over 20 species of rodents in B.C., only 3 are regarded as serious pests. They are the Norway Rat, the Black Rat and the House Mouse. If the rat or mouse problem is identified and resolved quickly there is very little likelihood that the problem will re-occur. If, however, they are allowed to establish themselves they can be very difficult to get rid of.

Norway Rat

Norway rats prefer moist conditions and are generally found at ground level, crawl spaces or in burrows around buildings. They weigh up to 0.5kg. (1lb.) and are easily identifiable by their blunt nose, small ears and shorter than normal tail. Norway rats have exceptional climbing abilities giving them access to almost anywhere in a building. They can produce up to 7 litters of 8-12 pups per litter per year making them a real concern, should they become established in an area or building. Like mice, they can cause extensive damage to buildings chewing on the materials used in their construction.

Black Rat

The Black Rat differs from the Norway Rat in features and area of habitat. Black rats are slimmer, have larger ears and tails that are longer than the body and head combined. They nest in ceilings, attics and upper spaces in buildings and, like the Norway Rat, is an excellent climber.

 

Risk Management

Rats and mice damage buildings by chewing on insulation, siding, wallboard, etc. They can start fires by gnawing on wiring, causing electrical short circuits. They enter buildings by enlarging gaps in the walls and foundation, around plumbing pipes or through other holes in the structure.

Although a pair of house mice can eat up to 2 kg. of food in 6 months, they ruin much more by contaminating it with droppings and urine. Rats swiftly consume and contaminate large amounts of stored food.

All three pest species can transmit diseases carried on their feet or in their urine. In some areas, the fleas found on rodents are carriers of disease, which is a compelling reason for preventing them from entering buildings

 

Treatment

Rat issues can go from “not so bad” to “out of control” very quickly. Entry points must be determined and sealed accordingly, the proper program must be set in place, monitoring must be precise etc.

A full IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach is always established prior to treatment. Our technicians are here to help.

 

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