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Rats: Threatening to Households and Ecosystems Alike

large gray norway ratLike most writers, Ralph Waldo Emerson had a very low opinion of rats. He wrote, “Evermore in this world is this marvelous balance of beauty and disgust, magnificence and rats.”

Indeed, there are virtually no positive sayings about rats. Why should humans so detest this rodent, when others (hamsters come to mind) are popular pets? The following is a look at why rats are dangerous to have around your home and business and what Seattle pest control experts suggest for local pest control of rat populations. (Like most urban environments, Seattle is home to millions of rats.) Both residential and commercial pest management techniques will be addressed.

Why Rats are Detested

According to the Seattle pest control gurus of King County, there are many reasons why an infestation of rats is a good reason to call your local pest control company:

Rats carry disease. From Hanta virus to the Black Plague, rats are carriers of some of the worst diseases on earth.

Rats start fires. One reason commercial pest management firms recommend that businesses carefully control rat populations is that rats have been known to cause fires by chewing through electrical wires.

Rats destroy property. Because rats are willing to gnaw through nearly anything to get at food, they are a serious threat to property.

Rats decimate endangered bird species. Admittedly, this probably isn’t something that calls for residential or commercial pest management, but as an interesting side note, a fascinating new book titled Rat Island explores how rats threaten island bird species. After migrating to South Pacific islands via cargo ships, rats have multiplied quickly because they have virtually no predators to limit the number of bird eggs they eat.

How to Ward off Rats

To prevent rats from lurking around your home or business, follow these tips:

Eliminate openings wider than a quarter. Rats can squeeze through very small openings in your home’s exterior. To deny them entry, seal off any holes larger than a quarter. (Really, as your local pest control expert would tell you, it’s best to seal off all cracks and holes in your home’s exterior.)

Eliminate potential food sources. Rats like to eat garbage, pet food, fallen fruits and nuts, and anything that people like to eat. Remove these food sources from the area around your home or business to avoid attracting rats.

Eliminate hiding and nesting places. Piles of firewood, abandoned vehicles and furniture, overgrown vegetation, and outbuildings – these are all attractive homes for a rat. To prevent a rat infestation, remove these hiding and nesting places from your property.

If you’ve seen rat droppings, it’s too late to take these steps; you already have a rat living near your home or business. If this is the case, do yourself a favor and call your local pest control company for residential or commercial pest management services today.

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