You picture your new home as an elegant property sitting on a beautiful landscape, and you’ve found it. Well, lucky you. I bet you also want the interior of the building to match the beauty and serenity of the exterior, right?
Imagine walking into your kitchen at night for a glass of warm milk only to see some tiny mammals scurrying away to hide in dark corners and small holes. That’s definitely not your idea of a perfect home.
Rodents are not the animals you want to share your home with, because they carry diseases, leave droppings everywhere, gnaw at everything, create holes, mess up your supplies, and rapidly multiply. Having a rat-free home is much better than rat control and repairing rat damage.
But how do you tell if there is a rat problem during a property inspection? First, you have to remember that rats are nocturnal creatures therefore it’s very unlikely that you’ll hear or see them during an inspection. Thankfully there are a few signs that make a rat infestation evident, and here they are.
The first indication of a rat infestation in a building is usually the presence of rodent droppings. You can find them just about anywhere you look, on the floors, in the drawers, cupboards, under the sinks, etc. The larger the number of rodents, the more droppings you’ll find.
The presence of rat droppings is usually accompanied by a foul smell. This odour is usually stronger and much worse if there is a large and active rodent family in the building.
Rodents are notorious for being able to chew through a wide range of materials. They can chew virtually anything in their way, so where there is rodent infestation expect to see lots of inexplicable chew marks on wooden doors, floorboards, cardboard, electrical wires, and anything these tiny mammals can get to.=
Besides droppings and foul urine smell, rodents leave tracks when they run over a place. If the floors are covered with a thin layer of dust, you’ll be able to see tiny rodent footprints. Another proof of rats in a place is the presence of greasy marks on the walls, especially around small holes. Rats especially like to squeeze through small holes and while they’re at it, the oils on their fur leave grease marks around the hole and other surfaces they run over.
The most obvious signs of a rat infestation in a property are the presence of rodent droppings and urine stains. But shredded papers or fabrics and dead plant matter are also dead giveaways of a rat infestation. These act as nests for rats as they birth their young ones, and when you see these nests, except to find large amounts of droppings and the foul smell of rat urine.
Another way to tell if a property is infested with rodents is the unmistakable smell of rotting flesh. In a rat-infested building, there will very likely be a dead animal somewhere inside the cracks and lying in dark corners, and the foul smell will be very strong.
Rodents are very good at chewing and gnawing at virtually everything on their part, and they end up leaving tiny holes in walls, floors, and thin materials. These holes act as their entry and exit points to different sections of the building. These holes can be less than an inch wide because rats can fit through very small spaces.
Where there are rodents, expect to hear strange sounds like gnawing, scratching, squeaking, and scampering in hidden corners, up in the ceiling, or inside walls. However, rats are nocturnal creatures and are mostly active at night, so you may not hear any strange noise while inspecting a property during the day.
Be wary of a rodent-infested property
Rodents in a building are usually more serious than you may imagine, and it can get out of control pretty fast. A single male and female rodent in a building can produce as many as 400 to 700 rats in one year. This is an incredibly large number of rats for anyone to have in their home. Rodents are capable of multiplying very quickly because their gestation period is only about three weeks (20 days) and each litter can produce 7 to 14 young ones. A single female rat can give birth about 10 times in a year, and her kids will quickly mature and join in, bringing forth more offspring. If this continues, rodents will pretty much take over your home in no time.
Rat Control: tips for getting rid of rodents
A rat infestation is a nightmare and no one deserves to share a home with these tiny disease-laden mammals. If you’re buying a new property, you need to make sure it’s completely rodent-proof, this is for your safety and peace of mind. Despite that, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your building is rodent-free.
Here are a few things you can do to keep rodents away from your home:
- Occasionally inspect your property and check for signs of rodents.
- Seal all holes that may act as potential entry and exit points for rodents.
- Repair rat damage and clean up all potential rodent nesting sites.
- Fix your pipes and plumbing and make sure they are in good working condition.
- Unblock gutters and clean up your drains, ensure they’re always clean.
Rodents are very smart creatures and will learn to adapt to virtually any kind of condition, for this singular reason efficiently solving a rat infestation problem can be very tricky. If you have an established colony of rats in your property, your best bet in successfully getting rid of them is to invite a rat control specialist.