Larger than mice, rats are disease-carrying rodents that reproduce rapidly and are a major pest throughout the world. Rats can also bring disease-carrying parasites such as fleas ticks into a household. Depending on the species, rats live in attics, burrows, under concrete and porches. Common rats found in Omaha homes include:
- Roof rats are nocturnal climbers with long scaly tails that are longer than their bodies. They are black and brown and dwell in the upper portion of structures and are potential carriers of disease.
- Norway rats are large rodents with brown or gray shaggy fur that dwell in underground burrows. Sightings during the day indicate a large infestation and leave long capsule shaped droppings.
Sightings of live or dead rodents are a common indication of rat infestations. Droppings, rat holes, and damage to food containers and electrical wires are other signs. They can do costly, serious damage to human dwellings and pose a variety of health risks.
What to do:
Rats can be hard to eliminate because they are instinctively distrusting of changes to their environment, including bait and traps. To prevent rats from entering a home, seal all potential entry points such as sewers an air vents. Long-term rat control is best left to pest control professionals, who can take an integrated approach to implement improved sanitation, non-lethal control measures, and rat-proofing.