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Rat Control 101: Dealing with Rats Outside & Inside the House

 In Blog, Rat Control

Rat with long tail

It’s hard to think of a more universally despised creature than the rat. There was never a place on Earth or a time where rats were welcome, and nothing has changed.

Between their sharp teeth, long creepy tail, beady eyes, and scurrying nature, they are not exactly a fan-favourite. And right behind them is the mouse, who the very sight makes people scream even though, compared to a rat, they’re kind of cute.

For comprehensive rat and mice control in Toronto and the GTA, you can depend on GreenLeaf Pest Control. After you look deeper into what these critters are like, the need for professional pest control inside and outside your home will only be more apparent.

Norway Rats

Despite their name, the Norway rat in Ontario can be found across North America. They’re thought to have arrived in the US from Asia during the 1700s. Today, they’re commonly known as the sewer rat.

You might see a rat and have your eyes bulge, but they’re unlikely to see you, as they have very poor vision and are totally colourblind. To compensate, they use their other heightened senses, including touch, smell, hearing, and taste, to navigate their way around the world.

Sewer rats aren’t famous for being agile, but they can run, climb, swim, and jump. Apart from simply being very gross, rats damage properties and structures by gnawing through the materials.

If you see a brown four-legged critter about 7-9 inches long with scattered black hairs and a white underside, you’re probably looking at a rat! They’re not just gross to look at.

Rats carry diseases like jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis, and salmonellosis. Further, they contaminate food and let fleas inside the home. Rats are viscerally discomforting. Just thinking about them causes a shudder. They also present health risks, so they need to be exterminated.

Signs of a Rat Infestation

There are a few red flags indicating the presence of a Norway rat infestation. Finding gnaw marks throughout the home is a clue, but there’s more to it than that. New bite marks or holes tend to have rougher edges, whereas old ones are smoother. Such knowledge helps determine how long the infestation has existed and how deeply entrenched it may be.

Sometimes some basic detective work can help you figure it out. Be on the lookout for footprints, greasy and dark rub marks from oily fur against pathways or floors. Finding bags of foods with tear marks that seem to have been rummaged through is another sure sign of rats or other pests.

Capsule-shaped droppings are another major clue. Blunt ends to the droppings indicate a Norway rat, whereas the droppings of roof rats have pointy ends. Most people don’t want to be assessing the shapes of droppings to determine what specific pest is infesting their home.

Worst, Norway rats are social animals. If you find one, there are surely many more nearby. Spot the signs early before things balloon out of control. Call the leading pest control company in Toronto to handle any rat infestations or answer any questions.

Rat Infestations Outside the Home

If rats are currently outside your home, they may not remain patiently outdoors forever. Worse, they breed frequently, as much as three to six litters annually. Seeing one or two early in the summer may be just a prelude to the months ahead. It helps to be mindful of what attracts rats, so you don’t draw them in.

Rats like piles of wood, where they can burrow and hide inside. If you keep firewood by the side of your home or have construction materials nearby, keep some breathing room between the wood and the walls.

close up of a rat, dark background

Seal up any holes on the home’s exterior with steel wool so rats or mice can’t get in. Crucially, all rats look for a water source, so leaky pipes in crawl spaces or damp basements are the entry point.

Seal up all food containers to avoid contamination, as this not only attracts rats but can lead to disease transmission. Finally, keep trash outside tied up securely and empty them regularly. Finding rats in your garden is better than finding them in your kitchen, but give them time, and they could be there soon.

If you have any questions or would like to book pest control, don’t hesitate to call GreenLeaf Pest Control today.

Mice are Bad, Too

While they might be a little smaller and cuter than rats, mice in Toronto are still a problem you want away from your home. They can also contaminate food and spread diseases.

Mice can be a recurring problem because they can fit into spaces as small as a dime. As with rats, seal up any cracks or entry points on your home’s exterior and make sure you have proper drainage. If you give mice an opening and a water source, they’ll take it.

Home Protection Plans

Spotting a rodent will have you running to the phone for pest control, but it’s even better to call us before a sighting. Our Home Protection Plan gives you 24/7/365 peace of mind that your home will be entirely pest-free, from mice and rats to every other type of unwanted guest.

Our experienced, knowledgeable, and friendly technicians will visit your premises and conduct an inspection, inside and out. They’ll address any vulnerabilities and uproot any existing pests with a treatment that kills them and prevents their return.

Finally, they’ll come back weeks later, and if there are any signs of pests, they’ll eliminate them for you for free. GreenLeaf Pest Control has been trusted for years to eliminate rodents in Toronto and the GTA, and we’ll put a shield between rats and your home, so the issue never comes up in the first place.

Your home is your castle, and invaders are the last thing you want. Rats and mice may be small, but their presence feels violating because of the health problems they present, and, on a basic level, they’re simply gross. Call GreenLeaf Pest Control to keep rats and mice outside your home and away from your property altogether.

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