What to Do When You See a Rat
Date: 2020-02-28 03:00:12
There’s something in your house. You can hear it bumping around in the dead of night, its claws clattering across the kitchen tiles. You know it’s there, but you never see it. All that changes one morning when you open your cabinet and find a pair of beady black eyes staring back at you.
It’s official, you have a rat. Your first instinct might be to go after it with a broom or climb on top of the table screaming. While both might seem like appropriate reactions at the time, neither is very helpful in getting your unwanted guest to leave the house permanently. So, what should you do after discovering a furry intruder in your home?
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How they got in 1:02
What draws them in 3:16
Rat species 4:37
– Rats have very narrow shoulders relative to the size of their skull. The old story that they can fit through any hole large enough for their head isn’t entirely true, but not far from reality.
– In general, any gap about the size of an inch is enough for a rat to squeeze through.
– Brown rats in particular love nothing more than finding a cozy spot in your walls to settle down.
– Nothing draws them in like leaving food out. Fruit, meat, grains; rats aren’t picky eaters and will go after whatever they can get.
– The smaller black rats prefer a diet rich in vitamin C, and will eagerly go after fruit whenever the opportunity arises.
– While both species are capable climbers, black rats excel at scaling vertical surfaces.
– Brown rats prefer basements and the ground floor of buildings. This is also the species you’ll see skulking around dark places like sewers and subway tunnels.
– Black rats can be brown and brown rats can be black.
– Fully grown black rats tend to be around thirteen to fourteen inches from their nose to the tip of their tail. The norway rat is substantially larger and can grow up to twenty inches in length.
– When European explorers came to Australia and the Americas, they brought their rats with them.
– Rats and mice often carry diseases and parasites, so you’ll want them gone as quickly as possible. They’re a common vector for fleas and ticks, which can spread to you and your pets.
– Pets and young children have been known to ingest rat poison by accident, often requiring hospitalization.
– You could always go the old-fashioned route. Traps! Just consider what bait to use. Peanut butter, fruit, vegetables, cereals, and meat are all valid choices for drawing in rats.
-If that makes you uncomfortable, there are also less violent alternatives on the market. Just bear in mind that bringing rats in alive presents its own set of problems.
– Rats have an impressive sense of direction, being able to find their way home from over a mile away, even without Google maps.
– Either way, remember the old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keeping rats out of your house saves you from having to deal with them later.
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