With spring finally here, flowers blooming and all of us on the west coast heading back outdoors to our gardens and barbecues, the rat sightings (or hearings) will undoubtably start shortly thereafter. A few simple proactive steps, and some general information, can easily prevent you and your home from becoming a target for rat infestations this year.
The Usual Suspects
- Distinct for its pointy snout, longer ears, dark gray to black fur and a tail longer than their body.
- Tends to dwell in higher areas off the ground such as trees outside and attics inside.
- Frequently feeds on slugs, snails, insects & vegetation in natural environments; bird feeders, pet & human food in urban environments.
Found heavily in coastal cities like Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond & Squamish.
- Identified by its shorter, blunt snout, stockier body commonly found with light brown to red/gray fur, tails shorter than the total body length.
- Larger, stronger and more dominant than roof rats; preferring to burrow in the ground outside; crawl spaces, & wall voids inside structures.
- Opportunistic feeders taking advantage of human garbage when available.
Also found throughout coastal cities and further inland areas such as Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster & Surrey.
Pack Rats (aka Bushy Tailed Wood Rat)
- Most distinctly identified by its long, flat, furry tail (usually gray)l, big eyes and ears (described as ‘hampster-like’), as well as, odour frequently described as ‘skunk-like’ or ‘musky’
- Tends to dwell in the lower areas once inside structures such as crawl spaces; woodpiles, rocky areas and cluttered areas around houses outside.
- Prefer to feed on food available around their nesting areas such as seeds, nuts, twigs, berries, etc…
- Nests are quite large and littered with stolen items found around their territory.
Found mostly from Squamish and Whistler north; and Hope east away from coastal areas where roof and norway rats are dominant.
Rat control Prevention Tips
- Reduce clutter and items stored against your residence that may provide shelter.
- Reduce or eliminate low growth vegetation altogether, or at the very least, against the home, as this provides both hiding place and travel route to higher locations.
- Avoid feeding pets outside including wildlife such as birds via bird feeders. Rodents easily climb trees and clean up the ground beneath at night, eventually seeking more inside the closest house.
- Keep BBQ’s clean to avoid attracting new rodents and providing harborage.
- Rats need more water than mice, so eliminating available water sources in/around your home will be beneficial.
- Keep compost containers maintained and sealed, especially if used for food waste. Rats will seek out the food smell, warmth and shelter.
Rat proofing your home
- Prevent access into your homes by sealing up obvious holes. Pay attention to garage doors and service line entry areas. Anything the size of a quarter is a potential entry point.
- Inspect roof access areas. These are hard areas for construction workers to finish, therefor its a weak point happily exposed by rats.
- Keep doors and windows without screens closed after dusk. Rodents have poor eyesight and an exceptional sense of smell for food and warmth.
- Keep overall sanitation in good order around the house including: garbage bins locked closed and store all food in re-sealable containers such as rubbermaids.
If you are ever unsure or have any questions, be sure to call us at 1-855-858-9776 Solutions Pest Control to do a thorough inspection and answer any questions.
Your home and yard will be much more enjoyable if you don’t have to share it with anybody except family and friends. Contact the rat control Vancouver specialists now.