Catch of the Week: Local Rat Colony
March 9, 2018
The latest catch in the Des Moines area involved a colony of rats! Our exterminators had to come up with an effective plan that involved setting up floor cameras to catch these pests in action. Altogether, we captured all 11 rats that were eating away at this homeowner's kitchen appliances. Unfortunately, the damage from these rodents was pretty extensive, but our technicians took care of the entire infestation and this homeowner will not be seeing any more rats around the house.
Spotting Rats in Your Home
Rodents can be difficult for homeowners to catch since they are typically a nocturnal pest that roams around at night in search of food and water. These rats in particular were burrowed behind the refrigerator and were chomping away at the wiring of the fridge and dishwasher. We also suspected the pack of rats were drinking from the dog's water bowl, so we set up our cameras to focus on that. Sure enough, the camera caught the last rat in action at the water bowl. Rats have a high moisture requirement and need to drink water at least once a day, so our pest professionals knew this would be a likely spot to find our 11 home invaders.
The kitchen is one of the most common places to find rodents since it provides these pests with everything they need: food, water and shelter. Otherwise you will typically find rats in attics, walls and undisturbed places with low traffic.
What's the Difference Between Rats and Mice?
There are many different species of rats and mice, but we'll compare the Norway rats and house mice, which are the most commonly referred to species according to ratbehavior.org.
- The most notable difference between these two rodent species is their size. Rats are medium-sized rodents with long, thin tails, and mice are tiny in size with long, thin tails. Rats are longer and heavier since their bodies are all-around bigger than mice - adult rat bodies are 9-11 inches long and a full-grown mouse is 3-4 inches long.
- Since mice have such tiny bodies, their large ears look very disproportionate to their bodies. Rats are all-around larger than mice so their ears look much more proportionate to the rest of its body.
- Rats can be more difficult to catch because they are bigger than mice and will need larger traps. They're also very careful and will choose to avoid new things in their path. Mice, however, are curious and will investigate anything new, so they will be more likely to be the victim of a mouse trap.
- The Norway Rat has brown or black fur that is very coarse and shaggy. A House Mouse usually has light brown fur with grey shading.
- It's important to take care of any rodent problem as soon as possible since these critters reproduce quickly! Rats typically have larger litters, but mice produce more frequently than rats - thespruce.com says rats have 7 litters per year with 8-12 babies and mice annually have 8-10 litters with 6 or 7 tiny mice.
Rodent Control in Des Moines
If gone unnoticed, rats can become a big problem for homeowners! If you think you could have rodents in your home, reach out to the pest removal professionals at Preferred Pest Control. Call today at (515) 415-5550 or schedule an appointment online.
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