rodent control

Catch of the Week: Rats in Des Moines

November 30, 2018

Preferred Pest was called out to a Des Moines home when a renter saw a rat scurry across the floor! Our pest professionals took care of the problem by using our night vision cameras to catch a few rats in action and determine the location of their entrance. The critters got into the house by chewing a couple holes through the wall and entering through the bathroom. The tenant noticed the rat tried to sneak a chocolate bar through the hole, but since it didn’t fit, the pest just fed on the candy before leaving the house.

Where Do Rats Live?

Depending on the type of rat, these critters can live in a variety of places. Norway rats, the most commonly found rat in Iowa, will make their nests in clumps of vegetation or try to burrow under porches and the edges of sidewalks. If these rats do try to get inside, their strong teeth will help them chew through building materials so they can nest within the walls. Some of the most likely places to look for rodents include:

  • Attics - Rats can tear through the roof and even shingles! If you’re hearing scratching sounds in the attic or walls you might need to get an exterminator.
  • Basements & Crawl Spaces - Hiding out of sight in crawl spaces gives rats the opportunity to nest in a place where they’ll have shelter and most likely go undisturbed. Basements can also be a common location if rats burrow through the foundation.
  • Garages & Sheds - Outside structures are an easy target for these critters to sneak into. Make sure you’re not leaving the garage door open for extended periods of time, otherwise you’ll have a rat or mouse nest in your car.
  • Vents & Pipes - If you have ventilation that goes under your home or porch, this could be an access point for rodents. Rats will also get into houses through small pipes, so be aware of these activities.

Surprising Rat Facts

  • The diet of rodents can vary quite a bit. Rats prefer chicken, bacon, liver, gumdrops and chocolate - just like the rat we caught in Des Moines.
  • Rats can squeeze through holes with radiuses as small as a quarter. Even though these critters can be large, they can fit through tiny spaces.
  • Their teeth never stop growing and can increase up to 5 inches each year.
  • These rodents’ teeth are so strong they can gnaw through wires, cinder blocks, glass, aluminum and lead. Not only can this cause damage to homes, but when rats chew through wires it can be a fire hazard.
  • Rodents have poor eyesight, so they use their whiskers to feel around their surroundings and navigate routes to take them to their food. Once they find a good path, their superior memory will help them remember where to go.
  • Tails are used to communicate with each other and can also control body temperatures. By expanding or shrinking the blood vessels in their tail, rats can regulate their heat.
  • Rats are surprisingly great swimmers, and can swim for over a mile. They can also hold their breath for up to three minutes, which allows these critters to travel through sewage pipes to find new nesting locations.

Rodent Control in Des Moines

Keep rats out of your home and take care of them quickly when you find them! Think you might have rodents in your home or business? Contact the professionals at Preferred Pest Control today! Schedule an appointment online or call us at (515) 415-5550.

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