You can hear their little claws scratching behind the wall. They have chewed through every wire in your house. Now your whole place is covered in rat droppings. Gross. But before you go spreading poison in every corner, or switch on the vacuum…There are some mistakes that won’t be killing the hundreds of rats in your house, but possibly you.
Not surprisingly, rats reproduce very quickly. A model designed by an international pest control brand found that just one pair of rats can produce 50 offspring in six months. If left unchecked, after three years that population could grow to almost half a billion members. And if that isn’t terrifying enough, rats also spread one of the deadliest diseases mankind has ever known, the bubonic plague. It’s what caused the Black Death in the 1300s and killed half the population of Europe. You’d better pay attention to these 5 horrible mistakes if you don’t want to share your home with 500 million rats.
Number 5: Vacuum cleaning
Rats produce up to 40 pellets of feces every day. If hundreds or thousands of them are assaulting your house, just do the math. Your home’s floor will quickly become a foul-smelling nightmare, which may even kill you. Some species of rats can carry hantavirus, a deadly pathogen they spread through their urine, feces and saliva. Just touching your face after a contaminated surface is enough to infect you with this deadly virus that will flood your lungs with fluid or cause severe kidney failure. Hantavirus is also airborne, so if you use the vacuum cleaner or broom to get rid of those droppings, the virus can contaminate the air and make its way into your lungs when you breathe. It’s best to wear a mask and gloves when you enter a rat-infested space.
Number 4: Fighting them off
Rats are intelligent, strong and very aggressive when cornered, not to mention that in an infestation they will outnumber you by the thousands. Trying to fight them off is not the smartest move. It will only take one scratch to infect you with a deadly disease. So avoid this like the plague, I mean, literally. Instead, it might be worth laying some traps.
Number 3: Leaving “cold” traps
Rats are clever. If you set your traps right away, they will most likely be wary and avoid them for the most part. You must “”warm up”” your traps. Leave the bait in the mechanism, but do not set it. Repeat for three or four days until they are comfortable taking the bait and then… Ouch.
Number 2: Ignore the mosquitoes
If you’re facing a major rat infestation, you may think that mosquitoes are the least of your problems. That couldn’t be further from the truth. A mosquito that has fed on a rat infected with plague or the deadly West Nile virus can easily spread it to you. Use tons of insect repellent when entering the place, and never underestimate these tiny buzzing killers.
Number 1: Adopting a cat
Cats are cute and they can be a fair match against rats, but you would be exposing your kitty to all the dangers we just showed you. That’s why you and your cat would be safer if you call in the pros.
- How to get rid of rats in the home, according to the experts . Joyner, L. (2022). Country Living.
- Rats and mice (2022). Government of Canada.
- Facts About Rats. Bradford, A. (2015) Live Science.
- Hantavirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022).
- Driven from their home by rats, family finds safe haven. Pfeffer, P. (2018)