Norway Rats: What Every Fort Worth Property Owner Ought To Know
Of all the pests you can have on your property, rats might be the worst. They can survive in a wide variety of habitats, will eat almost anything, and are clever enough to recognize and avoid traps. Rats thrive in man-made environments where food and shelter are abundant. Brown rats are the most prevalent rat species in the United States. Whether you call them sewer rats, city rats, wharf rats, or brown rats, they’re all just different names for rattus norvegicus, or the Norway rat. If you’ve seen rats in your Fort Worth property, here’s what you need to know!
About Norway Rats
Norway rats are large rodents that can measure more than a foot in length. They have bristly brown or grayish fur, small ears, beady black eyes, and a long scaly tail. They are known to carry fleas, ticks, and other small parasites as well as harboring a number of dangerous pathogens.
Despite the name, Norway rats are thought to originate from northern Asia, around the Chinese province of Sichuan-Guizhou. They are believed to have arrived in Europe in the 1700s, most likely hitchhiking their way on merchant ships. Since their introduction to Europe, Norway rats have spread across the world, becoming fixtures in major urban centers like New York City, Paris, and London. In modern times, they’ve been utilized for scientific experiments and even domesticated as house pets.
Norway Rats Damage Property
Rats can cause a multitude of problems for property owners. Some pests pose a health risk, some pests cause property damage, but rats do both. Norway rats are rodents, and as such, their teeth never stop growing. To keep their teeth from becoming too large, rats must constantly gnaw on hard material to trim them. This means that once they get into your property, they will chew up just about anything in your path.
Boxes, books, and furniture in storage are all vulnerable to gnawing from Norway rats. Not to mention structural damage to your property from gnawing on wooden beams, drywall, and electrical wires.
Norway Rats Spread Disease
Rats have a well-deserved reputation for being filthy disease-ridden rodents. They often congregate in unsanitary areas like sewers and dumpsters where bacteria thrive. Norway rats can also carry a number of parasites like mites, ticks, and fleas. So, how do you keep these filthy rodents from getting into your property? How do you protect your property from rats? By:
- Sealing all visible points of entry on your property. If a rat can fit its head through it, it can fit its whole body. Norway rats have been known to squeeze through small openings only a ¼ inch wide. Areas around pipes, doorways, and cracked or damaged foundations are especially vulnerable to Norway rats.
- Making sure that all garbage is tightly sealed and properly contained. Rats are voracious scavengers and may be attracted to your property by discarded food. Pet food and birdseed kept outdoors can also attract rats and should be stored securely.
- Checking outdoor water sources like spigots, pipes, and lawn sprinklers for leaks and drippage that can attract rats.
- Using glass, or metal storage containers. Rats have incredibly hard, sturdy teeth and ridiculously powerful jaws for their size. They can gnaw through just every material used in home construction whether its vinyl, sheetrock, wood, or aluminum. So, the type of storage container you use can make a big difference in preventing Norway rat infestation.
- Switching to a metal garbage bin to store your trash in. Norway rats can easily chew through plastic. But metal materials are much more resistant to gnawing from Norway rats. If you’ve got sturdy plastic garbage bins now, it might be a good idea to switch to a metal bin now.
If you think you have a rat problem in Fort Worth, the most effective and safest way to handle a rat infestation is to contact the professionals at White Knight Pest Control. We will come to your property and evaluate the problem, working with you to develop an effective rodent control solution that gets rid of rats now and keeps them from returning. Get in touch with at White Knight Pest Control today!