According to the 2013 American Housing Survey, rats were spotted in 2.1 % of occupied housing units in the Seattle metro area, making it the 7th rattiest city in the entire county.
This is unsettling but it helps to know that we’re in good company: Paris, France, best known as the city of light, love and romance, is also home to an estimated 8 million rats. Given the city’s population of 2 million, that stat means rats outnumber Parisians four to one. Not so romantic, is it?
Closer to home, Northwesterners have two kinds of rats to contend with: the Norway rat and the roof rat.
The Norway Rat
- Is sometimes called a “wharf rat” or “dump rat”
- Is the larger of the two
- Likes to burrow in the ground
The Roof Rat
- Is sometimes called a “tree rat”
- Is the smaller of the two
- Is skilled at climbing and can often be found nesting in attics
These critters seek food and shelter so keeping them out of your home or place of business means identifying and eliminating opportunities for them to find these two resources. Here are a few tips:
1. Cover your garbage
Both inside your house and on the curb, an open can is a beacon for rats that announces a veritable smorgasbord of goodies. Buy trash cans with lids and make sure they close to keep curious rats from venturing near. Remember that rats’ sense of smell far surpasses ours, so a really tight seal is crucial to prevent appetizing odors from wafting.
2. Close your doors
Rats come in through open doors and other cracks. Commercial kitchens and grocery stores are most likely to have rats come in through back doors since they open up to alleys, but homes that aren’t well sealed are vulnerable too. You can do a scan yourself, or hire a pest control specialist to audit your property and find and fill openings that rodents might sneak into.
3. Don’t feed the animals
It’s easy to overlook pet food that stays out, but this can attract rats too. So can bird feeders. If you’re experiencing a rat problem or trying to prevent one from developing, don’t leave food out animal food for long periods of time.
4. Don’t offer shelter
Rats nest in undisturbed materials – that could be a sweater stuffed in the back of your closet or the insulation in your attic or crawl space. Store clothes in sealed containers and seal up openings both high and low to keep rats out of your insulation.
Rats aren’t only unpleasant – they’ll chew up and destroy clothing, contaminate food and their droppings carry disease. Follow the advice above to keep these unwanted visitors away from your home or business.
Have unwanted visitors already breached your defenses? The experts at Paratex have been getting rid of rodents since 1908, when they were called upon to eliminate rats in the holds of ships arriving on Seattle’s waterfront. These days, Paratex also help homeowners and businesses with bird control, insect infestations, wood-destroying bugs and other pest problems. Learn more and request a quote at http://paratex.com. Responses are speedy and prices are fair.