If you are wondering, What do rats eat in your attic, you’re not alone. Rats are notorious for breeding in attics, and females can have five or more litters a year with a dozen or more young. Female rats are capable of reproducing themselves at four months old, so it doesn’t take long for a rat population to explode. Though their population is mostly controlled by food supply, rats can climb and jump quite a bit. They can squeeze themselves into very small spaces, even if they are only 5/8″ thick.
Problems caused by rodent infestations
The most noticeable sign of a rodent infestation is the presence of droppings. Mouse droppings are approximately a quarter-inch long, with sharp points on both ends. Rat droppings are half-inch long and may be blunt or pointed at the end. You’ll also notice the smell of mouse or rat urine, which is a distinct musky smell. In addition to droppings, you’ll also notice the appearance of holes. Rats tend to create holes in insulation and leave a crumbly residue behind.
In some instances, you might see a dead rodent. Remove it carefully with gloves and protective gear. Clean the area with a disinfectant, and place the dead rodent in a garbage can or plastic bag. When rodents die, they chew through the insulation, leaving droppings and urine behind. You should also clean the area around the nests, including the stuffed animals and bedding. You can use sunlight to dry the items. Once the attic is clean, you can tackle the next problem: the rodents.
A rodent can easily squeeze through a hole smaller than a nickel. To prevent a rodent infestation, you should seal any possible entry points. Rodents can also enter attic spaces through cracks in the foundation, and mesh around vent holes is often used as an entryway. If these entrances are not sealed properly, you may have to reinforcing them. It is also recommended to prune trees near the attic and clean the roof, gutters and roofing to prevent the rodent from entering the attic.
In addition to chewing through attic insulation and plaster, rodents also destroy electrical wiring. This damage can lead to appliances short circuiting or generating heat in places they should not be. Additionally, rodent infestations can cause serious health problems. It is essential to eliminate these rodent infestations in your attic before they cause any further damage. Then you can focus on repairing the damage and getting rid of the rodents.
Diseases carried by rats
If you have a rat infestation in your attic, you may have been worried about their bites. But you may not know that the feces they leave behind can contain some of the world’s most deadly diseases. If you ingest the droppings and feces of rats, you can get rat-bite fever, which kills about 10% of people who contract it.
Besides these illnesses, rats also carry several diseases. One of these is plague. This is transmitted by the rodent’s feces and saliva. When these components break down, they can cause respiratory diseases. It is therefore imperative to clean up any evidence of a mouse or rat infestation. This will prevent the spread of these diseases. Once the infestation is solved, you can start preventing future occurrences of rodents.
The first sign of a rat infestation is the presence of rat droppings. These are typically spindle-shaped and half an inch in diameter. You should take immediate action if you spot them. If they are chewing wood or pipes in your attic, you can check them by searching the area for spindle-shaped droppings. Usually, rat droppings are light brown in color. But as they age, they turn darker.
The plague is one of the most infamous diseases associated with rats in the human environment. Through history, the plague has caused countless epidemics, spreading along ancient trade routes and into urban settings where human populations are dense. The bacteria responsible for plague is Yersinia pestis, which cycles between rodents and fleas. In Russia, the plague bacteria are transmitted by the marmot and several species of rodent. Prairie dogs have also been known to carry the plague bacteria, which has led to the collapse of prairie dog colonies.
Preference for soft, warm and fuzzy nesting materials
It’s no surprise that rats like soft, warm and fuzzy nesting materials in the attic. These materials can range from grasses to fabric and furniture stuffing. These materials can also be found in garbage and shredded paper. To reduce the risk of rats, store these materials in sturdy plastic containers. Rats will prefer the soft materials to the hard ones. This can be especially difficult if the storage materials are in a convenient location, like under your sink.
Rats, like mice, spend much of their time sleeping, so they need a cozy place to stay. In your attic, these creatures will love the insulation and cardboard boxes that provide a warm, moist environment. Identifying nests and rice-sized droppings can help you to trap the rats and prevent them from infesting your attic. You can also trap the mice using snap traps.
Damage caused by rodents
There are a variety of things that rats can damage in your attic. In addition to chewing on your insulation and piping, rats can cause considerable damage to your roof. Their waste products can also lead to unsightly damp patches on your ceiling. If you find rats in your attic, it is vital that you take immediate action to get rid of them. A thorough inspection will reveal the extent of the damage caused by rats.
In addition to destroying insulation, rats can cause damage to wires and nesting materials. If you are worried about the effects of a rat infestation, it’s important to hire an expert. Poisoning or trapping rats won’t guarantee that they won’t return. Professionals can inspect your attic and take steps to remove the problem permanently. This will prevent further damage and keep rodents out of your attic in the future.
In addition to destroying personal property, rats also gnaw on electrical wiring. Not only are these rodents highly destructive, but they can be potentially deadly. Damaged electrical wiring can cause appliances to short circuit or generate heat in inappropriate locations. This can lead to house fires, and the rat’s excrement can make you feel unwell. Regardless of the source of your infestation, the damage caused by rats in your attic can cause serious problems in your home.
Despite the fact that northern California rarely experiences freezing temperatures, rats may still find their way into your attic and cause damage. Rats may even breed in your attic, and the winter months may be too short for them to migrate. If your attic has been invaded by rats, it’s critical that you seek professional assistance as soon as possible. The damage caused by rats in your attic may go unnoticed until the problem has caused significant damage.
Ways to prevent rats from getting into your attic
To prevent rats from getting into your attic, you must know their habits. The first sign of rat infestation is feces and droppings. Look for rat trails or a rat runway by carefully examining dark corners and baseboards of your home. If you notice feces, it is likely that the rats are in your attic. The best way to prevent them is to get rid of the sources of food and water they like.
In addition to droppings, rats produce an enormous amount of waste. A typical rat leaves 40 to 50 fecal drops per day. These droppings can accumulate over a period of one hundred and forty days. A breeding pair of rats produces 12 pups. The new rats are not selective about mating, which means the litter will grow into a group of hundreds. You can’t ignore rat droppings.
One of the best ways to get rid of rats is to secure trash can lids with bungee cords. This way, rats will not be able to get to your trash cans. This will limit the amount of food they can eat and will ultimately drive them away from your attic. If you cannot get rid of the problem yourself, consider hiring a professional to handle it for you.
Aside from poisoning, you must seal any gaps and holes in your house to keep rats out. Although it may work temporarily, it will not prevent the rat population from resuming. Professional pest control companies will identify vulnerable areas in your house and seal these with a material that the rats cannot chew. Not only will it stop rats from getting into your attic, but it will also keep the other pests from damaging your home.