A rat infestation in your attic presents a danger to the structure of your home and a hazard to the health of the people that live in it. The best course to take is to pursue appropriate tactics to prevent a rat infestation in the first instance. There are specific remedies you can take advantage of to prevent a rat infestation in your attic.
Dangers and Hazards Caused by Rats
Rats are biologically designed with ever-growing incisors. Because they have incisors that don’t stop growing throughout life, rats gnaw and chew a great deal. This includes gnawing on the physical structure of your residence, including on wood, sheetrock, and even the coating of electrical wires. Bear in mind that because of this propensity of rats (and their cousins, mice) to gnaw on electrical wires, fires do start as a result. Indeed, about 25 percent of all residential fires can be traced to rodents chewing on electrical wire coating, exposing wires.
Rats are also carriers of different types of diseases. Diseases not only are carried by rats directly but also in their droppings. Viruses and bacteria contained in rat droppings include salmonella and hantavirus. Hantavirus has the capacity to survive in rodent droppings for an extended period of time, including after they dry out. Unfortunately, dry rat dropping crumble very easily. This can result in hantavirus becoming airborne and circulated throughout a residence.
A person infected with hantavirus runs the risk of suffering what is known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Approximately 35 percent of people who are diagnosed with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome will die. There is no treatment for it and people who recover are said to do so spontaneously.
Because of the truly serious dangers and hazards that can be presented by rats in an attic or elsewhere in your home, you need to implement any and all reasonable strategies you can muster to keep rats and other critters out of your residence in the first instance.
Specific Do-It-Yourself Strategies to Keep Rats Out of Your Attic
There are a number of generally effective do-it-yourself strategies you can use to keep rats out of your attic. These tactics include:
- Seal all holes or cracks on the exterior of your residence. You need to include even smaller holes or cracks on the list of what needs to be sealed. A rat can get through a hole the size of a quarter. The more effective material to plug or seal holes on the exterior of a residence is galvanized steel mesh. This is a type of material that even the most determined rat cannot gnaw through.
- Keep vegetation trimmed back and away from the exterior walls of your residence. This includes ivy and tree limbs. Rats can take advantage of ivy and tree limbs as a means of accessing the attic.
- Stack firewood away from the exterior of your home as well. In addition, keep firewood off the ground by at least a couple of inches.
- Make sure you keep garbage cans inside and outside of your home tightly sealed. By taking this course, you eliminate something that tends to attract rats and mice to your home.
- Store food in airtight containers so that rats are unable to smell it. This includes pet food.
- Eliminate any pooling water or dripping around or inside your residence. Water is another draw for rats and other types of rodents intent on infesting a residence, including an attic.
- Eliminate any clutter from near or around your home. Clutter can also prove to be attractive to rats because it provides them cover as they attempt to move towards your residence and the attic.
As part of the process of protecting your attic and the rest of your residence from a rat infestation, you also need to perform regular inspection of your attic, of other areas of your home, and of the grounds surrounding your residence. If you detect evidence of rats around your home or inside your residence, you need to take action as quickly as possible to rectify the situation.
The comprehensive list of signs of rats include:
- Gnaw marks
- Scratch marks
- Rat droppings
- Gnawing sounds
- Scratching sounds
- Squealing sounds
Professional Assistance to Deal With Rats and Their Aftermath
If you do end up with rats in your attic, you may want to give serious consideration to seeking professional assistance to remove the varmints. A professional rodent eradication service allows you the ability to obtain a swifter, safer elimination of potentially dangerous, harmful rats in the shortest amount of time possible.
You will also want to give serious consideration to engaging the services of a professional to address the aftermath of a rat infestation. Due to the inherent dangers of rat feces, a rat droppings cleaning company is in the best position to eliminate this waste thoroughly and safely.