Norway rats are one of the worst pests that you can have in your home. Not only will they do damage to the home, spread diseases and look disgusting, they will also reproduce very quickly. Combine this reproductive speed with the natural resilience that rats have against control methods, and you have a nightmare on your hands.
It only takes two rats to start a full blown infestation. A Norway rat female can produce up to five litters per year, with each litter consisting of 14 pups. On top of that, a rat reaches sexual maturity in only five weeks. This reproductive capacity has fascinated researchers, who have run experiments and calculations to figure out just how much this capacity can be extended. What they found was very surprising – up to 15,000 rats can be traced to a single lineage each year.
Getting rid of a large infestation
So it’s easy to see how a rat infestation can quickly get out of hand, and why it’s so important to identify an infestation early on. Norway rats will leave signs of their presence, and if you know what to look for, you might detect an infestation when it is still small, which will make the control process much easier. These signs can include droppings, gnaw marks, grease marks, and squeaky sounds in the wall at night.
You can also implement some DIY prevention methods, such as keeping your food sealed and checking the exterior of the home for any gaps and cracks that can be repaired in order to stop rats from entering. Traps and poisons can be used preemptively as well, to kill rats before they actually manage to get inside the home.
Once an infestation is already well on its way, you will have to use some control methods, and in the case of a large infestation, your only option is poisons. Poisons are able to clear out a large infestation quickly, but they have the drawback that you will have to search for and remove all the dead rats that are left behind. This is why it’s usually best to hire a pro for the job. If you have any questions about the spread of a rat infestation, or if you have a rat infestation in your home that has to be controlled, contact us today.