Norway Rats in Fairfax, VA
No one wants a rodent infestation in their house or garage. Here’s what you need to know about brown (Norway) rat habits and preferences, how you can make your Fairfax home less inviting to rodents, and how to best deal with their presence.
Norway Ecology and Fairfax, VA
The fur is coarse and usually brown or dark grey, while the under parts are lighter grey or brown. The length can be up to 10” (25cm), with the tail an additional 10” (25cm), the same length as the body. Adult body weight averages just over a pound (550g) in males and a little less (350 g) in females, but a very large individual can reach 2 pounds (900 g). Rats weighing much more than this are exceptional, and stories of rats as big as cats are exaggerations, or misidentifications of other rodents such as the coypu and muskrat.
These animal need to be removed as soon as possible,Fairfax Rat Control is a common problem we have calls for dailey.
The brown rat is nocturnal (active at night) and is a good swimmer, but is a poor climber. They can dig, though, and will excavate extensive burrow systems. (Hence, rats in the lower level or basement of a building are likely to be brown or Norway rats, while rats in the upper levels or attic are probably roof rats.) They are truly omnivorous, eating just about whatever is available.
The Norway or brown rat can breed throughout the year if conditions are suitable, a female producing up to five litters a year. Brown rats live in large groups, in burrows or subsurface places such as sewers and cellars. If a large fraction of a rat population is exterminated, the remaining rats will increase their reproductive rate, and quickly restore the old population level.
If brown rats are present in your home or building, there are two things to do: make it harder for the rats to get in and establish a colony, and get rid of the ones that are already there.
Rodent Proofing Your Fairfax County Home
Fairfax County is a very hustle bustle place, when the building boom hit many years back, homes and building were put up very fast. Therefore many errors occured in the building process. some of the things that a good operator will look for while doing a inspection is as follows:
- Repair or replace damaged ventilation screen around the foundation and under eaves.
- Provide a tight fitting cover for the crawl space.
- Seal all openings around pipes, cables, and wires that enter through walls or the foundation.
- Be sure all windows that can be opened are screened and that the screens are in good condition.
- Cover all chimneys with a spark arrester.
- Make sure internal screens on roof and attic air vents are in good repair.
- Cover rooftop plumbing vent pipes in excess of 2 inches in diameter with screens over their tops.
- Make sure all exterior doors are tight fitting and weatherproofed at the bottom.
- Seal gaps beneath garage doors with a gasket or weather stripping.
- Install self-closing exits or screening to clothes dryer vents to the outside.
Remember that pet doors into the house or garage provide an easy entrance for rodents. and some of the other things that can be done around the house include but are not limited to:
- Keep side doors to the garage closed, especially at night.
- Keep your trees trimmed, and your bushes and vines thinned. Make sure trees are trimmed back from the house at least 4 feet.
- Keep lids on garbage cans tightly secured.
- Clean up all debris in the yard and storage areas.
- Seal around your attic.
- Don’t leave pet food outside, especially at night.
- Pick your citrus as soon as it is ripe. Remove any fallen citrus from the ground.
- Store wood at least 18 inches above the ground and 12 inches away from walls.
- Eliminate standing water and fix leaky faucets.
Getting Rid of Rats in Fairfax County
For controlling rats indoors, use traps. The bait should be fastened securely to the trigger of the trap with light string, thread, fine wire, or glue so the rodent will spring the trap in attempting to remove the food. Soft baits such as peanut butter and cheese can be used, but rats sometimes take soft baits without setting off the trap. Leaving traps baited but unset until the bait has been taken at least once improves trapping success by making the rodents more accustomed to the traps.
Traps should be placed at right angles to the direction of travel. Place several in a series, close to each other, and use plenty. In areas where children, pets, or birds might contact traps, place the trap in a box or use a barrier to keep them away.
One of the alternatives to a snap trap is a glue board. Glue boards work on the same principle as flypaper: when a rat or mouse attempts to cross the glue board, the rodent gets stuck. Glue boards are much more effective for mice than for rats. Also, one of the major drawbacks with glue boards and other live-catch type traps is that the trapped rat may not die quickly, and you will need to kill it.
Live traps are not recommended because trapped rats must either be killed or released elsewhere. Releasing rats outdoors is not recommended because of health concerns to people, pets, and other domestic animals. Because the Norway rat is native to this country, their presence in the wild is very detrimental to native ecosystems.
While trapping is generally recommended for controlling rats indoors, when the number of rats around a building is high, you may need to use toxic baits to achieve adequate control, especially if there is a continuous regimentation from surrounding areas. If this is the case, consider hiring a licensed pest control applicator, who is trained to use rodenticides safely. Baiting is best done outdoors; otherwise rats may die behind a wall. In hot weather, the stench of a dead rat can be unbearable and may necessitate cutting a hole in the wall to remove the carcass. Also, external parasites such as fleas and mites often leave dead rat carcasses and may infest the entire house if the carcass is not removed promptly.
Pets and Rat Control in Northern Vrginia
All rodent baits are toxic to dogs and cats, so be cautious in their use. Because the anticoagulants are cumulative and slow acting, dead rats may contain several lethal doses of toxicant, and secondary poisoning of pets and wildlife is possible if rat carcasses are consumed. If you suspect that a pet has consumed bait, get it to a vet immediately.
The best precaution is to keep pets away from bait and dead or dying rodents. Dispose of dead rodents by burying or placing in a plastic bag, sealing, and placing in the trash. Do not handle them with bare hands. Place the bait only in areas specified on the label. Put bait in locations out of the reach of children, pets, domestic animals, and non target wildlife or in tamper-resistant bait stations. These bait stations must be resistant to destruction by dogs and by children under 6 years of age and must be constructed in a manner that prevents a child from reaching into the bait compartments and obtaining bait. If bait can be shaken from stations when lifted or tipped, stations must be secured or otherwise immobilized. Store unused bait in a locked cabinet inaccessible to children and domestic animals.