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Rats are probably one of the most upsetting pests in Pittsburgh that you'll ever have to deal with. They are much larger than the average pests species, so it can be scary and frustrating to try to remove them. And, while rats are often stressful to find around your property, you might not realize just how dangerous and difficult they can be.

Rats are both harmful to human health and destructive to the structures around your home or business. They are also particularly hard to prevent and control because they have a dependent relationship on humans that they’ve developed over thousands of years. Rats use our dwellings for food, water, and shelter, and they are great at getting inside and then hiding in areas where you'll never see.

To protect your property from rats, it’s important to know what they look like and how to prevent them. To start with, here is how you can identify rats in the area:

  • Norway rats: This species is a brownish-grey color that is great at swimming but bad at climbing. They have short, scaly tails and can reach up to 15 inches long.

  • Roof rats: These rats are dark brown to black and can get up to 16 inches long including their tails. They are good at climbing and usually are found in the upper levels of buildings. Their tails are slightly longer in proportion to their bodies.

Why Rats Are Such A Concern

While some pests can damage property and others can pose health risks, rats are exceptionally bad because they can do both. There is a long list of problems that come along with a rat infestation.

First of all, rats have large incisors that constantly grow. Because of this, they have to continually chew to grind down their teeth. They can gnaw through many materials including drywall, plastic, wires, and wood. This can lead to structural problems and issues with electrical wiring and plumbing.

Secondly, rats pose many potential health problems. They transmit many serious illnesses including rat-scratch fever and hantavirus. Along with spreading diseases themselves, they often carry fleas and other parasites that transmit even more illnesses such as Lyme disease and the bubonic plague. And, on top of all this, they can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions.

Tips For Preventing Rats

It’s much easier to prevent rats than it is to remove them once they enter your home or business. However, they aren’t easy to prevent as they can fit through holes the size of a quarter and can also chew through things to make cracks and holes big enough to crawl through.

Despite the difficulties that come along with deterring rats, you can still decrease the risk of an infestation by following these steps:

  • Keep rats out by fixing holes and crevices in the walls and foundation. Focus on places where pipes and wires enter the building using a mixture of steel wool and mesh wiring.

  • Make your property less appealing to rats by taking out the trash frequently and covering all garbage cans with lids.

  • Rats are attracted to food around your home or business, so keep kitchen areas cleaned and always wipe up any drink and food spills right after they happen.

  • Keep all pet and people food that you can store in airtight containers.

What’s The Most Effective Way To Deal With Rats?

Having rats around your home or business is never safe as these rodents can put your health and safety at risk. However, they are exceptionally difficult to prevent and remove. The only truly reliable and safe way to both deter and eliminate rat infestations is through residential or commercial pest control with Witt Pest Management.

We are trusted by over 10,000 Pittsburgh homeowners, and we have over 100 years of experience providing high-quality pest services. Find out more about how to keep your property pest-free by contacting us at (412) 924-8324 or sending us a message online.

Tags:  rat information  |  rat prevention  |  rat identification  |