How To Keep Rats Away From Your Western Massachusetts Property

A close up image of a rat on a wooden floor

Along with spiders and cockroaches, rats are on the shortlist of the most dreaded pests in the U.S. There’s just something about the size and appearance of these rodents that just grosses people out. But beyond how they look, rats are downright awful pests that cause a number of problems. If you’re worried about rats on your Western Massachusetts property, here’s what you need to know to keep them away.

About Rats

As long as there have been people, there have been rats to pester us. In fact, it’s believed that early domestic cats were bred specifically to combat thieving rodents raiding ancient grain storage. Today, rats can be found in practically every city on earth and have developed intellectual and physical abilities to thrive in man-made environments.

There are numerous species of rats in the U.S., but most measure between 7 and 11 inches long (not including tail length) and are brownish-gray in color. They have square heads, scaly tails, and long snouts.

Rats can be found inhabiting all sorts of environments. Some may prefer to nest in elevated areas like treetops, roofs, and attics. Others may make their home in walls, vegetation, or beneath porches and sidewalks.

Why Rats Are Bad News

Few pests present as many problems as rats. Of course, the mental stress of knowing that there are rats on your property is enormous. But besides being a nuisance, rats spread disease and cause destruction.

Rat droppings can transmit hantavirus, salmonellosis, and leptospirosis. And if you’re unfortunate enough to be bitten by a rat, it’s possible you can contract rat-bite fever (RBF). Not to mention, rats often carry parasites like fleas and ticks, which are responsible for causing many chronic conditions in their own right.

As members of the rodent family, rats have powerful incisor teeth that continue to grow throughout their lives. They must compulsively gnaw on hard materials to keep these growing teeth in check. Accordingly, rats can destroy wood, plastic, and brick materials. They may even chew up electrical wiring which can potentially cause a fire.

How To Keep Rats Away

Getting rid of a rat infestation is tough once it starts. That’s why prevention is always the best policy. A few simple ways to prevent rats on your Western Massachusetts property are:

  • Closing entry points. An average rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel. Examine your property for any holes, cracks, or gaps. Seal larger openings with metal plates and stuff any holes with steel wool.
  • Reduce available food. Remove any fallen nuts, fruit, or birdseed on your lawn. Always keep pet food stored indoors. Protect your pantry foods by storing them in glass or metal containers with tight locking lids.
  • Mind your trash. Be sure to keep trash cans at least 20 feet away from your home or business. Keep lids closed at all times, or weighed down with a heavy object. If possible, switch to a metal trash can for maximum protection.
  • Address water issues. Fix any leaking faucets, pipes, or spigots around the property. Dump out any outdoor water dishes for pets overnight. 

If you’ve spotted rats on your Western Massachusetts property, don’t wait until the problem gets worse. Call the rodent control experts at American Pest Solutions for the rodent relief you need. Our state-licensed technicians will identify the source of your problem, eliminate the rats you have, and prevent future infestations. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!