Waking up to an alarm is tough, but being awoken by scratching sounds is worse. No one wants their sleep shattered by noises from above their bed, inside of walls, or beneath their feet. When you hear those sounds, you remain temporarily paralyzed in your bed as your mind races to understand the cause. As you quickly go through the process of elimination, you determine that a rodent or wildlife has invaded your space.
How do you determine the reason behind what you hear? Do you have rodents like mice or rats, or are raccoons, squirrels, and other wildlife invading your McAllen home? There is no need to live in fear or confusion about what is happening in your house. Bugworks Termite & Pest Control is the company for pest control in McAllen. We are a locally owned and operated company. Our English and Spanish-speaking technicians and staff live, play, and work in the Rio Grande Valley area, so we know which problematic pests plague our community.
We want you to be comfortable in your home, so the following information will help you determine if the source of the noises you are hearing in your McAllen home are from rats.
How To Tell If It's Rats Lurking Around Your House
How do you know if the noises you hear beneath the floor, in the walls, or overhead are from rats scratching and moving about? Sounds emanating from the ceiling could be from mice, squirrels, raccoons, or even bats. The sounds coming from the walls may be from mice.
Investigate for droppings to determine if the sounds point to a rat problem. A rat produces 40 or more pellets daily or over 20,000 droppings annually. Of course, mice also create waste, so how can you determine if the feces are from rats or mice? Rats produce feces the size of an olive pit with blunt ends, whereas mice deposit rod-shaped fecal matter with pointed ends. Another distinguishing feature is the texture. Mice droppings have ridges, but rat feces is smooth. It is disconcerting to move the refrigerator and find droppings. How do you know if the droppings are fresh or old? Fresh rat poop is black and shiny, but older feces are grey and flaky.
Holes in the walls or floors are more signs of a rat infestation. Rats are rodents, and all rodents have ever-growing incisor teeth. A rat's incisor teeth will grow about four inches annually, and unless trimmed, they will become unmanageable and eventually keep the rat from being able to eat. Therefore, rats, mice, squirrels, and other rodents must constantly shorten their teeth by gnawing on nearby objects. Rats chew on anything; plastic, paper, glass, thin metal, wood, and even concrete. Rats use their sharp teeth to create holes in floors and walls for easy access to their nests. Gnaw marks on plastic food containers, furniture, and paper products are another indicator that rats are in your McAllen home.
Some people may not agree, but rats are cute with their furry bodies, long tails, large black eyes, big ears, and blunt muzzles. Their fur makes them appear cuddly, but their oily coat attracts dirt and grime. Rats find rotting garbage, sewage, drains, and animal feces appealing places to forage for food. When they travel in these unsanitary areas, their greasy fur becomes filthy.
Even though rats have big eyes, they possess poor eyesight. Coupled with their poor vision is their tendency to scavage in the dark at night. As rats move around in the dark with poor eyesight, they bump into objects and walls and leave grease marks. As you can deduce, rats are not clean animals.
Unlike humans, rats cannot talk, so how do they communicate? Rats are territorial. They deposit a pheromone through their urine to ensure other rats don't invade their food source. This chemical compound warns other rats to keep away, but it also attracts female rats for breeding. If only a couple of rats are in a house, you may not notice an odor, but a noticeable musty smell fills the area when the infestation grows.
Rats are not only territorial, but they are creatures of habit. When rats find a food source, they travel the same route from their nearby nest to the food. The combination of droppings, uneaten food, tracks, gnaw, and grease marks indicate a rat trail. If you do not see footprints but suspect you have found a runway, sprinkle talcum powder in the area and check it in a few days for four and five-toed tracks.
When you see these signs in your McAllen home, you need rat control from Bugworks Termite & Pest Control. Our certified technicians can verify the indicators and reveal additional evidence of a rat infestation.
All The Damages That Rats Can Cause To Your Home
Quick action is necessary when you see signs of a rat infestation because rats are dangerous to your McAllen house and those who live inside. Rats constantly chew to keep their incisor teeth sharp and to prevent them from growing too large. When rats chew on furniture, containers, and other objects, they damage the aesthetics of the items and may destroy their usefulness.
Rats chew not only on wood, glass, plastic, paper, aluminum, and concrete, but they gnaw on wiring. These rodents prefer to remain hidden in the dark recesses of wall voids, inside appliances, in the attic, and other undisturbed areas. Electrical wiring inside walls, running over the joists in attics, and inside appliances provide rats with another item for trimming their teeth. When they chew through the wiring, they can cause disruptions to internet service, power, and household alarm systems.
As rats chew through the protective shell surrounding the wiring, they expose the wire to moisture from their oily, dirty coats. When the water from their fur contacts the live wires, they can short-circuit and cause damage to the internal electronics of an appliance or other items connected to the circuit. The ultimate damage occurs when multiple cables are exposed by the rats' removal of the protective coating touch and spark, resulting in a fire. When you read of a house fire with an unknown cause, there is a reasonable chance that rats were the instigators.
As previously mentioned, rats chew holes in walls and floors to gain access to their nests or create shorter runways to a food source. These two to three-inch openings damage the appearance of a room and weaken surrounding areas.
In addition to the holes in walls, floors, ceilings, and damage to wiring and electronics in the house, rats expose the occupants to disease. Rats attract viruses and bacteria to their fur as they forage in polluted areas. As they bump into walls and objects in the house, they contaminate the areas with disease-causing organisms. They also distribute pathogens through their feces, urine, and saliva.
When you see signs of rats in your McAllen home, or if you suspect rats are present, you need the best rat control company, Bugworks Termite & Pest Control. Our trained technicians protect homes and those living inside by successfully removing rats from homes.
Effective Tips Effective Tips For Rat Prevention
Why do rats enter into homes? Are they bored with being outside? No, rats enter McAllen area homes looking for food, water, and shelter. As you know, we occasionally have hot and dry spells, which can cause rats to look for alternative food and water sources. These are some of the best ways for rat prevention around your McAllen home:
- Close outdoor garbage containers
- Remove animal waste from the yard
- Provide drainage to ditches and puddles
- Eliminate objects that trap water
- Clear debris from the yard
- Seal all vent openings with a wire mesh
- Plug holes and crevices in the foundation and along the roof line with steel wool
Keeping a clean, dry property is what keeps rats away. Maintaining an uncluttered, vacuumed interior will deter any rat that makes it into the house from staying. When a Bugworks Termite & Pest Control technician inspects your McAllen property, they will identify attractants and entry points to your home.
The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Rats On Your Property
The best way to get rid of rats fast is to use Bugworks Termite & Pest Control. We have removed rats from McAllen homes, hospitals, restaurants, and government facilities for nearly a decade. When the certified technician arrives, they will thoroughly investigate the area to look for signs of a rat infestation, hot spots, entry points, and attractants.
If rats are the problem, our technician will create a strategic plan to remove them quickly using hospital-grade products. We will also create barriers and work with you to eliminate attractants to prevent a future infestation. We offer flexible contract-free plans as well as bi-monthly and quarterly follow-up plans. Contact us today to request information; learn why hundreds of businesses and homeowners trust Bugworks Termite & Pest Control services to resolve pest problems.
"Very prompt and courteous service for our flea and tick control service. Employee Jorge Martinez arrived on time, answered any questions I had, and made my experience with Bug Works a very positive one. Thank you Jorge and Bug Works!"