Did you know that there are many different species of rat across Australia? Many of them have been introduced from China or India over the generations, but some are actually native and equally capable of causing havoc around your home. And if you think that you'll never encounter a rat problem because you live in an upscale neighbourhood, you may be in for a shock if you hear scuttling feet at night. What can you do to avoid such a nightmare, and how can you cope with this situation if it arises?
On the Lookout
Rats are generally opportunists. They are always looking for a safe place to call home with a good supply of food, and if there's any way into your property, they are likely to take a look and see if it meets their needs.
You are likely to find rats in any neighbourhood, especially in areas close to undeveloped land, a swamp or forestry. While they can indeed live in the wild by themselves, they may be too lazy to look for natural food sources, especially if they can find everything they need within your place.
Many people get into the habit of leaving food sources around without realising that they could tempt those furry pests. For example, they may leave crumbs on the floor rather than sweeping up after a spill. Alternatively, they may leave open crisp packets or cereal boxes on a counter overnight, and this is exactly what the average rat is looking for.
While it may seem counterintuitive, it's not a good idea to leave cat or dog food down in the bowl around the clock. It's best to put the food down at feeding times and take it up if not eaten. Furthermore, the food should be kept in an airtight box and ideally within a closed cabinet.
Sealing Your Home
From time to time, closely inspect the perimeter of your home on the inside and the outside. Look for any cracks or crevices that may have developed at ground level or even slightly below. Seal these immediately as otherwise, you are leaving the door wide open for a rat infestation. If they decide that your home is likely to be a good source of daily food, they will set up their own nest in a dark corner somewhere. Once they do that and start to breed, you will have a major problem on your hands before you even realise it.
What to Do Next
So, take steps to change your habits and inspect your home to avoid setting up a "vacancy" sign for rats. If you believe that you have a problem already, get in touch with a pest control expert for further advice.
For more information on rat control, contact a professional near you.