Some believe the rodents are becoming poison-resistant and growing in size. A recent viral photo shared by a pest exterminator showed a 16-inch and 19-inch rat he caught on the job, causing many to wonder if giant rats the new normal?
Nick shares the shocking fact that 21 million homes during the winter are infested with rats and confirms that most pests, including rats, continue to grow in size and adapt to the poison we use to kill them. He warns that rat feces, can spread bacteria and contaminate food sources, trigger allergies, and respiratory issues and can spread over 35 different diseases, including Hantavirus and Salmonella.
But should we be afraid of them attacking us? Nick says that while mice do not bite, rats have been known to bite, but explains they are usually found in your home’s walls and attic and not roaming around your open home.
Nick shares rat infestation warning signs:
- Grease Marks
- Urine Stains
- Partially eaten food
- Sounds in the dark like crawling through the cabinets
- Strong new odors
Some tips to protect your home from rats and rodents include:
- Store items in boxes and plastic sealed containers, rather than cardboard boxes.
- Keep food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
- Install screens over chimney vents and openings.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around basement foundation and windows.
- Install gutters or diverts to channel water away from your home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off the ground.
- Inspect wires, insulation, and walls for any signs of gnaw marks.
- If you find rodent feces, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or observe other signs of an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional.
- Fix leaks and fill in holes.
When in doubt, Nick always recommends calling a professional to handle a vermin problem.