Rats run rampant in the Portland Metro area. They are more of an urban problem than a rural problem, but they don’t really discriminate too much if they can find their basic needs. Typically a rat is looking for shelter, food and a water source and if your home can provide these things for them, they are likely to try and move in.
Norway rats are the most common species of rats that we have in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area. They are excellent tunnelers and often will burrow underneath the foundation of your home to get inside your crawl space. If you observe holes around your home the size of tennis ball or smaller, you may have an issue underneath your home. Once inside, your crawl space provides a safe, warm place for the rodents to reproduce and a lot of damage and contamination can result. A female rat can have up to 7 litters per year with about a dozen young per litter. With this in mind, you can see that it doesn’t take long before an infestation can get out of hand.
Rats are opportunistic survivors that like to live near humans. They tirelessly search for food sources that people carelessly leave behind and they eat just about anything. Some common ways that people unwittingly leave free meals for rats is by having bird feeders in their yards, leaving out pet food, having a composter, and a garden (just to name a few). Rats also prefer areas of dense grass and shrubbery to stay hidden. If you have an overgrowth of plants and trees, it may be a good idea to give them a trim.
A rat has a lifespan of about one year and spends its short life scavenging for food and reproducing. They are actually fairly intelligent and our excellent at surviving. A rat infestation that is not addressed can cause a lot of problems in your crawl space and can create an unhealthy environment in your home.
What You Can Do:
Most home owners will try and use Decon or another store bought rat poison, but this is not something that we recommend. First, it is not in a secure bait station and second, it is not particularly effective. Trapping is an option, but is something that will probably only help the problem, not eliminate the problem. The best thing that a home owner can do is to remove all the food and water sources that a rat can survive on and be on the lookout for potential entry points into the home.
What We Can Do:
We can do a combination of baiting and trapping that is extremely effective in eliminating rat populations. Our bait stations are tamper proof boxes that are properly secured to be safe around children and pets. The rodent bait that we use works by dehydrating the rodent that eats it and driving it outside towards a water source so that it does not typically die underneath the home (unlike how many store bought rodent baits work). We take great care in identifying the source of the problem and the potential entry points, so that we can put together lasting solutions for you and your family.
If you are experiencing problems with rats or any other types of pests, please give us a call and let us know how we can help you!