Many people are afraid of rats and with good reason. With a history of spreading disease and leaving destruction in their wake, they are hardly a welcomed sight in a household. Add to this the fact that there is no telling how many may be lurking unseen for every rat that you do see. And then there is always that persistent fear, that you may come upon one of those rodents unaware or that it might find you while you are sleeping and you wonder “Will rats attack humans?” The best way to dispell fear is through information. Having a game plan for how to deal with a situation is also helpful in regaining control of that situation. Your rat problem may seem overwhelming, but with the right information and advice, it doesn’t have to be.
What Attracts Rats?
Historically, rats spread through sea travel (they stow away on ships) and just through proximity. Rats like to live near humans because that is where the food is. You do not necessarily have to be a slob to attract rodents, although the likelihood that they will appear is greater if you are not careful about your housekeeping– especially in the kitchen area. Rats are omnivores and so are not terribly picky about what they eat. In the wild, they have been blamed for the extinction of numerous small bird and animal species whenever they have been introduced to a new environment, especially islands. However, they will also eat plants, nuts and seeds.
The question that keeps many homeowners experiencing an infestation awake at night is “Can rats bite humans?” This cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Rats are an animal first and foremost. And, as with any animal, when surprised or cornered, they will fight their way out if they see no other option. Similarly, there have been cases of rats biting or chewing on babies, bed-ridden elderly people and the homeless. The most widely accepted theory for theory for this is that these vulnerable people went to bed with food residue on their faces, hands or clothes and the rats were trying to lick or chew the food off of the people. In general, however, a rat will not attack a human or any other creature larger than itself without provocation.
Once you have a rat infestation, the only thing on your mind is how to get rid of them. The first step is to make sure holes and cracks around your house are sealed up so that they have no way to get in. Some rats can get in holes as small as half an inch. You should also make sure to keep your home as tidy as possible because they are attracted to food sources. Finally, you should set out traps or poison or both. If you have pets or young children, you should consider a bait station for your poison. A bait station is a special kind of trap that you can put poison into. The rats can access it but children and small pets cannot. No matter how you choose to deal with your rat problem, however, you cannot go wrong by calling in professional exterminators.
Knowledge is power. Having a rat infestation is troubling but it doesn’t have to get the best of you. When you know that your family is not likely to be attacked by rodents, that can go a long way to setting your mind at ease. And knowing how to deal with and avoid rats in the future can put you back in control. Having the right pest control specialists on your side doesn’t hurt either.
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