Rats are notoriously the most dreaded pest to exist in the premiere and challenging bunch to get rid of. Not only do they stress us because of their unhygienic presence, the hazardous damages they cause, but also the food safety risk to consider. In this article, Rentokil shares the essential information you need to know when dealing with rats, including signs of rats to pay attention, how rat activities come about, and more importantly, pest control solutions to get rid of rats effectively.
Spotting rats scurrying around is the first and easiest way of noticing signs of rat activities in your premise. However, as they are capable of hiding well from lures and predators and are nocturnal, we need to rely on other signs of rat presence such as:
Rats will relocate due to nest disruption such as renovation or construction and hide indoors from weather in rainy conditions. They can seek elsewhere if there is food competition or food supplies limitation because of removal or an overpopulation of rats. Here are more reasons and possibilities that rat infestation can occur in your premise. Firstly, presence of food source and water (besides ingredients) including pet food, faeces, trash and waste. Secondly, a cluttered home that allows rats to hide and nest, including leaf piles, shrubs and overgrown grass. Thirdly, rats enter through opening, ranging from compromised property integrity, opened windows and doors, ventilators and gaps. Fourthly, inadequate housekeeping and gaps in food stowage such as exposed food, lack of well-sealed jars and storage bags. Finally, cross infestation, where rats from surrounding sites and location can travel and make their way into your home or premise.
Rats are very efficient in hiding and most of the time, spotting their presence can be difficult. Firstly, they do not appear in the daytime as they seek food sources at night. Secondly, because of their capabilities in agility and flexibility that allow them to hide at hard to reach spaces, rat detection can be a challenge. Thirdly, some of their infestation signs are less obvious or beyond visibility, thus we can miss out rat activities, thus allowing infestation to grow. Fourthly, rodents are known for their intelligence and do not fall into our trap easily, hence they can avoid lures and traps.
Finally, rats can grow their resistance to baits, and professional rat control specialist are trained to alternate baits to overcome resistance challenges. Above all, comprehensive and integrated rodent control solution is necessary to heighten detection of rat activities, allow more accurate and targeted placement of baiting units and supported with adequate monitoring and reporting through sensing technology.
Rats are agile and very flexible, and possibly able to squeeze through any holes, gaps and opening they can find. It can range from residential homes, office space where rats like to lurk around the ceiling and server room, and even industrial compounds where there are multiple hiding corners and points of entries. In addition, they are often associated with waste and a poor sanitised environment, hence basement, rubbish centres are another hot spot you may find them in premises including retail malls and hotels. Finally, this is not forgetting the presence of food and water, that any premises would most likely harbour, be it residential, commercial or industrial sector. Above all, as rats climb, swim and travel, places with open concepts, located near construction areas where you may find burrows or are connecting joints, cross infestation of rats may occur.
Rat infestation should not be treated lightly as they can cause various health and safety issues comprising food contamination, transmission of diseases, rat bites, potential allergies, product recalls and operation closure, and even likelihood of short circuit and fire incidents caused by the circuit disruptions. Hence, Rentokil has summarise a checklist in the event of a rat infestation encounter:
Pest elimination is essential for all species types, including ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes, termites and bed bugs. This is because by nature, all pests can affect our health and safety risk, damage properties or production and cause financial implication and business implication. This is also the case for rat problems in Singapore. Some of the critical implications include the transmission of diseases and food safety risk they can impose onto our food consumption and preparation, bites that can turn serious or an infection, hazardous incidents such as short circuits, trips and fire. For businesses, there are a lot more consequences, ranging from operation disruptions (due to investigation and treatments), business closure (for severe incidents, product recalls and packaging replacement, medical reimbursement or work efficiency challenges, regulatory non-compliance and financial penalty. In addition, businesses may also suffer from negative brand reputation and reviews, affecting patronage and future business growth.
There is a difference between residential and commercial pest control. The types of services, treatment complexities, support, frequency and price range differs. Rodent control is largely required among most commercial sectors. A good portion of residential homes also require rat treatment programmes due to its location, environment risk and premise condition.
Pest control services for rodent elimination may cost more compared to common pest management treatments for ants and cockroaches for example. It can range from few hundreds to thousands depending on the following factors:
The roof rat, also known as the black rat can be identified with their pointed nose and large ears. They have a preferred diet comprising fruits. As their name suggest, they tend to lurk at higher parts of the premise such as rooftop or ceilings. The brown rat, unlike the roof rat, have blunt noses and smaller ears, and feed on cereals instead. Besides hiding along ceilings, they will hang around sewers, drains and pipes. Finally, there is also the house mouse. They have a smaller body size compared to rats. However, they have large eyes and ears. They will hide within cabinets, attic, basement and voids. They have similar diet preference including cereals, seeds, fruits, and grains.
Pest infestation occurs at any time, and can trigger based on several factors. These include environment conditions, urbanisation, lifestyle habits, and housekeeping standards and cross infestation reasons. Hence, it is best to engage in a pest control specialist to manage your premise on a regular and consistent basis, rather than ad-hoc and reactive approach. Depending on the priority, critical premise needs, infestation level and environment risks, mode of frequency can range from weekly, fortnightly, monthly or longer. However, detection and inspection should be done on a regular basis. While the pest control specialist performs the site inspection, you can check your premises for unusual signs that resemble rat infestation daily. In summary, you should not delay treatments and rely on DIY remedies. This is because a rat infestation can escalate by spreading their presence and increasing their population through the breeding process.
Both pest management and housekeeping should be well integrated and manage hand in hand to ensure efficiency and efficacy. Pest control companies manage the control, detection and treatments. On your end, you can also actively complement the pest control services. Pest prevention includes keeping place clean and sanitised. Clear unwanted items and pile-ups that allow rats to hide within. In addition, remove any available food source that rats feed on and water or moisture. Apply proofing to the premise, by sealing any cracks and crevices resulting from structure wear and tear or designs of the premise that caters open concept or any openings. Remain vigilant on pest signs such as burrows, smear marks, urine stains and stench, droppings and scratching sounds. Finally, review rat population and recommendations with your pest control specialist. This helps to ensure control is in place and population is well maintained.
Call Rentokil Singapore at (65) 6347 8138 for a rat control solution today.