What Every Hattiesburg Property Owner Should Know About Rats

Serving Families Throughout Hattiesburg
a rat in the whole of a home

Rats and humans have a long history together since both rats and humans can cohabit the same spaces. Rats often feed off our food and steal our shelter, and humans have tried to keep rats out for millennia.

It's an age-old story, and one that continues right here in Hattiesburg, MS. If you think rats are bothering your property, this article discusses how to prevent rats entirely, and how to treat them if they do invade.

Rat Identification Guide

You've probably seen rats around Hattiesburg, though these rodents are often confused with mice. All rodents cause similar problems and require similar removal tactics, but rats are in a rodent category of their own. 
Rats in Hattiesburg have long, furry bodies, four legs, and small pinkish hands and noses. They tend to have pointed faces and thicker bodies, and they are usually larger than mice, though smaller than other rodents like rabbits.

There are three common rats in Hattiesburg:

  • Norway Rats: These pests grow to around eleven inches, have muddy brown coats, and a rounded shape. 
  • Roof Rats: These pests grow to between five and seven inches long, are much darker and sleeker than other rats, and can often be seen climbing. 
  • Black Rats: These pests look like roof rats except they are darker, have longer tails, and tend to run quickly.

Whichever rat you've got in your home, all of them are bad news because of the problems they cause.

Problems Associated With Hattiesburg Rats

Rats cause any of the following issues — home damage, diseases and the spread of parasites.

  • First, rats cause home damage by using your property to build their nests. A persistent rat will chew through wood, wires, insulation, and other materials to build a nest, and it's your pocketbook that pays for it.
  • Second, rats spread diseases that they pick up in their travels. A rat might pick up and spread diseases like salmonella, leptospirosis, giardia, and listeria.
  • Finally, rats spread parasites as often as they spread diseases. Ticks, which often hide in a rat's fur, also spread diseases and cause other allergic reactions to your family and pets.

Clearly, rats have no place in your home. So, how can you keep them out?

Rat Prevention Tips

Rat prevention starts with keeping your food and trash secure. These pests will try to eat your trash or your food, so keep them locked away in gnaw-proof containers. 
Even without immediate access to food, rats might also come inside to build their nests for the winter, and why it's important to keep your masonry gap-free. Check your caulking, masonry, and door frames for any air or water leaks, and install a chimney cap to keep roof rats out.
Finally, turn to your local pest professionals if rats do get inside. Because rats can chew through many building materials, they might get inside even with proper food storage and home repairs. When this happens, contact your local pest professionals at Havard Pest Control to keep these obnoxious pests out.