What Every Chicago Resident Should Know About Rat Control

Rat on a rusty pipe in the dark.
There are several different types of rats in Chicago that you may encounter, and all species of rats pose significant threats to your home. It is important to understand what attracts rats to your house in order to get rid of these pests.

Understanding Rats

Chicago is home to many different types of rats, most notably the Norway rat and the roof rat. While roof rats are smaller (growing up to twelve inches with tail length) and have black fur, Norway rats can grow up to sixteen inches long (including tail length) and have brownish-grey fur. Both of these rats are highly dependent on humans, thanks to centuries of evolving alongside human civilization. They are very skilled at scavenging food, water, and shelter from nearby human structures and may easily infiltrate your home as a result of these skills.

In general, roof rats live up to their name and are skilled at climbing. They prefer to live higher up and may make their home in your attic. On the other hand, Norway rats are known for their preference of living in sewers or other moist and underground areas. You may find this rodent in your basement, crawl space, or garden.

What Attracts Rats To Your House?

When rats make it into your Chicago property, they can bring with them serious problems. These problems can include home destruction due to their chewing through any material in their way, scratching up the internal structures of your home, and soiling your attic, basement, furniture, and food storage areas. Repairing the damage they cause may become quite costly if the rat infestation is left to grow out of control.

Rats can also introduce a major risk of disease. This rodent is a known carrier of illnesses such as hantavirus, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, and tularemia. You can contract these diseases by coming into contact with the rats themselves or accidentally touching rat urine or feces left around your home.

Additionally, rats often carry parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mites into your home. These pests carry their own risk of illnesses and may also develop into a full-blown infestation.

In order to prevent rats from entering your home, here are a few tips that you can follow:

  • Seal up potential entryways around your house, such as gaps and cracks in your windows, doors, and foundation. Rats can fit through holes as small as a quarter, so be sure you are thorough. You may also want to use a chew-proof material such as steel wool or hard cement, as rats can chew through things like plastic, wood, cinder block, and brick.
  • Clear your yard of debris and keep the grass trimmed low to reduce outdoor hiding spots for rats. You may also want to trim back branches that hang over your roof to stop rats from climbing onto your house this way.
  • Ensure that all food waste and trash is properly sealed and disposed of promptly, as the scent of food is a major attractant for rats. Additionally, make sure all outdoor pet food is in airtight containers.

Get Rid Of Rats The Right Way

The most effective and safest way to handle a rodent infestation and get rid of rats around your home is to contact the professionals at Aerex Pest Control. Our experts will eliminate rats at the source and protect your home from these troublesome pests.

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