Rats are larger than mice and can weigh up to 0.5 kg (1 lb). Norway rats and black rats look similar, but they do not behave the same way. The Norway rat builds elaborate networks of tunnels and burrows at ground level and prefers moist areas such as crawl spaces and the perimeter of buildings.
The black rat is an agile climber that prefers to live in trees, climbing shrubs and dense vegetation. They infest attics, roof frames or roofs as well as the upper floors of buildings and your home.
HOW TO DETECT A SIGN OF THEIR PRESENCE
When you hear sounds in the walls at night that sound like scurrying or scratching, or when you find gnawed and chewed objects or damaged food wrappers, a rat or mouse infestation may be the cause. The presence of feces and urine, burrows or holes in or near the foundation, and footprints on dusty surfaces are also signs of infestation.
HOW TO PREVENT RATS
Prevention is the key to eliminating rats and mice from infesting your home.
Mice can squeeze through cracks that are barely the size of a dime, while rats can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. The first intervention is to eliminate easy entry points. Even small cracks in a worn door sill can be an entry point for mice.
- Install metal weather stripping under doors and caulk windows.
- Seal cracks in foundations.
- Fill holes around pipes with steel wool before caulking or plastering.
- Cover dryer vents and attic vents with fine wire mesh.
- Eliminate rodent nesting sites by removing clutter from around your home and garage.
- Cut back tall grass and weeds near your home.
- Put your garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids.
- Raise wood piles about 30 cm (1 foot) above the ground and away from your house.
- Do not put greasy or oily waste, eggs or dairy products in the compost bin.
- Eliminate water sources such as leaking faucets, seeping pipes and open drains.
- Keep your kitchen clean. Store dry food and dry pet food in metal or glass containers.