Rats

Rats usually live in large families and rarely occur alone. Rats will eat everything and anything and are not afraid to come into the near vicinity of humans, especially if food is available. Rats are generally a serious nuisance, because they can carry diseases that are harmful and dangerous to humans. In addition, rats breed fast and in large numbers and if there is enough food available, they can infest the whole area. They will often use the sewers or underground passageways, sometimes entering the house through the toilet, looking for food and more convenient housing. The most dangerous illness ever spread by rats and the fleas on them was the plague, also known as the Black Death. The infected rats died of the plague and the fleas in search for new hosts would bite humans, transferring the disease. Other viral diseases such as hepatitis, dysentery, cholera and tuberculosis can be transmitted directly from the rat to the human. Not only are rats often the carrier of diseases, they will also destroy furniture and leave behind their urine and feces.

Rats also like living in stables, barns, garages as well as gardens and their sheds. As these are often places where food can be found or material convenient for nest building, they become a pest, gnawing at everything edible and leaving their feces wherever they go. Dustbins and compost sites have a great attraction to them, offering them free food. The smell of fermenting food is like a beacon and they will not hesitate to bite their way through a plastic dustbin to get at the food. Rats are nocturnal animals, so if you happen to see a rat during the day you can expect quite a rat infestation in the area.

Appearance

Worldwide there are about 500 different species of rats. In Europe we distinguish basically between two types of rats. One is the brown rat (rattus norvegicus), commonly known as the water rat or sewer rat. The other is the black rat (rattus rattus). The brown rat has a grey brown coat at the top and is white to light grey at the bottom. The length of the body is usually between 20 and 25 cm and the tail is brown. The snout of the rat is roundish and the ears are quite short. The black rat is 15 to 20 cm long, not quite as large as the brown rat, and its coat is not so thick. The color of the coat is dark brown to black and the snout is pointed. The ears are far larger and the tail is usually longer than the actual body length. If an area is infested with rats, it is most advisable to get rid of them and to avoid direct contact with the rats or their excrements. There are many ways of getting rid of rats and it can be a tedious process. The best provision against rat migration is to make an area unattractive for them by using the Gardigo rat repellent products.

Life-cycle.

Rats will live in all kinds of environments. The habitats of the rat include villages, cities, cellars, sewers, garbage dumps or any place near rivers and running water. Rats will burrow their own passageways hiding them from predators.

The brown rat is considered to be an excellent swimmer and diver and will climb up nearly every wall. It can adapt easily to its environment but preferably lives in moist and dark areas. Rats live in packs or families and are always led by an alpha rat. Each clan of rats has its own smell and will defend its territory against rats not belonging to the family.

The black rat can mainly be found in areas where they find food from plants. This rat prefers a warm environment and will often nest in the attics of buildings, storage rooms, warehouses, silos and mills. In contrast to the brown rat, the black rat prefers to keep away from water. The black rat is also a very nimble climber, allowing it access to nearly every house.

Mating

Rats can have a litter of up to 22 with every birth and will be prepared to mate again a few days after having given birth. The newborn rats are blind for the first few days, but will leave the nest after only 22 to 25 days. The young rats acquire sexual maturity after three months and are immediately ready for mating. Due to the high re-productivity rate, a rat population can explode within a few months, and quickly become a pest. It is therefore necessary to use quick and effective measures against a rat population in the area.

Damage caused by rats

Rats are mainly food pests. They are a hazard to farms and also a mischief in residential areas and gardens. Rats can carry diseases dangerous to humans especially when leaving their feces in the food. If a rat population is noticed in a residential area, the local authorities should immediately be informed. To avoid coming into contact with rats or having rats in your area or premises we recommend the use of Gardigo Rat Defense products. These make sure that the rats don’t even consider homing in and building a nest in your area. It is an environmentally friendly persuasion for them to look for another place to live. Our best and most effective repellents are the Gardigo Ultrasonic XL 200 and the Mouse Repellant Plug. These devices emit an ultra sonic sound, most uncomfortable for rats and all kinds of vermin keeping them away from your area.