Rats are a prevalent pest in many commercial facilities especially those located in urban areas near bodies of water. The Seattle waterfront, for example, has long-been a haven for rats seeking harborage in the sewers, basements, crawlspaces and under sidewalks that are abundantly available in these areas.
These opportunistic, disease-laden pests not only pose a threat to food safety but also to the structural integrity of a building. The Sprague Pest Experts offer the following facts on these most unwelcome visitors:
- Although the roof rat was established first in the United States, the more aggressive Norway rat is the most frequently encountered species.
- Rats in urban areas have a lifespan of only five to 12 months.
- Active rat burrows have a smooth, well-worn appearance at the entrances. Inactive entrances often are covered with vegetation or cobwebs.
- An effective way to check and see if a burrow is active is to cave the entrance in (if possible) and then check back in a day or two to check for signs of activity.
- Rats are weary of new objects or sudden changes to their environment – this is known as “neophobia.”
- Norway rats are skilled swimmers and readily adapt to water; this is why sewers and other waterways are often used as travel routes.