Recently, a rat infestation that occurred in a Yuba City animal shelter made headlines when their entire operation had to relocate, reminding Northern California residents how large and damaging a pest control problem rat activity can be.

Creating wall, roof, and pipe damage from their burrowing and foraging, the rat infestation had caused the Sutter County Animal Control Shelter, which houses and adopts out hundreds of cats, dogs, and exotic pets each year, extensive damage over time. As a result of the severe and unsanitary conditions, the county had to replace the old shelter.

With winter coming soon to our Sacramento pest control region, here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you ready and aware of rats, mice, voles, and other fuzzy vermin.

Rats can gnaw holes in walls, climb, and even swim up through toilets and broken drains to get to where they want to go: all too often, your warm, cozy home. As mentioned in one of our previous postings, rats seek warm and dry conditions indoors in order to build nests and breed rapidly. With winter upon us, there’s no time like the present to gain advantage on these destructive critters with a bit of rat-proofing, and if necessary, rat removal to eliminate your rat and mice problem.

According to UC Integrated Pest Management, “The most successful and long-lasting form of rat control in buildings is to “build them out.”

– Seal cracks and holes and line doors and window corners with metal if possible. “Coarse steel wool, wire screen, and lightweight sheet metal are excellent materials for plugging gaps and holes. Plastic sheeting, wood, caulking, and other less sturdy materials are likely to be gnawed away,” advises UC IPM.

– Cover any unused or broken drains.

– Replace any damaged screens and make sure they fit tightly.

– Keep in mind that, since rats can climb, rodent-proofing must occur on all levels of the house. And don’t forget—they are able to climb through pet doors.

– To be on the safe side, call one of our pest control professionals to inspect duct systems, air vents, chimneys, and any roof piping that rats could possibly get in.

– Pay special attention to any cluttered storage areas, such as basements, attics, and garages for any signs of rat infestation including:

– Any signs of rat dropping

– Scurrying sounds just after dark

– Gnaw marks on any wood edges

– Dead rats that pets might bring in or found in pools/fountains

– Smudge marks caused by the rats rubbing their fur against beams, rafters, pipes, floor boards, and walls

– Signs of digging around your yard

Visit the UC Integrated Management Website for a complete list of infestation signs.

If you see any of these signs or have any concerns or questions regarding rats, mice or other pests, please don’t hesitate to call our rat pest control experts at 916-457-7605 or visit our website at http://www.earthguardpestcontrol.com/rats_and_mice/. It’s not too late to rodent-proof your home for winter before rats move into your cozy abode!