Why Do Some Areas Have More Rats Than Others
One or two rats might make cute pets, but out in the wild, rats are more of a pest than a friend. Despite looking small and harmless, rats and mice are known to be some of the world’s biggest spreaders of more than 35 serious diseases, including the plague, salmonella and leptospirosis. Rats travel all over the place, contaminating water and food supplies with harmful diseases. Some areas have more rats than others, and rats are pests that pose serious health risks to the people who live in infested areas. In this article we want to explore how rodents live and what causes some areas to have more problems with rat infestations than others.
The Availability of Food and Water
This is the primary reason that some areas have more rats than others. The availability of food and water has a big impact on rat populations. Rats are omnivorous, so they’re happy to eat just about anything, and they require a steady supply of water to survive. That usually means they’re drawn to cities and towns with large human populations. Humans produce huge amounts of food waste that a hungry rat will be more than happy to chew its way through.
The availability of food is also a major reason that rats are commonly found in places like compost piles or landfills. The food in these places is readily available and easy to find, so rats make their homes nearby where they’ll always have access to a snack.
The Availability of Shelter
Rats aren’t just drawn to food alone, they also need a source of shelter away from predators, humans and the weather. Rats are a pest that like to build dedicated nests. They use their nests to live, sleep and breed, so they like to build them in places that aren’t going to be disturbed or destroyed by intruders. Rats like to build their nests in warm, dry places, including:
- Attics and roof cavities
- Wall cavities
- Under the eaves of homes
- In the garden under hedges or other plants
- In trees
- Garages, sheds and other structures
- Underground in burrows
Rats are nocturnal and are mostly active after dark. Many people don’t even realise they have a rat problem because they never see the rodents running around during the day. If you have any likely spots that a rat would like to build a nest (like in your compost pile), it’s a good idea to periodically check and make sure there are no unwelcome pests living there.
The Local Climate
While rats are small and unlikely to travel far in search of better weather, recent studies have shown that areas that experience milder winters tend to have larger rat populations. Cold winters deplete food supplies and can make surviving a challenge for even the toughest rats. On the other hand, warmer climates with mild winters allow rats to spend more of their time breeding and raising their young, leading to huge explosions in population throughout the year.
Are Rats Really Harmful?
Rats and mice aren’t a small problem. They breed quickly, and a rat population that gets out of hand has the potential to cause serious harm to the people and other animals in an area. Research has repeatedly shown that rats have the potential to spread and transmit a range of parasites, bacteria and viral infections. While rats might be happy to spend most of their lives chewing through garbage and living amongst a city’s waste, they’re often exposed to all sorts of diseases that are harmful to humans. Carrying these diseases, rats then get into food and water supplies, spreading bacteria and viruses through their saliva, urine and feces.
Struggling with a Rat Infestation in Toowoomba? Contact Pete’s Pest Control Today!
Rats aren’t a minor problem to be ignored. Capable of spoiling your food supplies and spreading serious diseases, rat and mice infestations can quickly get out of hand and affect the health and safety of your family. If you’re struggling with rodents and pest infestations in Toowoomba, the experienced team at Pete’s Pest Control is ready to help. We work with both residential and commercial clients, designing pest control solutions that are tailored to suit your property and the pests you’re dealing with. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our rodent control services!