If the cartoon ‘Ratatouille’ made a real splash at the cinema… With us, having rats at home and especially in the kitchen is rather Red Card !!
City Rat and Field Rat
The field rat, also called black rat, attic rat or Rattus Rattus, is found … in the fields because it leaks moisture. Conversely, the brown rat, also called Norway rat or Rattus Norvegicus, loves the wetlands of our cellars! It is therefore above all he who poses the problem.
The brown rat is omnivorous and readily nibbles on cereals, meat, and fruit that it finds near our homes, in our landfills, or our sewers.
As its name does not indicate, Rattus Norvegicus comes from Asia where it was imported in the Middle Ages. This brown rat is the most familiar rodent in humans because it takes advantage of human food to promote its development.
It is omnivorous and readily nibbles on cereals, meat, and fruit that it finds near our homes, in our landfills or our sewers.
Nocturne, it rages at night, despite its poor eyesight which it compensates for with an overdeveloped sense of smell. He is also an excellent runner who can cover 100m in 10 seconds, make jumps of 2 meters and swim 72 hours … Suddenly, it is quite complicated to track.
The Norway rat measures between 30 and 50 cm from head to tail, it lives in very hierarchical colonies. It is a prolific animal which can have 4 to 7 litters of 7 to 14 young per year. The male lives approximately 4 years, the female not more than 3 years.
The role of the rat in nature
Yes, like it or not, rats have a role in the big food chain! Even if they are widely considered ‘repulsive’, where humans live, rats live because they feed on our trash. Suddenly, they play an ecological role by cleaning our sewers which avoids their clogging!
What are the signs of the rat?
On the other hand, if they do work in the sewers of our cities, having them at home is a whole other story … So how do we know if rats have settled in our home?
If you hear a noise in the partitions or in the sewer system, if electrical wires are chewed or bitten when you do not have a rodent-type pet, if food packaging is damaged, if you note the presence of droppings and urine with persistent odors in the cellar or near a water point in the basement … No doubt, these are the indisputable signs of the presence of rats.
Health and other risks …
Obviously, the rat who settled at home is a real scourge. We already think of the food reserves carefully stored in the basement … But it’s not the worst!
There are risks for our home because by biting the electric wires, rats can be responsible for fires, but they are also able to deteriorate and weaken the insulation partitions of our walls, in addition to nibbling pipes in all genres, imagine those of gas! And what about their rapid proliferation which can become a real nightmare if it is not stopped clearly.
But then again, it’s not the worst…
Rats are known to carry viruses and bacteria, some of which are very serious for humans. Contamination can be done by fleas and ticks that rats carry. By the stain of their excrement on our food or by their direct contact. And also by the bite of the beast. We are talking about diseases like the Plague, Typhus, Leptospirosis…
How to fight against rats?
The best preventive way to make sure you don’t encourage rats to settle in the house is to have a cat! The presence of the feline alone causes rodents to scavenge permanently.
Check and seal any openings through which the rat could enter the house. Garbage must be contained in an airtight bin, foodstuffs stored inaccessibly. The cellar is free of objects and materials allowing them to nest.
With a highly developed sense of smell, the rat strongly hates the smell of pepper, sage, mint, lemongrass, and bay leaf, so sprinkle with pepper or plant these plants near your home.
Once their presence has been established, you can either dislodge them by soaking cotton with essential oils of mint or lemongrass, or declare war!
And this last solution is still the best in view of the health risks involved …
Trapping is the first solution. You can also make a food paste composed of plaster and flour. The rats will be quickly eliminated by swallowing this natural preparation.
But if the infestation is very important, do not hesitate to strike hard with traps or rodenticides in the form of granules in sachets or small blocks or pastes which are very practical to launch in double partitions and narrow places. To help you choose the means to fight against rats, discover our rodent diagnostic tool.