Most rat infestations start out small, with one or more members, and then they grow rapidly as more rats either join in or they reproduce. Before you know it, the infestation has gotten completely out of hand and your home is full of rats. Let’s take a look at how rat infestations get out of control and what to do about it.
The rat reproductive capacity
Being prey animals, rats die at a very high rate when they are out in the wild. To counteract this, they have a very high reproductive capacity. A baby mouse will reach maturity within three weeks, and the gestation period for a female rat is just about as long. That means that within approximately two months, a female rat has given birth to a litter, which can have as many as 14 baby rats in it. The average lifespan of the rat inside the home is up to three years, and a female can give birth to as many as five litters each year. In total, that would mean that a single female can give birth to over 200 rats over its lifespan.
Stopping the spread
There are two things that you can do to prevent your home from becoming a rat metropolis. The first is preventing an infestation in the first place. For this, you will have to make sure that there are no entry points into the home (holes, cracks or gaps in the exterior wall), and that rats do not have incentives to get in (clutter inside the home, easily accessible food and water sources, etc.). So prevention can be a fully DIY process, however, some pest control pros offer preventive services.
When it comes to control however, you will very likely need the help of a pro. Because rats reproduce so quickly, any control efforts which do not result in the complete destruction of the rat infestation will fail in the long term, because the rats will simply repopulate their nests again.
A pro will be able to implement a control strategy which removes all the rats from the building, and which will ensure that they do not have a chance to reproduce. If you would like to know more about the best methods that can be used against a rat infestation, or if you have an infestation that has to be controlled, contact us today.