How to Recognize an Infestation
The two most obvious sign that such rats have already nested in an area are: the presence of their droppings and the traces of different kinds of "shredded" items. Just like mice, rats also scurry here and there, nibbling on different items all at the same time. This behavior causes them to drag along with them bit and pieces of the items which they have previously gnawed. Moreover, this hyped up mobility also leads to leaving mud tracks on the floor, as well as along fences and tracks. When any of these signs appear, it is wise for the owner of the property to immediately call for help so that the possible infestation can be addressed right away.
Some Facts About the Norway Rat
These rats are not picky with the food that they eat; they can virtually eat anything they will come across with (some of which even lead to ingestion and to death). These rats do not mind nibbling through a plastic container or an electrical insulation; so much more if they are in the presence of "real" food. Well, each rat can only consume up to an ounce of food a day. This may not be much, but knowing that all the food items which they have nibbled through will become contaminated, then it can be considered that all the contents of the box of package have been consumed too.
Rats and all other rodents in the cities have very acute smelling, tasting and hearing senses. They use these senses to find food needed for their survival. Since these animals rely on humans to thrive in an urbanized area, they have also developed real good skills in climbing and fitting through small opening -- they can slip-through hole with diameters half as wide as their bodies.
Female Norway rats can give birth to baby rats in a span of 21 to 23 days after they have mated with male rats; and they can have up to 12 litters all at the same time. At this rate, it is perfectly understandable why rat infestation can happen so fast and why it is important to act on an infestation as soon as any signs that it is already happening would start to appear. It is best if the control operation is done before Spring because rats tend to be more sexually active during this period.
Rat Prevention and Control
Knowing the extent of the damage that these rats can do, it is obvious that property owners need to act fast whenever a rat infestation is discovered. There are many methods which can be used to control and exterminate rats, some of which can be performed even by those who do not really have an experience in rat control. However, it is still best if the owner of the property would hire professional rat exterminators in order to make sure that the problem is properly addressed.