5 Myths About Rats
Rats are poorly understood. As Houston, TX, wildlife control professionals, we hear plenty of questions and statements that tell us that myths about rats are alive and well.
Yet you can't really afford to believe these myths! Any one of them could put your home or your family at risk. Here are five of the most common ones and the truths they conceal:
#1) They're all up in the attic and are not hurting anything.
We're animal lovers, too, so we get it. Sometimes, even when you hear the signs that rodents are prancing about in your attic, your first instinct is to leave them be if they aren't bothering you directly.
Unfortunately, this isn't a good instinct. Rats are a fire hazard because they chew on the wiring. They're a health and safety hazard because they carry diseases that they will track all over your house, and because they aren't exactly litter-trained. Plus, they breed so fast that they can take over the average Houston home in no time at all.
#2) You must be face-to-face with a rat before it can give you a disease.
You don't have to come into direct contact with a rat or be bitten by one to contract a rodent-borne disease. You don't even have to handle their droppings directly.
Rats who come into your home track germs on your countertops and furniture. They also leave feces in your ductwork, eventually breaking into particulate matter.
The viruses, on that matter, aren't always dead when the poop turns to dust, and that means you could inhale some seriously nasty viruses into your lungs.
#3) I can't possibly have a rat problem because I have a cat.
Cats are amazing little creatures; many will pounce on a rat if they see one. That doesn't mean they can handle your rat problem by themselves.
First, most rats will just avoid the cat, staying out of the areas the cat frequents. On one hand, this means you may not ever see them in your living space. On the other, they're still having a party in your attic, ductwork, and walls.
Second, you don't really want your cat to go toe-to-toe with a rat. The result will look more like Fight Club than Tom & Jerry. An angry rat could seriously injure your cat, and a direct bite will expose your cat to all those diseases we just mentioned. Cat health is much more fragile than human health, too, so a rumble with a rat could prove deadly.
#4) I keep my house clean, so I can't possibly have a rat problem.
You live in Houston, one of the rattiest cities on earth. Rats aren't evaluating the HGTV readiness of your home. They're evaluating whether they can find a warm nest, water, and food sources.
They don't mind leaving your house to find food if they can't find any inside. For many rats, the warm nesting place provided by your attic is draw enough.
#5) I'll just drive the rats away with this essential oil!
You're not going to find a cute DIY hack that's going to get rid of your rat problem. Some Internet suggestions, like essential oils, will even make it worse. A rat smells essential oils and thinks: "Food."
You can't use shrieky sonic sounds that only rats can hear. You can't use DIY poisons unless you want live rats and dead rats in your walls. You can't bang a gong at midnight and hop up and down on one leg to petition the Rat King to take them away.
Real, professional pest control methods are the only thing that's ever going to help.
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We've dealt with rats across a gamut of Houston homes and businesses and have access to professional-grade rat removal and abatement methods that work.
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