Rat burrows are a common sight in many urban environments, but what are they exactly and how do they impact our homes and gardens? This article delves into the details of rat burrows, revealing the inner workings of these intricate networks and providing practical advice on how to handle them
The Basics of Rat Burrows
Rat burrows are underground tunnels created by rats as a means of shelter and as a route for finding food. These tunnels are typically 2-4 inches in diameter and can extend up to 18 inches beneath the surface. They often have multiple entrances and exits for easy access and quick escape in case of danger.
Rats That Burrow
Two main species of rats are known to burrow – the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) and the Roof rat (Rattus rattus). However, it’s the Norway rat that typically creates burrows, while Roof rats prefer nesting in elevated locations such as trees or attics1.
Where Do Rats Burrow?
Rats are versatile creatures and can make their burrows in various environments. They usually prefer to burrow near sources of food and water, such as under bushes, near building foundations, or in garden areas. They are also known to burrow in sandy soil and areas that offer some form of concealment.
Identifying Rat Burrows
Detecting a rat burrow can be tricky, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Here are some characteristics of a typical rat burrow:
From the outside, a rat burrow appears as a small hole in the ground. The largest ones usually serve as the main entry points, while smaller ones act as additional entrances or exits. If the burrow is active, the main entrance is often cleared of vegetation.
Depth and Structure
Rat burrows usually extend 12-18 inches deep. However, if the burrow is located against a building’s foundation, it could go as deep as 4 feet, enabling rats to infiltrate the building2.
Signs of Activity
Look for signs such as runways (worn-down paths in the grass made by rats) or greasy track marks along walls that lead to the burrow entrance. Rat droppings may also be present along these paths.
The Impact of Rat Burrows
Rat burrows can have several negative effects on your property and health.
Rats can cause structural damage by gnawing through wood and concrete to create their burrows. They can also damage electrical wires, leading to the risk of short-circuit fires.
Rats carry a host of diseases that can be harmful to humans. The presence of rat burrows increases the chances of these diseases being transmitted to humans.
How to Handle Rat Burrows
If you’ve discovered rat burrows on your property, it’s essential to take immediate action to remove them.
Removing the Attraction
Before you can effectively deal with rat burrows, you need to remove the conditions that attracted the rats in the first place. This might involve removing clutter, trimming overgrown bushes, and eliminating potential food sources.
Sealing Up the Burrows
Once the attraction has been removed, the next step is to locate and seal off the rat burrows. This can be done by filling up the burrows and closing off the entrances.
If the burrow is active, it’s recommended to seek professional help. Pest control experts like Banner Pest Control have the necessary tools and expertise to handle active rat burrows safely and effectively4.
Dealing with Rat Burrows in Gardens
Rats are known to burrow in gardens due to the easy availability of food and water. Here’s how to handle rat burrows in a garden setting.
Installing sturdy wire mesh or chicken wire can help block rats from entering your garden. You can also place wire mesh below the soil around plants to prevent rats from digging.
Keeping your garden clean and well-maintained can deter rats. This includes removing clutter and keeping compost in rodent-resistant bins.
Advanced Rodent Control Methods
In some cases, simple methods may not be enough to get rid of burrowing rats. Here are some advanced methods used by pest control professionals.
Dry ice is a potent tool for controlling burrowing rat populations. As dry ice melts, it releases carbon dioxide, which fills the burrow and suffocates the rats inside.
Professional pest control services may use machines that pump carbon monoxide into active rat burrows. This gas is poisonous and can kill rats within minutes.
Rat Bait Stations
Rat bait stations can be placed near active burrows. These boxes contain poisoned bait that can effectively control rat populations.
Rat Burrows and Home Foundations
Rats can dig holes around the foundation of your home, posing a threat to its structural integrity. If you suspect that rats are burrowing near your home’s foundation, it’s important to take action immediately.
Rat Burrows and Disease Transmission
Rats are known carriers of various diseases, and rat burrows serve as ideal breeding grounds for these diseases. By eliminating rat burrows, you can significantly reduce the risk of disease transmission.
Rat Burrows and Other Animals
Rat burrows can attract other animals, thereby exacerbating your pest problem. By sealing off rat burrows, you can prevent other pests from invading your property.
Rat Burrows and Pest Control Professionals
If you’re dealing with a rat infestation, it’s always best to seek help from a professional pest control service like Banner Pest Control. We have the expertise and tools to effectively handle rat burrows and other pest-related issues.
In conclusion, rat burrows are a serious issue that needs to be addressed promptly. With the right information and professional help, you can effectively manage and eliminate rat burrows on your property.