Rats - Frequently Asked Questions
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Rats - Frequently Asked Questions

1.)  What does a rat look like?

2.)  How can I tell if I have rats on my property?

3.)  What do I do if I have rats on my property?

4.)  Where are rats most common?

5.)  When am I most likely to see rats?

6.)  Where do rats build their nests?

7.)  What are the breeding habits of the rat?

8.)  What can I do to prevent rats?

1.)  The rat has a stocky body, weighing 200 to 500 grams.  The fur is black or brown, and the tail is scaly.  It has a blunt nose with small ears and eyes.

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2.)  Look for rat droppings.  They are 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length, capsule shaped, with blunt ends and are usually a shiny black (though variable according to diet).  Look for burrows in the ground around buildings, in gardens or near garbage containers.  Burrows are round to oval shape and range in size.

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3.)  Leave burrows open - do not block them.  Clean up any debris in the yard.  Call 311 to set up an appointment with an inspector

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4.)  Rats are pests that are found year round.  They live outdoors and then migrate inside when cool weather approaches.  They are found around buildings, in gardens and near garbage or composters.

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5.)  Rats are nocturnal animals, meaning that they are most active at night.  If food and water are scarce, or if large infestations occur, rats will become active during the day.

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6.)  Rats nest in any safe location where food and water are available, such as under wood piles, in abandoned vehicles, between walls or under floors in garages or sheds.  Outdoors, they will burrow into the ground close to their food source.

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7.)  Rats are mature three months after birth and have a gestation period of 22 days.  Four litters are common per year, and each litter will contain eight to twelve young.  The average lifespan of a rat is one year.

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8.)  Remove all food sources such as garbage, rotting fruits and vegetables.  Secure your garbage in animal resistant containers such as metal garbage cans or a Herby Curby.  Make sure your yard is clear of junk and debris (couches, old cars, etc.).  Remove backyard composters if rats are in the neighbourhood.  Install a rat wall 18 inches deep where rats are in the neighbourhood.  Fix any leaky taps or drains, and eliminate any water accumulating in your yard.  Elevate any lumber and firewood 12 inches off floor or ground level.  Try using a rat-proof container.  Herby Curby is the only approved garbage container on wheels.  They can keep animals out of your garbage and save you money on purchasing garbage bags.  Call (519) 948-5854. 

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