Pestgon FactSheet
“ If they fly they die…if they crawl they fall”

RATS (Rattus rattus)

Description:
Two species of rats are common in Southern California, the Roof rat and the Norway rat. From nose to rump, the body length of these rats range from 7 to 9 inches, excluding their tails. Both are gray-brown in color and have hairless tails, a whiskered snout and prominent ears. The head of the Roof rat appears pointed with large ears and a slender body. The tail is longer than the entire length of the body. The head of the Norway rat appears slightly blunt with short ears and a robust body. The tail is shorter than the entire length of the body.

Biology:
Of the hundreds of retail, commercial and industrial buildings served by Pestgon, Inc., the Roof rat is the most common rat found inside. As the name implies, Roof rats tend to inhabit the upper areas such as attics and ceiling voids. Outside they inhabit trees like palms and dense ground covers like ivy on embankments and crib walls. Rats are generally nocturnal and will forage for food throughout an entire building. All rats seek out the dumpsters, garbage areas and food court areas. They are particularly attracted to bakeries, doughnut shops and pastry shops. In a short time, they can reproduce at an alarming rate. Visual sightings of rats in the daytime, generally means that a moderate to high population exists.

Economic Impact:
Beside the natural revulsion that people have for rats in their environment, they are very contaminating and destructive to buildings. Rats urinate often creating stains and offensive odors. In a year’s time a single rat will produce about 25,000 feces droppings. They also commonly do damage to electrical wiring by chewing off the insulation. It is estimated that 25% of fires, of an unknown origin, are caused by rats. Add to this, the well known, disease factor such as Plague, Murine typhus fever, Salmonellosis, etc., and it makes sound economic sense to have the experts of Pestgon, Inc. as your pest management professionals.

Management Methods:
Pestgon, Inc. is very knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with nuisance rat problems in commercial, office and industrial buildings. As with most pests, prevention and exclusion are the first line of defense. Sanitation and rat-proofing are major considerations. Trapping inside and bait stations around the perimeter of the buildings, using approved rodenticides, are also part of Pestgon’s overall strategy of rat prevention and elimination.

Addtional Links:
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74106.html