New Castle County County, Wilmington Rat Control Situation:
Hi David, I rent an apartment in Wilmington DE and have consistent mouse problems. It started with a mouse in the beginning of the year- I set all types of traps (snapping, glue, poison) and it would only eat the peanut butter and not get caught. Finally it was caught, but again I have a mouse and all the different traps that are out are only feeding it. I know the only real way to stop them is to close off all points of access, but living in an old apartment building and having landlords who've stopped caring about all the mice problems makes it harder. My neighbors also have mice problems and I think they're traveling between apartments. I obviously cant secure every hole, but I can at least try with my place. Would stuffing the holes with mesh wire then covering it with caulking work? I'm not sure how to finish off the holes. Also if you have any insight on how to deal with these renter vs. landlord situations, I'm all ears. Thanks for listening, Dianna
Hello, Attached are 2 photos of what I think are from a wood rat. My family owns a large cabin in the middle of 260 wooded acres. The ground around the cabin has been cleared for years. In the past we only had mice to control, but now we have critters that we cannot control. We place rat/mice poison in 3 areas. They eat it all within 2 weeks. There is lots of poop right around the poison trays. Now the critter is eating part of the sofa and has knocked a lamp over. We have had flying squirrels and wood rats in the past. But they ate the poison and died. Not the case now. What do you suggest? We put moth balls under the cabin and the attic appears not to be an issue. We cannot find where they are coming in. VERY frustrating. Can you help?? Thank you. I have to forward the pictures from my computer.
Wilmington Rat Control Tip of The Week
How Likely Is It That A Rat In The Attic Will Have A Nest Of Babies?
Rats are among the most common pest animal species that people may have to deal with around the home, and because they are quite small they can often be quite elusive little animals to deal with as well. They are quite good climbers when it comes to moving around a domestic property, so if you are worried about rats, they won?t necessarily be around ground level. Because the attic or roof space of most domestic properties is rarely used, it can often be the dark quiet place where rats can get a foothold and build a nest without being noticed by the people living beneath.
Do Rats Have A Mating Season?
Like most wild animals, rats in the wild do have a mating season, where they will normally copulate and impregnate female rats in the spring, and then the female will then give birth a few weeks later, and can then have a few litters over the summer. However, the reason for the mating season is that in rural areas there are limited food sources available during the winter months, so it is impractical for rats to mate during these months. However, over recent decades, a growing number of rats are actually giving birth throughout the year because food sources are also present throughout the year, so whatever time of the year you discover rats in the attic, you may find there are babies there too.
How Often Will Rats Give Birth?
Because of how quickly rats can go from mating to giving birth to a litter of baby rats, a female rat can often be back and ready to mate again within a few weeks from giving birth. This means that in some cases female rats can give birth to up to ten litters a year, so the population of rats from one breeding female can increase very quickly. It is also worth noting that a baby female will actually become sexually mature herself after around six weeks from birth, so the possibility for a rat population to expand very quickly where there is sufficient food is certainly there.
Dealing With Rats In The Attic
When it comes to dealing with a rat infestation, the first step is to identify where in the attic the rats are active, and while taking the appropriate precautions, look for areas where there is a buildup of rat droppings. You should then place several rat traps in these areas of the attic, along with a small amount of food as bait, and the next step is simply to watch and wait. You should remove any rat carcasses as they are caught in your traps, and then re-lay the trap with a new serving of bait, and you should then continue this process until you no longer see any signs of fresh rat activity, and when you are no longer catching any more rats. You will then need to carry out the appropriate repairs.
What To Do With A Nest Of Baby Rats
In some cases you may actually find a nest of baby rats in the attic, and if they are very young they will often be unable to look after themselves, and will ultimately die if they have to live without the support and feeding from their mother. Because of how common they are, baby rats are rarely suitable to be looked after by a wildlife rehabilitator, so in this case the most humane thing that you can do will be to kill those baby rats as humanely as possible.