If you're like most homeowners, the last thing you want is a rat infestation in your indoor living space. You probably already know from your history classes that rats were culprits behind the spread of the Black Plague in the Middle Ages, but you may not be aware that rats and mice can potentially pass on over 35 other diseases. There are probably many other things you may not know about rats — after all, they're not exactly everyone's favorite subject of study. Now that evening temperatures are beginning to fall, however, that means rats are looking for cozy places to spend the winter, and that means they'll be trying to get inside your house, and the more you know about them, the easier it will be for you to keep them from setting up housekeeping inside your home.
Rats Can Swim
You may have heard stories about rats accessing home interiors via toilets and written them off as urban legends — but unfortunately, rats can and do enter buildings this way. Rats evolved alongside human civilization as parasitic mammals, meaning they've developed many survival strategies over the years. Rats commonly live in municipal sewer systems and can definitely get inside your home by wriggling up your toilet. Fortunately, it's not a commonplace occurrence, but it's nonetheless a good reason to close your toilet lids when not in use. They'll likely wriggle back to where they came from if they reach a dead end.
Their Teeth Never Stop Growing
Most homeowners seal up every possible entry point on their home exteriors in late summer prior to the seasonal nighttime temperature drop that occurs in autumn in order to prevent rats from coming inside. Although this is a smart strategy, it isn't always enough. Rats have front teeth that literally never stop growing, which allows the animals to be able to gnaw constantly, and they can literally chew their way into your house, which is why you should never consider any hole too small to seal up. You probably already know they can squeeze through small holes, but what you may not know is that they'll often gnaw away at holes they can't fit through until the holes are big enough to allow them to access your home interior — so don't ever tell yourself that some holes don't need to be sealed because they're too small. Also, keep in mind that they can climb, so don't stop at merely sealing the holes at the base of the house — go all the way up.
Visit a company like Xtermco Inc. to learn more about rodent control.