The most commonly found rat pest in seattle metro king county area is the Norway rat. Norway rats, sometimes called brown or sewer rats, are identifiable by their stocky, gray-brown bodies. Their tails are shorter than their body length and their ears and eyes are small relative to their body. Norway rats are larger than most other rat species. They burrow in gardens and fields, as well as beneath building foundations, trash or woodpiles. Norway rats line their nests with fibrous materials, such as shredded paper and cloth. These rats tend to inhabit the lower levels of buildings. Roof rats, sometimes called black rats, are superb climbers that tend to nest above ground. In the wild, roof rats inhabit shrubs, trees and dense vegetation. In domestic environments, they seek out secure, elevated places such as attics, walls, sheet rock ceilings and cabinets. They may enter homes through trees close to windows or eaves.
Heat and rising water levels flush the rats out of their hovels deep underground and force them to look for nests closer to homes. When incoming waters force them through the sewers Rodents keep moving, sometime right past the trap and into toilet bowls. Sealing vents, windows, garage door gaps, structural gaps and floor drains can keep rats from entering home or commercial business building. Smaller rats can fit through holes as large as a quarter in diameter.
Rats love an easy bite, and bird feeders are a major attraction. By emptying these out, Removing any source of food is a strong deterrent to local rat and mice population. The same goes for garbage and compost piles. If these are accessible at all, rats will get to the food sources and multiple in great number in a short period of time. Inspect these receptacles for holes, weak spots, or entry points and patch them up. Don’t leave pet food outside either.