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Rat Myths and How They Affect Pest Control

mouse trap with cheese

One pest which everyone fears finding in their home is rats. Rats are one of the most common and least liked creatures of all pests. However, there is a lot about them that people don’t know. Purging false information about rats is the first step towards preventing and exterminating them, so here are five myths about rats and why they are untrue.

1. Rats Don’t Carry Diseases

Many people claim that while in the middle ages, because of general uncleanliness, rats carried deadly diseases. However, nowadays, rats are relatively germ-free. While it’s true that the current health and sanitation measures in society have done wonders in preventing large-scale outbreaks of diseases such as the bubonic plague, rats are still capable of spreading harmful diseases far and wide. Trichinosis, salmonella and other unpleasant pathogens still travel on the bodies of rats and can cause significant damage to your health if they are not eliminated from your household.

2. It’s Safe to Touch a Rat

Because many people keep domesticated rats as pets, some believe that any rat, wild or not, is safe to touch, pet and play with. This is not the case. While domesticated rats are not exposed to germs from dumpsters and sewers and have learned to play nice around humans, wild rats can attack, bite and scratch, possibly even causing sickness or infection.

3. Rats Prefer Dirtier, More Run-Down Places

When many people think about a rat infestation, they visualize it in a poor, unkempt neighborhood or an abandoned building. Actually, rats can appear anywhere as long as there's food, water and places to raise babies, which is mostly everywhere. Don’t assume that if you live in a nicer, well-cleaned area that rats will leave your house alone for another dirtier house.

4. Rats Love Cheese

While cartoons seem confident that cheese is the rat’s main diet, almost no rats will specifically seek out cheese. Although they will consume it if they find it, rats have learned to live mostly on grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

5. Cats Can Substitute as Rat Extermination

Another cartoon myth is the one that states that any rodent problem can be solved with a cat or two. While it’s certainly possible that your house cat might take out the occasional rat, no matter how hungry of a cat you have, it’s doubtful you can rely on it as a sole means of rat extermination.

Rats are the source of many myths, most of which refuse to go away. Yet the best way to counter a rat infestation is to understand these animals and how they behave so you can develop a strategy to eliminate them. For more information, or to look into pest control services, or contact us.

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