A rat colony will often start with a single pregnant female and the infestation may not be noticed in the early stages, except when there are lots of them.
Pregnancy lasts about twenty one days and a single female can have a litter of about six young, maybe more. These can feed themselves after three weeks and can reproduce when eight to twelve weeks old, so an infestation can grow very quickly.
- Seeing them
- Droppings are usually black and about the size of a peanut
- Gnawing of food containers and cartons
- Noises in the attic in the quiet of the night.
Eliminating rats is a job for the expert. Rat traps and cats will only remove a few, without eradicating the infestation, and some rats are resistent to some older poisons available to the public. A pest control operator can choose the most effective poison which are only available to trained, qualified users.
A thorough survey is carried out to establish the size of the infestation. Poison is then safely laid in the best locations either in tamper proof boxes or trays.
rats should start to die within one week, usually underground or out of sight. But sometimes the die in walls, under floors and there may be a smell. If its not possible to remove the bodies, then air freshener maybe used to mask the smell, which can last two to three weeks depending on time of year.