Rat infestations can get pretty serious. In fact, even one rat in the home is bad news, but when they swell in numbers, rats can be a dangerous hazard. So just how long does it take for a rat infestation to get out of hand and how fast do rats reproduce?
Which rat species infest the home?
There are two main rat species that you will likely find in the home – the Norway rat and the black rat. Besides these two species, there are a number of regional species that may cause an infestation in certain areas of the country. Most rat species however are similar in the way they infest the home, and in particular, in the way that they reproduce.
How fast do infestations grow?
Rat infestations grow very quickly. Female rats reach sexual maturity within a few weeks of being born, and then they can mate several times a year, giving birth to about six baby rats with each gestation. That means that a couple of rats can turn into hundreds or even thousands in the span of a year. Of course, in order to reach these numbers, all the conditions have to be perfect, and the initial rat clan has to be larger than just two rats to avoid inbreeding. In most situations, a small rat infestation will reach dozens of members over the span of a year or two.
How to stop an infestation from getting out of hand
The best thing that you can do against rat infestations is to prevent them from happening in the first place. This will require you to do two things – remove all entry points and keep all your food in sealed containers. You can also use traps and poisons preemptively, before an infestation starts, to kill any rats that may be scouting the area. This could be especially effective in areas with large rat populations.
Once the infestation has already started, you will have to go all in on the traps and poisons, and it’s best if you hire a pro to help you out at this point. It’s important to remove an infestation completely in the first go. Otherwise, the rats will simply reproduce and repopulate the home. For more information on how to deal with rat infestations, or if you have an infestation that has to be removed, contact us today.