Plus-size Rats in Sacramento this Season

Calls have been pouring into our Sacramento pest control office, with homeowners and business owners reporting that, suddenly, rats have moved into their attics and garages.

Now rat problems always grow worse during our chilly, rainy Sacramento winters, because, like us, the rats are looking for a cozy, dry place indoors where they can build nests and have babies… lots and lots of babies—three to five litters per year, and as many as eight rat pups per litter!

But this year we’re seeing something a little different: The rats our expert pest control technicians are pulling out of the traps they place are huge… some of them nearly a foot-and-a-half long, measuring both body and tail.

What could be creating this bumper crop of plus-size rats? People pouring multi-vitamins down the kitchen sink? Radiation from so many people constantly using their cell phones?

No, far from being a plot line from an upcoming sci-fi movie, the fat and happy rats we’re seeing are simply the products of a series of fairly mild winters in the Sacramento region. Whereas in a normal winter, a large proportion of rats naturally succumb to cold, exposure and scarcity of food, in a mild winter, more rats live to see the spring. A rat whose normal life span might be two years may live to be three, growing correspondingly larger with age. Foods that rats like, such as seeds and grains, are more abundant during mild years, so the surviving rats get plenty to eat.

Unfortunately, rats pose a danger to our homes, families and businesses and to the public health. In addition to carrying diseases and contaminating foodstuffs, rats pose a fire hazard due to their constant gnawing.

Because their four long incisor teeth grow very rapidly and continually throughout the rats’ lifespan, they must constantly gnaw to keep the teeth worn down. If they were to stop, their long, sharp front teeth would grow in spirals and impale them. Among rats’ favorite teething toys appear to be electrical wires, telephone wires, satellite and cable TV wiring and alarm-system wires—at best a nuisance or a repair bill, at worst a fire that destroys a home or place of business.

For more information about rats and how you can prevent or eliminate infestations, visit our Rat Control and Extermination page or contact our trained Sacramento pest control professionals at 916-457-7605 (877-328-4468 toll-free).

EPA Posts Do’s and Don’ts of Pest Control

The EPA has recently added some resources on the Do’s and Don’ts of Pest Control.  On their page, learn more about the steps you can take to safely control pests in your home:

  • Try pest prevention first
  • Do safely and correctly use pesticides
  • Do dispose of leftover pesticides and pesticide containers properly
  • Don’t use outdoor chemicals indoors
  • Don’t assume that twice as much is better
  • Don’t transfer pesticides to other containers

You can also download a booklet called A Citizens Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety.

Contact Earth Guard Pest Services  or call our trained pest control professionals at 916-457-7605 if you need help identifying pests in or around your home, or to learn about our environmentally friendly pest management services.

The Current Status of Bed Bugs in the U.S.

Bed Bug TV is a series is hosted by Technical Director of BedBug Central and research entomologist Jeffrey White.  In this episode, published on November 24th, 2015, Mr. White discusses the current status of bed bugs in the US and the direction the bed bug resurgence is headed. Since the media is not covering bed bugs as much as they have in the past, many believe that the resurgence of bed bugs has either hit a plateau or is receding. A recent study by the University of Pennsylvania suggests otherwise and that study is discussed on the video. Clickthrough to play the video.

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Study Shows Bed Bugs Can Transmit Chagas Disease

The bed bug may be just as dangerous as its sinister cousin, the triatomine, or “kissing” bug. A new study from Penn Medicine researchers in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics demonstrated that bed bugs, like the triatomines, can transmit Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, one of the most prevalent and deadly diseases in the Americas.
More people in the U.S. are infected with T. cruzi now than ever before. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the number of Chagas disease cases in the U.S. today could be as high as 300,000.
In a study published online this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, a series of laboratory experiments demonstrated bi-directional transmission of T. cruzi between mice and bed bugs.

“We’ve shown that the bed bug can acquire and transmit the parasite. ” says , Michael Z. Levy, senior author, PhD, and assistant professor in the department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology.

Read more about the study at University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine‘s website.


Rats! Is there NO stopping them?

We found Bob Dunning’s article, “Rats! Is there no stopping them?” in the Davis Enterprise both amusing and educational. Of course, the educational parts are quoted from the City of Davis’ “Pests in the Home and Garden” section of their website.

Mr. Dunning’s article may be a little tongue-in-cheek, but truth be told, Norway rats and roof rats are a continuing problem in Sacramento and neighboring cities in Northern California, often getting noticeably worse in the winter months as rats try to seek shelter from the wet and the cold.

For more information about rats and how you can prevent or eliminate infestations, visit our Rat Control and Extermination page or contact our trained Sacramento pest control professionals at 916-457-7605 (877-328-4468 toll-free).