Hurricane Harvey left Houston residents with many unpleasant parting gifts that have made life difficult in the ravaged city. Some lingered for a few days. Others, like the army of rats that swooped down on the city, seem to be in Houston for the long haul. In hurricane Harvey’s wake, Houston residents found themselves beset by an army of invading rats. This plague of rodents has necessitated the services of humane wildlife control experts in the area.
Houston’s Rodent Dilemma – A Closer Look
The rodent population of Houston skyrocketed after hurricane Harvey as rodents, like all other living animals in the city sought refuge in the aftermath of the damage. Hurricane Harvey’s flood waters forced the rats to seek higher ground which resulted in them making their way into the attics of the city’s buildings. Those rats that were nesting in outdoor locations were also forced to enter homes in order to find warm dry refuge. The rat invasion has made a big impact because not only have the rats moved in but their numbers have been increasing dramatically. To put this in perspective, a rat can have up to 6 litters per year with 10-15 babies and mice can have over 10 litters per year with 10-12 babies. As a result, Houston is seeing more rat activity all year round instead of the usual seasonal presence to which the city is accustomed.
While the attic is ground zero for many of the Houston homes that experience rodent invasion, some homeowners will find rodents taking over other spaces such as garages and kitchens as well as basements. The rodents are most active at night or in the very early parts of the morning but their scampering around at night can make getting a good night’s rest challenging.
Why Houston’s Homes Need to be Rat Free
Houston residents cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to rodent invasions on their properties. Rodents carry diseases that can threaten human lives. Diseases like Hantavirus and Leptospirosis can be transmitted to human beings through contact with surfaces contaminated with rodent feces and urine or consumption of contaminated food. As prolific procreators, rodents reproduce quickly which means a rodent problem can quickly intensify into an overwhelming situation.
Rats and other similar rodents, also damage physical possessions. For one Houston resident, the damage materialized in the form of disconnected telephone wires that had been chewed off by rats. Rodent damage also includes the shredding of insulation and softer material (usually material like wood and plastic) as the animals seek material to build their nests. Accumulated feces and urine create an offensive odor and also causes decay at deposit points. Rodent damage can easily accumulate to thousands of dollars if prompt action isn’t taken to remove them.
The Humane Approach, the Best Option for Houston
As with many other wildlife animals that invade homes, rats are best controlled through humane methods. Non-human strategies (such as culling and trapping), on top of being cruel, usually only have a temporary effect. The humane approach to rat control includes implementing measures that deter the rodents from entering the space and other measures that deny them access to the inside of a building.
Skedaddle offers expert humane wildlife control services that Houston residents can engage to solve their rat problems. A skedaddle wildlife technician is able to examine your building to determine the extent of your rodent infestation. This assessment will be used to create a plan of action to get the rats out and keep them out for the long run. After removing all rodents and confirming a rodent free space, your Skedaddle technician will install barrier technology to prevent future intrusions. This may include the sealing of possible rodent entry points.