Rats lead a very stressful life, and it gets much worse during the winter. Food supplies start to dwindle, the earth hardens, and the temperatures drop. As such, they have to adapt in order to survive. Let’s take a look at how winter impacts rat activity.
One of the main problems that rats face in the winter is the lack of food. They try to circumvent this by building up stockpiles in their burrows. To make matters worse, they eat at double their usual rate, in order to maintain an adequate body temperature. The stockpiles also help rats stay warm, because they have to leave their burrows less during the winter.
Burrows and warmth
Rats rarely live on their own. Instead, they build colonies which consist of one or a handful of rat families. These colonies will be housed in a burrow system, which can get quite expansive and complex, with areas dedicated to food storage, rearing of the young, etc. The burrows will protect the rats from the harsh weather and they will spend most of the season deep in the burrows in order to stay warm.
Infesting a home
One of the best ways for a rat to survive winter is to infest a human building. Not only will the building offer shelter and warmth, it may also have plentiful food sources. So it makes absolute sense for a rat to start looking for a new home as soon as temperatures start to drop, which is why infestations occur most frequently between the months of September and November.
Once the rats are inside, they will start building a nest, and resume reproducing. Over time, they will grow in number, causing more and more damage to the home, and greatly increasing the risk of disease spread. Soon enough, you will start to notice signs of their presence, and when the infestation is large enough, you will start to see rats running outside of the nest during day time. And once they are set up in a building, rats are very unlikely to move out.
This is when the services of a pest control specialist come in handy. A specialist will bring the tools and the expertise needed to get such a rat infestation under control and then provide you with the services and advice needed to keep the rats out of the home in the future.
For more information about how and why rats infest the home, or if you have seen signs of a mouse infestation, contact us today.