Rats Singapore

Rats in Singapore

Rats need food, water & cover. It is usually our fault that rats get to be a problem. If rats are getting into a house then there must be a building defect. The most common cause of problems in gardens is birds being fed. Bird feeding supplies rats with a high energy food at regular intervals in a fixed location. Birds are messy feeders and small amounts of nuts pecked off a feeder will support a population of rats which will breed all year round and then push out its young to the surrounding area to start new colony’s. Bird feeding can damage wildlife by increasing the amount of rats, mice & grey squirrels in an area to an artificially high number which all can be harmful to the natural wildlife population. Many people die each year after catching diseases carried by rats & mice. Compost heaps often provide a warm place to live in the winter with a regular supply of food if used at regular intervals. Rats are also attracted to the smell of rubbish (bins) and any other animals. This includes predator animals such as dogs. The reason for this is that in the wild rats would eat left over food & droppings from wolves, foxes & other animals. The same applies to chickens, rabbits & guinea pigs. So if you have pets clear up droppings, check that their food is stored in a rat proof container, that litter & droppings are not put on compost heaps & that hutches & runs are rat proof. Once a rat infestation is evident it is important this infestation is treated as quickly as possible.

The Brown Or Norway Rat

The Brown Rat came from Northern Asia and followed man through out to the world. The rats incisors are made of two layers of substance, one at the front hard and soft at the back. This leaves a chisel shaped tooth as it wears. The rat has to keep gnawing to keep the incisors down. They grow 2.5 inches per year and would kill the rat if not kept down. The rat is unable to vomit but can chew food with its molars and then spit it out. There is a large gap between the front incisors and the molars. Rats are known to carry 22 diseases.

These are usually the subordinate, old and sick rats who feed in the more dangerous time of the day to avoid the aggressive dominant rats. Rats travel up to 0.5 miles for food. Where they roam depends on dominance. A dominant rat will move at will amongst other rats and to where the food is. A subordinate racial have to travel away to avoid other rats and find food. Rats have very poor eyesight, only one twentieth that of man. They have good hearing and an acute sense of smell which helps them follow their runs. Rats move as near to cover as possible using runs regular. Runs are told by lack of vegetation, smear marks, footprints and packed down earth. Rats lie in burrows dug into the earth and can cause damage by collecting nesting materials, soiling food with urine, excreta and hairs. The burrows can resemble small rabbit holes. They may dig the burrows in earth or in compost heaps but they are adaptable and make use of areas under sheds or inside buildings. Rats are extremely intelligent, adapting to their surroundings. This is what makes them one of the most successful animals on the planet and makes controlling rats a difficult task.

The Black Or Ship Rat

It is unlikely that you will come across this rat. The Black Rat is a smaller animal, average weight being about 0.5 lb, while the brown rat being 0.75 lb. The Black Rats tail is longer than the brown. It came from Southern Asia, where it nested in trees. In Britain it lives in buildings as it can not stand the cold climate. At one time the Black Rat was the only rat in Britain. It was the Black Rat that spread the plague. The Brown Rat was bigger and anhydrous and drove the black rat out. It is usually around parts where the black rat is found where it has come freshly off the ships. The Black Rat is a more nimble animal, better at climbing than the Brown Rat.

The Norway or Brown rat is the largest of the two European rats. It is distinguished from the ship rat in that the tail, which is about 180mm in length, is thick and shorter than the body, which is about 200mm in length, and that the ear of this rat does not reach the eye when pressed forward. By contrast the ship rat, which is more common, has a tail larger than its body, and ears that cover the eyes when pressed forward. Both of the European species are associated with human activity and are found in houses, tips, waterways and cropland.

How Do I Know I Have A Rat Problem?

You may see rats, hear them (if inside), smell their urine, see or suffer the consequences of their damage or see dropping or gnawing. Luckily most rat problems are outside and are usually caused by a food source, rats using an area for cover or a water source or possibly a combination of all 3.

In domestic gardens bird feeding, compost heaps and animal droppings are the main causes. You may see rats during daylight hours but they prefer to operate at night. Runs are told by lack of vegetation, smear marks, footprints and packed down earth. Rats lie in burrows dug into the earth and can cause damage by collecting nesting materials, soiling food with urine, excreta and hairs. The burrows can resemble small rabbit holes. They may dig the burrows in earth or in compost heaps but they are adaptable and make use of areas under sheds or inside buildings

Lofts may be used as resting places, kitchens as a food source or both. Rats are extremely intelligent, adapting to their surroundings. This is what makes them one of the most successful animals on the planet and makes controlling rats a difficult task. If rats are inside the building you may hear them in wall cavities or roof spaces. You may see their droppings or smell the urine.

Why Should Rats Be Treated?

Landowners have a legal obligation to treat rats. They carry diseases, they can start fires & cause other damage by chewing through cables, water pipes etc, they kill other wildlife and an infestation will breed and spread rapidly.

Preparation Prior To Treatment

Keep a record of where you see rats, ask you neighbours if they have them. Leave any droppings or damage for the technician to look at. If you are feeding birds then stop. If you have a compost heap then stop putting food on it. Identifying & dealing with the food source is the most important factor in dealing with a rat infestation.

Treatment

Rat infestations are normally dealt with a cereal based poison bait containing an anticoagulant poison called Sakarat*, which contains the poison Bromadioline 0.005%. This poison usually requires that the rats feed several times before dying or if they consume enough poison to give them a lethal dose on their first feed they will not suffer any ill effects until some time after feeding. This ensures that they do not become suspicious and associate the bait with illness or death and a ‘complete kill’ takes place killing all the rats in the colony. Another Rat poison may have been used called *Sorex Brodifacoum Rat and Mouse Bait. The product code for this poison is: BROD83000. The technician will have told you if this has been used.

It can take up to 7 days before the rats start feeding on the bait as they are suspicious of new objects. It is important to achieve a complete kill as they breed at such a rapid rate that any survivors soon replace the dead with their offspring. (A healthy female rat will live for two years and can produce up to 60 young per year). Rats live in colonies with dominant and subordinate individuals. In heavy infestations rats can be seen feeding during the day, these are usually the subordinate old and weaker animals that feed during the more dangerous hours of daylight to avoid the more aggressive dominant rats. If you see rats during the day time it usually means the problem is quite severe.

Rats are attracted to the smell of other animals and their food, so particular care should be taken when feeding pets, wild birds etc., the storage of any foodstuffs and the disposing of rubbish, including animal droppings. Should you find any dead bodies they must not be handled without protection and should be buried or burnt. There is a slight risk that rats may die in places that their bodies may smell (i.e. under floorboards), if this happens it is unfortunate but we can accept no responsibility.

What Do I Do Afterwards?

If rats are getting into a building it is essential that the entry points are located and filled (you may need a builder for this) or the problem will repeat in the future. If you do not wish rats to return then you must address the reasons as to why you had rats in the first place. Rats need three things in life to thrive: food, water and cover. Gardens will often include all three and any attempt to eliminate infestations and keep from being re infested will fail unless these three problems are addressed. The main culprit is bird feeding as this supplies rats with a high energy food at regular intervals in a fixed location. Birds are messy feeders and small amounts of nuts pecked off a feeder will support a population of rats which will breed all year round and then push out its young to the surrounding area to start new colony’s.

Bird feeding can damage wildlife by increasing the amount of rats, mice & grey squirrels in an area to an artificially high number which all can be harmful to the natural wildlife population. Many people die each year after catching diseases carried by rats & mice. Compost heaps often provide a warm place to live in the winter with a regular supply of food if used at regular intervals.

Rats are also attracted to the smell of rubbish (bins) and any other animals. This includes predator animals such as dogs. The reason for this is that in the wild rats would eat left over food & droppings from wolves, foxes & other animals. The same applies to chickens, rabbits & guinea pigs. So if you have pets clear up droppings, check that their food is stored in a rat proof container, that litter & droppings are not put on compost heaps & that hutches & runs are rat proof.

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