Rat & Mice Removal2023-02-06T12:27:31-05:00

Rat, Mouse, and Rodent Removal


Rat, Mouse, and Rodent Removal



CALL (804) 223-2218.

When to Call a Rat, Mouse, and Rodent Exterminator

In general, the most effective step for eliminating rats, mice, and other rodents is to call professional exterminators when you see evidence of an infestation. Rats, specifically, are dangerous, so it’s best not to deal with them. Expert help from Eco Pest Control will give you much better results than working on your own. At the first sign of a rat, mouse, or rodent problem, you should call a professional pest control company. Rats present multiple health risks and rat populations can grow rapidly. For these reasons, we don’t recommend a DIY approach.

Is it a Rat or a Mouse?

We often use the terms “rats” and “mice” interchangeably, although when it comes to rat removal in the greater Richmond, Newport News, and Williamsburg areas, these two four-legged creates are actually quite different. So, let’s first offer a primer on rats and mice, so that you know the difference.

  1. Size: Rats are much larger than mice and can grow to 15 inches in length, whereas a mouse typically hits the tape measure at between five and eight inches.
  2. Tails: Rats have hairless, scaly tails, while mice have thin, hair tails.
  3. Ears: Rats have stiff, upright ears, while mice have large, floppy ears.
  4. Face: Rats have short whiskers and a blunt snout, while mice have longer whiskers and a triangular snout.

The Most Common Types of Rats

While there are more than 60 species of rats, the two most common species that are the target of rat removal in greater Richmond, Newport News, and Williamsburg areas, are the Norway rat and the roof rat. Wherever you’ll find plenty of food and water, you’re likely to also find one of these two rodents.

Norway Rats

The Norway rat is commonly referred to as a sewer rat or brown rat. They first came to the U.S. in the late 18th century, stowing away in sailing ships coming from Europe. Except for coastal regions, they are the subject of rat removal efforts throughout the country. Once inside your home or office, Norway rats will always stay close to ground level, preferring holes near the foundation, woodpiles, or other debris in which to make their homes. They are also often found near garbage dumps, sewers, and fields. The lifespan of a Norway rat is roughly one year, during which time they will build colonies, with breeding peaking in spring and fall.

Markings and Behavior of Norway Rats

  • 13 to 15 inches in length.
  • Reddish, grayish-brown, or black with a gray underside.
  • Inactive during daylight hours.
  • Will eat nearly anything found near discarded food.
  • Known to eat fish, poultry, mice, birds, and small reptiles.
  • Females produce four to seven litters per year, with eight to 12 pups per litter.

If you encounter a Norway rat, you should call a company such as Eco Pest Control that specializes in rat removal.

Roof Rats

Roof rats are also called grey-bellied rats and are more agile and acrobatic of the two species. Roof rats may enter your home or office by climbing trees and finding entry points through your attic, ceiling, or other above-ground spaces. Like the Norway rat, roof rats are nocturnal, with peak activity occurring at dawn or at dusk. If you see or hear a roof rat during the day, it might indicate you have a large rat population. Call a rat removal expert immediately.

Markings and Behavior of Roof Rats

  • Seven to 10 inches in length.
  • Grayish-black fur to solid-black fur.
  • Eats fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
  • Females produce four to six litters per year, with five to eight pups per litter.

The Telltale Signs of Rats

Rats like to burrow, bite, and gnaw at insulation, wiring, and wood – which produce gashes and holes that allow more rats and other pest to enter your home. Inspect your property often for signs of rat activity, while also taking the following steps:

  • Seal holes and cracks greater than ¼ inch on the interior and exterior.
  • Install weather-stripping on the bottom of exterior doors.
  • Trim branches and limbs from trees and bushes that provide a bridge to your home.
  • Remove rotting or decaying wood from your property.
  • Use metal flashing, ¼-inch wire mesh, or hardware cloth to seal gutters and vents, which deprive rats of an obvious entry point.

Burrows or nests are yet another sign of a rat problem. While gnaw marks provide evidence that you might have a rat or two, a large number of droppings may signal an infestation. Whether dealing with a single rat or a rat colony, it’s always best to rely on a professional rat removal company.

Certainly, we recommend taking do-it-yourself steps – such as the ones above – to prevent rodents of any type from entering your home, rat populations can grow from a few to a few dozen rather quickly – especially if an adult female has built a home inside your house. Given a rat’s ability to spread disease, this may be the time to call for professional rat removal help.

10 Steps for Preventing Rats in the First Place

As always, it’s much easier to prevent a rat infestation than to treat one. So, here are 10 things you can do to reduce your chance of having to call a professional rat removal company.

  1. Mitigate odors and food waste: Rats usually find their way into places that provide feeding opportunities. The smell from your garbage may attract them, as will the odor from old food in your cupboards or refrigerator.
  2. Get rid of old food: Make sure that you always immediately throw out any food that is past its expiration date.
  3. Go on lockdown: Check to see that pantry doors and trash can lids close properly.
  4. Keep an eye on pet food: Remove anything left in open dishes once your pet has finished feeding and store any food in airtight containers when it isn’t in use.
  5. Only eat in specified areas: If your family frequently eats in bedrooms, food will inevitably fall behind headboards and under beds, attracting rats.
  6. Vacuum and dust regularly: Make sure that you move your furniture and get in the corners of your home to clean up all the old food and sticky dust that may be attractive to rats.
  7. Seal off entrances: Inspecting the foundation of your home. Look for gaps or holes that may be large enough for a rat to enter. You can block off those entry points with expandable foam or mesh.
  8. Check your doors and windows: This is especially important when the seasons change, is this is the time when doors and windows may warp and leave gaps large enough for rats to crawl through.
  9. Inspect your roof: Make sure your vents, shingles, or chimneys do not allow access to your attic. Cap the chimney when it is not being used, fix any holes that might be in your vents, and make sure your roof is in good repair in general.
  10. Inspect your basement: Holes or cracks around your plumbing are easy entry points for rats. Make sure these small openings are all sealed up and that you also have proper sealant on your basement door.

When Do I Need a Professional Rat Removal Company?

At the first sign of a rat problem, you should call a professional rat removal company. Rats present multiple health risks and rat populations can grow rapidly. For these reasons, we don’t recommend a DIY approach for rat removal.

Rats do not have to bite you to make you sick; mere exposure to rat waste is the cause of many debilitating diseases. Rat urine, for example, is one of the leading causes of leptospirosis, a condition that can cause severe kidney and liver damage among humans. Other diseases that are specifically carried by rats include, but are not limited to:

  • Salmonellosis: A disease that can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, intense vomiting, and fever. Symptoms can begin as soon as 12 hours after exposure.
  • Weil’s disease: A severe form of leptospirosis, caused by the same bacteria. If leptospirosis reaches this stage, you will likely have to be hospitalized. Severe reactions may occur in the lungs, heart, and brain if the bacteria reach those organs.
  • Rat bite fever: A disease that can be passed to humans from rat urine or mucus. It is also known as epidemic arthritic erythema, streptobacillosis, streptobacillary fever, sodoku, and spirillary fever. Symptoms may include chills, fever, and intense vomiting.
  • The plague: Can be spread through airborne contact in extremely unsanitary areas. The bubonic plague, one of the world’s longest-lasting rodent-borne illnesses, is only one manifestation of this disease.
  • Hantavirus: A disease serious enough to require a report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if contracted. If it progresses to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, it can be fatal.

Because of the seriousness of these health risks, it is best to call a professional rat, mice, and rodent exterminator when you first identify a rat problem.

Learn More About Rodents

  • How Not to Need a Mouse Exterminator

How Not to Need a Mouse Exterminator

Nothing sends us scurrying for a chair, couch, or countertop faster than seeing a mouse run across the floor of our home. But do you need to call a professional mouse exterminator? We sort it out.

Why Eco Pest Control is the Leading Rat Removal Company in the Greater Richmond, Newport News, and Williamsburg Areas

If you see any sign that you might have a rat problem, then be proactive and call Eco Pest Control, the leading rat removal company in the greater Richmond, Newport News, and Williamsburg areas. What makes us different than all the others? Here are four reasons you should trust us for your rat removal needs.

  1. Our staff are certified in all aspects of pest control – including rat removal – and every member of our team undergoes extensive training in the identification, removal, and control of rats.
  2. Training of our staff doesn’t stop after their initial certification. Eco Pest Control maintains an ongoing rat removal education program to ensure everyone on our team stays abreast of the latest industry advances.
  3. We offer free rat removal inspections.
  4. We offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. If you are not fully satisfied with our rat removal services, we will come back for free, which is why so many of our customers recommend us when friends and family need pest control services.

Our Service Guarantee

You will receive friendly, effective service every time a technician comes to your home. You’ll always receive notification prior to and after coming to your home or place of business to perform your service. If you need a scheduled appointment, we will be on-time. If you’re on one of our recurring treatment plans and you see more than the occasional insect between your regularly scheduled treatments, we will come out and retreat your home for free – no questions asked. We’ll also match competitors’ prices.

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