Rodents are a major problem in California. Rats and mice can enter homes through the smallest crevices and cause damage to walls, insulation, wires, and more. They can also transmit diseases to humans and pets.
In fact, rodents are likely behind the typhus outbreak of 2018 that affected the Los Angeles city hall as well as the downtown area.
If you’re in the Woodland Hills area, you can fight this threat by learning more about the most common rats in Woodland Hills and taking steps to protect your home.
What Are Rats?
Rats are one of the most common pests in the U.S. with over 14 million Americans reporting seeing one in their home in 2021.
Rats and mice belong to the Muridae family, a subgroup of the Rodentia or rodent order. Within this family, the Rattus genus is where you’ll find a majority of the 56 rat species. The black rat and brown rat are the two most common species. Both originally came from Asia but quickly spread throughout the world.
Rats are easy to tell apart from mice because of their size. Depending on the species, a rat can be anywhere from 5 to 11” in length while mice rarely exceed 3.5.” Rats also have long hairless tails, pointed heads, and sharp claws.
The Most Common Rats in Woodland Hills
The most common rats in Woodland Hills include brown rats and black rats. While these species share many similarities, the way they enter your home can differ.
Norway Rats: Rattus Norvegicus
The Norway Rat is another name for brown rats, common rats, or sewer rats. These animals are large rodents that can reach 11” in length. They typically have a tail that is slightly shorter than their body.
Brown rats or Norway rats live in large colonies with up to 150 animals. They dig complex burrow systems, and their digging skills allow them to enter homes by tunneling under the foundations.
They can also chew through sewer pipes or find their way inside through broken pipes or damaged foundation vents.
Roof Rat: Rattus Rattus
The roof rat, black rat, or house rat is a highly intelligent rodent. This species is smaller than Norwegian rats since black rats don’t exceed 8” in length.
These rodents live in colonies, but they often leave their nest to forage for food in small groups. These rats tend to look for shelter in high spots since being away from the ground protects them from predators.
They often find their way into attics by climbing through pipes or chewing through roofing material or siding.
Are Rats a Threat?
The answer is yes. Rats carry over 30 diseases transmissible to humans. They can transmit these diseases through direct contact, bites, or urine and feces.
These diseases include:
- Viral hemorrhagic fever
- Rat-bite fever
Rats can also bring fleas and ticks into your home. These parasites can carry Lyme disease, the plague, anaplasmosis, the La Crosse virus, and more.
Besides carrying diseases, these animals can create hazards by chewing through electrical wiring. They can also become aggressive and bite when cornered by a human or pet.
The Most Effective Way To Get Rid of Rats in California
There are a few steps you can take to protect your Woodland Hills home:
- Don’t attract rats. Get rid of potential food sources, such as fruit trees, pet food, birdfeeders, or garbage.
- Don’t give rodents a place to hide. Clean up clutter and throw away items like old cardboard boxes.
- Seal entry points. Repair foundation cracks, missing shingles, and old siding.
Calling a pest control company is the best way to protect your home from the most common rats in Woodland Hills. Founded in 2008, Bugs A to Z is a local pest control leader. We offer full-service residential pest control and can protect your home with our safe and non-invasive techniques. Call us today to learn more!