As a homeowner, the very idea of having a rat in your home can create a panic among you and your family members. Rats are more than a nuisance, and they should be dealt with immediately. The following are a few things that you should know about this type of rodent.

You should be aware of the signs of a rat

Rat feces takes the form of small, dark pellets, and if they have been eating well, you will see plenty of them. However, these pellets will often be in out-of-the-way places. You are more likely to notice other signs of a rat first. Items in your house may be knocked to the ground or moved about for no apparent reason. Pieces of food may be missing. For example, if you have fruit on your dinner table, you may notice a small piece missing from an apple or other fruit. Sometimes there are wood shavings on the ground near the wall where it looks like something has been tearing into the wood. Often a rat can eat into the upholstery of furniture.

You should avoid killing the rat yourself

You may be thinking about laying down a few simple mouse traps in an attempt to kill the rat yourself, but these traps are woefully too small to kill a rat. There are larger pedal style traps that are just like mouse traps, but you should avoid using these because the springs are very strong and the kill bar smashes down with such strength that you can seriously injure yourself trying to set one. There are other types of traps you can buy that come with great claims of success by their manufacturers, but the truth is that there is no substitute for the experience and tools of a pest control technician.

You should call a pest control technician immediately

A rat can cause damage to your house. They can chew through electrical wiring and cables as well as damage your walls and other parts of the structure of your house. Their feces can carry disease that can make both your family and your pets sick. To make matters worse, they can breed quickly. Without professional attention, you can find yourself overwhelmed and face a serious infestation.

A professional pest control company can determine if you have a rat problem and the best course of action to take. They have a variety of tools, including traps and bait to catch a rat. They can address a rat problem both inside and outside of your home. Often, they can inspect your home to determine likely places they have entered your house, so repairs can be made to seal off the access points. Controlling a rat problem is more than simply catching a rat.