How Serious Is A Rat Infestation In Knoxville, TN?


February 14, 2022

Having rats on your Knoxville property can cause all kinds of issues. Rats are capable of causing property damage, spreading diseases, and if you are running a business, they can make it so you are violating health codes. While it may not seem like a big deal if you only see one or two rats, the presence of rats indicates a serious problem is on the rise. Read on to learn why rat infestations are so dangerous and how to remove rats from your property once and for all with effective pest control in Knoxville.

up close image of a norway rat inside a home

How Big Can The Rats In Knoxville Get?

There are several different kinds of rats in Tennessee, and they vary in size.

Below are some of the rats you can find here, and how big you can expect them to get:

  1. Roof rats: Roof rats are the most common type of rat in the southern part of the United States. These rats are usually dark brown or black in color and can grow anywhere from 3 to 8 inches in length when they reach adulthood. They are often called black rats or citrus rats and primarily have a vegetarian diet. They are excellent climbers and are more likely to be found in your attic.
  2. Norway rats: While these rats are more likely to be found in your yard, Norway rats will find their way inside your home or property if there isn't enough food and water available. This means they are more likely to try to invade during the winter months, or in the event of extreme weather, like a flood. Norway rats grow up to 6 to 8 inches in length and can be found burrowing in your basements and crawl spaces, as they are natural borrowers.
  3. Woodrats: These rats are similar in size to Norway rats, growing up to 6 to 8 inches in length. Their fur color ranges from grey to black, to even red or brown, and their ears and tails are covered in fur.

How Dangerous Is It To Have Rats On My Knoxville Property?

Whether rats have invaded your family home or your business, having them on your property poses a direct threat to the health of you, your family, and your employees.

Below are some of the diseases rats can spread to humans:

  • Rat-bite fever: Commonly spread to humans through bites and scratches, rat-bite fever can also spread through a human simply handling an infected rat, no bite or scratch needed. Symptoms include a fever, skin rash, headaches, vomiting, and muscle pains.
  • Plague: The same plague that ravaged Europeans during the Middle Ages is still alive and well today, and the rats that invade your Knoxville property could very well be infested with plague-carrying fleas. If exposed to rats that have the plague, this illness can severely affect your lungs and immune system, with death being a possible outcome if the bite victim does not seek medical assistance.
  • Hantavirus: Spread through both mice and rats, hantavirus has no specific treatment and is potentially life-threatening. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Why Is It So Hard To Get Rid Of Rats In Tennessee?

There are lots of DIY methods available online that share tips on getting rid of rats on your Knoxville property; however, there are many reasons why they are ineffective.

Here are some of those reasons:

  • Rats are intelligent. Rats have excellent memories and are especially adaptive to urban environments. They are also neophobic, meaning they are suspicious of new things in said environment, like traps and bait, making your store-bought traps useless.
  • Rats are prolific breeders. Within five weeks of being born, rats are capable of reproducing. A female rat can produce up to eight litters in her lifetime, with each litter averaging four to seven pups. So even if you kill a few adult rats, the younger rats may be just beginning to breed and continue the cycle.
    In the end, if you're dealing with rats, it's best to reach out to a professional pest control company in Knoxville. 

The Secret To Total Rat Control For Knoxville Properties

There are many reasons why rats are difficult to control. Call us at Dead End Exterminating immediately if you believe that rats have infested your Knoxville property. Our expert technicians are armed with the knowledge and tools to safely and effectively exterminate entire rat populations, cutting off their breeding cycle and ensuring that the infestation does not continue. Our properties should be where we go to feel safe and healthy — don't let rats take that away from you. Call Dead End Exterminating for help today and get started on our effective home pest control and commercial pest control services.

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