Here in Hawaii, we are privileged to have thousands of native species of plants and animals that have not had any natural predators until man introduced them to the islands. One of the most destructive of these predatory species introduced is the Norway rat, presumed to have been introduced to the Islands on cargo ships decades ago. Since that time, several plant species as well as turtle and ground bird species have declined. The Norway rat has also been blamed for the percentage of reduction in crops produced in Hawaii like pineapples, coffee, and other fruits and vegetables.
The Norway rat has contributed to its share of problems on farms and in nature, but it has also contributed to many problems for homeowners all over Hawaii. Rats are naturally destructive creatures so having any of the three species that have been introduced to the area can be a serious hazard to your home. The Norway rat is the largest of these and poses the biggest risk.
Rats are natural chewers. They chew on everything including wood, insulation, drywall, cabinets, doorways, and even wiring to keep the length of their consistently growing teeth manageable and the edges sharp. Rats have caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage around the country each year. They also carry a number of diseases that can have dire consequences for people if they are bitten by the rat or by the fleas that rats inevitably carry with them wherever they go. These diseases include rat bite fever and many others. Due to the speed at which rats breed, these problems spread quickly from home to home.
There are a few things that people can do to help protect their homes from Norway rats. First, make sure that any potential openings are sealed. Look around the pipe work going into your home and make sure that there are no gaps around it. Also, make sure that doors and windows are in good repair and weather stripping is secure. Next, make sure that any trash cans are stored well away from your home to discourage rats who might be looking for an easy meal from coming inside for a nesting spot near their new-found treasure trove of edibles. To prevent rats or other rodents from having easy hiding places, make sure that wood is stored well away from your home and any clutter is kept to a minimum in crawlspaces and garages.
Sadly, without the natural predators that can keep rats at bay, it is likely that at some point your home might be the target of these pests. Keep your family safe from these destructive, disease-carrying creatures by calling Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions. Our professional staff can assist you in inspecting for and removing the threat of the Norway rat from your property. After their removal and after your home is given a clean bill of health, you can help protect yourself from future infestations of rats and other pests by signing up for our Premier Pest protection plan that protects your home all year long from Norway rats and many other harmful pests.