How to Identify RATS

Rats are famously common in New York City and famously large. Many do not realize that they are just as widespread in the suburbs of Long Island, Westchester, and Rockland County. Most rats are about 13 to 18 inches long and weigh a half pound to a pound, although some have been known to reach the size of a cat and weigh as much as thirteen pounds.

norway rat
Norway Rat


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Rats have brought disease and misery to people since before civilization began. From the Black Death to today’s Hantavirus (very rare in the New York Metro area) rats are a common vector for spreading bacteria, viruses, parasites, fleas, and ticks. Rats are filthy animals because they will swim through sewers and live in rotting trash, spreading contaminates wherever they go. Rats can spread Typhus, Strep, and Meningitis and aggravate allergies. From their droppings to their breath, rats are veritable disease machines.

Rats can cause thousands of dollars of property damage. They have been known to gnaw through PVC plumbing pipes and clogged drains, undermine foundations, destroy structural support beams, and chew through wiring. Rats’ behaviors can cause water damage, building settling or collapse, or even start a fire. Clearly, getting rid of a rat is a top priority.

Spread Diseases

Rats are known to transmit a number of diseases directly through handling them or contact with their urine, feces, or saliva.

Attract Other Pests

Rats often carry ticks, mites, and fleas on them which can act as additional disease vectors, in addition to added household pests.

Property Damage

Rats are extremely strong chewers and gnawers, known to damage a variety of household items, as well as structural components like pipes and wires, which can lead to electrical fires.

Leave Their Mark

In addition to leaving behind urine and droppings, rats will also leave greasy trails and/or rub marks along the paths they travel in your home, such as along your baseboards.


While some pests are relatively easy to get rid of, rats most definitely are not. A single method of dealing with rats is not likely to be successful. Rats are wily, adaptable, and dangerous. They bite! Black rats and the very common Norway Rat are resistant to many kinds of rat poison. If you have pets or young children, it may hurt them more than the rats.

A professional exterminator like Knockout Pest Control will take a comprehensive approach involving traps, baits, and chemical treatments. A professional is also an expert at finding out how Rats are getting in and closing off any avenues of infestation. You may also wish to explore a long-term approach to keep rats out. Once they have identified your structure as “home” they will keep trying to get in. It may take deterring several generations of rats before you have fully dealt with the problem.

Get Rid of Rats Fast
Call 1-800-244-PEST (1-800-244-7378)

We respond like every pest problem is an emergency with fast, 24 hour service seven days a week.

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