When it comes to San Diego animal removal service, there’s really one place to go if you want the job done right. Scratch that, there are plenty of San Diego wildlife removal companies you could call who could give you a decent quote and get the job done.

But, on the other hand, how many animal control specialists of San Diego work with major organizations, among which are The city of San Diego, the Dept. of Defense, SDSU, aeronautics companies, and others? That big-time pedigree is nothing to ignore, but at the same time, we are a family owned and operated animal removal company — a fact that shows we value quality and customer satisfaction over all else. In fact, you could say the reason we are able to talk about our experience working with larger organizations is in large part due to our dedication to performing reliable and humane “critter catching.”

If you could boil it down, what we at Wildlife Removal Services are talking about is our Personal Service Guarantee. Since 2008, we’ve approached animal removal service with the mindset that there is a better way to execute wildlife control; we take a 3-step approach to humane and effective animal removal and control. Back in the day, we started out with one truck which serviced the entirety of San Diego County from Oceanside to Chula Vista! These days, we have expanded to have more coverage, so we are able to take our three trucks to service San Diego County, Orange County, and even Temecula!

San Diego Roof Rats & Norway Rats

Today’s post, as the title no doubt gave away already, concerns roof rat removal, mice removal, and general information about said San Diego rodents. We are going to start with rats. We’ll talk about types of rats, rat behaviors, signs of rat activity, and pretty much everything that has to do with rats in San Diego County and Southern California more generally!

Rats are nasty. There’s no two-ways about it. Despite what that propaganda/fantasy children’s film Ratatouille might have you believe, rats are a serious problem, causing structural damage while contaminating food with their diseases and parasites that can be easily transmitted to humans and other animals. They are remarkably adaptable creatures as well, as the aforementioned Disney puff-piece showcased. They are able to thrive in a wide range of different climates. From open fields and farms to city sewers, homes, and other buildings, there are very few places that are out of reach for these loathsome creatures.

Now that we’ve gotten our general detest for rats out in the open, we can move onto more practical matters. There are two kinds of rats you’ll face in Southern California: Norway rats and Roof rats.

Norway Rats

Rats of the former kind are sometimes referred to as sewer or brown rats. You can find their nests, or burrows (they are burrowing rodents that are significantly larger than roof rats) along the foundations of structures, or beneath woodpiles and other piled-up material. They like to live in generally damp areas, which is why they typically will stay in dank basements or along the ground floor if they choose to ransack a particular building. Their nests/burrows are easily identified by their trademark lining of cloth, paper, or other such material. And while they can be found almost anywhere throughout the Continental United States, you are more likely to find them in lower elevations — making coastal Southern California an ideal environment in which Norway rats can thrive.

Roof Rats

Scientists know them as Rattus rattus, which is kind of cool — but there’s nothing cool about the fact that this kind of rat is a well-known carrier of Black Death (also known as plague). There are three subspecies of roof rats, or Rattus rattus, which are easily distinguishable by the color of the rat in question’s fur. There is the black rat, the Alexandrine rat, and the fruit rat. The first has a gray belly, the second a black and gray belly, and the latter a black and white belly. Additionally, there has been significant cross-breeding between the three subspecies, which means it’s usually pretty difficult to know what you are looking at. However, it is possible to distinguish between roof rats and Norway rats due to one key feature — the tail. Roof rats have tails which are longer than their bodies, in addition to boasting large ears and a slender frame.

In terms of environment, roof rats aren’t as adaptable as their Norwegian cousins, as they are more inclined to stay in tropical and semi-tropical climates. Roof rats, as their name suggests, are also inclined to live higher up in a given habitat, being found to live in trees or roofs. Roof rats enjoy eating a variety of food. These omnivores will hunt and scavenge for food ranging from eggs of fowl and other birds among their other staples, fruits and nuts.

Rat Diseases

As we mentioned above, rats are disease carriers and can easily spread them to humans and other animals.

  • Parasites – Disgusting as it may be, rats can often carry tapeworms.
  • Rat-bite fever – If an infected rat bites you, you can contract rat-bite fever. This disease causes inflammation of the skin, fever, and/or vomiting. No thanks!
  • Food poisoning – You don’t have to get in physical contact with a rat for them to harm you — if you eat food that has been contaminated with rat droppings or urine, it can cause food poisoning.
  • Plague – If an infected rat bites you, you can get the plague. If a flea that feeds on an infected rat feeds on you, the same thing can happen.

Rat Activity

Because roof rats are the most common type of rat found in Southern California, we’ll dive a little bit deeper into what home and business owners need to know in order to be equipped to deal with a roof rat problem. Big picture, however, you only really need to remember one thing, should you suspect a rat infestation in your home or business — Wildlife Removal Services provides expert rat control and exclusion services in San Diego and beyond. That said, let’s take a look at a few of the most common signs of rat activity.

If you think that your San Diego home or other structure might have a rat problem, you might be right. Perhaps you’ve already seen a roof rat in broad daylight near your abode. Maybe you even saw it scurry up toward your roof. Maybe still you’ve been trying to sleep at night and you’ve heard scratching in your walls. Maybe you’ve even found droppings in the shape of a cylinder with pointy ends. Maybe you’ve spotted the grease marks on the walls that roof rats leave, or partially eaten fruit that they’ve left behind — the beastly vermin that they are!

The thing is, rats can easily get into your home through the smallest of holes. Other signs of rat activity include:

  • Signs of gnawing throughout the house
  • Sounds in the attic, floor, or walls
  • Stripped bark from trees and other plants
  • Piles of cut or crushed snail shells that are hidden under piles of wood or other plants
  • Damaged, hollowed-out fruit or other food
  • Damaged food containers
  • Rat droppings in sheltered areas, including the garage

Stay Tuned For Part Two!

Excuse the pun, but we are just beginning to scratch the surface as it relates to rat control and removal in San Diego, as we are sure you are well aware. We haven’t even gotten to the point in the discussion where we can provide homeowners with some useful tips regarding rat control and rat exclusion, let alone begin to talk about mice! 

That being said, if you think you have a rat problem, don’t wait for part two of this series — call in the rat removal experts of San Diego at Wildlife Removal Service. We provide reliable and humane animal removal services, plus we are affordable and timely. Give us a call today!