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Even the thought of having a single rat in your home can send shudders up your spine. But given how fast rats reproduce, it’s very likely that you will not deal with just one rat if you have an infestation. In this article, we’re going to cover just how big a Norway rat infestation can get.
The reproductive capacity of a Norway rat female
Female Norway rats have a very rapid reproductive cycle, and they reach maturity within five weeks of being born. After that point, the female rat can start giving birth to litters of up to 14 pups after a gestation period of 21 to 24 days, up to six times a year. This roughly translates to an average of 60 new rats every year. So an infestation can get out of control very fast, especially in the home, where the conditions for survival are very good for rats.
This reproductive capacity is also why it’s important to work with a pest control professional when dealing with a Norway rat infestation. If the infestation is not removed completely, and some rats remain in the home, they could theoretically be capable of replenishing all of the rats you’ve killed in just a few months.
Putting a stop to an infestation
A pest control professional is very well aware of how quickly rats reproduce, and will work to ensure that every single rat in the building is removed before considering the job complete. In order to do this, he will first perform an inspection to determine the extent of the infestation and the species responsible. If you are indeed dealing with Norway rats, then this information will influence the control methods used and where they are placed.
There are two main control options here – the trap and poisons. Traps are used when dealing with smaller infestations, since they have the advantage of keeping the dead rats in place. This will make the post-control cleanup process much easier. Poisons on the other hand are excellent at removing large infestations, but they come with the major drawback that you cannot know where the rats will die. Some pros will offer a cleanup service when using poisons, which can help a lot.
For more information on how Norway rat infestations grow, or if you have an infestation in your home, do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.