Why Rain and Rats are Best Mates


Rats in your home are a pest no matter the season, but their numbers can dramatically increase after floods or heavy rains, such as the ones we have had this past summer. Heavy rain and floods wash away rat burrows and hiding areas, forcing the rats to seek shelter on higher ground (which often is a domestic home). Unlike most small animals and reptiles, brown and black rats are strong swimmers, which mean that they can swim out of most water situations rather than drowning. Many people report increased sightings of rats in their homes immediately after heavy storms. Black rats are great climbers, so often choose to move into roofs and wall cavities. Brown rats prefer to burrow, so can be found under loose timber, or rubbish under a house. As the waters recede, rats often remain in their newly found dry homes while they breed and search for food.

Being omnivorous, rats happily munch their way through pretty much anything – seeds, grains, insects, meat, eggs and rotting scraps are all considered fair game for rats. Rats that have moved into domestic homes target pantry goods, fruit bowls, pet food and garbage bins – often chewing their way through wood, electrical wiring or thick plastic to reach their food. Even if human food sources are restricted, plants and grasses tend to grow quickly after rains, providing ample fresh food for the rat populations.

Rats In Rubbish During Rains
Rats In Rubbish During Rains

Peak rat breeding season is in autumn, so when you combine favourable food conditions from summer storms with breeding time, increases in local rat populations are the result. Rats are prolific breeders, with the average litter being 5-8 young who reach breeding age 3-4 months later. Female rats have up to three litters each year. As rats are disease and parasite carriers, they can readily infect the human and pet occupants of the home through their excrement and fur. When you have a number of rats in a home, this risk increases, highlighting the need for professional rat removal.

Unfortunately, it often takes longer for the number of traditional rat predators such as feral cats, snakes and owls to recover after a flood, which means rats can rapidly reach plague proportions. As soon as you see signs of just one rat – either through droppings, or through noises in your home, you need to have your home treated for rat control to stop the breeding cycle.

If you have rats in your home, and you require the services of a rat removal expert, Peter the Possum Man can help you remove them. We also offer a complete range of pest control services offering solutions for all pest problems. Contact us today to discuss your pest control requirements.