Can Cats Help Against Norway Rat Infestations

Cats and rats form an iconic predator/prey duo. In fact, rats have fallen prey to cats for so long that they have evolved a special sense in order to detect a cat’s pheromones and immediately turn around to run away. So how much can a cat help with Norway rat prevention and control?

Cat pheromones

Rats have developed keen senses in order to survive the numerous predators that target them. One of these senses is called neophobia, where even a tiny change in the surrounding environment will trigger anxiety in a rat. This is useful in areas near the burrow of a rat outdoors, because any changes here could indicate that a predator is lurking.

To supplement this sense, rats can also sense the pheromones of its predators, including the pheromones of cats, dogs, snakes and birds of prey. So if you have a cat in the home, its simple presence will make rats think twice before entering the building. However, cats are not completely effective at preventing infestations, because if the outdoor conditions are very bad, the rat will risk death by cat to get away from those conditions.

Other effective prevention methods

There are a few other measures that can be implemented in order to more effectively prevent Norway rat infestations. One of these measures is sealing all the rat entry points into the home. On the exterior wall of the building, you might be able to find cracks, gaps and various openings that are wider than ½ of an inch. These openings can be used, and they have to be sealed shut. Food should also be kept in sealed containers, and you should try to have as little clutter as  possible in the home, because rats are drawn to it.

Controlling an infestation once it’s underway

After an infestation has already started, it’s time to move onto control. For control however, it’s best to skip the DIY approach and hire a pro for the job, because rat infestations can be very resilient, and if they are not removed completely, the rats will reproduce and reinfest the home. Hiring a pro can save you a lot of headache both in the short and long term when dealing with rats.

If you have any questions about Norway rat prevention and control, or if you have an infestation in your home that needs to be removed, contact us today.