We provide ongoing monitoring, consultation and assistance to Arlington residents and property owners interested in controlling rats or mice.
We respond to individual complaints and take appropriate action to help eliminate both rodents and rodent harborage.
To request assistance or information on controlling rats or mice or to report rodent harborage on the exterior premise of a commercial or residential property call us at 703-228-7400. The most common rodents encountered by residents in Arlington County are the Norway rat and the house mouse. The Norway rat digs and travels through burrows and will nest up to 150 feet from its food supply.
The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus, also called the brown rat or sewer rat) is a destructive pest found in urban and suburban neighborhoods. Rats will eat nearly any type of food, but they prefer high-quality foods such as meat and fresh grain. The house mouse usually makes a nest in stored materials indoors, but can also live outside.
Baits must be contained in tamper-proof containers, to help protect children, pets and unintended wildlife. You may choose to hire a licensed pest management professional, who can provide expertise in effectively and safely placing pesticides. To control rodents, you MUST remove their food, shelter and entry points to your home or other buildings. Holes larger than a dime, and cracks larger than the diameter of a pencil, should be sealed to prevent rodents from entering your home or other buildings. The plus to rat rods is that it allows people to experiment with their cars, and not have to worry about making them look pretty as well. It could also be that most muscle cars don’t have as many body modifications as rat rods, they tend to have more mechanical modifications than body mods.
So what if your muscle car that you love has different color body panels, get it out and drive it, or paint them all the same with spray cans.
Can anyone argue that it is more fun to stare at a car waiting to make it perfect than be out driving it? It is important to house your rat in a rat appropriate cage, that accounts for the number of rats in the cage and the size of the rats.
It is also vital to their health that you know what bedding is safe and what bedding is damaging to their health. Houses, hammocks, hiding places and toys will provide your rat with a variety of options to keep them occupied when you are unable to play with them. Than, look at the size of your rats head and make sure the spacing on the cage bars is close enough together that your rat will not be able to escape. On aquariums make sure the top can be securely closed, so the rat will not be able to push off the lid, if the lid is a little loose, you can put a rock on top to help stabilize it. The wire is rough on the rats feet and can cause medical conditions such as Bumble foot, or cause the rat to get his foot or leg stuck.
If you have a wire cage bottom, try to put Plexi-glass, linoleum, vinyl flooring, tile or any other type of hard surface flooring you find works onto the floor. Do not clean cages with poisonous, harmful smelling cleaning supplies, that could leave an odor behind, these may cause health problems for your rats.
It is necessary that your rat has at least one house, box or some sort of shelter in their cage.
Providing a rat with shelter is important as it makes them feel safe, and it gives them a good place to take a nap in peace.
Rats love to play, hide and run around, so providing them with houses, beds and toys is important to keep them occupied and to provide them with amusement.
Most pet store employees have no idea what is and isn't safe for your animals, do not take them at their word, if they try to tell you Pine and cedar is safe for rats -do not listen to them.
When looking for a bedding to use, look at the package and consider how much dust the bedding contains. Store bought bedding can sometimes contain small bugs & mites living in it, which is not good for your rats, so be aware and examine the bag closely. One way to avoid bugs in the bedding is to put the bedding in the freezer for at least 2 days. Newspaper bedding is a great option -usually much cheaper than store bought bedding and easy to clean up.
You can also use other scrap paper, such as old notebook paper, junk mail, or rolls of brown packaging paper.
You can lay flat sheets of newspaper on the bottom of the cage and then shred some strips of paper to put on top.

Fleece blankets are recommended as they have no strings or stitching your rats nails or toes could get caught on. Water dishes usually don't work well in cages, but rats do enjoy them, so if you have water bottles and water dishes out in the rats free range area this will give them a choice of which they would like to use. Some rats will dunk their paws and heads under water in water dishes to help clean themselves. If you have multiple rats living in the same cage it is important to have a few different sleeping areas. Get a towel, scarf or fabric item and run it through the front and back of the cage bars, decide at what height you want the hammock and make sure you insert the fabric the same number of bars down on both sides. You can also use paper clips, clothes pins, twist ties, rubber bands, Velcro, or other types of hooks to hook the hammocks onto the cages.
Cardboard boxes make great rat houses, just find a box that is a good size to fit into the cage or in the area you are putting the house. Cardboard houses are not permanent houses, as they will get dirty, run down and urinated on, but they make great temporary houses and sometimes can last months. To make your cardboard houses last longer and easier to clean you can cover them in clear packaging tape -this allows you to be able to wipe the box surface off from time to time. If you have more than one rat, it is best to try to make houses with two doors, this way they both can get in and out even if one is sleeping right in front of the door. Run a few twist ties through the ventilation holes and attach it to their cage for a nice new hiding room so it doesn't go unused. Rats come in all sizes big and small, a Jumbo rat will need more space than a small sized rat.
Rats need to have enough space so that everyone can find a spot to sleep in, preferably making several sleeping spots available. Not all rats get along so it is important to only house rats together that like each other.
The bigger the cage the better, you should be able to tell by knowing your rats size and knowing the size cage you are wanting to house them in how many should fit in their comfortably. If your rats are in an aquarium then boxes and other toys need to be put into the cage so they have places to go and explore and climb. If you are questioning if your cage is large enough for a certain number of rats, than your cage probably should be bigger! Below are some pictures of the various beds, couches, houses, hiding spots and rat areas i have for my rats.
Clean the shelf, find some foam or some sort of soft bedding and cut it to the size it needs to be. Than i covered the foam with a blanket, that way i can take it off and change it for easy washing.
This house has Plexi glass windows, has open and closeable front door, garage door and some room doors. This house measures 5 feet wide, 2nd level measures 2 feet 2 inches tall and the 3rd level measures 3 feet 7 inches tall. The house is complete with rat beds, couches, sticks, toys, food, water and a digging box occasionally filled with growing herbs. The stairs are made of wood and covered in fabric to soften them and protect the rats feet. Wooden "Rat shack" two story house with 2 doors on the bottom level and 1 door on the top level.
I put cardboard under the blankets on the bed to keep the rats from falling through, if the blankets get moved around. Here are two more rat beds i use, these two are placed under the bed at the moment for them to sleep on. The bed comes apart in two pieces so you can put a blanket in between the pieces to protect from spills. Floor in front of the food area is covered in place mats to protect the carpet from spills.
Stairs lead the rats up to the second level where there is newspaper laid down and a box to hide in. The lower shelf has two rooms with sliding doors and an open center area with food and water.
They also make a good shelf, such as if put under a rat cage door so they can jump out onto it. This is a canvas shelf which you hang sideways on the wall, i thought it made the perfect rat tent and the rat kids agree. These stairs tend to get moved around quite a bit and have been in many different locations.

Some Rats like running in plastic balls, well others just can't seem to figure out what to do with their tails.
Rats tails are directly connected to their spines and having to small of a wheel can injure their spine. Rats who run on wheels can develop "wheel tail" which is when they run around all the time with their tails up just like if they were running on the wheel. Rats love making newspaper houses (especially at 3 in the morning!), it will keep them busy for hours. If you find scabs around your rats neck and you have rats that live or play together watch them and see if they are chewing on each other -before thinking they may have mites or bugs.
Get a small tray or container (litter boxes work great), fill it with dirt, plant some edible plants or herbs and give the box to the rat. Celebrate Chinese culture with your kids with a lesson on the Chinese Zodiac in the form of fun paper animal masks.
Someone once told me that there were engines other than the Chrysler Hemi-but thats just crazy talk! Captain Dietrich eventually got so discouraged that he defected from the Afrika Korps and went into a life of soap operas. That means it's off to a good start, but still has room to grow into a more helpful resource. Extermination of rats on private property is the responsibility of property owners, with the County providing consultation and guidance upon request.
Both of these rodents are very good at jumping, climbing, swimming, gnawing and squeezing through very small spaces. It can make a nest in your home by gnawing holes in sheds and walls, etc., or squeezing through cracks and crevices in foundations, vents, etc.
The rats eat and contaminate food, damage buildings and other property by gnawing and burrowing and may spread diseases that affect people and pets.
Mice are not suspicious of new objects, but tend to nibble and may not eat enough to get a lethal dose. Trash and garbage should be contained in a rodent-proof container, such as a trash can with a tight-locking lid. The shredded paper on top will help soak up urine and give the rats material to build nests and houses with. Be very careful on what fabric you use if you are going to drape it over a box to cover a doorway -rats are well known for chewing holes in them and then trying to walk through the newly chewed hole and getting stuck. Then pull the fabric up through the bars and wrap it around the bars until it is tight and won't fall down. You can decide weather you want to make just one bottom cushion or make back and side cushions as well.
It may take them a little while before they notice the food, so you may have to help them find the food.
However, if you are looking for a bait to catch rats , a paste of corn meal and beaten egg works really well. Runways and burrows may be found next to buildings, along fences, and under low vegetation and debris.
I am fine with leaving it rusted, dented and beat up, but I am not fond of hanging extra junk off of them. The second level has 2 rooms, and the bottom level has one indoor room and 2 outdoor rooms.
They will climb to find food or shelter,and they can gain entrance to a building through any opening larger than ? inch across. If you think the article offers complete and accurate instructions, feel free to remove this tag. All traps are more effective when peanut butter or bacon is used to lure the rodent to the trap. For some reason the rats really like the second level, and don't go on the other levels as often.
Plants, bushes and branches should be trimmed away from the home or building.  Pet waste should always be picked up and disposed properly.

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