Greater Little Rock Area: 501.725.0614
Benton Area: 501.725.0715 

Clark Exterminating Blog

Arkansas Rodents Pt 1: Rats

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

While some wild animals hibernate or grow extra coats of fur to keep warm during the winter, the rodent species does neither, and would rather invade our homes and yards and generally wreak havoc in our lives, while soaking up our heat. As a matter of fact, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), it is estimated that 21 million homes are invaded and infested by rodents every winter.

Here at Clark Exterminating, we thought we would share a list of the rodents native to Arkansas, the problems they can cause, and how to identify possible infestations. The first part of our rodent series discusses the most common household rodents/pests: rats.

Home Damage

The most comment species of rat in Arkansas are the Roof Rat and the Wood Rat. These particular species of rodent can cause thousands of dollars in home repairs if an infestation is not caught in time. Rats will build their nests beneath the foundations of buildings and inside walls, ceilings, and cabinets and will chew through items such as plastic and wood, leaving holes in walls and floorboards.

Health Hazards

Not only can rats be destructive to your home, but they can also be destructive to your health.  Maybe you’ve heard about a little epidemic known as the Bubonic Plague that swept through Asia, Europe, and Africa in the 14th century? The resulting “Black Death” killed an estimated 50 million people (about 25% to 60% of the European population) and was believed to be caused by the overpopulation of both people and rats living in close quarters in the major cities of that time.

Rats can transmit disease through their bites, scratches, contact with their feces or urine, and the contamination of food in the home. The diseases associated with rats are:

- Hantavirus - a disease that can lead to kidney damage or failure

- Listeria- a type of bacterium that infects humans and other warm-blooded animals through contaminated food

- Rat-Bite Fever-  causes inflammation of the skin and fever or vomiting

- Salmonella- infection with salmonella bacteria, commonly caused by contaminated food or water

- Allergies and Asthma- Contact with rat urine can cause the development of asthma and allergies in young children and the elderly

Signs of Infestation

Because rats are a naturally secretive species, it is rare that you would ever see one, which makes spotting an infestation that much harder. Rats are also nocturnal animals so if you should happen to see just one during the day, that is usually a serious sign of an infestation somewhere in your home.

Here are some other signs of a rat infestation:

- rat droppings

- dirt and grease marks along floorboards and walls

- teeth marks on chewed objects

How to Prevent an Infestation:

According to the EPA, these are best practices to prevent a rat infestation in your home:

- Seal holes inside and outside the home to keep rodents out. This may be as simple as plugging small holes with steel wool or patching holes in inside or outside walls.

- Remove potential rodent nesting sites from your property, including leaf piles and deep mulch.

- Clean up food and water sources in and near your house.

- Keep kitchen garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids.

- Turn compost piles to cover newly added food scraps.

If you feel you may have an infestation, the best practice is to call a pest control company so they can come out and inspect your home to identify the species of rodent and advise on the best courses of action.

Be sure to keep on the lookout for the next part of our series when we discuss other Arkansas rodents such as mice, voles, gophers, muskrats, and squirrels. If you think you may have a rat infestation and need help to either control or prevent one, contact us online or by phone at any of our locations.

Little Rock: 501-228-0322

North Little Rock: 501-758-0322

Conway: 501-329-0396

Benton: 501-776-1388

Bryant: 501-847-1388

Jacksonville/Cabot: 501-843-1322

Hot Springs: 501-623-2335

   Read More . . .

Arkansas’ Tiny Terror II: The Brown Recluse

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Our last blog, Arkansas’ Tiny Terror I: The Brown Recluse, discussed the identification and habits/habitat of the brown recluse. This time, we give you information on how to identify and handle a brown recluse bite as well as tips on how to handle an infestation.

Bite Symptoms & Effects

It is important to start off here by mentioning that most fiddleback bites usually go unnoticed at the time because their bites are normally painless. However, within an hour you may feel a burning sensation around the site of the bite. Within two to eight hours of the bite, the site will begin to blister and enlarge resembling a bad pimple with a red ring around it until it becomes a larger, hardened lump.

It is possible that if you have been bitten by a brown recluse, you will experience symptoms such as itching around the site, chills, nausea, sweating, and an overall feeling of being sick. The severity of the wound depends on the amount of venom encased in the bite. Since the males of the species are most likely to roam, they are the ones most likely to bite. The male fiddleback only has about half as much venom as a female so their bites are not as severe. As a matter of fact, only approximately ten percent of spider bites are confirmed brown recluse bites and only ten percent of those become necrotic.

If you believe you have been bitten by a brown recluse spider, it is advised that you wash the bite with antibacterial soap and wrap the site with ice for ten minutes, leave it off for ten minutes, and then repeat with the ice for another ten minutes. It is advised that if you know for sure that you have been bitten by a brown recluse, the safest plan of action is to visit your doctor, a quick care clinic, or the emergency room for immediate treatment and antibiotics. And be sure to arrive with the dead spider in a sandwich bag if possible.


Here’s an interesting fact for you: A female brown recluse only needs to mate once to continue producing eggs her entire lifetime, so a single female can be responsible for an entire infestation. Each egg sac can hold up to 50 eggs and a female can produce up to three egg sacs per year. Once an infestation is established, it is really hard to control mainly due to the fact that these recluses are hard to observe due to their preferred hiding places.

To prevent an infestation, the best advice is to deny these spiders a place to nest. Seal cracks and crevices with caulk or expandable foam, seal around fireplaces, vents, doors, window frames, and crawl space and attic doors. Try to seal the areas where cabinets and counters don’t quite reach the walls and eliminate as much clutter as possible like boxes and other storage.

IF an infestation is present in your home, it may take an integrated management plan that utilizes several control methods. Simply trying to fog your home with pesticide typically won’t work because of the hidey-holes that these spiders like to crawl into. You could lay stick traps down throughout your home to highlight problem areas.  

It could take many months to completely clear a large infestation depending on the size of the home and the amount of effort put into finding the offending pests. However, Clark has you covered! If you need any assistance with a brown recluse infestation removal or prevention, contact us online or by phone at any of our locations.

Little Rock: 501-228-0322

North Little Rock: 501-758-0322

Conway: 501-329-0396

Benton: 501-776-1388

Bryant: 501-847-1388

Jacksonville/Cabot: 501-843-1322

Hot Springs: 501-623-2335

   Read More . . .

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