If you have a rat problem, you need to take action quickly. Rats can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time, and they can also be dangerous to your family’s health.
Rats are not only unsightly, but they also spread illnesses and put the people you care about at risk. Rats are also extremely destructive – they can chew through walls, insulation, and electrical wiring. The only way to get your house back is to figure out how to get rid of rats and keep them out for good. Don’t worry, though; there are many ways to do this in a safe and effective manner.
What is a Rat?
Rats are medium-sized rodents that originated in Asia and Australia and have spread around the world. More than 60 rat species have been listed in the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
Rats vary in size from approximately 5 to 11 inches in length. On average they weigh about 0.5lbs to 1lbs.
What Do Rats Need to Survive?
Rats are difficult to eliminate because they can be found all over the place. They’ll survive as long as they have access to food, water, and shelter.
Rats are omnivores, so they’ll eat anything they come across. While rats are primarily known for rummaging through trash and eating food that has been left out, some rats will attack small animals like birds and lizards to survive.
Rats can go for weeks or even months without drinking water if they are hydrated. This is because rats get enough water from their meals. When rats need to quench their thirst, they may usually discover an adequate supply in drains, pet dishes, or the condensation on pipes and walls.
Rats can get the shelter they require from weeds, grasses, and other vegetation in the wild. Indoors, rats will seek refuge behind furniture, in walls, or in dark, seldom-used corners of a home. They’re also known for nesting inside of and beneath large appliances.
Signs of a Rat Infestation in Your Home
If you think you might have a rat infestation in your home, look for these tell-tale signs:
1. Strange Smells and Sounds
Rats have a strong ammonia odor. They’re also very vocal, making squeaking, scratching, and rustling noises as they go about their business through your property. Any of these indications that rats (or mice) are present is cause for concern. Find out the differences between rats and mice.
Do you think you have a rat problem? Take a look in an out-of-the-way area of your home. Rats frequently leave foot and tail traces while traveling.
Pro Tip: Sprinkle a fine layer of baking soda on the floor and look for fresh tracks in the morning if you’re unsure whether rats are around.
3. Droppings & Smears
Rats excrete droppings as they travel throughout your home. Along major rat paths, you may discover tiny, dark, pellet-shaped droppings. Because rats have poor eyesight, they develop and maintain set paths along the walls. They leave greasy smears and smudges on the walls while traveling these pathways.
Rats may gnaw through electric cords, nibble on furniture and other objects, munch on food left out on the counter, and contaminate your home with droppings and urine.
Signs That Rats Are Living in Your Walls
It’s difficult to find rats if they’re living inside your walls. However, even if you can’t see them, you should be able to hear and smell them.
Here are some common signs that rats have taken up residence in your walls:
- Sounds such as squeaking, scurrying, and running are heard in the walls.
- Piles of droppings in hidden areas, such as your basement or attic, or the edges of your home.
- Bite-marked food packages, containers, or leftovers.
- Smudges on the walls, which appear to be a mix of dirt and oil.
- Insulation, shredded paper, scraps of cloth, or other soft materials used to create nests.
- Damaged, bitten, or gnawed ductwork.
You may also encounter a live or dead rat on your property or in your house. If you detect any of these symptoms, it’s time to hire a professional pest management firm.
How to Quickly Get Rid of Rats In Your Home
Nobody wants rats living in their house. They’re dirty, ruin your wiring, damage your home, contaminate your food, and can carry disease. Fortunately, these techniques can help you get rid of the rats in your home:
Inspect Your Home
To discover where rats are entering your property, you must first complete a comprehensive house examination.
- Inspect the outside of your home for obvious entry points, such as damaged drains, cracks in your garage door, gaps around vents, and spaces in the foundation; you’ll find them all over.
- Examine the vents, drains, appliance lines, and other potential access points within the home. Once you’ve figured out where the rats are getting in, you can seal up the holes and set traps.
Seal Any Gaps
Rats don’t require a large entrance to get into your home. In fact, they can squeeze through any aperture that you can insert two fingers into. Seal any openings in your walls on the inside or outside of your property.
Fill these gaps with wire wool, metal kick plates, cement, or caulk for long-lasting results. Check them once a month to ensure that they are well-kept.
Keep a Tidy Home
Rats enjoy hiding places, which is one of the main reasons people are afflicted with them. One of the most effective ways to eliminate rats without using pesticides is to remove their hiding spots. Clear up your house’s mess and move things away from the walls.
Pro Tip: Keep all trash and waste in closed containers, clean up any spills as soon as possible, and keep your pipes and drains clean.
Use Bait Traps
Trapping has replaced poisoning as the most efficient approach to get rid of rats, since it is the one that kills rats fast and effectively. Trapping is a non-poisonous approach to reduce rat populations.
If you’re going to set your own traps, make sure you use a lot of them and place them in high-activity locations. Bait with cheese, peanut butter, unsalted seeds, bananas, or apples.
Try Natural Deterrent Methods
When it comes to ridding rats, a few simple, natural ingredients may go a long way. To keep rats from coming into your home, apply peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, black pepper, or cloves around the outside. Apply a thick layer of your deterrent substance along the line between your foundation and the ground.
Sprinkle pepper (or spray pepper spray) around rat holes and entrances. This will irritate the rats’ noses and airways, making them less likely to return.
When All Else Fails, Call a Professional Pest Management Company
If you have rats in your walls, basement, or attic, get help from a professional pest control company in your region to remove them. They’ll find the rat holes and food caches, as well as remove the rodents without causing further damage to your house, by utilizing specialized techniques.
Professionals may also assist you in determining the source of the infestation and keeping rats from returning.
How to Keep Rats Off Your Property
Even if you eliminate rats from your house, it won’t stay for long if there are still rats outside. This is especially true as the winter months approach, when rats begin to enter houses in order to seek refuge and food.
If you have seen rats around your property, there are a few things you can do to deter them:
Keep Your Garden Clean
Rats despise open areas, so keep your lawn and garden mowed, clean, and uncluttered; this is the greatest technique to keep them away. Trim your grass on a regular basis and remove stockpiles of wood or leaves; close and secure all storage sheds while repairing any holes in the structure’s siding.
Finally, make sure rats can’t get to food outside your property. Remove fallen fruits and vegetables in the garden, as well as animal and bird feed. These easy methods will assist you immensely in lowering rat populations.
Lure Predatory Birds to Your Home
Rats have a variety of natural predators, and inviting these predators to your yard is one of the most effective ways to get rid of rats. In a single night, an owl might consume hundreds of rats or mice. Create appropriate surroundings by adding a birdbath and nest box to your garden.
Pro Tip: Do not use bird feed. Although it will attract birds, it will also attract mice, rats, squirrels, and other unwanted guests.
Use Dry Ice
Using dry ice to eliminate rats is a very efficient method that does not use pesticides. Dry ice generates carbon dioxide, which anesthetizes and kills rats. Place the dry ice at the entrance to burrows for optimal results. Because dry ice may harm the skin, wear gloves and other protective gear when using it.
Rats are difficult to get rid of, and snap traps are one of the most efficient methods. Consider utilizing snap traps, which are a quick approach to immediately kill rats.
Place traps inside a box or under a milk crate to keep other animals from entering them. Use peanut butter as bait to attract rats.
Rats are naturally attracted to sweet substances and will eat anything that contains sugar. If you see rats eating something specific in your home, consider baiting the trap with it. Rats devouring apples on the counter may be enticed by a trap set with apple slices.
Use Baits and Poisons
Bait and poisons should only be used outside of the house since they can contain dangerous and potent chemicals. If you put a poisonous substance inside the house, rats can distribute it throughout the home, putting your family and pet’s health at risk.
If you decide to utilize bait or set traps, be sure to thoroughly read and follow all label instructions. Keep rat food in a fully enclosed bait station where children, pets, and other animals can’t get at it at all times.
Because there are so many restrictions on the usage of baits and poisons, make sure you’re aware of both local and state regulations.
How Much Damage Can Rats Cause Inside the Home?
Rats can wreak havoc on a home, especially when they are young. Rats not only spread diseases and endanger the health of everyone in the household, but they may also:
- Damage insulation by chewing through it and nesting in it.
- Chew on and destroy wires, which may cause fires. According to experts, rats and mice are responsible for approximately 20-25 percent of undetermined home and structure fires in the United States each year.
- Contaminate food and spread disease by leaving droppings everywhere they go.
- Ruin furniture and other belongings by chewing on them.
- Destroy books, papers, and clothing.
- Cause structural damage to wood, drywall, and other building materials.
- Build nests inside the walls, under the sink, and inside large appliances like the refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine.
If you think you have a rat problem in your home, call a professional exterminator right away. Rats reproduce quickly, so the sooner you get rid of them, the better. An experienced exterminator will be able to quickly identify the source of the infestation and get rid of the rats for good.
Rats are a serious problem, and it’s important to take quick action to get rid of them. Use the methods in this guide to quickly and effectively remove rats from your property.
A rat infestation can be a nightmare for any homeowner. Not only are they incredibly destructive, but they can also spread disease. If you think you might have a rat problem, don’t wait to take action. Use the tips in this guide to quickly get rid of rats from your home.