While many people have domesticated rats as pets, these are very different from the wild rats that will find their way into your home. There is always a risk of rats spreading disease and contaminating your food supply in addition to damaging items you have stored in your attic. To minimize these risks, get rid of rats as soon as possible.
1. There isn’t an effective poison for killing rats and even if there was, it would be a bad idea, leaving you with a dead rat to find.
2. Snap traps are the most effective method for trapping rats as well as the most humane way to kill them.
3. Location is more important than the bait you choose for the traps.
4. Prevent rats by sealing up all potential entrances into your home.
5. Keep your home clean and free from easily-accessible sources of food to discourage rats.
6. Consider hiring a professional since missing just two rats can lead to an entirely new group of these rodents invading your home.
Seal Up Entry Holes
Before you take any steps towards getting rid of the rats you are currently dealing with, you need to discover how they are getting into your home or business and seal up those entrances. Do a thorough inspection to find their entry points and then seal them using sturdy home improvement materials. Skipping this step leaves the way open for new rats to enter your home, making your problem even worse.
Choosing The Right Trap
When it comes to trapping rats, there are a range of options available, but snap traps are considered the most humane. It is pointless to try to use a live trap and relocate rats due to their quick breeding and the fact that they are creatures of habit who are unlikely to survive in their new home for long. Trapping and then killing the rats is just a waste of time when snap traps offer a perfectly humane alternative that does both. Don’t use glue traps as they are inhumane and ineffective. Instead of killing the rats immediately like snap traps, glue traps simply make them stuck, leaving them to slowly die of exhaustion or dehydration; there are also cases of rats ripping off fur or even a limb to escape these traps.
How To Trap Rats
The most effective method of getting rats out of a building is by trapping them. Before you do this, however, you need to make sure that all entry points the rodents are using have been sealed up. Remember that if you leave a single entrance open, more rats will come in, leaving you in an endless cycle of trapping the rats.
Once you have confirmed everything is sealed, plan the placement of the traps. You want to put your snap traps in areas where the rats are highly active, which you can tell based on rat trails, grease marks, and droppings. Ideally, the traps should be placed by walls and edges so the yellow trip pan is facing the wall, letting the rat approach from the pan instead of the kill bar. Bait isn’t as important as location, but peanut butter works well.
Preventing Rats In The First Place
While it is possible to get rid of rats, it is much simpler to just prevent them from ever entering your home in the first place. The first step is, unsurprisingly, sealing up every entry point into your home. Next, you should take steps to make your home less attractive to these rodents. Start by getting rid of any garbage, particularly pet and human food. Store any trash you do have in airtight containers and don’t leave leftovers out. While you’re at it, clean up the exterior of your home as well, including trimming trees away from the home and picking up fruit that has fallen from trees. Trimming back trees will eliminate a simple route that the rodents may use to get to your attic. You should also clean up any clutter or debris you have on your property as these can serve as excellent hiding spots for rats.
Why Poisons Don’t Work
Many people are tempted to just take the “easy” way out of their rat problem and use rat poison. While you can find many products that claim to kill rats, none will kill every single one. Some rats won’t eat it and out of those that do, not all will die. This is also an inhumane method as death from poison is slow and painful. To make it even worse, it will still leave you with a problem, even if you do remember to seal up the entry points to stop more rats from coming in. Instead of dealing with live rats, you would now have to find and remove dead rats. This is much harder as you can’t count on them running over snap traps, especially considering the tiny spots rats like to hide in when sick or dying. Instead of trying a poison, just stick to snap traps or hire a professional.
If you have a rat problem in your home or building, only one thing really matters: you need to find out how they are getting in - through pipes, vents, and all kinds of small holes leading into your
house - it's actually not that hard to find all the areas if you know what to look for - and then seal these areas shut. Until you do this one essential task, nothing matters - no rat traps, no poison,
no repellents - all a waste of time unless you seal the holes shut.
Rats are not only an annoying pest, they can also be dangerous. They can live in close proximity to humans and sometimes they do not even seem scared of the possibility of a much larger predator around them. They can also reproduce very quickly so if you see a pair of rats then chances are that soon you may have dozens. They can damage buildings and your property can soon have holes that were not there days before. The can also give you and your pets diseases by urinating in your food and leaving droppings all over your house. Getting a rat problem under control is incredibly important because of those reasons, and this article will give you some ideas to accomplish that goal.
Where Rats Are: The first thing you have to do is find out where on your property the rats are. You should comb every inch of your home from the attic to the basement. Look for clues that rats will leave like droppings, gnawing damage and entry holes. Many people will be tempted to plug the entry holes, but there is a problem with that. If the rats are trapped in and die in your walls that can mean a big stench in your house for days depending on how big the infestation is. It can also mean you will have dead animals in your living quarters. What you can do is use a material that will be easy for a rat to get through like paper. If the next day the paper is damaged then you can be certain that you have found the entry hole. Keep track of where these locations are because it will make getting rid of your rat problem a lot easier.
Take Away Their Food: If you have a food source for the rat then you can never hope to get rid of them. The food sources that you should get rid of are leftovers, garbage and even jars that are not sealed. Make sure that if you have left overs that you put them in the fridge right away. Anything that is left out is fair game. If you have an open container for your trash make sure you get a lid or better yet get an aluminum one with a lid, because a rat will not be able to chew its way in. If you have jars make sure that you close them well, if they are just covered rats can either get in or knock them down in order to get to the food inside. Do the same with pet food. Keep it in a sealed container that rats can’t get to, and you will be cutting off the supply. That eventually will get rid of the rats.
Keep Them Out: Did you know that rats are good swimmers? That’s right; rats can be really creative about the way they get into your home. Some people report that rats get in their homes through the sewer line. That means that you have to make sure their entry points are sealed even the sewer line. They can also get in through your walls roof and windows. It may take a while to find out where the rats are coming from, but having patience is essential if you can hope to block their entry points. Once the entry points are sealed you want to get rid of any of them that have been locked inside. The best thing to do is to get an exterminator to make sure that you have all of them. You can also use traps yourself, but that can be useless if you have more than one mal and one female inside. Consult a professional for best results.
Repellents And Poison: There are many people who try to use repellents to get rid of rats that have infested. Once they have an established colony they aren’t as likely to leave even for a powerful repellent. There are many other people who recommend poison to kill the animals. The trouble with this is they crawl further into the home to die and therefore you will have dead rats in your home that you’ll have to hunt out and remove. The most common way is with snap traps. If an individual decides to do this there will be many traps and animals to remove and for this reason many choose to hire a professional to help them get rid of the problem.
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.