What smell will keep rats away? How do I get rid of rats naturally? Will mothballs keep rats away? Find out more in this rat extermination guide.
Rats are considered among the most detestable pests to have around. To compound the problem, they are known to be resilient and highly adaptable to any environment.
Also, not only do rats cause diseases, but they are also known to cause lots of damage.
Why Is Rat Control Required?
Rats are considered as pests for several reasons. Two main reasons include the diseases spread by them as well as damage caused by them. These aren’t pleasant or tolerable conditions and require urgent action to be taking to rid your home of them.
For a better understanding of why rats need to be gotten rid of, let’s briefly discuss each of the above reasons;
Diseases Spread by Rats
Rats and other rodents are known to pass on diseases to humans from their activities. Having these around can become unbearable since their activities are visible and audible. Such diseases are spread primarily from rat droppings and urine. There are several diseases spread by rats.
Such include Weil’s disease or Leptospirosis, rat-bite fever RBF, Salmonellosis, Plague, Tularemia, Lassa fever, and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.
Other diseases spread by rats include Omsk Hemorrhagic fever, Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis (LCM), Hemorrhagic fever with Renal Syndrome, and a host of many other deadly diseases.
Given this, having a rat infestation poses a serious health threat to anyone.
Damages Caused by Rats
Apart from the spread of a variety of diseases, rats also cause a lot of structural damage. One of the most common includes chewing on electrical cables. This has been responsible for fires because wire insulation has been chewed off.
In addition to damaging electrical cables, rats chew on just about anything. These include papers (including important documents), gnawing on furniture, etc.
With rats, nothing is considered safe as they will damage anything that can be chewed or gnawed. This creates a serious problem and the need to urgently provide solutions which this article is about.
Signs of Rat Infestation
Rats try as much as possible to keep away from the site. This means you may not see them often. However, there are several signs of their activities. Rats will always find something to chew on, hence chew and gnaw marks left in their wake. One of the easiest ways to identify a rat infestation is by checking for droppings near sources of food.
Rats don’t stray far from their nests. Hence to identify if you are faced with a rat problem, inspect your home surroundings for any holes. Finding a few or several of these are signs that rats are present.
Rat Prevention Strategies
Before we delve into ways to get rid of rats, adopting preventive measures is an effective strategy that checkmates rat activity. It is cost-effective and requires only a little effort on your part to keep them at bay.
Note that rat prevention is only effective when there isn’t a case of infestation. It is also best applicable after extermination has been done. A few preventive actions include the following;
Eliminating all Food Sources
Rats target homes for one major reason; Food! Therefore to get rid of them, you need to eliminate all likely sources of food.
To do this, you should get a glass or metal containers to keep your entire foodstuff. Plastic containers will only provide a temporary solution as rats can chew through to such foodstuffs.
De-Clutter your Home
Rats love clutter. This provides them with ample hiding places as well as serving as a breeding ground. Hence to get rid of them, consider tidying up to create enough space and less hiding places for these rodents.
Cleaning and Emptying all Trash Properly
Rats are always on the lookout for food leftovers and crumbs. As long as there is constant supply, your home will continue to be inviting. A proper cleanup of the kitchen and dining areas is necessary.
This action eliminates all likely food sources. Trash should frequently be disposed of and the trash cans with well-fitted lids.
Plugging all Entry Points
Rats enter into homes through holes, opening, or cracks. These entry points need to be sealed up to prevent them from getting access to your home. Typically, homes have spaces that can be used by rats to gain entry.
Such include drainage ways, roofs, sewer pipes as well as cracks or gaps on the wall. By blocking such entry points, you will effectively keep out roof rats.
Properly Stow Away Pet Food
Rats are also attracted by pet food. Such should be cleaned and properly stored before going to bed. Rats are most active at night and will maintain their distance when there is no motivation.
Keep your Yard and Garden Tidy
Your lawns and yard should be kept tidy at all times. Anything short of this will be an invitation to rats as they see such areas as perfect breeding grounds.
Through proper maintenance, you deny rats the chance of using your yard as a base from which to storm into your home.
How to Get Rid of Rats in the Walls, Rooms, and Basement
Getting rid of rats effectively depends on the strategy used. Several such strategies can be adopted. We bring you some of the most effective ways to rid your home of rats. These include;
Calling in the Experts
Pest control professionals offer comprehensive rat extermination solutions for clients. There are several options you can choose from. After choosing your preferred pest control service, the next step is to place a call. A pest control technician is sent to your property to conduct an inspection.
Several pest control services offer free inspection and quotes. Here is how much they charge on the average.
This option is mostly recommended for persons with no experience or knowledge of rat control/extermination. Pest technicians have a great deal of experience as well as an understanding of rat behavior. This helps them locate the problem and based on the circumstances choose the best treatment to apply.
Apart from calling a professional, most of the other methods of getting rid of rats are DIY methods. Hence to take back control of your home, you can take choose from any of the following DIY methods.
Each has been tested and found effective in combating rat infestation issues. An added advantage is that you can use a combination of one or more to achieve your aim. These include;
Traps have been in use over the ages to control rat populations. These traps have seen a lot of improvements in their design and efficiency. While most rat traps used in the early days were snap traps (still in use today), humane traps have been added for animal lovers.
Such traps are mostly catch-and-release and pose no harm to rats.
Some highly effective traps include Harris Humane Mouse Trap, Mouse Rat Glue Trap, Trapro Humane Rat Trap, Hoont Powerful Electronic Rodent Trap, Rinne Traps Walk the Plank Trap and Kat Sense Large Rat Traps among many others. The traps mentioned above come with a detailed user guide.
Every instruction should be carefully read and followed to get the best results.
Rats have increasingly evolved over the years to either avoid traps altogether or carefully chew on bait without stepping on the trigger plate. Yet, these traps continue to be effective against rats.
If a trap hasn’t triggered for some time, consider changing its location.
Another way to get rid of rats is through the use of rodenticides. These are poisons which when ingested by rats lead to their sure death. However, this could be risky if you have kids or pets around. The best way to use rodenticides is with bait stations.
With bait stations, you do not need to worry about accidental contact as this is safely tucked away from easy contact from kids and pets.
When using rodenticides, you must know about secondary poisoning. This involves an animal eating a dead animal that has been poisoned. Hence when disposing of a dead rat, you should do so properly to avoid secondary poisoning.
Get a Cat
Cats are efficient predators and have been used for ages. Hence, whenever these are brought into the home, rats maintain their distance. If you are a pet lover (specifically cat lover) then this method should be second nature to you.
Many have found this strategy quite effecting in getting rid of rats.
We have discussed how to get rid of rats by considering different ways through which this can be achieved. While it is important to tackle an existing rat infestation head-on by adopting any of the above strategies, preventive measures are equally necessary.
Even though prevention has been mentioned as effective in ridding rodents, it is only applicable before an infestation or after treatment.
In other words, an existing problem has to be fully contained before adopting preventive treatment.