In this article, I’ll be giving you tips on how to get rid of woodrats in yards and houses.
Pack Rat Control Methods
Most people can’t stand the sight of woodrats, neither can they tolerate the damages they cause. These include chewing up pieces of paper, dropping excreta all over the place, and munching on packaged food.
They are unwelcomed guests that need to be kicked out. If you have a woodrat infestation and you’ve got no clue how to deal with them, then keep reading.
Are Woodrats Dangerous?
There are about 20 species of woodrats, which are usually medium-sized can be found in many countries in the world. They are also called “pack rats”. This is because they have a habit of stacking up food and debris close to their dens.
“Middens” is the term used to describe their gatherings, which are usually items stolen from humans and things like sticks, bones, small metal objects, etc.
They pose a real problem when they make their way into a home. Luckily, there are several rat control methods with which you can get rid of them.
I will list out your options below.
Best Ways To Get Rid Of Woodrats
To properly handle a woodrat infestation, there are some things you can do all by yourself without the help of a professional exterminator.
Here’s what you can do –
Identify The Signs Of Their Presence
If you notice something in the house that raises your suspicion of a woodrat infestation, then the first thing you need to do is a thorough check of the entire house.
Look out for signs that can confirm your suspicions and even lead you to where their den is.
Signs of woodrat infestation include droppings, funny urine odor, gnaw marks and small teeth marks on wrappers of packaged food.
If you notice any of these signs, then you most likely have a rodent problem.
Use Rat Traps
Rat traps have been used for decades to catch and kill woodrats. They are a very effective and cheap means of ridding your home of these destructive rodents.
The good thing about using rat traps is that they are non-toxic, meaning it can only harm the rats, but not humans or larger pets.
You have different options for rat traps to choose from. These include snap traps and glue traps.
Another advantage of using rat traps is that you can confirm the rat’s capture. This is unlike using chemical pesticides or rat poison, where you may not find the body of the rat.
Be sure to place the trap in areas where woodrat activity is high. These include the places where you mostly find their droppings and areas that are very close to their den.
Luckily for you, woodrat infestation is usually in small numbers, which means using traps will be able to get rid of them all.
- How To Use A Snap Trap
Snap traps are very popular, if you haven’t seen one in real life, then you must have seen it in cartoons. I’m sure you’ve watched “Tom & Jerry”.
To use a snap trap, you will need some bait. Find something that the woodrat will be interested in and place small chunks of it on the platform of the trap.
Pull the snap backward and latch it to a hook which will come loose when a rat steps on it.
If the rat is lured into the trap, the snap will swing forward with frightening speed and power lock the rat into the trap, sometimes killing it.
For bait, you can place some tiny pieces of fried chicken or any other piece of food that has a strong aroma. Rats are also carnivorous so they will most likely fall for sweet-smelling meat.
Be careful when you’re setting up the trap so it doesn’t accidentally snap on your fingers. Believe me, it’s not a pleasant experience.
- How To Use A Glue Trap
Unlike the snap trap, the glue traps are a less complicated trap. It also requires some bait, but you won’t have to worry about doing any set-ups since it’s just a flat, foldable board with glue on one side of it.
You can buy a ready-made glue trap from most local stores.
To use, simply place the bait on the board and drop one or more of it in areas where the woodrats get very busy.
Sadly for the woodrat, it has to run onto the board to get the bait. When it does, it will be stuck on the board (thanks to the glue) until you return to dispose of it.
A glue trap will not kill the rat, it will only trap it and leave it at your mercy.
If you’re not willing to go out and buy a glue trap, you can simply make one at home.
All you need to do is get a strong piece of cardboard wide enough to contain up to two woodrats. The next step is to pour some gum all across the surface.
Do not brush the gum across the board, if you do it will dry up quickly and won’t hold the woodrat when it arrives. The gum you apply should be thick enough to last at least 8 hours before it dries up. This is enough time for the woodrat to notice and take the bait.
While some chemicals have been banned from home use, some pesticides are very effective against woodrats.
To use a pesticide to kill a woodrat, you can employ two methods.
The first of which is to apply it in areas of high woodrat activity and hope their curiosity leads them to ingest it.
The second method is by mixing the pesticide with a strong-smelling bait. As I mentioned earlier, you could use pieces of fried chicken for bait since the aroma is almost irresistible.
Get a piece of cardboard and place it on the ground. Place some bait on it and sprinkle the pesticide all over it. In no time, the woodrat will pick up the scent and go for it.
As it eats the bait, it ingests the pesticide, and will eventually die. The time it will take for the rat to die will depend on how strong the pesticide is.
Unlike rat traps, pesticides will kill the rats. However, you may not be able to find their bodies, since they can run off and die in less conspicuous corners.
If you’re lucky, the rat will die in a position where you can easily spot it, such as the kitchen floor. If it dies in a hidden space, then you’ll have to wait a few days to know exactly where it is, as the smell of its decaying body will lead you to it.
If you have kids or pets in your home, then you need to be careful when using pesticides to kill woodrats. This is because they can accidentally ingest it and the results could be fatal.
You also have to be careful not to touch it when you’re applying it. You can put on a pair of gloves just to be sure. In any case be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap after using a pesticide, no matter how safe the package says it is.
How To Keep Woodrats Controlled Around Your Home
All woodrats come from outside and enter your home in search of food and shelter.
Below, I will give you useful tips on how to control the activities of woodrats in and around your home.
See Off Entry Points
One of the best ways to restrict their entry is to seal off all access points. These include bottom parts of the door that may have chipped off, holes in the ceiling, and any other compromised areas in the attic or roof.
Woodrats only need about ½ an inch worth of space to squeeze through and gain entry, so see them off tightly.
Also, do not make a habit of leaving your doors open, especially at night, as woodrats can quickly make their way in without you even noticing.
Empty The Trash
Woodrats scavenge for food pretty much anywhere they can find it, including your trash can.
If your trash can is full and overflowing with all sorts of leftover food, then be sure that woodrats would be regular visitors there.
Make sure your trash bins are always empty and neat. Once the woodrats find there’s nothing for them in there, they’ll be gone.
Cut Off Over-Reaching Branches
If you’ve got tree branches that stretch to your windows, then you can consider that an indirect invitation for the woodrats to come in.
I know what you’re thinking – rats don’t climb trees, do they? My answer to you is this – rats climb to the roof, why not a tree?
Cut off over-reaching branches just to be sure.
I trust this article on how to get rid of woodrats has been helpful.