No one wants to admit they have rats, and we aren’t talking about the cute ones at the pet stores. Rat infestations are not only unsanitary, but they can be downright aggressive, invading your kitchen for snacks, making nests throughout your house, and burrowing into cracks and crevices which compromise the integrity of your home. If you are looking for a way to keep rats away for your home of course there is always the option for poisons and pesticides, but the truth is that they are not a necessity. Rat poisons are very hard on the environment and often end up poisoning other animals higher on the food chain such as hawks and cats. The good news we have compiled a list of ways to get rid of rats in your home without pesticides or poisons.
Managing Rat Problems
When it comes to getting rid of rats in your home there are three methods which must be addressed all at once. This can feel overwhelming to some, but once you get started you are creating a long term solution to removing rats from your life.
Perhaps the most important thing to do when removing rats from your home is making it so they can’t enter in the first place. Any crack larger than a half inch is a potential entry point for a rat as they can accordion their rib cages. This means they only need an opening as wide as their skull, which is amazing and kind of gross. We can help you to locate all the potential openings that rats may enter and fill them in using a ratproof material such as wire mesh or sheet metal. Make sure all vent covers, doors, windows and screens are tightly in place so the rats don’t enter unannounced. Norwegian rats are nocturnal so consider keeping your door closed, even on a warm night.
Rats like many of the same foods you and your pets do. This means it’s time to get serious about keeping your kitchen clean at all times. Do your dishes, sweep and mop so there are no potential snacks for these furry invaders. In addition, invest in tightly sealed containers for food and store all perishables in the fridge, so you don’t end up sharing it with a rat on another journey for a delicious opportunity. If you compost make sure your bin can close tightly, otherwise it’s a smorgasbord for a rat population and make sure your trashcans have tight fitting lids while you are at it.
In addition to a clean home void of potential food sources, make sure your yard doesn’t have any place for rats to nest and hide as many rats enjoy hiding in wood piles, left over piles of construction or sneaking around in tall grasses, ivy or overgrown shrubs. The less places rats have to hide or nest the most likely they’ll move on to somewhere else. Often times the problem isn’t you, it’s your neighbors, which means it’s time to talk to them about how they keep their yard and remind them of how it may be affecting the whole neighborhood!
Trapping & Baiting
Once you have a rat problem you may need to trapp the rats to get them to leave. Poison is not only dangerous to your pets and small children but creates a whole new health issue when they die, leaving behind stench and decay which can often be hard to remove.
However, trapping is not always easy, as rats are very agile and resorcefull. To trap indoors these tricks may work:
- Don’t set the trap at first. Once the rat feels comfortable in a trap you are more likely to have success in trapping them.
- Set multiple traps
- You won’t catch rats with mouse traps! Make sure you have traps big enough to catch rats.
- Make sure your traps are set in locations where your pets and children will not venture. This could even be a trap in an enclosed box with a rat door cut into a side.
- Identify the entry points and place the traps there for more success. You’ll also find success with placing them where they are eating and leaving rat droppings.
- The type of bait matters. Peanut butter is by far the best as its alluring to rats and sticky so takes a while to consume
Nuisance Wildlife Services
If all this feels overwhelming, don’t worry, you don’t have to do it alone. We are here to help you address your rat issue and make sure it’s taken care of poison free! Contact us today.