How to Prevent Rats in the House

Image of a rat

Rats are unpleasant animals to look at, (especially the big rats!) but they can also pose a serious problem to your home and family. Even finding a dead rat at your home can be a significant health risk since these animals tend to harbor diseases.

Chances are, you might be attracting rats realizing the risk. Thankfully, there are several pest control measures you can take to get rid of rats safely and securely. If you’re experiencing a rat problem at home or want to prepare your property for rodent control, make sure to read this guide!

Image of a rat infestation

Why Do You Have a Rat Infestation at Home?

It’s important to note that rats don’t need much to live comfortably, which is why they’re so complicated to control in some cases. In essence, humans often provide all the things rats need to live, so if you make your home a pleasant place for them to seek shelter, you’re more likely to experience a rat problem.

Here are the three main factors that attract rats to any home:

Image of a rat food source

Food

Considering rats’ omnivorous nature, it’s a fact that rats can survive from most food sources available. Rats don’t have very good eyesight but they do have an excellent sense of smell. Rats typically go into trash cans to find their food, but some may kill smaller animals to get their food. If you tend to have a lot of trash around your home, you may make it a good food source for rats.

Image of a pet's water bowl

Water

While rats can survive for more than a month without drinking water directly, they may still seek any source of standing water in your home. In most cases, rats may look for a water source in your pets’ dishes, drains, or even your interior/exterior walls.

Shelter

A rat may look for shelter indoors for a wide number of reasons; typically to seek warmth in the winter months. In the case of homes, rats could seek shelter under furniture, unused areas of your home, or behind your walls.

How to Tell if You Have Rats at Home

Now that you know what attracts rats, it’s important to know how to tell whether you truly have a rat infestation or not. When it comes to rats or mice, people can see them directly while they’re roaming around their homes. However, keep in mind you may not always see them, making them even more dangerous.

Here’s a list of things you may do to tell if you having rat activity at home:

  • Look at unused areas at your home or baseboards/walls. Rodents tend to leave grease and tail marks in areas where they were looking for food
  • If you notice any droppings near your food or your pet food, you may have rats at home
  • Look for any chew marks on wood, electrical wires, drywall, and more
  • Check your yard for holes. Some rodents tend to create their nest nearby
  • Check your garbage cans

If want to learn more about rat characteristics and habits, as well as what rats look like, click here!

Image of rat droppings

Why Rats in Your Home are Dangerous

Both living and dead rats can pose a serious problem to your house, your family, and yourself. Many homeowners don’t notice rat holes or droppings until it’s too late, so it’s vital for you to know how severe the problems can be if you don’t get rid of rats promptly.

Here’s an overview of why these rodents pose such a risk to humans and their health in general:

Health Damage

As mentioned before, rats, mice, and all the other different kinds of rodents tend to carry diseases that can contaminate several items in your home, such as your foods, water, and more. These diseases may also spread through dust and soil, making them even more severe.

It’s also vital to note that under ideal conditions, a female rat can become pregnant up to seven times each year. They can also deliver around eight baby rats in every litter. The more rats you have at home, the bigger the risk for disease. One of the most common disease types rats take is flea-borne typhus, which can cause a wide range of symptoms.

Damage to your home

On the other hand, rodents such as rats can cause a lot of damage to your home if you let them roam around for a few days. These pests can cause some of the following problems to your property:

  • Damage to your electrical cords
  • Structural damage to drywall, wood, and building materials in general
  • Shredded paper in your books and documents
  • Ruined furniture due to excessive biting

Steps to Take to Prevent Rats Inside Your Home

Now that you know what causes rats to seek hiding places in your home and the damage that it can cause, here are some pest control measures you can consider to help in the process of keeping rats away from your property.

Keep in mind that these pest control measures may not be able to get rid of rats entirely, so if you want a permanent solution to these pests, make sure you contact a professional.

Image of a rat entry point

Fill In All Possible Entry Holes

Rodents are able to fit through many hole types in your home due to their small size. You must look for any entry points and gaps rats can slip into and seal them correctly to avoid them from going in.

Typically, you could use materials such as hardware cloth, steel wool, plaster, cement, and others to seal cracks. Some weather-strip doors tend to have bigger cracks, so make sure to seal those too.

Clean Up and Remove Food Sources (Including Pet Food)

Remember that a rat can feed on any food item they can find in your home, so you must get rid of any potential sources of food for it. First, make sure to cover your garbage cans so that the rat doesn’t have access to it. Additionally, look in your home and yard for potential food, such as fallen fruit and spilled seed.

If you have any pets at home, don’t leave any leftovers or water bowls lying around since a rat could go for them. In case you store your pets’ food outside, make sure it’s always in rodent-proof containers. Consequently, having a pet cat can help deter rats or alleviate the problem as cats eat rats.

Aside from removing any potential sources of food from your home and yard, you can also clean up these areas thoroughly so that the rat doesn’t have anything to feed on.

Clean Up Outdoors to Remove their Habitat

As long as you make your property uninhabitable for rats, they’re highly unlikely to be going inside. You may try removing old appliances from your property, as well as woodpiles, lumber, old cars, and other items that may attract mice and rats.

If you tend to have heavy vegetation in open spaces at your house, you must remove that too since rodents often go for these areas to hide.

Trim Trees and Shrubs Away from Your Home

If you make it really easy to access your home, a rat will take that as an invitation. If you have any limbs, trees, compost piles, and shrubs in your house, make sure to keep them at least four feet away from it so that mice/rats can’t use them to gain easier access.

Image of a rat in a trap

Set Traps Inside and Outside for Pest Control

While this method may require a bit more work from you, you may try setting up rat bait or rat traps to remove them from your home. Some of the most popular rat traps include snap traps and glue traps. We don’t recommend using rat bait with attractive food like peanut butter or peppermint oil since they’re not likely to help you fix your rat problem entirely. As for baits regarding poison, make sure to only place them outside since rats could spread them around if you leave them inside. Baits often come with label directions, so make sure to follow those.

Make sure to set your rat traps both inside and outside your home so that you can remove rats instantly.

Check Around Your Neighborhood for Potential Hotspots

In some cases, the problem with rats may not even be in your home, but your neighbor’s. Keep in mind that severe problems with pests often affect entire neighborhoods. Make sure to check with your neighbors for any rat activity and deal with it accordingly.

Call the Professionals to Deal with Your Rodent Infestation

While there are several steps you can take to get rid of rats at your home, these are not always likely to solve your problems with these pests. If you don’t want to take your chances setting up a trap or bait to get rid of these animals, consider calling a professional.

The team at AAAC Wildlife Removal is ready to trap and remove any rats that may come into your property. Keep in mind that removal professionals have all the tools necessary to remove rats efficiently without harming your property any further.

If you want to work with the right people, make sure to get an inspection from the AAAC Wildlife Removal team. Our technicians are qualified and capable of solving any rat problem you might have. Remember that rats can pose a significant risk to you and your family, so you must deal with them as fast as possible.

When it comes to dealing with rats in the garden or your home, the best and fastest solution is always going to be hiring a professional, so if you’re ready to start, contact AAAC Wildlife Removal today!

Originally published on https://aaacwildliferemoval.com/blog/rats/how-to-prevent-rats-in-the-house/

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