Imagine this. You wake up deep in the night to go to the bathroom, but just as you step out of bed, a massive rat runs across your legs.
That's scary, isn't it?
And it would probably be followed by a loud scream. But it is something that happens to many people because rats and mice always find a way inside the home. However, what matters is what you do to ensure that you never go through this scary experience again.
Rats can chew through wire, plastic, wood and even some steel types. Imagine the damage that they can do to your house and expensive appliances. Worse still they can contaminate your food and spread diseases. Luckily, there are various methods that you can use to get rid of them and keep them out of your house.
So how do you make your home free of rats?
Signs of Rat Presence
Did you see that rat that you think is in your house or you are just imagining?
Although rat infestation is a common problem there also many people that believe there is a rat in the house when there is none. In most cases, it is just their pet making the mess and weird sounds at night. And so learn how to get rid of rats you have first to understand the signs of their presence in your house.
Now that you suspect that you might have these rodents in your house what signs should alert you to their presence?
- Seeing some live rats or finding dead ones.
- Finding rat droppings around the trash or where you keep your pet or human food.
- Scratching sounds and other weird noises in the attic or behind the walls.
- Piled nesting materials behind the walls and other dark and hidden places.
- Evidence or indications of gnawed wood or wires.
- Seeing small burrows in the yard and other areas like under the home.
- Rodent hairs along paths or some smudge marks along the walls.
How to Get Rid of Rats
Now that you know the rat presence signs to look for, the next and most important part is getting rid of them. When doing this, you should always start with an inspection of your entire house and compound.
Why go through all the trouble?
Simple, to know the extent of the infestation so that you can choose the best course of action. Still not convinced? What if you have an entire family of rats (which can be quite a large population by the way) and are trying to get rid of them with a couple of small traps?
Sounds silly, doesn't it?
Once you do the inspection and have an idea of what you are dealing with, the following are some of the methods that you can use to exterminate them.
Method #1: Using Rat Traps
Rat traps offer a simple and expensive method of getting rid of rats. Also, they ensure that you do not have to put your kids and pets at risk of ingesting any rat poison. But, just like baits you need to inspect all your traps regularly because dead or even dying rats will attract insects that can cause other problems.
But where do you set these traps? Sound like an obvious question, doesn't it?
Most people will place the trap where they saw the rat, but this does not mean that it frequents that spot. The right idea is always to have the traps in hidden areas such as the attic and basement and near food sources such as trash.
What are some of the best rat traps?
Live traps are ideal for those that want to capture the rats humanely without harming them. They take advantage of the rat's natural curiosity to want to investigate any hole they see.
But, once they go through the hole, the trap triggers a locking mechanism that makes it impossible for the rat to get out. You should inspect the trap regularly. And when you find the rat kill it humanely or release it somewhere it cannot re-enter the house.
This trap is just a block of wood with some glue that uses the stickiness to hold the rodents. Although these trap types can be very useful in trapping small rats, the large ones can still be able to pull themselves loose.
Some will even drug the board around if it just catches one or two of their limbs. But if you are looking for a rat eradication method that is inexpensive and straightforward, the glue boards can be a good choice.
Snap traps are by far one of the most effective ways of dealing with rats. You can get plastic or wooden ones, but they all work the same way. As their name suggests, they will snap when the rat steps on them and kill it almost instantly.
But, there are some that are only designed to capture them. With this trap, the most important thing is to go for a size that is large enough for the big rats.
Method #2: Using Rat Baits
The bait method entails using something that attracts the rat to capture or kill it. It is also quite a useful method but can be a little expensive and poses some danger to your kids and pets since you might need to use poisons. If you prefer to use the bait method the following are two of the most effective ones.
Rodenticides are poison pesticides with a unique formulation to kill rats. Although you can buy them at a regular home store, some regulations can require you to purchase them as a bait station that is ready to use. Having the poison in bait station reduces the danger that it poses to kids and pets.
You wouldn't want to expose your loved ones to unnecessary risks, would you?
If you are facing a massive rat population, it might be necessary to call in an expert because they know how to use the rodenticides in bulk and do it correctly and safely.
Baiting traps will entail combining the rat trap and bait methods. Using the two methods together can make it even easier for you to catch all those annoying rats. Some dry pet food, nuts, bacon and dried fruits all make excellent rat bait.
Attaching some of these foods to your snap trap will draw the rate to it where you can trap and kill it. Sounds easy, doesn't it?
And yes, it is that simple.
Bonus Method: Get a cat if you do not mind keeping pets. Cats are skillful hunters with a natural instinct to hunt rats. And so by getting a cat, you will just be initiating the natural cycle of life. With a cat, you can get rid of the entire rat population in only a few weeks.
Preventing Rat Infestation
Prevention is always more useful than the eradication when it comes to dealing with rats. And there is nothing special you need to keep the rats out of your house.
Here are some simple things that you should do to prevent a rat infestation.
- Avoid giving the rodents a reason to hang around your house by always keeping the trash sealed and taking it out every time you throw some food.
- Always keep your food in sealed in containers. Leaving it open will attract rats and also make it easy for them to contaminate it.
- Keep your house clean and pay more attention to the places that you leave food. Also, cleaning means everywhere including the out of sight areas because it is where the rats live.
- Seal the holes in the doors, walls or screens to make it harder for the rats to enter the house. And also avoid leaving the doors open because there is nothing that stops them from coming in through your main door.
- Use steel wool or bronze to stuff the areas surrounding small holes and pipes that lead into the house as this will stop the rats from entering through the access holes.
Paper mouse trap
Top Tips for Getting Rid of Rats
- Always start by identifying the point of entry or the hole they use to enter your home.
- Only after you seal out the entry holes should you start eradicating the rats because doing it before is just a waste of time.
- Do not waste your money on the "rat repellents" because most almost never work at all.
- When trapping rats, the placement of the traps is more important than your choice of bait.
- Combining different methods is always more efficient than relying on one technique of getting rid of rats.
There you have it, a simple guide and tips on how to get rid of rats. Whether you are facing a massive population or just a couple of rodents, it is still possible to eradicate them and keep them out of the house. But, it is always good to do it humanely.
Also, make sure you never put your pets or kids at risk when trying to get rid of the rodents. What this point means is that you should always take extra precaution when using poisons to deal with the rat problem. So stop worrying or stressing over rats an start eradicating them today.