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How to Get Rid of Rats in the Home Effectively and Adequately

Filed in Articles by on June 18, 2021

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Interestingly, the tiniest and least significant things in this life can cause us the most troubles and problems. It sounds wry to think that some minute organisms like rat could draw so much and attention and even cause so much stir. Countless number of persons has asked how to get rid of rats in the home.

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Home Effectively and Adequately

Are you also wondering how to get rid of rats in the home?  Are these tiny things also giving you much stress? You need not worry any longer. This article will guide you on how to get rid of rats in the home.

You get to know what you are to do. Also, all relevant information about how to get rid of rats in the home and even outside the home will be communicated to you.

Simply screw through the sections that will follow and get as much details as you desire about how to get rid of rats in the home.

Signs of Rat Infestation in your Home 

If you think you might have a rat infestation in your home, look for these tell-tale signs:

1. Strange Smells & Sounds

Rats give off a powerful ammonia smell. They’re also very loud – making squeaking, scratching, and rustling noises as they move throughout your home. Noticing either of these signs is an indication that rats are in the building

2. Droppings & Smears

Rats leave droppings behind as they move through your home. You may notice small, dark, pellet-shaped droppings along main rat pathways. Since rats have poor eyesight, they also create and maintain established routes along the walls.  As they travel these routes, they leave grease smears and smudges along the walls. 

3. Footprints

Think you might have a rat problem? Take a look into a seldom-used, dusty corner of your home. Rats often leave foot and tail marks in the places they travel. 

4. Damage

Last but not least, rats will leave damage in their wake. They may chew through electrical cords, gnaw on furniture, storage containers, or paper, and eat food left out on the counter.

As they do, they can leave droppings and urine throughout your home, increasing your risk of exposure to diseases.

Signs of Rats in Walls

Signs of Rats in Walls

It can be challenging to detect the presence of rats when they’re living behind your walls. 

Here are a few signs to look for:

1. Strange sounds in the walls, including squeaking, scurrying, and running noises

2. Piles of droppings in hidden areas, such as behind the stove, in your basement or attic, or the corners of the home

3. Food packages, containers, or leftovers with bite marks

4. Smudges along the walls, which look like a mixture of dirt and grease

5. Nests made of insulation, shredded paper, bits of fabric, or other soft material

6. Ductwork that seems to be gnawed on or damaged

In addition to the above indications, you may also see a live or dead rat somewhere in your home.

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Reasons You Need to Get Rid of Rats in the Home

Even if you have a soft spot for rats, you really don’t want them in your house—especially if you have kids and pets. Don’t delay in getting rid of rats once you spot the problem.

1. Rats carry deadly diseases that can contaminate and spread through dust, water and soil. Rats can carry a number of serious diseases to livestock and humans in two ways. First, they may act as transport for fleas and ticks to enter your home with a variety of parasites.

Second, rats may carry diseases on their own through saliva, urine, and feces. Increasing rat populations also puts you at risk of contracting rodent-borne illnesses. Rats are famous for carrying a variety of dangerous diseases.

They’ve recently been shown to be carriers of Hepatitis Eand infecting people with the strain. Many of them carry the disease typhus. Some other illnesses associated with rats include:

  • Murine typhus
  • Leptospirosis
  • Trichinosis
  • Salmonellosis (food poisoning)
  • Ratbite fever
  • Plague

2. There is no mating season for rats. Under ideal conditions, a female can fall pregnant 7 times in a year and deliver around 8 pups in each litter.

Female rats can mate up to 500 times in just six hours, and brown rats can give birth to up to 2,000 babies in a single year- with up to 22 young in a single litter. Considering rats have a gestational period of less than a month, it’s easy to see how populations quickly get out of control. 

As rat populations start to grow in or around your home, you’ll also notice an increase in droppings and damage. 

3. Rats can forage on almost anything: One study found over 4,000 different items in a single brown rat’s stomach.

4. A rat’s incisor teeth grow around 5 inches per year. The process of wearing them down also makes them razor sharp, and they chew through on all kinds of hard surfaces, from electrical wires to concrete.

5. Although the average lifespan is around 1 year, rats that have found the safety of shelter indoors can live as long as 3 years.

What Kind Of Physical Damage Can Rats Cause In The Home? 

What Kind of Physical Damage Can Rats Cause in the Home? 

For such a small animal, rats can cause significant damage to a home. In addition to spreading diseases and threatening the health of everyone who lives in the house, rats can…

1. Cause structural damage to wood, drywall, insulation, and other building materials

2. Chew through electrical wires and increase fire and electrocution risk.

3. Ruin furniture by burrowing into cushions and ripping out batting

4. Destroy books, papers, and clothes

5. Create noise that makes it difficult to sleep or relax in your home

6. Nest in walls, below the sink, or even in appliances – like the back of the refrigerator or underside of the washer

7. While no rat damage is good, large rat populations can quickly cause expensive and irreversible damage in the home. 

Steps on how to Get Rid of Rats in the House Fast

Steps on How to Get Rid of Rats in the House Fast

Nobody wants to live with rats. Fortunately, these tips can help you figure out how to get rid of rats in your home:

1. Inspect the Home

Before you can get rid of rats, you need to conduct a full home inspection to find out where they’re coming from. 

Inspect the outside of the house – pay special attention to damaged drains, cracks in your garage door, gaps around vents, and spaces in the foundation – for obvious access points. 

Inside the house, look at the vents, drains, appliance lines, and other potential access points. Once you know where the rats are accessing the house, you can seal the entry points and set traps. 

2. Seal The Gaps

Rats don’t need a large entry point to get into your house. In fact, they can squeeze through any hole that you can stick two fingers through. With this in mind, seal any gaps in your interior or exterior walls.

For lasting results, fill these gaps with wire wool, metal kick plates, cement, or caulk. Check them a few times a month to make sure they’re well-maintained. 

3. Clean Up

Rats love shelter and places to hide. One of the best ways to get rid of rats without poison is to eliminate their hiding places. Clean up the clutter in and around your home and move objects away from the walls.

Keep all trash and food in closed bins, clean up any spills rapidly, and keep your pipes and drains clean.

4. Consider Trapping

Most rodenticides and harsh poisons have fallen out of favor or been outlawed in some places, trapping has become the most effective way to eliminate rats; it is what kills rats fast and effectively. Trapping is a poison-free method of reducing rat populations.

If you’re going to place your own traps, be sure you use plenty of them and that you position the traps in high-activity areas. Use peanut butter, unsalted seeds, bananas, or apples as bait. 

5. Use Natural Deterrent Methods

When it comes to getting rid of rats, a few simple, natural ingredients can go a long way. At times, for the safety of the environment and to prevent health hazards, you may need to use some harmless and non-toxic materials to get rid of rats in the home.

Natural and Biological Agents that can Be Use to Get Rid of Rats in the Home

Natural and Biological Agents that Can be Use to Get Rid of Rats in the Home

There are a number of natural agents that can be used in rat control. Some of them are given below.

1. Peppermint Oil – Rats do not like the smell of peppermint. You can put some peppermint oil in cotton balls and place them at the entry points and other nooks you think can be cozy abodes of these tiny creatures. Repeat every few days to keep them at bay. And the great advantage is that your house will smell fresh all the time!

2. Instant potatoes – Sprinkle the instant potatoes powder everywhere you think the rats are likely to frequent. The rats will eat the powder, but the potato flakes will swell up in the intestines of the rodents, killing them eventually.

3. Onions – Not just you but even the rats hate the pungent smell of onions. But this hack is a little tricky since onions rot quickly and can be toxic to pets at home. You would need to replace the onion every second day with a fresh one.

4. Mixture of Plaster of Paris with Cocoa Powder – All you need to do is to mix dry POP with Cocoa or chocolate powder and spread it in the area rats frequent. Once they eat up the mixture, they will run out of your home frantically to drink water and die.

5. Hot Pepper flakes – This is the most inexpensive way to keep the vermins out of your home. Sprinkling pepper is an age-old way to keep away animals from plants. Spread the pepper along the entryway and other corners and keep the rodents away!

6. Garlic – DIY your own anti-mice concoction by mixing chopped garlic with water. You can also leave garlic cloves at the entry points of your home.

7. Cloves or clove oil – Mice don’t like cloves. Place a bunch of cloves in a pantyhose or a muslin cloth near rat holes.

8. Ammonia – By now you must be aware that mice hate strong smells. Pour Ammonia in small bowls and place near their favorite spots.

9. Bay leaf – The chemical compound of bay leaves can be lethal to rats.

10. Castor oil – This works similar to how citronella works to repel mosquitoes.

11. Baby powder – The chemical compound can intoxicate rats and help you trap them.

Rodent Destroying things

How to Get Rid of Rats Outside your Home

Even if you get rid of rats within your home, it won’t last long if there are still rats outside your home. This is especially true as the winter months draw near, and rats start to enter homes to seek shelter and food.

With that in mind, here are our top tips to get rid of rats around your living space:

1. Keep Your Garden Clean

Rats dislike open spaces, so keep your lawn and garden trimmed, clean, and clutter-free; this is the best way to discourage them from setting up shop.

Trim your grass often, remove piles of wood or leaves, close and lock all storage sheds and patch any holes in the siding and seal exterior garbage bins. Finally, make sure rats don’t have access to food outside your home. Clean up fallen fruits, vegetables in the garden, or pet and bird food.

These simple tips will go a long way toward reducing rat populations.

2. Call In The Birds

Rats have plenty of natural predators and inviting those predators to your yard is a great way to get rid of rats. Owls, for example, can eat dozens of rats or mice in a single night.

To attract owls and other birds of prey, focus on creating suitable habitat. Add a water source (like a birdbath) to your garden and consider building a nest box.

Tip: Avoid putting out bird feed to attract birds. In addition to the fact that the rats are food enough, placing bird seed, suet, or other materials outside creates another food source that may draw more rats to your property.

3. Use Dry Ice

One effective way to get rid of rats without poison is to use dry ice. Dry ice produces carbon dioxide, which anesthetizes and kills rats. For best results, place the dry ice at the entrance to burrows. Be sure to use gloves and other protective gear since dry ice can damage the skin.

4. Set Traps

Traps are one of the most effective ways to get rid of rats fast. For best results, consider using snap traps, which are a fast method to kill rats instantly.

To prevent other animals from getting into the traps, place them inside a box or under a milk crate. Bait the traps with peanut butter, which is cheap and attractive to rats.

If you notice rats eating something specific in your home, you might consider baiting the trap with that instead. For example, rats eating apples off the counter may respond well to a trap set with sliced apples.

5. Use Baits & Poisons Outside

Baits and poisons should only be used outside the home, as they are powerful chemicals that can be dangerous. If you place poison inside the house, rats can spread it around, making your home hazardous for all human and animal inhabitants.

If you plan to use baits or positions, be sure to carefully read and follow all label directions. Always keep rat bait in a fully enclosed bait station, where kids, pets, and other animals can’t reach it.

A Cluster

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Home Using Traps, Baits and Poisons

There are times when you have to actually use some real means to get rid of rats in the home. There are three main things necessary for getting rid of rats in the home. These are traps, baits and poisons.

1. Traps

Traps are the best-known means for getting rats out of a home. However, you have to use traps wisely and always with caution in order to make sure they’ll be effective. The following is a list of some trapping guidelines:

  • Use a large number of traps.
  • Use traps designed specifically for rats. Mouse traps are too small to trap rats, but they can easily be confused while you’re at the store or shopping online. Many people are also tempted to use the same solutions for rats if they’ve had a mice infestation in the past. However, rats and mice are different pests and should be treated as such if you’re dealing with an infestation.
  • Place the traps in the most infested areas. These will likely be dark corners, behind big appliances and wherever you see droppings. You can also put rat traps on tree limbs that overlap the house to prevent roof rat invasions, and you can put them in your attic as well.

Follow these guidelines with any type of rat trap you choose to use. While you’re shopping for the best rat traps available, you’ll notice they have different properties that can be better suited to your different needs

2. Snap Traps/Spring Traps

The best known types of traps, these currently come in two varieties. The traditional trap (usually made of wood and steel wire) contains a spring-loaded bar that snaps down when a rat removes bait from a trigger. A newer, plastic version bears a set of sharp jaws snap shut when triggered.

  • Live Traps – These traps consist of a cage with a spring-loaded door that captures a rat inside when they remove bait from a trigger or walk across a trigger plate.
  • Glue Traps – A type of live trap, glue traps consist of a plastic or wooden platform coated with adhesive that is laid out (and sometimes baited) in places where rats are known to travel, such as basements, pantries, and attics, in order to entice rats to get stuck on them. These tend not to be true live traps, as it is often impossible to remove a rat once it is trapped, and trapped rats will eventually die of dehydration. This also means that unlike most other traps, glue traps can only be used once.
  • Electric/Electronic Traps – These traps work like cages, but when the bait entices rats to enter, these traps detect the rat and send a lethal electric shock into the cage.

3. Bait

Most rodent traps require you to use some type of bait to attract rats to them. Many products that are sold as bait also contain poison, so you may want to put some thought into the bait you use, especially since the bait on traps is often sitting out within reach of children and pets. To bait a trap with non-toxic baits, you can use anything edible. Some popular and effective baits include:

i. Peanut butter

ii. Chocolate

iii. Pepper

iv. Fresh and dried fruits

v. Onion

If you don’t have any natural bait available, or would rather not leave food out to attract other pest problems, there are many great chemical rat baits on the market with the options of containing poisons are not. There are also different receptacles that you can buy to place your natural or chemical bait inside.

4. Bait Stations

Usually made from hardened plastic, bait stations allow homeowners to place bait in open spaces without having to worry about pets or other people gaining access, especially if the bait contains poison.

They are enclosed with rat-sized openings to allow rodents to access the bait. These usually lock closed with a special key to make the poison even more difficult to access.

5. Bait Trays

Bait trays usually come pre-prepared and can be purchased in hardware stores. They are not enclosed, however, so they should only be used in spaces inaccessible to pets or children.

6. Poisons

If you’re picking up rat poison at a store, be sure to read the labels so you know whether it also contains baiting properties. Storebought poisons come in a variety of forms, so thoroughly read the instructions so you know how effective they’ll be for your situation and whether or not they’re safe to use around your family.

The bait and poison available at stores will usually be in pellet form and can also be bought in bulk in order to refill trays or bait stations.

  • Bromethalin-Based Poisons – These fast-acting neurotoxins need, more than most poisons, to be kept out of the way of children and pets, but they are especially effective.
  • Vitamin D-Based Poisons – These poisons (and similar ones based on other vitamins) induce a buildup of fat-soluble vitamins that eventually lead to a fatal overdose. These are slower-acting, but can still present a danger to kids and household pets.
  • Fumarin and Warfarin-Based Poisons – These types of poisons act as anticoagulants, preventing rats’ blood from clotting. These are the slowest-acting poisons in general use, and can take repeated feeding to be effective.

Wherever you decide to place poisons, rodents will feed off of them and go elsewhere to die. Ideally, the best place to put them will always be outside in order to prevent any rats from dying in the walls or the attic of your home. However, you can still use them inside as long as you periodically check for dead rats.

I would love to believe that you have more confidence about handling that rat problem in your home. Also, I believe that all the critical tips about how to get rid of rats in the home have been extended to you. Accordingly, you don’t have to feel depressed any longer about these mischievous little things.

Do well to help someone out by sharing this important article with them.

CSN Team.

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