For rats, your attic is a prime piece of real estate. Due to the scratching and scampering noises, you know they’ve already gotten in and made themselves comfortable. Now you’re at your wit’s end, wondering, how do I get rid of rats in the attic??
The thought of going up into your attic for any reason might give you anxiety. After all, it’s probably an absolute mess even without the threat of rats lurking! Don’t worry, this task doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Your local pros at GRC can show you how to get rid of rats in the attic safely and quickly. Their skilled technicians have developed a tried and true 5 step method for getting rats out.
While efficiency is probably your top priority, remember that your ultimate goal should be safety. That’s why GRC only uses environmentally-friendly, family and pet safe rat control methods.
Dangers of Having Rats in Your Attic
Attic spaces are commonly invaded and infested by rodents. Think you’d know if you had a rodent infestation? Think again. Sneakily and silently, rodents enter through cracks in the roof and will shred attic insulation to make a place to nest. Insulation is often contaminated with rodent droppings and urine that carry infectious diseases that can even become airborne! Learn more about the unseen health hazards that could be contaminating your insulation.
Only trained professionals with proper protective gear and tools should handle the removal of hazardous attic insulation that could be possibly be carrying infectious diseases. Rodent specialists also know the best way to get rid of rats in the attic.
If you were to begin stripping away or tearing down old insulation without first getting a professional consult, you could inadvertently send contamination airborne. Serious respiratory problems can be caused and spread this way. This is truly an accident waiting to happen. If you have small children in the home, it could be very dangerous.
Don’t take the risk, it isn’t worth it. For your own safety, and for your loved ones, make the responsible choice and consult with pros on how to get rid of rats in your attic.
Do You Have Rats in the Attic?
Rat infestation in attic spaces is incredibly common, even in the cleanest homes. Rat control is a challenge that is faced by families in all types of communities, all over the country. You are not alone! How can you be sure if you have rats in your attic or walls? Check for these tell-tale signs:
- Visible rat droppings
- Foul urine odor
- Little gnawed holes along based boards or joints
- Rodent runways: tracks of footprints and grease stains
- Rodent nests
- Scampering noises
- Abnormal pet behavior
Pets are especially sensitive to your home environment. With a keen sense of smell and good instincts, both cats and dogs can usually tell when rats are around. Many can be territorial or protective, and their guard goes up when rats invade your space. If your pet seems unusually irritable, aggressive, or restless, don’t ignore these warning signs. Go investigate!
How to Identify that Rats Are in your Attic
To solve the problem of how to get rid of rats in the attic, you have to begin with some basic rat facts. For example, there are many species of rats, but only a couple are likely to gain entry to your attic. Roof rats and Norway rats are the most likely the culprits and are most commonly require wildlife removal. Check out these rat facts for some fast knowledge:
- Rats are nocturnal and have poor eyesight. However, they have a keen sense of smell, taste, and sound.
- Physically, rats are larger than mice, with coarser fur and noticeably bigger heads and feet.
- The most common residential rat species are the Norway rat, which inhabits low living spaces, and the roof rat which thrives in upper attic spaces.
- Rats crave warm spaces, which is why they are attracted to your attic.
- Rats can maneuver easily throughout your living space. They can enter through a hole that is only ½ inch in diameter!
- Rats normally stay close to their nest, within 300 ft.
- Rats are excellent climbers.
Knowing rat traits and habits comes in handy when you want to get rid of them. You’ve got to know the enemy to beat them! For example, if you are woken up in the middle of the night by scratching and scurrying sounds from above, you know it’s a probably a rat- they’re nocturnal. Or, if you find rodent droppings, you can assume the nest is nearby. If you’re unsure or are getting mixed signals, don’t brush it off. Call in the experts at Green Rat Control for help!
How do rats get into the attic?
Rat populations don’t all just move into a space together. It starts with one or two rats in the attic and rat infestation develops quickly due to their ability to have babies 4 times a year! This is just one reason why you want to nail down how to get rid of rats in your attic, and fast!
Logically, you want to start by figuring out how rats are getting in, and then stop them. To invade the attic, rats usually gain access from your roof. You might find it surprising that such a big ugly rodent can squeeze itself through a crack or hole only ½ inch in diameter! But rats are careful and smart. They look for weaknesses in your property, such as damaged shingles, roof vents in disrepair, broken gutters, and other unattended cracks and holes to use as entry points.
It might be hard to imagine, but roof rats actually scale nearby trees and jump from overhanging branches onto the roof! Who would have guessed that a little tree trimming and maintenance solves a rat problem? For good measure, trim branches back at least three feet from your home.
Keep Rats Out of Your Attic!
Effective rodent control is all about finding and sealing every entry point to keep rats out. Before you focus your efforts on catching or trapping those scurrying, greasy rodents, take a step back and start at the beginning. Once you find out their dirty little secret you can stop them in their tracks!
Step #1: Inspect your home to find holes
The best method is to have qualified inspectors perform an inspection of your home to identify all current and potential entry points. They will inspect the roof, the attic, the roof, and the entire exterior perimeter. All rodent entry points will be found and a trapping system will be installed in the infested areas. After the inspection is completed, your inspector will fill out a rodent exclusion report and go over the details of the report with you.
Included in your report is a proposal for Green Rat Control to repair all of the entry points of your home. Your inspector will also give you a detailed sanitation report which addresses any rodent damage that has been done to insulation, air ducts, and your vapor barrier.
Image courtesy of attic-rat.com
If you want to DIY it you’ll need:
- Binoculars to help in the inspection of the roof, chimney, and other high places in the house
- A ladder to help you reach those high places for a proper evaluation – vents, slabs, etc.
- A flashlight to enable visibility in dark portions of your home
- A camera to record what needs to be sealed so you can pass it on to the repairman without missing any
Be advised, entry points are easily overlooked by the untrained eye of a homeowner. For best results, team up with local professionals for a thorough inspection.
Step #2: Determine how rats are entering
Evidence of digging, chewing, tracks, and rat droppings can be clues as to how rats are entering. Look especially closely along the joins in the building, roof joints, gables, pillars, and so on. These are typically a hot spot for animals looking to nest. Damaged wood in these places in another clue to how rats are entering. Rats can force entry through warped or deteriorated wood on the roof, siding, along with screens and vents.
One quick trick is to stand in your attic during broad daylight and turn off all the lights, paying attention to where sunlight filters in. This highlights holes, cracks, and other potential places of weakness that need to be sealed.
Step #3: Choose a sealant
Potential entry points larger than ¼ inch can be covered and sealed with caulk, wood, or wire mesh. Spray foam is not recommended. The key thing to remember when choosing a sealant is that rats can chew through almost anything.
Image courtesy of Amazon
Therefore one type of sealant isn’t enough, it’s better to combine two or more materials. For example, GRC has a tried and true rodent exclusion method for sealing entry points that involves steel wool, copper mesh, caulk, and grout mixture!
Image courtesy of MSC Industrial Supply
Step #4: Seal holes
This is the part of rodent control that you don’t want to screw up, or you’ll never get rid of rats in your attic! Sealing the holes correctly will keep rats away for good. Check out this video for practical DIY steps to filling holes. Green Rat Control’s professional team follows this process:
- Fill The Holes: There’s no rocket science here. Once we’ve found the entry point, we fill the holes with steel wool or copper mesh. We make sure to fully extended the product through the length of the hole.
- Seal It Up: next we use caulking and get to work sealing the area around the mesh. We always use the hardware cloth first. Although it might seem easier to just fill a space using caulking alone, we must remember that mice and rats can chew through the stuff like it’s peanut butter, so we fill small holes with steel wool first to deter chewing.
- Use Grout And Broken Glass: This method works best for outdoor foundations and sidewalks. We can patch holes and cracks in your foundation using wet cement mixed with broken glass. The glass will deter rats trying to take advantage of the cement before it dries.
Step #5: Call Green Rat Control for rodent removal and attic cleaning
More often than not, when rat infestation is confirmed there are dead rats present. Dead rodent removal should never be attempted by the homeowner. Rodents carry highly contagious diseases, and only professional rodent control specialists have the right training and gear to safely to remove and dispose of dead wildlife properly. GRC can expertly locate and dead rats and perform rat removal safely.
They can also remove the remaining living rodent population quickly without resorting to ineffective and unsafe methods such as rat poison or rat trapping. Snap traps may be considered a classic rodent control technique, but the truth is they are not safe to use in households with pets and children.
Finally, after all the rats out for good, you’ve still got major cleanup to do. Everything rodents touch becomes contaminated by their urine and droppings. Unfortunately, mice and rats naturally gravitate to your attic insulation. They tunnel and burrow within the fluffy dense material, using it as a nesting ground and ruining it!
You don’t have to tackle this task on your own. At GRC, we offer environmentally safe attic cleaning services to homeowners looking to clear out toxic fecal matter leftover from rodents, soiled insulation, foul odors, and more. Our company will rodent-proof and decontaminate your attic upon request, leaving it clean, safe, and better than ever. This is an additional specialty of GRC that is not traditionally offered by a pest and rodent control service.