You might have the best security system, a pristine wall or fence set up around your property, and maybe even trustworthy neighbors who’d alert you should a suspicious person arrive. But imagine if someone breaks in anyway. The anger! The frustration! The damage to your pride as a homeowner. Many of us across the nation experience unexpected break-ins almost every day, but not in the way you’d expect. Rats are sneaky little devils, and one of the most dangerous intruders out there because they don’t just want to steal from you, they want to LIVE with you.
There are several reasons why that is NOT a good idea. One is disease control! Rats carry a number of viruses with them wherever they go. Some of which include: Hantavirus, Salmonella, and Rat Bite Fever. Any of these hazards can be easily transferred to you and your family through rat feces, saliva, or urine, or by eating food contaminated by rats. It’s a huge deal to keep these critters outside where they belong, but it can be quite a challenge to do so. This is because rats and mice usually gain entry through small holes and obscure parts of the house.
Here, we’ll teach you how to plug rat holes and provide you a list of steps that, once followed, should help deter rats from your property.
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How To Locate A Rat Hole
Rats can create entry points in ways you wouldn’t expect. They can fit through any hole the size of a quarter, and mice—the size of a dime! Finding these holes can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for, so here are some areas you should pay attention to:
The threshold under your garage door wears and tears over time. When this happens, it becomes an easy target for rats looking for a warm place to stay. Garages also offer tons of shelter for rats, even providing them with the cover of darkness to conceal their presence. Keeping rats out can be as easy as replacing the threshold. Scan the bottom of the garage door. If light can easily pass through, there’s a good chance it needs to be replaced.
Like a thief in the night, rats are no strangers to sneaking through windows. This usually occurs when they find patches in the screen or cracks around the window sill.
Over time, cracks can form in the cement. This is sometimes caused by sprouting vegetation, which can create decent-sized holes for rats to squeeze through. You’ll want to check all around the perimeter of your house, looking for faults in the grout.
Pipes And Conduits
Rats can easily exploit the areas around pipes and conduits. They won’t even hesitate to sneak into the piping itself! Using the tube as a tunnel to gain entry into your home. These pests aren’t called sewer rats for no reason, they’ll even swim up through your toilet if they can!
These are just some of the many spots rats will use to their advantage. A good way to know for sure if a rat is targeting any one of these areas is to look for brown grease stains along the ground and walls and to be on the look-out for rat feces. A clump of black pellets is a tell-tale sign for a nearby entry point.
How To Plug Rat Holes
Few things keep these critters out for good. Once rats find a place with easily accessible food and shelter, they won’t give it up easy! These pests will chew through almost anything, drywall, wood, carpeting… But there’s one thing those incisors can’t bite through, and that’s metal. Steel or copper mesh and caulking will become your best friends. Even lath metal will work. Here are some basic tips on how to patch a rat hole.
1. Fill The Holes
There’s no rocket science here. Once you’ve found the entry point, fill the holes with steel wool or copper mesh. Make sure you’ve fully extended the product through the length of the hole.
2. Seal It Up
Grab that caulking and get to work sealing the area around the mesh. 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. Fill small holes with steel wool first to deter chewing.
3. Use Grout And Broken Glass
This method works best for outdoor foundations and sidewalks. You 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.
How To Keep Rats And Mice Out For Good
The best rodent proofing method is prevention. Make sure those pesky rats never even face the temptation of coming into your home by following a few easy steps.
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1. Be Tidy
Rats are extremely attracted to messy, cluttered areas. This is because they provide safety from outdoor elements and predators. Keeping a clean home will minimize the space a rat can hide, forcing them to seek out a better shelter.
2. Store Food
This goes along with being tidy. Rodents can sniff out an easy meal and won’t hesitate to rummage along your counters, eating whatever food they can find. Their pallet can include cereals, rice, grains, fruit, nuts, and even bread. Keep all of these foods stored away in airtight containers or within the fridge.
4. Trim Back Trees And Vegetation
Rats are excellent climbers and will use your trees like a ladder to your attic or windows. It’s recommended that tree branches be trimmed back at least six feet away from your home.
5. Get Rid Of Wood Piles
As convenient as it is to keep that firewood as close to your home for easy access on the next rainy day, you’ll want to reconsider. Rats enjoy the moisture that collects on the wood and will use the pile as a comfortable place of shelter.
6. Call Pest Control
It never hurts to call in the professionals for pest management. Got a rat lurking indoors? You’ll want to take care of it ASAP to avoid an infestation. The friendly team at Green Rat Control will get rid of rats using methods that are 100% safe for the environment.
Just want to make sure your home is properly rodent proofed? No problem! Our consultations are free of charge. We’ll gladly inspect your property for any obscure entry points.