When you’ve got a rat in the house, naturally, your first response is to get rid of it! Rats and mice are dirty, disease-carrying critters that give you the shivers just thinking about them roaming around your counters at night, eating your grains, nuts, and cereals. Yuck! Now, suppose you set up a trap and happen to catch the rodent. Your first reaction to seeing your success in the morning might be one of euphoria. Hooray! Problem solved. The rat is gone. All your worries ended with the help of just one rat trap…or so you think.
Believe it or not, rat traps are just one of the many crucial steps needed for effective rodent control. What many people don’t consider, is that the rodent had to come from somewhere. If the rat you caught was able to find its way into your house, why couldn’t another? It’s possible several critters might already be inside of your home, and you’ve only managed to capture ONE of them. If that thought isn’t scary enough, just think of the hazards rats leave behind with their droppings. You’ll need to disinfect every place the rodents touched to avoid contamination and let’s not forget to check unforeseen areas like within your attic insulation—where rats love to burrow and make their nests. If the attic is where you caught the last rat, then there’s already a good chance you’ll need to have your insulation checked and possibly replaced.
That might sound like a lot, but the only way to get rid of these pesky rodents and keep them out for good, is to follow a proper guide to effective rodent control. Yes, trapping is important and necessary, but here’s to remind you that there’s more to rodent control than just laying traps.
1. Rodent Proofing is Key
This step in rodent control is arguably more important than trapping but is often either ignored or not done properly. Here’s why it matters.
Rats are creatures of habit. Once they find a way into your home, they will continue to use that route, coming and going as they please. Often, the scents they leave behind attract other rodents through those same entry points! These include holes in your walls, and tree branches or ivy leading up to your roof. Rats, particularly roof rats, are adequate climbers and will use anything they can to gain access to a warm and sheltered environment. Stopping them might be time-consuming, but extremely worth-it!
- You’ll need to seal off all entry-points using rat-proof materials to keep them from returning. Metal mesh with measurements of at least 1/4” x 1/4” will make chewing impossible, and keep small rodents from slipping through the holes. You can pair the mesh with caulking to fill up tight scrawl spaces as well.
- Rats have a keen sense of smell. For them, it’s hard to resist any pleasant aroma, and if breaking into your house means getting the goods, then that’s what they’ll do! If you don’t have a rat problem, the quickest way to get one is to leave all sorts of temptations out and available for eating. To prevent this, make sure food is always tightly contained and put-away when not in use.
- If you have tall trees in your yard, you’ll want to trim back the branches from your roof to prevent roof rats or other rodents from climbing into your attic. Also, piles of wood are common areas of shelter, so keeping firewood off the ground and away from your home will lower your chances of attracting rodents.
2. Trapping Might Be Harder Than You Think
Sometimes homeowners catch rats and rejoice thinking the problem is resolved, only to find more droppings the next morning! This can be easily discouraging as well as dangerous. The longer rats are in your home, the longer your food and belongings risk contamination of deadly hazards.
What’s the most effective way to rid a family of rats from your house?
- Call your local pest control. The friendly folks at Green Rat Control have over 20 years of rat trapping experience. Pest control is by far the easiest, safest, and 100% humane solution to dealing with infestations. Green Rat Control will not only eliminate the problem, but decontaminate your home as well, using products that are safe for the environment. That means your family and pets will be safe as well! They will also remove and replace all damaged, soiled insulation with new quality product.
- You can handle trapping on your own using a variety of methods, but the snap trap remains as one of the most common and effective rat traps that exists today. The fast elimination method makes it a humane option as well, and is widely used by professionals.
- Catch-and-release rat traps are the most humane products on the market. Although effective, these traps might be difficult for homeowners to manage if an infestation is present, and ultimately leave the trap-setter to decide where to put the rodent after it’s been caught.
- Poisons are an inhumane option that we wouldn’t recommend due to cruelty, but if you choose to use this method, remember that time is of the essence! Rats can have up to 12 babies at a time, which will then mature after 6 weeks. That means in a matter of weeks you could have a rather large infestation on your hands while you wait for poison to work, which usually takes days to become effective.
3. Decontamination Is Vital to Your Health
Just because the rats are gone, doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet! Rats leave their feces behind, which carry awful diseases that infect anything that they touch. This means that any place where droppings are present, should be carefully cleaned and disinfected. Rodents also carry the same hazards in their saliva, which is why you’ll need to thoroughly inspect your food and throw away anything that looks like it may have been chewed on by rats.
You’ll also need to dispose of their nests and any dead animals you may find during your process of decontamination. Terrible odors and stains in the walls are a common occurrence after a rat infestation. If your attic insulation needs to be replaced, it’s important to remember to wear the proper gear to protect yourself from fecal matter and saliva that may have become airborne during the rodents’ stay.
- Fortunately, even disposing of dead animals and disgusting odors is a task that you can leave to the professionals. If you want to ensure the safety of your home without ever having to lift a finger, just call Green Rat Control for their dead animal removal, odor removal, or decontamination services.
It’s no lie, rodents are pesky, foul creatures that we want to get rid of as fast as possible! But there’s more to the task than just laying rat traps. Rodent Proofing, sanitation, and the proper trapping methods are all absolutely necessary for effective rodent control. Skipping rodent proofing is likely to make trapping extremely ineffective as the rodents will keep coming back, and likewise, skipping sanitation makes it appear as though the rodents never left!
If you’re currently dealing with an infestation, but struggling to obtain effective results, try contacting your local pest control. Green Rat Control will take the problem off your hands and handle all the decontamination, proofing, and trapping for you. It may save you time and money in the long-run, and you won’t be disappointed with the results.