Rats are smart, persistent little critters. Once they’ve found their way into your home, they can be a total pain to remove. Calling pest control is one way to deal with them. The friendly team at Green Rat Control is always available and ready to take on the nastiest of rodents. There’s a reason why the professionals have a higher success rate than the average homeowner, and it’s not exactly because they have the latest and greatest rat removal products, (although sometimes that helps) but they understand rats, their temperament, what they can and cannot chew through, and how they operate within your home.
Knowing your enemy and how they work, makes getting rid of rats that much easier. As an average homeowner, we’re not saying it can’t be done. In fact, when these 4 simple steps are followed correctly and professionally, rats don’t stand a chance.
Step 1. Inspection
- First, you must find out how the rats are getting into your home. Check for entry points in the exterior. Windows, screens, cracks in the wall, piping, even quarter-inch holes are just large enough for a rat to wiggle through. Behind dryers and stoves are common entryways for rats. It’s important to note that If the hole is big enough for a rat’s head, then their whole body will squeeze through without a doubt. Rats are amazingly agile creatures and will enter through the most unlikely of ways.
- Look for clues! Rats typically leave behind a few tell-tale signs that you can use to identify their entry-ways a little easier. Be on the lookout for rat droppings. Rats leave their feces almost everywhere they go, and pay attention to brown grease stains. If an entry-path has been used often enough, the rat will start to leave behind stains in the trail. Also, rats will chew through just about anything, which is usually how they find their way into your house. Check for areas that look like they’ve been gnawed through. Wood, pipes, drywall, a rat will get through it all if they try hard enough.
- Check your attic. Rats love the shelter that most attics provide. If a rat has found its way into other parts of your home, then you’ll certainly want to keep an eye on the attic. Rats love to burrow within insulation and use it for their nesting grounds. Look for droppings around the attic as well as quarter-inch sized holes within the insulation.
Step 2. Seal Off the Entry Ways
Skip using wood, tape, or caulking and go right for the heavy-duty stuff! When rats want into your home, these blockades won’t be enough to stop them. A persistent rat will chew through wood and caulking and push against the tape until it wears down.
- Use metal mesh to block all the holes that you can. Rats cannot, as hard as they might try, bite through steel. They’ll figure out that their efforts are futile and eventually give up. Stick with 1/8” inch or 1/4” inch mesh, as rats might be able to fit through any larger size.
- Use screws or staples as a fastener instead of nails! Don’t underestimate the willpower of rats.
- Cut back any tree branches that are touching your home. Rats are capable climbers, and if you find that they’re in your attic, they might have used your tree to get there. Trimming the length of branches is an essential part of rat proofing.
Step 3. Trapping
Only after you’ve located and sealed off all the entry holes, can you begin the trapping process? Most homeowners make the mistake of setting traps right away, and although you may catch a rat or two, there’s nothing stopping more rodents from entering your home. You could end up wasting a lot of valuable time trapping too early while rats are busy turning your attic into their new nest! The best time to begin getting rid of rats is when the rodents are stuck in your home with nowhere to go. Also, when it’s time to gather food, your bait-traps might look a lot more appealing to a rat with dwindling options.
When it comes to trapping, you have a number of options.
- Call your local rodent control. For example, the folks at Green Rat Control are experienced trappers, knowing exactly how and where to set traps. They’ve saved plenty of homeowners’ time and money by doing the job right the first time, and they deal with the stress of cleanup while sanitizing your home so you can move on with your life, knowing the problem’s been handled. Professional help is always a viable option.
- Cage traps are one the most humane methods for getting rid of rats, but they’re not always the most convenient, or the most effective. Cages use bait and a closing mechanism to lure the rat into the trap and secure it. It’s then up to the homeowner to take the rat, preferably someplace far away from your home, and release it.
- Snap traps are effective as well as humane, and they’ve been around the longest. Set them up where you see the most rat activity and make sure they’re spaced apart. Rats are typically cautious about new objects invading the scene and might avoid them at first.
- Glue traps are an option, but they’re not as humane as a snap trap. Once a rat is stuck to the adhesive, It will remain there until it dies. You may find that the rat is still alive when you check your trap, and if that’s the case, you’ll have to find a way to euthanize it first before getting rid of it.
It’s highly recommended that you stay away from rat poisons. Rats do not succumb to the poison right away, so they’ll remain in intense pain while they continue to scavenge around your house. Rat poison is not only inhumane and an ineffective form of rat control, but it can also pose as a health risk to your family and pets.
Step 4. Remove the Traps and Disinfect
- Start removing the traps. You’ll know when all the rats are gone if the noises stop during their “active” hours, usually at night. Dispose of the rats according to the law in your area. Now you can begin disinfecting.
- Wear latex gloves as you begin eradicating urine and droppings. You can use a mixture of water and bleach, or another commercial product that will safely and effectively disinfect your property from the fecal matter.
- Clean, mop, and disinfect any place where the rodents might have traveled.
If rats are still, somehow managing their way into your home after you’ve done the following steps, then it means you may have failed to inspect and seal all possible entry-ways. Getting rid of rats yourself is an awarding feeling, but not everyone has the time, patience, or energy to deal with rats invading the home.
It’s highly recommended that you call your local rodent control if you have an infestation somewhere on your property. Handling infestations alone can be expensive, frustrating, and dangerous if not done properly. In most cases, they should be left to the professionals.
Tired of managing on your own? Save yourself the headache and contact Green Rat Control. The experienced team will set you up with a free consultation and walk you through the best plan of action, so you can be rid of rats for good.
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