Whether you believe in the power of do-it-yourself theories like raw sweet potato or peppermint oil or whether you solely entrust your rat control needs to a company, it can still be helpful to know what exactly it is the professionals do that works so well. Unfortunately, however, that can be much harder than one would imagine.

In fact, some professionals have even begun to experiment with those very same do-it-yourself theories. According to an article for Woman’s Day, Western has reduced their pesticide usage with residential clients in the last few years by over 78 percent! And while that is both genuine and admirable, it might make you wonder why you can’t just, say, do it yourself?

Well, in the very same article, it explains why. Shay Jones Runion, vice president of professional development at Arrow Exterminators in Atlanta, Georgia says, “There are a lot of bug and rodent treatments available at your hardware store that leaves a lot of room for misapplication.” In the end, she warns about the importance of being in the know when it comes to what methods your hired professionals are using, but not to worry, as the reputable companies are careful of your health and environment.

At the same time, there are a few things that you can, and probably should do yourself: small, and yet undeniably important, things that are also necessary – the best methods that the professionals use.

1. Sanitation

It’s common knowledge that rats prefer places with clutter and warmth and shelter: a stuffy attic, a cramped cupboard, an easy-access pantry, you name it. In the same way that rats require larger openings to enter a home, they require more of everything else too. Rats need more food and more water and, not to mention, more space. The first step then is to clear it out. Seal off your garbage and your food, pick up your rubbish piles and landscape away from the home. Simply put, though, don’t provide for them! Don’t make it easy.

rat exterminator methods


2. Inspection

Inspection is at the start of it all. Whether you noticed that you had a few frayed and chewed wires or whether you’ve spotted a few of their droppings in the pantry, what matters most is that you find out where these pests are coming from. Once you know the location of the rats, you’ll know where to stop them.

3. Exclusion

Once the inspection has been completed, and thus the location determined, it’s time to work on stopping the pests in their tracks – exclusion. Luckily, rats are easier to stop than mice, in that they need larger openings to invade a space. For rats, all openings that are more than a half an inch should be sealed up. Often people do this themselves with mesh or foam. However, this is a crucial step in eradicating your pest problem and the help of a professional should be considered.

4. Trapping or baiting

Critter Control says it well: “Successful long-term rat control is not simple. The key is to control rat populations, not individual rats. Rat control requires an integrated approach that includes non-lethal tools such as careful inspections, upgraded sanitation, and rat-proofing structures. Lethal control often combines the use of rodenticides with non-toxic control measures such as snap traps or glue boards.”

5. Be informed

All of this then, the sanitation, the inspection, the exclusion, the trapping or the baiting, it all needs one thing, and that is the right information. Exterminators do things differently, but they should also be candid about their methods. Ask! Your professional should tell you about the active ingredients in the pesticides they may use, and they should warn you of potential health threats to you, your family, your pets, or your home. Ultimately, when it comes to “do-it-yourself,” we think that do-it-together is always the better option. So when it comes to the best rat exterminator methods: trust your professionals to be professional, ask about their practices, and know when you need them.