Two common rats that might invade your home are the Norway rat and the roof rat; both of which may enter in search of food or shelter. They may nest inside or outside, and they only need a tiny hole to squeeze through to get in your home. Controlling these rats is important, and ideally, you'll do that through prevention.
If your home has an infestation of rats, call for professional treatment right away. Rats transmit dangerous disease, and they can destroy valuables inside your home. Here's a look at how to keep rats under control on your property and in your house.
1. Eliminate Outdoor Hiding and Nesting Areas
Rats are content to live outdoors in the right environment. If you have a brush pile or stack of wood near your home, it could be a magnet for rats. The problem with letting rats breed on your property even though they're outdoors is that they may keep trying to get inside your home in search of food or water.
The way to reduce the risk of a rodent infestation in your house is to eliminate nesting areas in your yard. Keep your yard trimmed so rats can't hide in tall leaves. Get rid of brush and wood if you can, or at least move it to the far end of your property.
You can also make your yard less rat-friendly by getting rid of food and water sources. Don't leave standing water around your home and remove easy food sources such as pet food and bird food. You may even want to put rat guards on the fruit trees you have.
Roof rats are also called fruit rats because they are attracted to fruit. They are excellent climbers, and they'll eat the fruit off your trees and build a nest close by the easy food source unless you can keep them from climbing up the trunk.
2. Use the Exclusion Method to Keep Rats Out
Your pest control professional can go over the outside of your home and seal it against rat intruders. Roof rats often target the area around the roof since they love to be in high places and climb up trees. Norway rats may target the lower portion of your house since they like to stay close to the ground.
This means your entire home from top to bottom must be sealed to keep the rats out. Rats chew through just about anything so place steel mesh or steel plates over larger gaps. Seal small gaps with silicone caulk. The caulk blocks air flow and odors, so the rats are less interested in trying to break through that particular spot.
3. Try Multiple Traps to Remove Indoor Rodents
Once the rats get inside your home, the best way to get rid of them is with traps. Using multiple traps and even different types of traps could be a good approach since rats are wary of new things.
A significant number of rats might be wiped out in the first few nights that the traps are introduced, so setting up several can be a good idea. The rats may soon catch on and steer clear of the traps and that's when switching to a different type can be useful.
Rats are part of nature's wildlife, and you can't really keep them off your property permanently since rats thrive in an urban environment. However, you can seal up your home to keep them out and make your yard and home less appealing to them.You may also want periodic inspections to look for signs of rat trails, droppings, and gnaw marks so trapping can begin before the pests destroy your wiring or attic insulation. If you have a rat problem or you want help with prevention, call Cliff's Pest Control, Inc., and we'll be happy to help you control these bothersome pests.