Are you looking for ways on how to get rid of rats in the house? Then this article on how to get rid of rats in the house is definitely for you.
Rats are unwanted visitors. In addition to being unappealing to look at, they carry diseases together with bacterial infections and pose a health risk to the people you love. So it is imperative to get rid of them as soon and safely as possible.
Although rats are primarily nocturnal, common signs that they have entered your home include droppings, rub marks, scratching noises, nests, holes, and footprints.
An early sign of rat activity can be the sound of their paws moving, especially if you have wooden floors or when they are running around your loft.
Rats can also be incredibly destructive, chewing through walls, insulation, and electrical wires. They can even destroy crops and property.
So when they appear in your home, it’s hard to stay calm. If you want your house back, the only option is to find methods on how to get rid of rats in the house once and for all.
Luckily, don’t worry, there are a few steps you can take on how to get rid of rats in the house, and it’s possible to do it safely and effectively. So let’s dive!
An Overview of Rats
To avoid the property and health risks that rats can pose to your home, you will not only need to know how to get rid of rats in the house but also understand what you are dealing with.
Most people know what rats look like, but let’s take a closer look at where they live, how they choose their habitat, and what they eat.
Rats are medium-sized toothy rodents that have lived in close proximity to people since humans founded the first city. They are native to Asia and Australia and are spreading around the world with increasing urbanization.
Each continent has its own rats and rodents indigenous to them, but different species have spread through trade and migration and adapted to life worldwide. As stated by the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), there are over 60 species of rats.
Rats can range from tiny (about 5 inches long) to really scary versions that are about the size of a large house cat and can weigh five pounds or more.
Additionally, according to The Magazine, “female rats can mate up to 500 times in just six hours, and brown rats can give birth to up to 2,000 babies in a year, with up to 22 young per litter.”
Considering rats have a gestation period of less than a month, it’s easy to see how populations can quickly spiral out of control.
As rat populations begin to build in or around your home, you will also notice an increase in droppings and damage.
Common traits include extremely strong teeth that can chew through almost anything available, including wood and even concrete in some cases, and the ability to squeeze through extremely small spaces.
Methods to How to Get Rid of Rats in the House
Knowing which poisons kill rats instantly and which are the best traps to get rid of rats is only the first step on how to rid of rats in the house.
Even a dead rat can erupt problems in your home, as its body will attract other pests. The smell can also linger terribly in the air and make it difficult to stay comfortable in your own house.
Likewise, you can’t necessarily leave out baited traps and expect them to do the job. Rats are incredibly cautious creatures that don’t trust new things in their environment. They are extremely intelligent and capable of social learning, which manifests itself in many ways.
Once you figure out how to get rid of rats in the house, you’ll also need to figure out how they got into your home in the first place.
Even the largest rats can enter your home through a quarter-sized hole, so small cracks and voids in the foundation can be invasion points.
If you don’t take the proper steps to rule out future rat infestations, you could end up fighting off another rat infestation before you know it.
But before you start closing entry points and setting traps, you need to have a plan for the whole extermination process.
In addition to killing rats and preventing them from returning to your home, you need to be prepared for the dead bodies and the smell they leave behind.
Dead Rat Smell
The smell of a dead rat is unhealthy and can carry bacteria and allergens through the air in your home. When nature finds its way, the rat will completely decompose in about a month, and the smell will disappear soon after.
However, waiting is not the way to solve the problem. You must take steps to deal with the smell of the dead rats, both for your comfort and your safety.
The best way to avoid the noxious smell and health risks of dead rats in your home is to get rid of the carcasses immediately.
When you cannot get rid of the carcass easily, you have to choose between one of these two solutions.
The easiest option is to use specially made chemicals, such as Rat Sorb, which you can place in empty spaces in your home to eliminate dead rat odors in wall cavities.
If that fails, you may need to hire a professional to remove sections of the wall, dispose of the dead bodies, disinfect the area, and then rebuild the wall.
Homemade Rat Poison
Homemade rat poisons made from baking soda are the popular choice. People combine little amounts of baking soda with sugar and cocoa powder, so rats can nibble on it and eat the baking soda.
On the other hand, baking soda reacts with the chemicals in the rat’s stomach, producing a gas that causes the intestines to rupture.
It’s a simple, inexpensive solution that uses things you probably already have in your home and can achieve surprisingly good results while posing little or no risk to children and pets.
However, rats must consume a relatively large amount of baking soda for it to be lethal. Additionally, their body’s adaptability means they can become more tolerant to the concoction.
If they don’t quickly eat enough homemade baking soda rat poison to die, it’s possible that this solution will become completely ineffective.
However, you can also create homemade rat repellents with essential and aromatic oils like peppermint oil, clove oil, mint leaves, garlic, etc.
Nobody is ready to live with the destructive nature of rats. Certainly, these tips can help you figure out how to get rid of rats in the house:
1. Extreme Solutions Like Fumigation
When you have rats in your apartment, the first thing to do is tell your landlord. The landlord will have more power to collaborate with other tenants and rid the building of extreme solutions, such as fumigation.
After all, rats have no respect for private property, and if a tenant has to deal with rats, chances are others will too.
Rats can easily settle on walls and move through air ducts. The building owner can work with professional rat exterminators to find and destroy nests throughout the complex, then seal entry points to the property to prevent future intrusions.
However, it is not entirely dependent on homeowner solutions. You can use other tips to protect your apartment from rats, even if there is a bigger problem that hasn’t been solved.
2. Inspect the house
Before getting rid of rats, you should thoroughly inspect your home to find out where they are coming from.
Inspect the house’s exterior; pay particular attention to damaged drains, cracks in garage doors, gaps around vents, and voids in the foundation for obvious access points.
Examine vents, drains, appliance ducts, and other potential access points inside the house. Once you know where the rats are entering the house, you can close the entry points and set traps.
3. Seal the Gaps
Rats don’t need a big or wide entry point to get into your home. In fact, they can fit through any hole that can fit two fingers. With this in mind, seal any voids in the interior or exterior walls.
Fill these gaps with metal kick plates, wire wool, cement, or caulk for lasting results. Check them several times a month to make sure they are well maintained.
4. Declutter and Clean Up
Rats love shelters and areas to hide. One of the best ways on how to get rid of rats in the house without poison is to terminate their hiding places. Clean up clutters in and around your home and moves objects close to the walls.
Get a secure lid for the trash can, clean up any spills promptly, don’t leave food out overnight, find where rats take food in your home, and keep your pipes and drains clean.
5. Consider Trapping
While rodenticides and potent poisons have fallen out of favor or been banned (as is the case in California), trapping has become the most effective means of eliminating rats; this is another way to kill rats quickly and effectively.
Trapping is a non-toxic method of reducing the rat population. Although, be careful of the placement of traps, as a rat trap is much less likely to hurt someone in the attic than when next to the cereal cabinet.
If you are setting traps yourself, be sure to use plenty of them and place them in areas of high activity of rats. Use peanut butter, bananas, unsalted seeds, or apples as bait.
6. Use Natural Deterrents
Some simple, natural ingredients can go a long way when it comes to getting rid of rats.
Try these natural deterrent options:
- Spread peppermint oil, black pepper, cayenne pepper, or cloves around the outside of your house to keep rats out. Liberally apply the substance of your choice along the line between the foundation and the house floor.
- Sprinkle ground pepper (or pepper spray) near openings and rat holes. This will irritate the rat’s nose and airways and deter it from entering your abode.
How to Get Rid of Rats in the House’s Attic
Eliminating rats in the attic is a little easier than getting rid of rats in other parts of the house. Since the attic is an enclosed space separated from the main living areas of your home, you don’t have to worry about pets or kids getting hurt if they eat something that shouldn’t be there.
How to Get Rid of Rats in the House’s Garage and Basement
Rats are looking for three things when they start to build their nest: shelter, food, and water. For a rat, the perfect shelter is filled with small hiding places that allow it to escape predators and avoid detection.
This means rats feel right at home in garages and basements, as these spaces tend to serve as cluttered and congested storage areas. If any type of food is available in or near these areas, they are likely going to be infested with rats.
To make matters worse, you will probably go a long time without realizing that you have rats in your garage and basement. Rats can breed unchecked in these hidden areas for months or even years, then spread to the rest of your home.
On the plus side, the same factors that make garages and basements perfect havens for rats make it easier to manage infestations. Since you all don’t live in a garage or basement, it’s easier to reduce food sources.
Just keep good records of where you left traps, baits, and poisons, and be sure to clean them up when the infestation has been curbed.
How to Get Rid of Rats in the House’s Yard and Around Your Home
Even if you get rid of rats in your house, it won’t last long if there are still rats outside. And this is especially true as the winter months approach and rats begin to enter homes in search of shelter and food.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the top tips for getting rid of rats in your yard and around the living space:
1. Keep Your Garden Clean
Rats don’t like open spaces, so keep your lawn and garden clean, trimmed, and clutter-free; it’s the best way to dissuade them from opening a shop.
Mow lawns frequently, remove piles of wood or leaves, close and lock all storage areas, repair holes in siding, and cap the outdoor garbage bin.
Finally, ensure that rats have no access to food outside your home. Clean up fallen fruit and vegetables in your garden, or avoid pet and bird food outside. These tips will go a long way in reducing the rat population in your surroundings.
2. Call in the Birds
Rats have many natural predators, and inviting these predators into your garden is a big step on how to get rid of rats in the house. Owls, as an example, can eat dozens of rats or mice in one night.
To lure owls and other birds of prey, focus on creating a suitable habitat. Add a water feature (like a birdbath) to your garden, and consider building a birdhouse.
Tip: Avoid putting bird food to attract them. Besides rats being an abundant food source, putting birdseed, suet, or other materials outdoors creates another food source that can attract more rats to your property.
3. Use Dry Ice
Dry ice is an effective way to get rid of rats without using poison. Dry ice releases Carbon dioxide, which anesthetizes and kills rats.
For best results, place dry ice at the entry to burrows. Be sure to wear gloves and other protective gear, as dry ice can damage your skin.
4. Set Traps
Traps are one of the most efficient ways on how to get rid of rats in the house surroundings quickly. For best results, consider using Snap traps, which are a quick method to kill rats instantly.
To prevent other animals from entering the traps, place them in a box or under a milk carton. Fill traps with peanut butter, which is cheap and attractive to rats.
If you notice rats eating something specific in your home, consider baiting the trap with it. For example, rats eating apples off the shelf may respond well to a trap with apple slices.
5. Use Baits and Poisons Outdoors
Baits and poisons should be used primarily outside the home, as they are strong chemicals that can be dangerous. If you put poison in the house, rats can spread it, making your home unsafe for everyone, including animals.
If you plan to use the bait or poison option as a way how to get rid of rats in the house surroundings, be sure to read and follow all label instructions carefully.
Always keep rat bait in a fully enclosed bait station where children, pets, and other animals cannot reach it.
Since there are so many warnings about using bait and poisons, one solution is to use a milk crate with heavy objects on top to use the rat’s contortionist abilities against it.
Dogs, cats, raccoons, and opossums won’t be able to knock the box over, but a rat will easily slip through the holes in the box and trigger the trap.
Although it is possible to use a poison like warfarin, this means that the rat is likely to wander off somewhere before dying and will be eaten by another animal.
Use a trap with aromatic bait to quickly and painlessly kill rats without endangering the health of other animals. Be sure to read and understand state and local laws.
If Need Be, Call an Exterminator
If it’s too late and you already have an established infestation, you may need professional help on how to get rid of rats in the house.
Although you can buy rat poison (rodenticide) at a DIY store, amateur rat control can be ineffective and sometimes dangerous.
Always read the label of any rat bait you buy and ensure it is out of reach for wildlife, pets, or children.
Many areas now have rats that are resistant to certain poisons. Pest control professionals have access to different products that are not intended for the general public and help control poison-resistant rats.
They will also be able to protect other non-target species and give you tips on keeping rats from coming back to infest your property.
Remember: failed DIY treatments can actually make infestations worse, so always hire a trained, insured, and audited pest management company.