Rats have become an increasing problem in recent years, and you may find yourself wondering what you can do should you find yourself in the unpleasant situation of having a rat problem.
In this post, I’ll go over the main methods of how to control rats, such as trapping, poisoning, professional pest control, as well as preventing rats from ever taking residence on your property. While having rats in your home or place of business can be stressful and embarrassing, if you follow these tips you can easily keep the rats under control.
Identifying the rat problem
First thing first, you want to make sure you’re dealing with rats. If you have rats, you may notice things being chewed, such as electrical cords, wooden furniture, insulation, and food packaging. You might see a big ball of fluffed up material that the rats are using as a nest. You may see rat droppings, especially near areas you believe the rats frequent; rat droppings are larger than those of mice and about the size of raisins.
If you have a dog or cat, you might see them behaving strangely near certain places: Barking, meowing, or pawing, trying to get to where the rats may be hiding. You also might hear the rats moving around your home at night, it will sound like light skittering or scratching. If you notice any of these signs, you should take action immediately to prevent the rats from becoming an even larger problem and causing potential damage or illness.
Make your property unappealing to rats
If you can make your property as inhospitable to rats as possible, you will not only prevent rats from coming, but you may also get existing rats under control. There are certain things that will cause rats to take up residence somewhere, so if you can remove these common causes of rat infestations, you will be halfway to having your rat problem under control.
Rats need three things in order to live in an area: Shelter, food, and water. If the rats do not have access to these things, they will not want to live on your property. You should clear any areas of vegetation, wood, or debris surrounding or touching your house, as well as any clutter inside.
Check any sheds or out buildings for possible rat hiding spots, and clear them of any clutter. Check around the outside of your home for possible access points that rats could enter by, remembering that a rat can fit through a gap as small as one inch, so be sure to check for gaps under doors, and chinks in bricks. You can buy flexible seals to put under doorways to help prevent rats from entering.
Make sure all food and trash is sealed tightly, this may mean using metal bins with firmly fitting lids and putting dry foods in sealable containers instead of plastic packaging. Check all of your plumbing and drains to make sure there are no water leaks and don’t leave any water sitting out; rats, unlike other rodents, will not stick around if they don’t have consistent access to water.
You can also buy chemical rat repellents. Following these steps should help prevent any rats from wanting to share your living space and help control an existing rat problem.
Rat poison and trapping
If preventative measures aren’t enough, you may need to take more aggressive actions against the rats. There are many kinds of poison and rat traps that can be very effective and controlling a rat problem, but they don’t come without a negative “ick” factor.
If you choose to use poison, you need to make sure the poison is out of reach of any household pets, as it is equally as toxic to them as the rats! There are, however, many devices that will allow rats to reach the poison, without making it accessible to other animals. Another problem to be aware of when using poison is that if a rat eats the poison and dies in a hard to find spot, you may have to deal with the smell of a decaying animal for longer than you’d like.
There are also several types of traps, but they are not for the faint of heart. The main varieties are Kill Traps, Catch-and-Release Traps, and Glue Traps. Kill Traps will kill a rat instantly and are often times more humane than other methods, though you will have to dispose of rat bodies. Catch-and-Release traps, also known as Live Traps, catch the rat without harming it so that you can relocate it to another area.
With these traps, you should check them at least once a day, and you will need to relocate any live rats you catch. Glue traps are extremely effective, but are also considered to be very inhumane; they work by catching the rat in a patch of extremely strong glue, rendering it unable to move. With these traps, after catching a rat, which will often be in distress, you will need to kill the rat and dispose of the body.
Calling in a professional
If the methods listed above aren’t working, or you simply do not want to deal with the hassle of trapping and disposing of rats, or of having poison on your property, then talk to Malum Pest Control based in Southampton.
Our pest control specialists will be able to get your rat problem under control with little effort on your part. We can also give you advice on how to control rats in the future. In fact, this is often the best course of action, because you can be assured of a solution, without risking the rat infestation getting out of control!