How To Get Rid Of Rats
When there are rats on your property, it can quickly turn into a major conflict. Rats are highly adjustable to change and because of that, they are commonly found in urban settings, including inside homes and other man-made buildings. If you find yourself face to face with a wild rat, you can rest easy knowing that there are some simple things you can do to get rid of that rat and all of his fellow animals who have made a nest in your home.
Prevention With Home Repairs And Fences
The best way to get rid of rats is to never let them into your home in the first place and this means keeping it in good shape. Take the time to regularly evaluate your entire home for cracks and holes along the exterior, keeping in mind that rats can fit through any hole that is the size of a quarter or larger. When examining your home, pay close attention to the areas around pipes as well as vents and ducts as if these areas are not sealed correctly, they can easily provide rats with an entrance.
If there is a specific area of your property or home that you want to keep rats out of, you can install a fence to keep rats out. Always select one made of fine mesh holes to ensure the rats can't get by. Because Norway rats are good diggers, you will want to bury the bottom of the mesh around 10 inches deep into the ground and also bend it so it forms a right angle going outward from your property. Cover this bent portion with dirt as an extra preventative measure so rats don't dig underneath the mesh.
Prevention By Cleaning Your Property
You can also help keep rats away in the first place by ensuring your property is clean. This means you should keep garbage in your garbage cans with the lid firmly secured, clean up spilled birdseed and pet food, and only leave pet food outside when feeding your animal. You should also clean up fallen leaves and fruits from trees and make sure any wood piles are on raised platforms.
If there are already rats in your home and you want to humanely get rid of them, you can rely on exclusion or a one-way door. This method requires you to take the preventative steps mentioned above so the rats won't return to your home after using it. You should begin by finding all the possible entry points that the rats use into your home and do one of two things with each hole. Either seal the hole up or place an exclusion device on it, ensuring that there is at least one exclusion device in place. You will then have to wait until the rats have all left as they won't be able to get back in after leaving. Depending on the size of the infestation, this may take several days to a week so be patient. In the meantime, make sure you take steps to make your property unappealing to these animals. After you are sure all the rats are gone, you can seal up the final entrances. Always check for rats before doing this as you do not want to leave a rat inside your home to starve; finding and removing the carcass will be a smelly and challenging task.
Trapping And Relocating
Another method of getting rid of rats that lets them live is trapping and relocation. This involves setting up a live cage trap along the rat's path with some bait. Once you catch the rat, you will take it to a new area several miles away from your home. There are, however, a few concerns with this method. Rats tend to live in large groups and each live trap will only catch one rat. Additionally, rats have a low chance of survival when relocated to an unfamiliar area. You can increase their odds by carefully selecting a location that meets all of their needs in terms of food, shelter, and water.
You will find many rat repellents for sale in stores and online as well as various suggestions of homemade remedies. The reality, however, is that very few of these repellents will work, including mothballs, ammonia, peppermint oil, human hair, and predator urine. Some may have temporary success, but in most cases the rats will just ignore them. Therefore, you can try a repellent but always use it in combination with other methods.
Killing As A Last Resort
When it seems that you have exhausted all of your options, it is possible to kill the rats to get rid of them for good. If you go this route, avoid using poison as the rats may go to a hidden location to die, leaving you to find their rotting carcasses. Poison will also cause a slow, painful death and can be eaten by other animals, like your pets. You should also avoid glue traps as they are not always effective at trapping the animals and will kill the rats slowly by starving them to death. If you absolutely must kill the rats, opting for snap traps is the most humane and effective method as they will do the task instantly with minimal suffering.
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