The best way to keep rats from destroying the inside of your home or attic is to make sure they can't get inside in the first place. Once rats get inside, they may be difficult to get rid of, if they have plenty of hiding places along with food and water. You may have to resort to killing them with traps, which might be hard if you are an animal lover. It's far better for everyone if you block their entry instead. Here's what you can do.
Plug All Gaps
It may seem obvious, but this is a necessary step to keeping out rats. You have to fill even the tiniest gaps, because as long as it is big enough for odors or warm air to seep through, it will attract a rat. The rat will then keep gnawing away until the hole is big enough to let him inside.
You can fill gaps and cracks with caulk or spray foam that hardens in place. You can also fill the hole with steel wool first, so the rats can't chew it open again. You can even apply metal strips along vulnerable areas. Don't forget about vent openings, such as the dryer vent. Buy caps for them or cover all vent openings with screens.
Look For Markings
When you go around your home filling gaps, look for signs of rodent activity. Rats tend to follow the same path, and over time they leave a dark oily trail behind. If you find a trail that leads inside your home, seal it with extra security because the rats will gnaw it open again if they can. You may also want to use bleach and wash away the rat markings, to keep them from following the trail back to their favorite entry hole.
Keep Water In Unused Toilets
Rats live in sewers, and it's possible for them to crawl up the lines and get inside your toilet. It's not very common, and several things come into play, such as the angle of the sewer pipe. If you have water in your toilet, it makes it much harder for the rats to get through. If you have guest bathrooms that are rarely used, or a toilet turned off because of a line leak, be sure to keep water in the trap and bowl just to make sure rats won't be tempted to crawl up the pipe. Always keep the lid closed too, just in case an acrobatic rat decides to swim through the water and pop up in the bowl.
Trim Trees And Clear Brush
Rats can climb just about anything, and there is no need to make it easy for them to get inside your house by simply climbing a tree. Keep tree limbs trimmed away from your roof. Be careful about putting a vining plant or trellis next to your house that a rat could use to climb to your roof. You'll also want to keep stacks of wood, brush piles, and junk cars as far away from your house as possible. These offer shelter for the rats, and you don't want rats to get comfortable living close to your house, or they may try to get in when the weather turns cold.
Successful rodent control is as much about prevention as it is about killing off an infestation. Once the rats take over, you may need to call a professional exterminator to help you get rid of them.Share
2 December 2014