Rats may look cute and cuddly for some people, but for most, rats are nasty little creatures that create an unhealthy environment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rats can spread more than 35 diseases to humans, including Typhus, Plague, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Salmonellosis, Rat-Bite Fever, and many more.
Rats contaminate your food, damage structures, chew through your walls, destroy electrical and alarm systems, and cause all kinds of damage.
What’s worse, rats can multiply like crazy. In one year, two rats can create a population of over 1200 rats. That’s why we need to get rid of rats, immediately.
Here’s how to get rid of a rat:
- Recognition – To get rid of a rat, you have to identify the problem. If you have a rat problem in your home, you probably have a Norway rat or a roof rat. Both of these types of rats cause problems for residents and businesses. Norway rats have brownish-gray coats and weigh about 16 ounces, while roof rats have pale underbellies with black fur. Roof rats are about eight inches long and weigh in about 11 to 14 ounces. Adult Norway rats can be about ten inches long. Also, the roof rat has a longer tail than the Norway rat.
- Investigation – Before you can get rid of a rat, you should inspect rat activity in and around the home. Often, you may hear scurrying noises up in the attic or inside walls. If you hear scratching noises you might have rats or mice. Look for rat droppings or feces. The size of Norway rat droppings is about half to a three-quarter inch. Rood rat droppings are only about half-inch in size. Norway rat droppings have blunt ends while roof rat droppings have pointed ends. Look for spear or rub marks on baseboards. Rats leave a film behind on the surface because their body is very oily. Look for gnaw marks, rats love to chew on wood. Rats leave hair behind and they leave urine scent behind. Rats can dig holes around the house.
- Control – Homeowners should make the environment less attractive to rat activity. Don’t leave pet food or water overnight, especially, since rats and mice are nocturnal creatures. Clean dirty dishes to eliminate leftover food as a rat food source. Please trash in a metal or rat-proof plastic container. Fill large spaces around the plumbing. Use caulk to fill gaps between pipes the wall. Rats can get through much smaller openings than you think. Vents and chimneys are easy access points inside your home for rats.
- Bait – On the outside of your home use bait blocks to get rid of a rat. Look for bait blocks with ridges on them. The ridges allow rats to feed on it easily. A bait block should be placed out of reach of children and pets. You’ll want to use the bait until the rat activity stops. Inside your home, you can use lethal, non-lethal, and humane traps. Snap traps are easy to set. You can set them against the wall where the trap swings toward the wall. Once the rat is caught you can easily dispose of it. The choice is yours. You can use snap traps or glue traps. If you want a more humane rat trap, use a live trap, catch and release Some live traps like the rolling log bucket trap catch multiple rats. Please traps where you know there is rat activity or infestation.
- Deterrence – Clean up your property, clean around bird feeders – birdseed attracts rats, empty trash cans, clean up flowerbeds. Eliminate unnecessary food or water. Trim tree limbs and bushes that may touch the roof of your home.
Rat traps are wooden, paper, metal or plastic traps with powerful snap-on hinges designed to kill or get rid of rats. Snapping traps are some of the most effective traps to get rid of a rat. Snap traps kill the rat instantly. If you are using snap traps to catch rats, be sure to use a large enough trap designed to catch rats.
Small mouse traps are unlikely to kill or hold the rat or injure the rodent. Rat traps should be set up when the rat signs are seen, in remote hideouts, attics, cellars, or near food sources. The trap should be placed near the wall or in an area where the rat takes shelter or along a runway or path the rat can travel.
Create a bait station to catch the rat without harming it or letting it into your house. You can buy rat traps at your local hardware store or a large kiosk and bait them. Once you know the location of the rat, you can set up the traps and place the bait.
Soft baits such as chunky peanut butter and cheese can be used if the rat takes the bait before setting up the trap. If the rat does this, the bait will not be effective, and the rat will pull the bait out of the snap trap.
In most cases, it is sufficient to place a glue trap flush with the wall in an area where the rat is active. Live traps are a great way to remove a rat from your structure without harming the rodent. However, catching a rat with a live trap means that you must find a humane way to relocate and dispose of the rat.
These traps allow you to see the results of the bait but require the rat to eat several doses to be effective, so there is no way to know whether the rat is still there when it dies.
The most effective way to get rid of a rat is to catch it or place rodent baits. Reducing rat populations with traps has its advantages over bait. If the rat population is small enough, traps can produce results faster than doing nothing.
Removing dead rats can be as easy as catching them, as long as the throwaway products (i.e., Traps also ensure that the dead rats can be disposed of before their smell becomes a problem in inaccessible areas.
Old-fashioned wooden snapping traps tend to work better in rats than newer plastic versions. Use a spring-loaded rat trap and bait three of them in a row before setting them up. For homes with dogs and cats, Errante suggests avoiding snapping and sticking traps for mice and rats.
In areas where rats nest in attics and basements or where they can travel exposed beams, you can zip a trapper or T-rex trap to a beam. You can also set traps along walls to create a T-shaped bait wall, but rats prefer to walk along open walls. Non-lethal traps work well, but you can face the challenge of releasing the rat into a new area where it can cause new misery.
Poison bait can be used when the rat is in a hard-to-reach place such as a wall or ceiling. If the rat has eaten a lethal dose of bait, it is possible that it is in an inaccessible area, which makes the removal of the carcass impossible.
Traps are a safe and effective method of controlling rats in the house or in other structures. Trapping allows you to know exactly where the rat is trapped, so you can be sure that your efforts are working.
Bait traps that attract and kill rats are what most people know best. Some consider snapping traps one of the most humane ways to kill rats because they kill quickly, Bill says.
Make sure no branches or shrubs touch the roofline of your house: rats can climb on leaves to find a way into structures. To keep the rats out, make sure that the branches don’t just touch or extend over your roofline. Cut back the branches enough to have at least four feet between the house and cables or wires. Remove vines like ivy from the walls of your home, and that you are considering using metal or heavy plastic at the bottom of trees or pipes that rats can climb to gain access to.
Rats don’t like the smell of peppermint, so it helps to place peppermint oil or cotton balls in the corners of your house to keep them away. You can’t make your home rat-proof because rats are smart, stubborn and clever, but you can make your home less welcoming by sealing holes, cracks, crevices and other potential entrances to exterior walls, pipes, vents, chimneys and any other elements that might lead to shelter. Rats leave footprints and tails in dusty or unused areas of your property.
If you have mousetraps with bait, rats could eat the bait without setting off the traps. Because of their size, rats can reach further than mice. And even if they set off the trap, the mousetrap doesn’t have enough force to kill a rat.
Mice, rats, and other rodents can damage home wiring, infect the pantry, and transmit disease. With a little bit of research you can learn the most effective ways to get rid of rats in your house. You can learn how best to deal with a rat infestation in your house. If you can’t get rid of rats on your own, you might want to talk to a professional pest control service provider.
Scientific Name of the Roof Rat: Rattus Rattus
Description of Roof Rats: Roof Rats are very common pests that pose numerous health risks and can cause a tremendous amount of damage to your home or business. Rattus rattus is actually partly to blame for the spread of the plague or black death during the Middle Ages. The roof rat (a.k.a. black rat) is usually dark brown in color but can vary depending upon the age of the rodent. Normally, Roof Rats are about 13 to 18 inches long, including the tails. Tail length is often a key factor in determining what type of rats you may have. Roof Rats have tails so long they are often longer than the body of the rat. In addition, they have larger ears and are very cryptic creatures. Roof Rats are hard to catch and quickly reproduce and remediate.
Signs to look for in checking if you have Roof Rats include pieces of insulation found in house or garage, nighttime activity in your attic, squealing, hollowed-out fruit (Orange Trees), roof and gutters, rustling in trees at night, sounds of chewing or gnawing at night, cylindrical poop, and much more.
Roof Rats Range and Reproduction: The range of the Roof Rat is impressive. They originated in Asia, migrated to Europe, and then came across to America due to immigration. It is said they came across on ships and in cargo and crates. They are mostly confined to warmer regions and are rampant in the Southwestern United States.
Roof Rats can have anywhere from six to ten young per litter. Further, they can have approximately four litters every year if the conditions are right. Thus, the life expectancy of their young is usually high, especially in the absence of predators.
Health Information on Roof Rats: Rats can cause and are associated with diseases too numerous to name. Humans can contract diseases from rats, rat feces, animals and bacteria that live on rats and in rat feces, and animals that are attracted to rats, such as fleas. The list goes on. Some of the major, life-threatening diseases include Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), Rat-bite fever (RBF), Murine Typhus, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Leptospirosis, and Eosinophilic Meningitis.
Important Facts on Roof Rats:
- They are nocturnal. Roof Rats sleep during the day and are active at night.
- Roof rats can transmit very dangerous diseases.
- They can chew wiring, plumbing, and chew up insulation.
- Roof Rats can enter your home through small openings and can climb in through roof penetrations and vents.
- Rats mostly like to take refuge in your attic but will nest in the brush, cacti, shrubs, trees, garbage, and other places.
- They are amazing jumpers and climbers and can get access almost anywhere.