No matter how much you loved the movie “Ratatouille,” rats roaming around your house is not a good thing. In addition to being unpleasant to look at, they are carriers of many harmful diseases and pose serious health risks to you and your loved ones.
According to many reports, rats spread more than 35 diseases worldwide. They include the bubonic plague, rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, and many more. Besides being carriers of many harmful diseases, these unwanted visitors can cause destructive damage to your property.
Once these unwelcomed furry inhabitants gain access to your property, they will gnaw and chew through wires, wood, insulation, and other materials. If you want to reclaim your property, the only option is to figure out the most effective rat removal method and get rid of the rats – and any other animals that may be living in your attic – once and for all.
Did you know that rats can squeeze through a hole as small as ¾ inch in diameter? That is the size of a quarter! It can be pretty alarming for you to walk in your kitchen or pantry and find rats have severely raided your food storage.
Whether you have a severe rat infestation or are trying to prevent one, it is important to know how these not-so-cute little creatures can gain access to your property and cause a massive nuisance for you.
If you suspect rats are in your attic, you must seal off all their entry points in your home first, so you can focus on trapping these little creatures. Some of the common entry points that you must check are:
Mice and rats can squeeze through even the smallest hole or gap. With their persistence – particularly once they have made your house their home – it is crucial to find and seal all holes and gapping around the outside of your house.
While attic vents are effective in ventilating your attic and lowering your energy bills, most vents have large openings that animals can use to enter your house. Either it is totally open to the elements, or there is only a thin mesh that animals can easily chew through. Either way, these are not keeping rats out of your attic! If you want to keep rodents out of your attic, you will have to seal these large openings right away.
Even if you have rats in the attic, they could be getting in from below the house! Rats and mice can get in through weep holes, ground vents, or crawl space entryways and use them to get into your walls. Once you have rats or mice in your walls, it is only a matter of time before they make their way up to your attic!
If you suspect a rat infestation in your house, it is best to inspect your crawl space and attic closely and look for signs that indicate the presence of rats in your house. Usually, rats stay out of sight. So if you see see one in the open, it is a clear indication that rats have severely infested your house.
Some of the common signs of rat infestation are:
Rats usually produce 40 dropping per night. So, the most common sign to look for is their droppings. Fresh droppings are dark and moist. You will most likely find these droppings near food packages, cupboards, and along the rat runaway.
Also, you will find the highest number of dropping in areaswhere these rats are nesting or feeding. Though rodents are usually smartenough to avoid traps, setting them in these higher traffic areas will at leastincrease the odds of the traps working.
All rodents have a habit of chewing ad gnawing through different materials such as wires, wood, insulation, dry wall, etc. If rats have ever infested your house, you will most likely notice their gnaw marks around your attic – particularly on electric wires.
Newer gnaw marks will be lighter in color due to their freshness. These gnaw marks can also be found around food packaging. If the rodent gnaw marks are on recently purchased pet or human food, you likely have a current rat infestation!
Your four-legged family members (pets) can help a lot in getting rid of rats. Your pet dog or cat will become more active and excited in areas where rats are present. When there is an active rat infestation in your house, many foul and funky odors will start lingering around your house. Foul odors are often noticed first by pets, so if you see your pet starts pawing at an area in which it had previously no interest, examine the area thoroughly for rats and mice.
If rats are currently active in your house, they will leave their tracks and runaway marks. Rat trails are most evident in insulation –especially fiberglass insulation. They can be more easily detected with the help of a flashlight held at an angle toward the suspected area.
To see how fresh the activity may be, you can sprinkle a thin layer of flour or talcum powder. If rodents are active in the suspected area, you will see their trails in the flour or talcum powder.
Do you hear scratching noises at night? It is a strong indication of a rat infestation in your house. Once the rats have gained access to your property, they will make sure to give you many sleepless nights by scurrying around the attic and making squeaking noises.
Some of the tips on how to get rid of rats safely, effectively, and humanely are:
If you want to get rid of the rats from your house, you must seal all their entry points. It’s that simple. Otherwise, even if you trap the current animals in your house, others will be drawn to their scent and adopt your home as their own next winter or the next time rodents in your neighborhood are looking for a safe, warm place to have a family!
Even if there is a small hole or crack in the wall or window, seal it with cement or caulk. Once done, check them every few months to ensure they are still sealed off.
Rats love places to hide. One of the best ways to get rid of them without using any harmful poisons is to eliminate all of their hiding places. You will have to clean up all the clutter and get rid of all the unnecessary furniture.
Since rodents love running along walls, at the very least, move the clutter towards the center of rooms and away from walls.
Trapping is a poison-free method that can be used to reduce the rat population. However, if you have a severe rat infestation in your house, you will need to use plenty of them while pairing it with clearing clutter and sealing all of the entry points.
Oftentimes, because rats and mice are smart enough to avoid traps, rodents will only go to traps after entry and exit points have been sealed and the food on the traps are their only option.
Make sure to place the traps in all the suspected areas. For bait, you can use peanut butter, unsalted seeds, or nuts to attract the mice and rats towards the traps.
Do you want to avoid cleaning the messy traps? You can use few natural remedies too to get rid of the rats from your house. You can sprinkle peppermint oil, black pepper, and cayenne pepper around the suspected areas. These will irritate the rats’ noses and make them more likely to leave your house.
Also, a blend of essential oil such as cedarwood and geranium can help you repel rats away.
Rat removal can be anything but easy. All of the above rat removal methods are easier said than done and much less likely to work if you are dealing with more than a few rodents. Because mice and rats are so sneaky, homeowners often do not notice them until they have multiplied into a large family!
Once you have a severe rat infestation in your house, it is highly advisable to contact a professional rat removal service-providing company before the problem continues to worsen and get harder, and more expensive, to remediate.
Some of the reasons why getting help from a professional rat removal company is better than handling it all by yourself are:
The scariest part of a rat infestation is rats’ rapid reproduction rate! Female rats can have a litter every 7-8 weeks – each with5-12 pups. Since pups can start reproducing themselves after ~3 months, one female rat can turn into hundreds, and even thousands, in one short year.
Once the rat population in your house starts to grow, it will become increasingly difficult for you to get rid of them without professional help. Additionally, the more rats in your attic, the more likely they are to chew wires or ductwork, creating significantly more damage. If you suspect rats have severely infested your house, call a professional rat removal company immediately.
Rats are carriers of many harmful diseases, so the presence of any rats in your house can expose you and your family to many rodent-borne diseases. Even if they do not bite you, just breathing in the air that they have contaminated with their feces can cause you to catch harmful diseases. If you contact a professional rat removal company, they will have experience with decontaminating and sanitizing rat-infested attics.
Once rats gain access to your property, they can create a rat army within a few short months. From dozens of droppings to a significant structural damage, rats can become a huge nuisance for residential and commercial property owners alike. It can be unsafe to get rats out of your house yourself since they can bite and infect you with a number of diseases. If you are in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, you can trust Critter Stop to help you deal with these unwanted visitors. Give us a call to make your house rat-free! We will help you protect your house and make sure your attic is rodent-free!