Rats are among the most dangerous and common home invaders throughout the world. Once they have established an in-home ecosystem it can be very difficult to eliminate them completely. However, it is necessary that the infestation is eradicated in as timely a manner as possible. Rodents are dangerous and can transmit a wide variety of diseases through their bodily fluids. They reproduce at an exponential rate and, given the correct circumstances, can overrun a living space. There are many proven remedies for these infestations and any combination of them may be necessary for full elimination.
Rodents, specifically rats, are among the most difficult pests to control. They are highly adaptable and can thrive in any situation in which they find warmth, hydration, and food. They also have a keen awareness to changes in their environment. They are very intelligent and as a result you often need a combination of the following methods to eliminate them.
Improve Sanitation Within your Living Space
Our homes are very desirable living quarters for all rodents and especially for rats. Rats enter in search of shelter from the harsh elements and predators, as well as nourishment. They feed on our garbage and any other food items to which they can gain access. The first step to eliminating these unwanted visitors is changing the environment so that it is not as hospitable to any four-legged invaders. Trash should be properly disposed of and secured in covered receptacles.
A concerted effort among neighborhoods can also go a long way in preventing the occurrence of infestations. This is especially true of apartment buildings or neighborhoods in which homes are close together. neighborhood landscape cleanups and mass cleanings have proven effective on a large scale in many neighborhoods.
Secure the Perimeter
Once rats gain access to your home they are very difficult to eliminate. Therefore, one of the best methods of extermination is prevention. Rats are able to gain access to your home through any opening that is 1/2″ or bigger. It is necessary to close any hole on the exterior that they can fit through.
This is a very important step even if the pests have already gained access. They reproduce very quickly and if you can stop the flux of new rats into your house you will have much fewer to exterminate.
There are many products on the market that can help you secure your home against rodents of all kinds.
- Copper mesh– Rats often gain access to your home through spaces where utility wires enter your home. Copper mesh can close the gaps around wires, pipes, and holes near foundations.
- Foam- Foam is another useful tool in the war on rodent invaders. This foam should be sprayed in any and all crevasses on the exterior of your home. It will expand and protect from both the elements and pests.
Baiting is a method of pest control that can be very effective in eliminating an infestation. Baiting involves leaving poison in strategic areas of your home in hopes that the rats will ingest the poison and even pass it on to others. This method can be highly effective but does have a few drawbacks.
Baiting requires the use of very strong poisons that are hazardous, usually fatal, to humans and domestic animals. This means that the placement of these materials must be in an area in which human and animals, other than the desired pests, can not ingest them accidentally. Another way to prevent accidental ingestion is through the use of secure bait stations that have been widely accepted to decrease accidents.
Another drawback to this method is that one does not always know when a rat has been poisoned. This can lead to a rotting rat carcass in a not readily available area of your home that is only known because of the rancid odor.
These caveats notwithstanding, the baiting method can be safe and very effective if done in the correct fashion.
“Safe” baits are also available on the market and they claim to drive rats away in a manner that is safe for humans and the environment. These safe baits employ the use of essential oils to drive the rats away. many of these products have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, a government agency responsible for the regulation of environmental hazards. Unlike poisons, if effective, these baits will not leave you with the task of finding and removing dead rats from your home.
These environmentally friendly baits are often mixtures of a variety of essential oils, including; eucalyptus, lemon, and rosemary. These oils are natural and completely safe for use among children and animals. The efficacy of such methods have been debated, but the only way to see if it works in your situation is to try it for yourself. There is no risk involved, except for the money you spend.
Trapping is a useful alternative if the rat population is not too great. Traps are set out in areas that are accessible to both rats and humans. These traps can be baited with a variety of foods to attract the rodents. Some common bait foods include; apple, potato, bacon, peanut butter, etc.
When employing the trap method you will always know when a pest has been killed, and you will not have a rotting carcass in an inaccessible area of your home. Trapping eliminates the need for hazardous poisons and in that way it is a great deal safer than baiting. This makes it a more attractive option for safety conscious families and pet-owners.
To reiterate trapping is not always a feasible option when a large population of rodents is present, though it may be used effectively in concert with other methods in that situation.
Call a Professional
Sometimes the best, or only, way to solve an infestation is by calling a professional to deal with the pests. There are many knowledgeable exterminators with years of experience in the pest control business. They will be able to inform you of your options and customize a plan specifically to your needs. They have access to state-of-the-art methods and are informed of the latest industry breakthroughs. They also have access to personal protection equipment that may not be available to the lay person. This combination of factors may provide you with the best results and the least amount of headache.
An infestation of any kind can be a very stressful event. The danger and disease that rats cause can make their presence even worse. Baiting, trapping, and calling a professional are a few ways that you can combat the rodent army. Often a combination of these methods are needed to control, and hopefully eliminate, your rat problem.
Improved sanitation and closure of any external entry points are necessary to prevent further infestation. It is imperative that your home is not a place in which they can find the warmth, protection, and sustenance that they desire.
A rat infestation may be embarrassing, but it is not the end of the world and it is not permanent. if you employ the methods outlined here, and use the knowledge that you have gained you will be able to rid your home of these unwanted guests.
Using Dogs for Rat Control
Some dogs like the Jack Russels can be well trained because it is ingrained in their instincts, to hunt and kill rats. This is a great solution if you do not want to use potentially dangerous chemicals or traps around your property.