There is hardly a more distasteful pest to have around the home than rats. Rats bring back every bad horror film memory you have and just thinking about them can cause a queasy feeling in your stomach. People who live in cities may seem like the most likely candidates for rat problems but rats will live anywhere there are people. Rats enjoy the easy food that can be had by inhabiting areas with lots of human waste and plenty of hiding places.
The best way to treat a rat problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Rats like to hide in piles of wood or junk on your property. Keep all woodpiles raised up off the ground at least two feet and remove junk and garbage piles from every area of your yard. Keep bushes around your home from growing too close to the house to eliminate hiding places for rats. Be sure to keep any pet food indoors and don’t use birdfeeders. Keep lids on all outside garbage cans. Make sure to seal any openings or holes around the foundation of your home and trim back all tree branches as rats will drop down onto your roof from overhanging limbs.
If the rats have already found their way into your home you want to get them out as quickly as possible. Rats carry diseases and bacteria and they could be infected with rabies and bite you or your family members. Rat poisons are extremely dangerous to use as a pet or child could ingest the poison or a poisoned rat. When a rat eats poison it may hide in a hard to reach the spot and cause a terrible smell that you just can’t track down. Keep all of your food sealed in airtight containers and be fastidious about cleaning up spills, crumbs, and garbage. If the rats can’t find a meal in your home they are likely to leave.
Rat traps can be dangerous for small animals and children around your home who may become injured or caught in them. Live traps are a safe and humane way to get rid of a rat that is inside your home. Live traps use some sort of food to lure the rat inside and once the rat has entered the door will snap shut leaving them stuck inside. You will have to dispose of the rat if you trap one in this way. The best way is to take it to another location some distance away and set it free.
There are ultrasonic devices that emit a high-pitched sound that rodents find unbearable. These devices cost less than fifty dollars and may work initially. Rats might become used to the tone and try to reenter your home if it finds that you still have food available for him. If you use an ultrasonic device be sure to take measures to prevent reinfestation before the animals have a chance to become immune to the high-pitched noise.
Another way to keep rats away is to have a cat, dog, or ferret in the house. These common pets will chase rats and keep them from wanting to be inside of your home. If you let your cat out at night he can prevent rats from coming anywhere near your house.
If you are unsuccessful in getting rid of these pesky visitors you should call a professional exterminator. A rat problem is serious and the longer it is left untreated the more rats you will have. Rats can procreate very quickly and once they have settled down it will be hard to get them to leave.