Did you know there are about 60 rat species existing in the world? For most of us, they are unwelcome visitors, as they carry disease and they are incredibly destructive to your house. They will chew your walls, insulation, and electrical wiring.
Rats in the USA are generally the Norway or roof rats and they carry several diseases, like hepatitis E and typhus.
Rats are omnivores and will eat anything, so you need to eliminate them by finding their hiding places and blocking their homemaking skills.
6. Do Yard Maintenance
Keep your garden clean, trimmed, and uncluttered, as rats love clutter. Try to attract birds, especially owls, as they can eat a dozen small rats in a single night. Do not leave any piles of leaves, wood, or garbage.
5. Seal Trash Cans
Clean up and check to make sure your garbage cans have tight-fitting lids. Birdseed, pet food, dried corn, or any other outside containers should also be sealed.
4. Fix Small Leaks
Any small water leaks will give them a place to live and provide them a regular water supply. Even if it’s tiny, try to repair them.
3. Seal Small Gaps in Exterior Walls
They might be small gaps to you, but roof rats can fit into less than a 2 cm diameter crack and cause extensive electrical wire damage in the attic before you realize what has happened. Even if the crack is above ground, rats can jump up to 4 feet. If not sealed properly, they can squeeze in doorways and windows. Broken bricks or cracks around foundations need to be fixed.
2. Clean Downspouts and Gutters
Bet you never thought of a rat going up your downspout like a ladder, and then to your roof and into the house. They are good climbers. Try to keep the gutters cleaned out, as it gives them less to hang on to.
1. Keep Interior Rooms Clean to Eliminate Hiding Places
Do not leave food or piles of clothes in rooms. The kitchen should not have dirty dishes all over waiting to be cleaned. Same with mudrooms or washrooms, as these are the places that tend to become “garbage collections” and therefore easy pickings for mice or rats to make nesting spots.
The other areas to cover are holes in interior walls or baseboards where it is easy to get to insulation, another great rat nesting material.
If you hear sounds in your walls, like squeaks or scratching, it’s probably rats. There are natural deterrents and rat traps which are best if you have rats. Poison is not recommended, because if they die in your wall the smell and the cleanup would be a nightmare!