Besides humans, a plethora of insects, (yes, this bug blogger used the word plethora!), and a host of other pests, want to know what else is more active in the summer months? Rats. Those nasty, beady-eyed, long-tailed, disease-carrying creatures that nightmares and horror movies are made of.
Rats spend the summer hooking up, fattening up, and getting ready for the winter. So, not that much different from people. They are nocturnal and are most active between dusk and dawn, and even though they might spend some time outdoors, they are sneaky little suckers that will return at night, usually by crawling through your drains to get back into your house.
If you’ve got rats, you probably already know that they can cause damage to your property, they spread diseases, they contaminate food, and they can cause fires by chewing up electrical wires. So, you don’t need me keeping you in suspense on how to get rid of them. Let’s dig in.
Rats need food and water and shelter to survive. Since that is also what humans need, it isn’t likely that we can simply do away with these things entirely. And since they aren’t likely to leave on their own, there is work to be done. By you. So get your big girl panties on and get after it. The sooner the better because where there’s one rat, there are many.
Fill ‘em up!
Since rats can squeeze into an opening the size of a quarter, get busy filling any holes you might find that are this size or bigger. Actually, if you find any holes at all, you should fill them so that other pests don’t make your house their home.
Huck ‘em out!
You can’t get rid of your food, but you can make it more difficult for them to find their meals. Make sure your pantry foods are in sealed containers. Keep your trash cans covered at all times. If you have a garden or trees that produce any type of produce, pick it as it ripens. Huck out anything that falls to the ground. If you have pets, keep their pet food inside or in rodent proof containers.
Send ‘em packing!
Get rid of the things that make them want to stay. Remove limbs, that old car that you’ve had on blocks for the last decade, the old refrigerator that stopped working years ago, and any other debris (aka crap) or vegetation that rats might consider ideal hiding places. Any wood piles or lumber should be stored at least 18 inches above the ground and away from your house.
Chop ‘em down!
Keep rats from making their way onto your walls and roof by trimming down branches, limbs, and shrubs that either butt up next to or come within four feet of your home. Rats are not known for having wicked leaping abilities, so this distance should be sufficient.
Set ‘em up!
Rat traps are one of the most effective ways to get rid of rats fast. There are a number of options, and your trusty friends at HowToPest.com have all of them. Check them out:
- Snap Traps: These are rat-sized wooden or plastic traps that effectively kill rats instantly. Be sure to set them in locations where they will be safe from kids and pets.
- Live Traps: Live-rat traps are basically small cages with a twist. When a rat is lured into the cage by some super-enticing bait, it steps on a pressure-sensitive trip plate which then triggers a spring mechanism that causes the cage’s door to snap closed, trapping the rat inside.
- Glue Boards: Glue boards are exactly what their name implies. It is a flat, plastic board that is covered in super-sticky glue on one side. When the rat cruises over the board, it gets stuck. Eventually it dies of either starvation or dehydration.
- Bait Stations: Bait stations are devices that hold super-tantalizing rat bait securely inside which prevents children and pets from coming in contact with it. Rats enter the station, eat a lethal dose of the bait, leave the station where they usually head back to their nest where it meets its maker 1-2 days later.
- Electronic Trap:This trap is tunnel-shaped and has a baited area along its back wall that lures the rat inside. The inside of the tunnel has a metal plate on the floor, and once the plate senses pressure, it delivers a charge of 7,000 volts, killing the rat instantly.
Be sure to follow directions closely so that your loved ones are kept safe from harm. Not sure what will be best for you and your rat situation? Give us a call or send us a message. One of our rat specialists will be happy to help.