Figuring out how to get rid of rats in house fast on your own usually ends up being more challenging than most homeowners expect.
For starters, nobody wants to discover that they are dealing with a rat infestation to begin with – and most people are quite content trying to ignore as many of the warning signs as possible until they have to confront this unpleasant reality.
Secondly, rats are a bit harder to contend with than the kind of mice you find scurrying throughout your home. They require a slightly different approach (one that is a little more aggressive) to remove them permanently, which is why so many choose to hire exterminators to handle the heavy lifting of this jump for them.
At the same time, though, armed with the inside information we highlight below you should feel a lot more comfortable tackling a rat problem in your home or property from here on out.
Start With a Little Recon
It’s impossible to know what approach you should take to get rid of rats until you know what kind of rats you’re dealing with in the first place, as well as where they are holing up, nesting, or infiltrating your home.
In the United States you are almost exclusively going to be dealing with roof rats (smaller, black rats) or Norway rats (sometimes called sewer rats or brown rats).
Roof rats are usually only found in coastal areas of the United States, especially out west and in the southeastern part of the country. Norway rats, on the other hand, can be found pretty much anywhere else in the US – particularly up north where cold weather would have turned roof rats away in a hurry.
After identifying the type of rent you’re dealing with you want to figure out where they are infiltrating your home and how they are getting in, whether or not they are nesting inside of your home or just using it as a food source, and (whenever possible) a rough estimate of just how many rats you’re dealing with in the first place.
Lock Down Your Home
The next piece of the puzzle in figuring out how to get rid of rats in your house is sealing off any and all potential entry points that rats (or squirrels, for that matter) may be using to get into the property.
Mice aren’t going to have any problem squeezing into openings that are as small as 3/8 of an inch around, but rats are a little bit bigger. It’s not a bad idea to seal and to block off all openings that are a quarter-inch around or larger, making sure specifically to prioritize openings of a half-inch or larger for sure.
It’s not a bad idea to set rat traps near these openings after closing them off.
Rats are pretty curious and a little bit wary of any changes to their environment so you might not see a lot of activity on those traps for the first couple of days, but they are also quite enterprising and stubborn. You might find them returning to these old pathways sooner rather than later and meeting a swift demise on your bait stations because of it.
Eliminate Potential Food Options
Rats are going to avoid your traps if they have easily accessible food sources to plunder, especially if they haven’t had to deal with any threats (like traps) near those food sources up until now.
A quick way to eliminate these kinds of issues is to start storing all of your drive food in very tightly sealed containers, particularly things like dog food and cat food that comes in soft paper bags that rats will chew right through.
It’s also important that you keep your countertops free of food that they might be enticed to come out and eat after the sun goes down. This can be a bit of a challenge when you have small children in the house that like to leave things on the counter without realizing it, but a quick policing of your countertops before you go to bed will eliminate a lot of the potential food options for rats – forcing them to go to your baited traps.
Call in the Professionals
Of course, if you are still struggling with a wrapped problem even after trying to address the issue on your own it may not be a bad idea to call in the experts to handle the heavy lifting for you.
Finding the right rat control service can be a little bit of an uphill battle, though, if only because there are so many different options to pick and choose from.
Make sure that you do your research and due diligence. Look for companies that have been in business for quite a while, companies that have a track record for successfully dealing with rat infestations and other pest control issues, and companies that keep up with all new legislation governing this industry and pest control technology.
You never want to move forward with a pest control service that may end up using toxic elements that could compromise your health or the health and wellness of your loved ones (especially your furry little four-legged family members that could get into toxic rat baiting set ups, for example).
At the end of the day, though, with a little bit of diligence and a little bit of research – as well as a little bit of patience – you shouldn’t have all that much trouble resolving rat infestation issues pretty quickly.