Rats are small creatures that tend to hide inside their homes and remain unseen by the human eye. Rats also startle a lot of people whenever they’re spotted. While they are little in size, Rats carry a lot of health risks with the diseases they carry like leptospirosis thanks to their urine and droppings.
Now that most of us are stuck at home, pests, such as Rats, have begun to make their way indoors. While Rats are adorable creatures to some, they are rather dangerous and destructive pests. Rats, unlike other pests, are not dangerous for their bite, sting, or poison, but rather the health risks that come from the diseases they carry.
Rats are one of the many unwanted house guests that causes a lot of problems. They are walking health risks because they contaminate your food, chew through your electrical wires, and make cracks in your wall bigger. Rats are hard to force out of the house because they are closely linked to humans. Human homes provide them with the things they need most to thrive, which are food, shelter, and water. This is why it’s important to recognize when a rat infestation problem is starting out and here are the signs that this is happening.
Signs Of Rat Infestations
Rat Droppings are the most common sign of a rat infestation. One rat can produce 40 droppings in a day. But since rats are very secretive and like to hide inside their burrows, you won’t see a lot of these droppings if there are only 1 or 2 rats lying around. But if you see these frequently inside your house, it’s a sure thing that rat infestation has begun. This is especially true if you find them in areas like your drawers, your cupboards, or under the sink.
If these droppings turn gray when dry, you probably have a rat infestation. These droppings are the number one tell-tale sign that rats have infested your home. The largest number of droppings will be in those areas where the rats feed and nest, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for those spots.
Mice droppings are usually tiny in length and are small, dark brown, with pointed ends. Rat droppings vary in shape depending on the type of rat. Always use gloves and a mask when cleaning up rat droppings.
Gnaw markings will often be found on food packaging or the structure of the house itself if rats are present. One way to determine age is to compare a gnaw mark you just noticed with those on a similar material that you know is older. If the newly found marks are lighter in colour, it could be an indication of a continuing infestation. The marks can also indicate whether you have rats or mice; larger gnaw marks will have been produced by the larger teeth of rats. Thus if you had a mouse infestation, but are now seeing larger gnaw marks, you may now have rats.
If you see an area inside your house with a lot of clutter, chances are that rats have been using the area as their nesting grounds. Rats build nests in warm, hidden places using shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics. Nests will often contain young rats and are usually located close to a food source. Check behind and under appliances, such as fridges and freezers in or near your kitchen.
When they skitter inside your house, rats leave foot and tail marks in dusty, less-used areas of the house. If rats are currently active in or around your home, their runways and tracks are likely to be distinctive, becoming fainter as time passes. Shining a strong flashlight at a low angle should reveal tracks clearly. To establish if an infestation is active, sprinkle fine flour or talc along a small stretch of floor near the footprints and check for fresh tracks the next day.
Knowing these details and the amount of damage and possible work you’re gonna face when faced with a rat infestation, is it possible to get rid of rats by yourself? Read on to find out!
Can I Get Rid Of Rats By Myself?
Even though gettings rats out of your house is so hard, this does not mean that rats can’t be prevented from moving into your home yourself. With these simple tips, you can make sure that your home will be rodent-free and less dangerous to live in.
Rats can slip into holes the size of a dime. Check your home for any opening that size and larger. Seal them up with proper materials. Plug or repair all cracks and gaps in the foundation, walls, and basements. Seal gaps and cracks around doors and window frames. Plug holes around pipes that lead to appliances. Cover up any open insulation that mice may use as nesting. Seals around all exterior lines leading through walls must be tight. Place a cap on the chimney to prevent entry by rodents and other animals. Weather-strip doors and windows if there are large cracks. Regularly inspect and repair these common rat access points to keep them out.
Rats are natural scavengers so make sure to cover garbage cans at all times. Pick produce from your garden and trees as it ripens. Pick up and compost fruit and vegetables that fall to the ground. Feed outdoor pets during the day and don’t leave leftover food lying around. Don’t store pet food outside without making sure it’s in rat-proof containers.
Making sure that your cupboards and other storage areas are properly organized and inspected is an important step to prevent rats from your home. Store dry food, pet food, and birdseed in metal, glass, or plastic containers and ensure that they’re properly sealed in any storage items to prevent nesting. Avoid using cardboard boxes that can easily be accessed by rates as they can chew right through them. Raise storage items off the ground using shelving or pallets.
Clean Your Surroundings
Clean common food preparation areas, including under stoves, refrigerators, and the kitchen sink. Regularly sanitize countertops and keep them clear of food or any residue coming from fruit or vegetable peeling, or packaging. Do not leave glasses of water out on the counter for a long time as rats will target them for water supplies. Remove uneaten pet food at night and keep the area clean. Keep garbage cans clean and covered as their odour will attract the rats from their nests. Regularly clean up areas of moisture. Clear away piles of newspaper and wood, and store them safely away from the home building. If you’re using firewood, don’t bring it into the house unless you are going to burn it immediately.
One important thing that you have to remember is that you have to remove other rats too. Rats multiply at a staggering rate, so you’ll want to stop them from breeding inside your house before it’s too late. In addition to that, the presence of rats attracts other foreign rats to come to live with them. Two ways for getting rid of rats are trapping and baiting. For trapping, use snap-style traps, which are designed to kill rats quickly. If you choose to use a trapping product be cautious not to over-bait, as this leads to rats stealing the food without activating the trap. Use the correct food, rats are more likely to eat snacks with high protein and fat content.
For baiting, be sure to use tamper-resistant bait stations that hold the baits in place and keep children and pets out. Place both traps or bait along common pathways where you find droppings and gnaw marks. Ledges, fence rails, and foundations are typical paths.
Finally, you can use chemical rat repellents from the market or natural repellents to fend rats from entering your home. One example of these is Peppermint. Rats do not like the smell of peppermint. You can put some peppermint oil in cotton balls and place them at the entry points and other nooks you think can be cozy abodes of these tiny creatures. Repeat every few days to keep them at bay. And the great advantage is that your house will smell fresh all the time! If this isn’t doing the job in removing rats, consider hiring a professional rat exterminator instead.