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How to Prevent and Get Rid of Rats

Mouse and rat tails on floor

Rats and mice in Louisiana can be a serious problem. They live in groups and are always in search of shelter, often living in sewers, woodpiles, or abandoned buildings, but they don't stop there—these rodents will set up residence in your home if you let them. Rats and mice carry disease, chew through wiring and insulation to make nests, destroy food supplies, and contaminate the living space with their feces and urine. This article is going to tell you how to prevent rat infestation and get rid of rats once you have an infestation.

How to Prevent Rodent Infestations

It can be somewhat difficult and time-consuming to rat-proof your entire house, but when trying to prevent a rodent infestation, it is worth the effort. Steps include:

  • Inspecting the perimeter of your home and searching for possible entry points that mice and rats could use to get into your house. Seal off any holes and gaps larger than 1/2 inch by using steel mesh and caulk.
  • Cleaning up your yard by making sure any fallen fruit from surrounding trees is collected immediately, maintaining a well-trimmed lawn, and moving all compost or woodpiles away from your house.
  • Storing garbage in rat-proof containers, such as metal cans with lids, and never leaving pet food outside overnight.

What are Common Signs of a Rat Infestation?

If you suspect that you have rodents in your home, we highly encourage you to reach out to a professional rat exterminator, though there are some easy ways of confirming you have an infestation:

  • One of the most common signs of a rat infestation is rat droppings and urine. Rat feces are usually found near where rats nest, but they can be found anywhere throughout your house if there is an infestation large enough. Droppings look like 'roasted coffee beans' and rat pee looks like black or red inkblots.
  • Another sign of a rat infestation is the rat itself. If you see rat footprints in dusty areas, smudge marks along surfaces, and rat footprints on paper items they may have been near then most likely they have been there at one point or another. Rats tend to travel where there is shelter and warmth or cool air and they will most likely choose your attic/basement if it meets these requirements.
  • You may also hear rats scurrying around your house if there is a large enough infestation, but even a small infestation can make some noise—especially around dawn when rats are most active, you will hear them scraping on walls or gnawing through the wood. You may also hear squeaking if you have rat pups and rat mating season is near. If you live in an apartment/house, you may hear them crawling through the walls and gnawing through piping which can cause your water bill to drop dramatically.

How to Get Rid of Rats

There are a few ways to get rid of rodents in and around your home. Some of the most common include:

Clean your Home

The first step for rat control is to remove all the rat food sources and rat habitats. Do this by thoroughly cleaning your kitchen, pantry, garage, and even yard of any bread crumbs, pet foods, bird food, or anything else that can lure them in. Keep pet food inside tight containers and remove woodpiles and brushes that serve as rat nesting grounds. If you find nests while cleaning, get rid of them! 

Seal Off Openings

If you want to prevent rats from coming back into your home again, you have to seal off all rat entry points. You can use steel mesh when repairing holes in your yard or fence, and when sealing up rat entrances in the house, use rat-proof material such as concrete mix or hardwire cloth.

Apply Natural Rat Repellents

There are certain strong smells, such as peppermint, cinnamon, spearmint, balsam, or pine, that can naturally repel rodents if applied regularly. Homeowners can easily use these fragrant oils to double as air fresheners. As this method of rat control does not contain any harsh chemicals or poisons, it is a safe option to use around your family and pets.

Use Rat Traps, Bait, or Poison

If you're going to kill a rat, rat snap traps are the most humane option for pest control around your home since they break a rat's neck instantly upon triggering it. Other options include live cages that an animal will enter but not be able to get out of because of a metal divider with a door in between—these types of rodent traps need regular inspection after every catch otherwise the rat will die from dehydration and hunger inside. If you're looking for rat poison, rat bait stations are the most commonly used rat killer in households. The rat feeds on rat poison pellets or liquid and when this happens, there's a possibility it may die inside the walls of your house causing an odor if not disposed of properly. Additionally, you could also use glue boards, electronic rat zappers, or rat gassing traps to get rid of the mice and rats.

Call A Pest Control Company

In most cases, the best way to get rid of a rodent infestation is by calling a professional rat exterminator. Local companies, like Extermatrim, can provide customized service, remove infestations, and work with you to prevent rodents from getting into your home again. Learn more about our rodent control by contacting us today!


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