They climb through your windows; they squeeze through the tiniest of holes and have a ninja-like swiftness to them that cannot be matched. I am of course, referring to the home invader most of us have had to live with at some point; the rat.
These rodents like nothing more than coming into your home and making a general nuisance of themselves; creating mess (not just of the crumb variety), damaging walls and structures and scuttling around under your floorboards. Not to fret! There are precautions you can take to ensure your rat invaders scuttle off somewhere else.
1. Keep the area outside your home neat and tidy. Rats love nothing more than rummaging through wood piles and garbage bins, so if you can, keep these as far from your house as possible, or avoid having them altogether.
Maintain the lawn and if there is pet food about, take it inside at night and make sure there’s no leftovers lying about. Also be sure to check and close up any possible entrances, especially holes around your windows, doors and drainage.
2. Tidy up the house. Not a fun prospect, but rats love making their nests in your mess so it’s time to get cleaning! The best place to start is in your kitchen; keep all foods in sealed containers and dispose of any leftover waste properly. In the rest of the house make sure to vacuum regularly in case of food crumbs. Clear out cupboards and attic spaces and check to make sure that no critters have made themselves at home.
3. If rats have managed to get into your home, firstly get rid of anything that is attracting them in the first place i.e. food, shelter, and warmth. After that you can begin to rid yourself of the rats without having to worry about them coming back.
The most popular method when dealing with rats is to trap them; how you trap them however is up to you. While most people think traditional snapping traps and glue traps are inhumane, they are nevertheless effective. Poisoning rats is also an option, but can be dangerous for pets if they attack the rat. If you decide to catch them alive and release them into the wild, make sure you release them as far away as possible from your home!
You might also want to consider getting a cat. Rats like to live undisturbed so a curious cat can act as a great repellent.
4. If you do have a rat problem, you should let your neighbours know, as chances are, they’ll have a rat problem too. If they don’t deal with their infestation, then your home will probably be overrun with rats again. It can become a vicious circle so make sure you inform them.
5. If the problem is just too unmanageable the best thing to do is call an expert! They’ll be able to pinpoint how the rats got into your home, why they are there and be able to get remove them effectively and humanely. You just need to be willing to pay the costs and work around the exterminator if the situation requires.