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Find out how to get rid of rats and best tips to do it DIY as well as exterminator contractor cost and up to 4 free quotes.
The sight of a rat in your house can leave you utterly shocked and disgusted. They are known to be filthy, dirty, destructive and worst of all; they can spread diseases. It’s no wonder that most people have an inherent fear of rats and will do anything to get rid of them.
They carry potentially harmful diseases which can be deadly to humans. A research study reported that a rat’s urine is likely to trigger allergies in about 35% of homes. The rat’s droppings are also a matter of concern since most people are known to be allergic to them. The allergens carried by rats can cause asthma in adults and children.
In addition, rats can cause unimaginable destruction in your home. They gnaw on anything that comes their even some parts of your house. For example, it will not be surprising if you found out that a rat has gnawed through the insulation, wood, wallboards, cardboards, ceilings, cabinets, etc. Others will eat through electrical wires. We all know the dangers of having exposed electrical wires. In fact, a recent study showed that 25% of house fires in the U.S are caused by exposed wires which have been gnawed on by rats and mice.
Rats come to your home to get four things, food, shelter, water, and warmth. These tiny creatures can squeeze through gaps that are amazingly small and tight. They can force their way into a hole or a gap as small as a ½ inch. In case the hole or the gap is smaller, they will gnaw at it till they can wiggle their inside.
If you spot rats in your house, the first thing to do is to find out their entry point. The rat problem might never go away if you don’t seal the gaps and holes that are leading them into your home. The key to finding out how rats are gaining access to your home is through inspection. You need to do a full inspection of your home to find the entry holes.
Since rats can squeeze their way in the smallest areas, they can fit in very small crannies in your home. Here are the places that you should check in your home as possible rat possible entry points for rats into your house.
If you inspect your garage, you likely to discover that the ductwork around the furnace is not well sealed. If you look closely at the furnace, especially on the rear and its sides, you might see small gaps. Rats love warmth, especially if the weather outside is cold. They will settle perfectly in the area around the furnace. Similarly, there might be gaps around the plumbing holes that go through the wall into your garage.
Rats can also get inside your home through the garage door. They can squeeze their way inside the garage through the small gap beneath the garage door. Once inside they will chew and gnaw on anything to get their way their way inside your house.
Rats can get in your home through small holes and gaps. If your home has vents outside at the bottom of the siding, then there is a possibility that the rats are using this point as their entrance. If you notice that there is damage to the screens and some parts of the vents, then you have found the entry point of the rats in your home. However, there are some homes without these vents, but if yours has them, make sure you inspect them.
Rats can enter your house though anything that touches you home. For example, if you have trees that have large branches leaning towards your house, or vines. Anything that the rat can use to crawl inside your home from the outside including trellises and shrubs is referred to as rat ladders. The rats use these ladders to reach the openings in your roof and gain access inside your home.
There are small vents on the roof that are made to allow air from outside into the attic system. The vents also have a small mesh screen that prevents birds, pests, and rodents from getting access to the attic area and ultimately in the house. If you notice that the screen has been damaged, it’s possible that the rats are gaining access through these vents.
Rats are sneaky and can comfortably hide in your home. It might actually take a while before you realize you have rats living in your home. Considering how destructive and contagious these little creatures are, it’s essential to be aware of their common hiding spots in the house.
Read through the list to familiarize yourself with the rat’s behavior and where you are likely to find them in your home.
Attics make the perfect hiding spot for rats in most homes. Since they are located under the roof, most of the time they are usually isolated and less frequented by the homeowners. Rats are good climbers, and they can squeeze themselves in small gaps and holes.
They will sneak into your attic through any small hole in the wall and build nests. They can live in your attic for a long time, and by the time you release you have an infestation, they have done unimaginable damage in your home.
Rats can sneak up inside the walls through small gaps in your house and hide in there for a long time. If you hear some scratching noises coming from your walls and it’s usually louder and more extensive at night, there is a possibility you have rats living between the walls.
You have every reason to worry if there is a possibility of rats living in between your walls. They can gnaw on the electric wires, a situation that can lead to a fire outbreak if the wires are left exposed. When doing an inspection, it’s essential to inspect the walls to ascertain if the rats have already built their nests inside.
Most homeowners use the basement as a storage area. They can store anything including food supplies which often attract rats easily. In addition, the basement is a below ground room and tends to be warm, dark and moist making it an ideal hiding spot for rats.
The rats will access the basement area through any holes that are at ground level. If there are any damaged pipes, drains and walls, these could have been the access routes for the rats living in the basement.
Since rats can squeeze through small openings, they can infest drains and sewers and create nests. It can take a long time before a homeowner releases that they have a whole colony of rats living in their drainage system.
It’s very risky to have a rat infestation in your drains and sewer. They can chew on the pipes and cause a significant amount of structural damage which can cost you a lot of money to be repaired. These little creatures can swim perfectly through the sewer lines into the toilet. The experience of coming face to face with a rat in your bathroom can be nasty and shocking.
The gaps under the garage door make it easy for rats to gain access to your garage. Once inside, the rats will build nests and proceed to gnaw on anything in the garage. This includes chewing on tires and wires of the vehicles parked inside causing unimaginable damage.
One of the reasons why rats find their way into a home is to get food. They will gain access to your kitchen by making a hole through the power supply behind your stove. If you notice that the area around the power supply unit has been breached, it’s likely that the rats in your kitchen used that route to get inside.
They will hide behind the refrigerator and other dark places in your kitchen, especially under the sinks, cupboards, and drawers. The rats come out at night to eat leftover food and any food spilling left on the floor. They will also chew anything and cause significant damages not to mention the risk of exposing you to diseases.
Since the loft is an actual open place under your roof, it becomes the ideal spot for rats build a nest and shelter. You might notice foot trails at the loft which is a clear indication that you have rats living in your loft. Getting rid of rats at the loft might be difficult, and you might have to look for extermination services as soon as possible to prevent the damages that can they cause.
This is another place where you likely to find a rat infestation especially if it’s not well maintained. They gain their access inside by cutting through the walls. It doesn’t matter whether the walls are plastic, metal, or wooden, they will still chew their way inside. Once inside, the rats will gnaw an anything edible and cause damages.
If you suspect that you have rats in your home, an inspection should be done immediately. If you are doing the inspection yourself, make sure you cross-examine all the mentioned hiding spots to see if there are signs of rat infestation in your home.
As a homeowner, you might be wondering what the telltale signs of rat infestation are. There are so many ways that will help you identify the presence of rats in your home. Even though it may be hard to tell where rats are dwelling in your home, these tips will guide you into knowing if you have a moderate or large infestation or just a few rats in your home.
This is one the most obvious telltale signs of rat presence in your home. You can find them anywhere in your home since the rats are always mobile regardless of where their nests are located. However, the droppings can be more concentrated near the nests and mostly along the walls. You are likely to find them in the drawers, cupboards and other hidden places that are common hiding spots for rats. They are black and look like small pellets measuring about 12mm long.
The rats normally produce about 40 to 50 pellets of droppings a night. If you look at the number of rat droppings in your home, you will be able to get a rough idea of the extent of infestation in your home. Similarly, the size of the rat’s droppings can give you a clue on the size of rats roaming your home.
Fresh droppings are usually moist and dark in color. When they dry out, they turn grey. If you notice that the droppings are fresh, then you have rats actively living in your home.
If you look closely at the hard surface such the floors, ceilings, rafter and along the walls, you might notice rub marks. Rats are known to have poor eyesight, and they will leave rub marks on places where they have traveled on. They also tend to establish a specific route that they use all the time to reach their destination.
If you notice gnawed wood surfaces and greasy oil marks left behind in the established routes, there is a high possibility that you have rats in your house. You can also pour a layer of flour on the areas you suspect are pathways. If the rats are active, you will find their trails in the flour in the morning.
If you spot areas in your home with shredded papers, strings, dried leaves, plant matter, small shreds of fabric and other pliable materials, you might be looking at a rat’s nests. Rats normally build their nests next or nearer to the source of food, so be extra vigilant with your kitchen area.
If you look closely and notice rat’s droppings, signs of gnawing, tracks, and a strange odor, it is possible that you have a rat infestation and you have found one of the rat’s nests. The nests can be found anywhere in your house including bedrooms, kitchen, garages, between walls, in the basement, sheds and even in the living room.
Generally, rats are not quite creatures, and if they are present in your home, you will certainly hear scratching noises. They are most active at night, and if you listen carefully, you will hear squeaking, or chattering, or hissing sounds in alternate. If a rat is stressed or relaxing, it grinds its teeth and produces chattering noise.
However, the squeaking noise is a result of fear or when it’s alarmed. If you hear these kinds of noises especially at night, it’s likely that you have rats running around and you can estimate the number depending on the magnitude of the noises.
As established in the guide, rats can chew on anything to gain access and build nests. They can gnaw on wood or concrete and create borrows to help them gain their way inside. If you notice unsightly holes around your home, contact an inspection around your house immediately and have them sealed.
Rats burrow holes of approximately 70-120mm in diameter. They can build complex nests and tunnels for shelter and store food. These holes are dangerous for they become entry points for other pests and rodents as well.
Grassy banks and decks around your home are some of the places where rats burrow to get their way inside your home. Other places that rats burrow include areas around vegetation especially tree and shrub roots. They also burrow on paving edges, on rotten bricks tiles and wood. Be careful with drain covers; if they are damaged or there are holes in it you could be inviting rats into your home.
If you notice any of the listed signs that indicate rat presence in your home, it’s time to get rid of them. As mentioned in the guide earlier, rats can be harmful to your health, and they can cause structural damage and electrical fires in your home leading to significant losses.
The most common rats that you are likely to find in your home are the roof rats and the Norway rats. The roof rats are smaller and sleeker as compared to the Norway rats. The roof rats also are known to be excellent climbers and have a pointed nose.
The roof rat has a grey-white belly and a grayish to black fur. They reside mostly in the attics, ceilings, exterior vegetation and elevated areas in your home especially the upper story. There are more likely to be found in the warmer climate.
The Norway rats are way larger than the roof rat. They are also commonly known as sewer rat, gray rat or brown rat. Their belly is grayish with reddish to grayish body fur. They smaller have ears, and eyes and their noses are blunt. They reside in the lower floors of a building such as a basement.
Once you discover that rats have invaded your home, you have no other option other than getting rid of them. Having rats in your home can frustrating and worse still, these little creatures are dangerous. They come bearing diseases, and they cause damages in your home that will cost you a lot of money.
The reasons why rats come to your home is to seek food, shelter, and warmth. If they find your home conducive enough to reside, then getting rid of them can prove to be an enormous and daunting task. Fortunately, there are a number ways of getting rid of rats, and the good news is that most these methods are DIY. If you are determined to clear the rats out of your home, read through this guide for steps that will guide you towards achieving a rat-free home.
The attic is one the most common places that you are likely to find rats. If you suspect there are rats in your attic, the first thing to do is to find out how the entered inside. This involves looking for entry points around the attic.
You need to do a thorough inspection by checking for unusual holes in plumbing works, the roof, in the AC vents and around the chimney. While checking for holes, look out for other signs such as rat droppings and nests. These are signs that are likely to lead you to their entry points.
Once you spot the access points, the next step is to seal the holes and the gaps. Don’t be concerned about trapping the rats inside. In fact, it is much easier to get rid of the rats when they are sealed inside without an escape route.
Seal the entry points using caulk around the steel, or you can use lathe metal, or cement or metal sheathing. Rats can chew into wood and concrete, so the above materials are the best when it comes to sealing. You can find all the sealing materials in your local hardware store.
To get rid of the rats in the attic, you can use a live cage if you want to get the rat alive or, you can use a snap trap.
If you hear rat’s activity in between your walls, you should be alarmed. They can cause adverse damages to the electrical wires, heating elements, and cables and ultimately cause a fire due to the exposed wires.
You will need to know the entry points by searching for the active rat routes. You can identify the paths through rat droppings, path marks, and urine stains. Once you identify the signs that indicate you have rats in your walls the next step is to get rid of them. You can use lethal traps that will kill the rats quickly, or you can still use the live traps.
The only way to keep rats away from your yard is making sure there is nothing they can feed on. Therefore, make sure you get rid of garbage in your yard. You can do this by collecting the garbage and waste into the garbage bags and placing them in metal containers that have tight-fitting lids. Make sure that compost is stored properly in the processers. The idea is to keep your yard clean with nothing for the rats to feed on.
As described before, the roof rats like residing in the elevated areas of your home. These types of rats group themselves in colonies and travel together. They cause all sorts of damages by gnawing and chewing on anything including insulation, cardboards, ceilings, electric wires, cables, etc.
Again, it is essential to perform an inspection on your roof to find the entry points. You need to make sure all the entry points are sealed to the very last of one. If you miss just one entry point, the rat’s problem will never end, so make sure you do a thorough inspection and seal every single hole or gap in your home.
While carrying out the inspection, watch out for the tell-tale signs which include the brown urine stains, rat’s droppings gnawing marks on the surface, etc. All these signs will lead you to the entry points. Again, once you have sealed all the entry points, you can proceed to use the traps to get rid of the roof rats. You can use the lethal snap traps to get rid of the roof rats quickly.
You can effectively control and get rid of rats in your home by use of rat traps. There are several kinds of traps available, but you have to be careful with the kind of trap you use in your home. For example, if you have pets, you should not use the poison or steel traps. Should the pets stumble on the steel traps, they will get injured. Similarly, if they eat the poisoned rats, they will also die, just like the rats.
Here is a list of rat traps that you can use to control and get rid rats your home.
Live traps: these are the most suitable for homeowners who do not wish to kill the rats but would opt to capture them alive. The rats get lured to enter inside and once in the door shuts automatically capturing the rat inside and alive.
Make sure you release the trapped rats far away from your home so that they do not find their way back to your home. The live trap cost around $2 each.
Snap traps: they have metal bars that trap the rat once triggered. The cost about $1 to $2 each.
Adhesive traps: this one is not considered as a humane way of killing rats. The rat gets stuck in the glue for a long period until it starves to death. It costs about $6 to $8 each.
Electric traps: this one is quick and very effective. It kills the trapped rat instantly. It works by placing food inside the electric trap to lure the rat. Once the rat steps on it, it triggers electrical charge that kills it instantly. The electric traps cost an average of $60. The electric traps are considered the most humane way of killing rats and getting rid of them.
Jaw-traps: these look like saws with segregated edges. They are also known to be effective in killing rats. They cost around $3 to $5 each.
|Type of rat trap||Average cost|
To make sure the traps are effective, set them on the rat’s pathways. The key to capturing the rats is placement. If you set the traps haphazardly, you might not achieve any results at the end of the day.
After you have gotten rid of the rats, make sure you clean up your home. It’s essential to freshen up your home after the rats have been removed. The rat’s urine and gland grease that is left on the surface by the rats has strong pheromone scent which can actually lead other rats, pests, and even snakes to your home if left uncleaned.
To clean up your home, make sure you vacuum to get rid of the rat’s droppings and fur. Also, if there are any soiled insulations, replace them and clean up your home with disinfectant, water, and bleach to remove the scent of rat’s feces and urine. Make sure you protect yourself when cleaning by wearing gloves.
The smell of a rotting rat is something that you would never want to experience in your home. It’s nasty, disgusting and unsettling and, it can linger around for a long time until the rats decompose completely.
Getting rid of this smell can also be tricky especially if the rats died in hard-to-reach places such as in between walls and in the attic. You can try eliminating the smell by using deodorizers and fans to freshen up the air. Also, try as much as possible to find the dead rats and dispose of then clean up the area with disinfectant and spray.
Since there is a risk of the rats carrying diseases, ticks and fleas, make sure when disposing of the dead rats, you wear disposable gloves. Disinfect the dead rats with a disinfectant before picking them. It’s recommended that you pick the dead rat by the tail and put it in a plastic bag for disposal in the dumpster.
Since rats are scavengers by nature, using food baits is the most effective way to capture their interest. Rats are known to be careful, and they will avoid anything that looks unfamiliar even if its food. Therefore, when using food baits, use familiar foods.
The roof rats are more attracted to fruits and vegetables while for the Norway rats, meat, and fish baits work best. Most people swear by peanut butter which has been proved to be an effective rat bait. Ensure you place the baits in places where the rats frequent so that it doesn’t end up getting spoiled.
The debate about the use of poison and it being inhumane of killing rats is endless. The rat poison contains lethal poison that will make them bleed internally till it dies. This method does not kill the rat instantly, it takes time and the rat will either get anemic and die or experience circulatory shock and ultimately die.
Using poison as a way of eliminating rats might not be very effective. This is because rats are careful and they avoid any unfamiliar food or smell. Also, if you keep animals such dogs and cats, this method is not recommended at all. The animals might end up eating the dead rats and meet the same fate, which is death.
Use of rat repellent is one way to keep the rats away from your, and it helps avoid an infestation situation. As a homeowner, it’s good to take precautionary measures to avoid a situation where you have to start looking for extermination options.
Most of the repellents methods are considered to be less humane, and others have odors that are not friendly. But, by using repellants, you can have the rat situation under control, and you are more likely to get rid of the rat menace for a long time.
Here is a list of some of the rat repellents that you can use to keep rats away from your home.
All the above methods can help you keep rats away, but if you are dealing with a serious rat infestation situation, the repellents may not help at all. One of the best ways to keep your home safe from rats is cleanness and clutter-free environment. Rats thrive in dirty and disorganized areas where they can safely build nests and breed.
If you keep your home sparkling clean including the garage, basement, the yard and the attic, you will be able to keep rats at bay. Make sure your garbage bins are constantly emptied in time so that the rats have nothing to feed on when they come around. In addition to emptying the bins, make sure the garbage bags always sealed and taken to the garbage bin on time.
When getting ready to get rid of rats in your home, proper planning and preparation measures are a must. Before you begin an inspection, roof safety is a must. You should get a ladder for climbing on the roof since most rats get access to the attic through the roof.
Make sure you wear a respirator to avoid breathing in dust, fiberglass, mold and other diseases that are usually carried by rats. If you are inspecting the attic, make sure you walk on the wooden beams and not on the sheetrock to avoid falling through the ceiling.
An attic is a hazardous place, so when doing an inspection be extra careful. In addition, exercise caution when setting the snap trap. These traps tend to be very strong, and you can easily injure your fingers if you don’t handle them properly. Make sure you read the written instruction on how to safely set them up.
If you have a severe rat infestation or the rat problem seems to recur more often despite trying all methods to eradicate the rats, hiring a professional rat exterminator might the best alternative solution. Some people are uncomfortable or scared of rats and find it hard to eliminate them by themselves.
A professional exterminator knows the most effective methods to use to get rid of rats especially if you have a severe rat infestation. Rats pose a health risk and can cause extensive damages to your home. So, if you take long to get rid of these awful creatures, you risk your health and property damage.
A professional exterminator has been trained on how to do an inspection and will figure out where the rats live within no time. Sometimes as a homeowner, you might actually know that you have rats in your home, but finding out where they are residing might prove to be difficult.
Setting traps can work perfectly in some situation; however, in other scenarios, this exercise might not get rid of all the rats present in your home. A professional exterminator has the knowledge and experience of getting rid of all the rats in your home. Through inspection, they can be able to tell the magnitude of the rat infestation and the most effective methods to use to get rid of the rats completely.
As a homeowner, you might not be able to identify the source of the rat infestation. Despite using several methods of eliminating the rats, you will find yourself facing the same dilemma over and over again. It could be that you have not been able to identify the source which includes nests, egg batches, plants, etc.
A professional will be in a position to find the source of the rat infestation and use the right methods to eliminate the problem and effectively prevent any possibilities of future infestation.
When you call a professional exterminator, they will first assess and inspect your home to find out if you really have rats and the extent of the infestation. They will further find the entry points and identify the places where they will set up the rat traps. Most exterminators charge $90 to $250 for this initial examination.
Once they have done the assessment and identified the right method of action, the extermination company will give a detailed report on the next course of action. This includes the type of treatment, repairs, cleaning, etc. The extermination process will cost you an average cost of $200 -$2000.
The cost of the whole extermination process will depend on the magnitude of the rat infestation, and the number of the entry point that will require proper sealing. The cost will also depend on the baits and traps to be set up to eliminate the rats.
Depending on the extent of the infestation, the exterminator might have to make several trips to reset and check the traps which will definitely add to the cost of the extermination process.
For the modern houses that are in good condition, sealing entry points mostly solves the problem and you might not need frequent repairs to keep the rats away. However, in some cases, it might be hard to achieve a complete rodent -proofing. Such situations require regular maintenance routine to prevent chances of new rat infestations. Professional extermination companies charge an average of $35 to $90 a month or $80 to $130 quarterly to maintain the regular rat maintenance checks.
A professional rat exterminator will schedule two to three visits to the rat elimination process. The professional will inspect to find out the type of rats you in your home. They will proceed to set the rat traps and seal all the entry points including the potential ones. The professional will make frequent visits to remove the trapped rats and reset the rat traps. They will then inspect to ensure that all the sealed entry points and repairs are still in good condition. After they have ascertained that the rat removal exercise was successful. They will then remove all the traps.
|Hiring a professional exterminator||Initial examination includes identifying the entry points and the places where the rats hide. Locating where to place the traps||$90-$250|
|Professional extermination services||Repairs .sealing the entry points, setting the traps, removing the traps, disposing of the dead rats,||$200-$2000|
|Rat poison kit||One time use||$2-$3|
|Rat control kit||Has glue boards, traps and baits||$25-$125|
To find the right rat exterminator, you must be ready to do research. You can start by asking the people close to you for referrals nearby. This includes your friends, neighbors or family members and colleagues.
The internet can also help you a great deal when searching for a rat exterminator. For example, if you type rat exterminators near me, you will get multiple results. Go to their websites to see the kind of services and extermination methods they use. Make sure you read the online reviews and note their rating.
From your search, you can narrow down to at least two to three local exterminators. Call them for cost estimates and interview them with a list of relevant questions. Find out the methods they use to get rid of the rats and the number of visits they make to get rid of the rats successfully.
Make sure you find out their method of disposing of the dead rats and if they offer guarantees for services. Make sure the professional you hire has plans to prevent another infestation. A reliable professional exterminator will give you tips on how to prevent a future rat infestation.
Not everyone claiming to be an extermination professional is genuine. Some of them are out there to steal from unsuspecting homeowners by offering misleading information and overcharging for their services. Read through the tips below to help you avoid the common scams that are prevalent with exterminators.
Before you agree to the extermination process, ensure you have a contract entailing what the exterminator will do. This includes the pricing, the method of extermination, number of visits and the repairs to be done.
Make sure the contract is legally binding even if it means having a lawyer look at it before you sign. Many homeowners end up getting stuck with poor services that they cannot do much about due to unclear terms in contracts and agreements.
Sometimes you might call an extermination company for simple pricing, but they fail to be specific. This should be a red flag, and it would be advisable if you dropped them altogether. Companies that are unwilling to give a price estimate at the start of the extermination process are questionable.
Some professionals will convince that you need other unnecessary services and that will add to the total cost of the extermination process. Be specific on what you want and request for exact pricing from the exterminator. Let them give you a full report on what they will do and the cost of each process they intend to carry out in your home during the rat removal process.
Any extra service should be included in a new contract.
When hiring a professional exterminator, it’s important to hire a licensed one. This means getting someone with the necessary training and certification. They should be aware of the right methods to use that are environmentally friendly and approved by the local authorities.
Therefore, before you hire, make sure the company is licensed and insured. Proper insurance coverage will protect you from any liability, and it will ensure that your property is protected against any damages during the extermination process.
Some extermination companies market themselves using the green or organic products line and charge you ridiculous prices. Some of these alleged organic products may contain harmful chemicals that may cause more damage. Some may lie with green products lines and charge you more while in reality, they are using the regular products.
To avoid falling for such scams, make sure you do your research on the organic products available and find out the companies that offer those services.
Rats can be found anywhere including residential areas and in the offices. Having rats on your property can pose health risks since they transmit some diseases. Their gnawing and digging capabilities can cause significant structural and property damages that can end up being costly to you.
The best way to get of rats and prevent them from accessing your home is by physically blocking any possible entry point in your house. Any spot that they are likely to use to enter your house such as the gaps under the garage door, unscreened vents and drains should be appropriately sealed.
Make sure you maintain high standards of hygiene, declutter your home and keep it organized all the time. Rats come to your home looking for shelter, food, and warmth. It’s essential you keep your home in a manner that they will not find it as an attractive place to breed. If the rat infestation problem keeps recurring, consult a professional rodent exterminator for a lasting solution.