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The most important and natural form of pest control for rats or any other rodents is to deny them shelter. So if you've got rats in your house, you must find out how they are getting in - through vents, gaps, pipes, eaves, etc. And seal those areas shut with steel! This solves the problem better than any other method, and it's safe, natural, environmentally friendly, and keeps your home free of all kinds of vermin!
If you're looking for some sort of natural product to keep rodents at bay, please read my nautural rat repellent article. But you'll find the same message as on this page - only one approach truly works, and only one thing really matters - keep those rats from getting inside the building! It's BY FAR the best thing, and the only effective thing you can do!
I want to say that in regard to professional rat removal, if you decide to hire a company, absolutely DO NOT hire a traditional pest control company, one that handles insects and sprays poison. They don't do any preventative work. They want to sign you up for a never-ending monthly maintenance package, so you pay them money forever. They just set a few traps at the attic hatch, spread some poison around (and poison is a HORRIBLE idea - it doesn't solve the problem and just results in dead stinking rats in your house) and they never seal the openings. Read the email example at the bottom of this page to see for yourself what the big pest control companies actually do. What you want is actually a wildlife specialist. Rats are wild animals, and the PROPER, PERMANENT methods of control are the same as for the elimination of squirrels, raccoons, and other animals in buildings. If you want the job done with the correct approach, click on this list of Professional Rat Removal Companies serving every town/city in the USA.
Look here. Poison only causes dead rats in your attic, and they STINK. But it does not solve the problem - more and more rats will just keep coming in. And poison doesn't kill ALL the rats, just a percentage of them. It's the worst thing you can do - it just causes bigger problems than before. If you use poison, you still have a rat problem, and a horrible stink in your house as well! There are better ways to kill a rat, basically through responsible rat trapping. Read my article about how to trap a rat in order to do it right. You can see some photos of correct work below. As you can see, it involves home repairs to shut out the rats, proper trapping and removal - only AFTER the home has been sealed - to do so before is a waste of time - and then cleanup afterward.
The below links should help you learn how to do it right:
How are rats getting in - this is what you need to read if you want to solve the problem.
How to get rid of rats - just another general guide.
Rat in building - general information on different parts of buildings rats get into.
Rat damage photos - just so you know what they are capable of, and so you can see the signs.
How to kill a rat - another guide, helping to humanely solve the problem.
Rat prevention - some tips to keep rats away, and lessen the number in the area.
Rats in the attic - a good guide to one of the most common problem areas with rats.
Photos of rat poop - for identification purposes.
What Does a Rat Trapper Do With Rats? - a guide to how rats are handled professionally.
Customer Rat Email: Hello – I’m in Port St. Lucie FL, and just moved into a home that’s infested with rats in the attic. The house is only 4 years old, and in a very nice subdivision, but stood vacant for about a year while it was on the market. I have enlisted the help of Terminix, since there was already a pest control and termite contract in place from the previous owner. I called the day after we moved in and heard the activity in the attic, and the technician came out. He placed traps at the garage attic entrance, and also set out poison blocks. (He only set 3 traps). He re-set the 3 traps in the same area later, but did not go up into the attic at all, and those traps have been sitting there with the pieces of Slim Jim he baited them with for three days without catching anything. My wife and I hear LOTS of rats all over the ceiling throughout the entire house, but they are not being caught. The guy never attempted to find where they are entering, but I did after he left. I found that there was an opening where the A/C hoses go up the side of the house into the attic from the compressor outside. I took the day off and covered it with sheet metal, and also installed a reinforced dryer vent screen. I cannot get onto the tile roof to check there, but cleared away all the trees and shrubs from the building and the walls appear to be sealed, though I’m no expert. Now they are scratching and bumping and making a racket as I sit here a little after midnight. I will call him back tomorrow and insist he set traps in the attic opening at the other end of the house, but after reading your website realize that someone will have to actually go up into the attic that knows what he’s doing. Not only that, but I’m sure there is contamination that should be cleaned and sterilized, and I’m not sure what else is damaged up there that needs to be fixed. I realize that you only service Orlando, but would VERY much appreciate if you can advise me on someone competent in Port St. Lucie that I could hire to take care of this problem quickly and permanently. Thank you in advance, William
My Response: Yep, sounds like the typical service of a pest control company. No house inspection, no attic inspection, just throw a few traps and some poison in the most convenient area possible, no chance of actually solving the problem, they just want to do a quick and shoddy job and keep billing you for service visits forever. You need a real wildlife control professional who will inspect the house and attic, every inch of it, set at least a dozen traps ALL THROUGH the attic, on the rat runways, and most importantly, find and seal every single last entry hole permanently. Your rat problem will be solved forever, in less than a week. Never hire a regular pest control company - they don't know what they are doing (in terms of solving the rat problem) they know exactly what they are doing (in terms of taking your money forever).