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1 - Find out how they are getting inside the home
2 - Seal shut all entry holes with steel repairs
3 - Set snap traps in the areas of high rat activity
4 - Remove trapped rats until you hear no more rat noises
5 - If rat activity continues, you failed steps 1 & 2
Those are the 5 steps, the ONLY method that truly works to permanently get rid of rats. The following things will NOT help:
- Sanitation. Rats like clean areas just fine.
- Repellents. They absolutely do not work.
- Poison. Doesn't solve the problem, usually makes it worse.
You can do it yourself for free, if you're willing to put in the work. Finding and sealing the entry holes, and trapping and removing the rats, will get rid of them forever, but it's not always easy. If you think you need help, or if you have already tried and failed, you may want to hire professional help. We are experts at permanent rat removal. Before hiring anyone, learn How much does rat control cost? Get rat extermination prices. Remember, keeping your property clean and free of debris or food doesn't matter. You definitely do not want to use poison to get rid of a rat problem. Poison does not solve the rat problem. It is inhumane, as the death is slow and painful. It does not kill all the rats. Not every rat that eats poison dies. The rats that do die will die in your attic or walls, and cause a horrible stink - I guarantee it. But worst of all, it doesn't work. New rats just keep coming and coming, and the rats that don't die just keep reproducing. Poison is the worst. Only sealing the house shut solves a rat problem in a house or building. If you need help with a rat infestation, click to hire us - we service the entire USA. We will do it the proper way.
FREE RAT REMOVAL: Let's get into it. To do it yourself, read more about the 5 steps in detail below. Best of luck, and read again if you can't solve the problem:
To get rid of the rats, you need to do a complete and thorough inspection of the exterior of the house, and find all the little gaps, nooks and crannies, and holes that they are using to get inside. Any gap of a half inch or more, or any hole the size of a quarter will do. I know, the rat looks way bigger than that. But they can fit into the smallest of spaces. It's amazing. For more info on this important matter, read the how are rats getting in article I wrote. They can also chew through almost anything, even concrete, so you need to seal the holes with metal flashing and steel mesh, which they cannot chew through. This process of sealing up the house is by far the best form of rat prevention that exists. You won't get rid of the rats for good until you do this.
Only after they are all sealed out should you trap and remove them. To find out how read my how to trap a rat guide. Again, you do not want to use poison. Snap traps are actually the best, and the most humane, even more humane than live cage traps. To find out why, read how to kill a rat. I actually do recommend that you hire a pro from my directory for this. You can certainly try it yourself, but I went through about 50 rats jobs before I got the hang of all the little nuances that go into it. Experience really does matter. And for goodness' sake, DO NOT hire a regular pest control company for rats. Their main approach is to use poison, and they want to never solve the rat problem, so that they can keep charging you a monthly service fee forever!
It's also important to clean the house and attic afterward. Rats are unsanitary, and carriers of disease. Their urine and feces can attract new rats to try to chew their way into your house. See here for photos of rat poop. I vacuum up all the feces and use a special enzyme fogger to clean up the attic spaces.
I should also point out that there is no such thing as an effective repellent, such as a spray, powder, noise machine, etc. To find out more, please read my rat repellent page.
Though than can live in a variety of natural habitats. Roof rats tend to live up in trees, whereas Norway Rats and mice live at ground level or even in underground burrows. However, these rodents are known for their association with and dependence on humans. They very frequently live in people's homes or other buildings, especially if these buildings contain or are near food sources. But food is not a requirement. All the rodents really need is a form of shelter, and they can forage for food outside. They often live in the walls, and rats in the attic is the most common wildlife problem that I deal with. To see what they can do in your house or building, click my rat damage photos page. I hope you learned what you need to know by reading this page and the pages that I've linked to above, but you can learn more on my main rat removal page as well.
I will now address some of the more common questions that I receive about rats getting into a building:
How to get rid of rats in the basement or cellar - it all starts with sealing the entries into the building of course, then set snap traps along the walls and edges of the cellar or basement, until all the animals are trapped and removed. Norway, or Brown Rats, are the more likely rat to be down in a cellar area, or a subway for that matter, and they can be a bit trickier to trap. But if they're sealed in with no way out, they're easy to catch.
How to get rid of rats in the barn, shed, dumpster or other outdoor building - these outdoor structures can be trickier, because they're not as easy to seal, especially something like a barn. If you can close the entry holes, then great. If not, you'll just have to do your best to keep the building as clean as you can, to eliminate attractive factors, and maintain a trapping program.
How do you get rid of rats in the crawl space, attic, walls or ceiling - it's more likely for the Roof Rat, also known as the Black Rat, rattus rattus, to be in the upper structures of a home. You can't really set traps inside a wall or ceiling, but you can definitely set traps in the attic. It's what I do for a living. Set the traps on the established rat trails for best success.
How to get rid of rats in the garage - it's not hard, if you can seal off the entry areas. Look at the bottom of the garage door, and the rubber seal. Replace it if need be. If the corners are open, which is often the case, seal them off with new rubber sealant or concrete. Then set traps along the edges of the garage, or any place where you see rat poo pellets.
How to get rid of rodents in the house or home - if you're talking about the living area, and not part of the architecture, like the walls or attic, then you've got to be careful where you set traps. You don't want to endanger pets or children. Set traps in safe places, like behind furniture, or in enclosed boxes like the Protecta rat box.
How to get rid of rats in a mobile home, RV, or trailer - this can be tricky, because you're talking about an elevated structure. The rats can definitely get underneath most mobile homes. From there, if there are any gaps leading up, they can get in. Same goes for recreational vehicles. The principle is the same. You've got to find all of the openings, and seal them shut with steel. You can even just use steel mesh and a staple gun - that works great - but you've got to get all the gaps and holes closed.
How to get rid of rats running on the roof - I've used snap traps on roofs plenty of times, and caught plenty of rats. But more importantly, you may want to ask what they are doing on the roof in the first place. Seems to me that they're most likely up there because they've found an entry hole leading somewhere inside the roof and attic. That's the real problem you need to address. Find those open areas and plug them shut.
How to get rid of rodents in the restaurant or kitchen - you don't want rodents snacking on your food, do you? Remember, seal up entry points first. The power supply behind the oven is the #1 place for rodents to find their way into a kitchen. You can set traps behind the stove, behind the refrigerator or freezer, and in the cabinets or pantry. Throw out any food that rats have chewed on. And for crying out loud, never use poison!
How do you get rid of rodents in the back yard, garden, or trees - you can't really do much. Just try to keep the area as clean and clutter-free as possible. But rats are wild animals, and they live outside, and that's where they should be. You can't stop them from being out there any more than the birds. There is no rat repellent or sound making device or anything that will actually work to keep them at bay. You can set rat trapping stations, but for crying out loud, never ever set poison bait outside! All kinds of animals, from raccoons to dogs will eat it, and then you've caused a big problem. How To Get Rid Of Rats Outside?
How to get rid of rats in the pipes, plumbing or toilet - actually, most of the problems with rats in toilets or plumbing pipes are in inactive pipes without water. So you want water in your pipes. If the pipes are dry, then you've got to find a place to screen them off so that rats cannot pass. Remember, the repairs are the most crucial part of the process for getting rid of rats. Learn how to find animal entry holes here.
How to Get Rid of Rats by Prevention: Rats are rodents that thrive in dirty and unsanitary environments. Even though black and brown rats are different in their habitation sites, both need to be around humans for shelter and for then for food. Getting rid of rats once they have infested your house can be extremely difficult and the best way to be rat-free is to prevent them from entering at all.
In deterring of rats, you must first keep a clean environment internally by constantly clearing clutter, and clearing out the basement and the attic. If you have had rats in the house before, you must clean any rat droppings (feces and urine) up because these attract other rats. Good sanitation is important because not only are rats unsanitary, they are also carriers of diseases. Do not leave food open in your kitchen and ensure that all food that rats have chewed on gets thrown out. Do the same externally by keeping the garbage can as far from the house as possible or getting a metal lid-fitting garbage can, clearing bushes and cutting off trees that lean too close to the house.
Another preventive means are fences which are good at keeping rats out but they have to be made of concrete stone or steel because rats can chew through wood and other materials. The fence has to be high as well so that the rats won't have an easy climb over it.
Inspection and Exclusion
A thorough inspection has to be carried out around the house so that every gap, hole and access point is identified. The most effective preventive means entails blocking all access to the house both externally and internally and this is called Exclusion. This technique controls rats and makes it difficult for them to get into a house. All openings greater than a quarter should be closed because once a rat’s head can pass through a hole; it can squeeze its whole body through that hole.
While blocking off every access and vents both inside and outside the house, remember that rats can chew through most materials, so sealing should be done with a steel mesh plus concrete or metal placing so that the rats can’t chew through.
Keep an eye also on your toilet and plumbing because rats can come in through those openings when dry. Ensure that there is water constantly running through the pipes.
Once the location of the rat is known, traps and bait can be set so that the rats can be eliminated. After sealing off entry points internally and externally, traps may be placed in strategic spots – along the walls and edges of the basement, in dark corners and in the attic, thus those resident in the house can be easily caught. Use not just one or two traps but plenty. Traps should be spaced 15-20 feet apart in the locations you have chosen. Don’t place your traps where the children or other pets can get to them, place them out of sight and out of the way - behind the refrigerator, stoves and cabinets, etc.
Traps can also be set outside on the fence, in the vegetation close to the house, on tree limbs. You can even fasten traps on the outside pipes and beams.
Killing rats with poison is inhumane and horrible because not only do the rats die a slow death, they also go off to die and rot in a part of the house that is difficult to reach. This leads to a terrible odor, which can bring in more rats since rats have cannibalistic tendencies and are known to feast on the remains of other dead rats. So, you do not only get a dead rat; you get more rats coming in thereby defeating the purpose.
Natural repellents include mothballs, noise source, bright lights, cinnamon, and fiber glass. You must note that repellents, either organic, home-made or store bought are not as effective as marketers proclaim they are because while they may be able to get rid of one or two rats, they cannot handle a rat infestation. Often the best way to get rid of rats is through preventive means.
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Customer Rat Email: Hello. We have had a rodent in our attic since October. We have had rats every winter. We have been in this house for 3 years. Unfortunately they reside in an inaccessible part of the attic where no person can go. The rodent guy we have is unable to figure where they are getting in from the roof as we have a tile roof. So he had a roofer come out (extra cost) to lift up the tiles so he could see under and discovered a vent. After putting some mesh on that vent ... we still continued to hear noises. Not crazy ones like they were trapped ... just the same kind we have been hearing. There may be some where else they are getting in from ... but where? All your advice on your web page refers to when you can get to them from the inside, or you can visibly see where they are getting in from the outside. What would we do in our situation? Please help ... I am frantic now! Tazeen
My Response: Yes, barrel tile roofs cause the biggest problems. It can be very challenging to solve. Simply put, you need a good expert with tile roof experience, to find the openings. Where do you live?