"How to get rid of rats" is a question most people hope they never need to ask. However, seeing that rats can enter your home by squeezing through an opening as little as 1/2 inch in diameter, few homes are totally immune to rat invasion. This site is designed to give a quick and informative summary for those experiencing a problem with rats.
There are two primary rat breeds that are most likely to invade a home. These are Norway rats and roof rats. Norway rats (pictured to the right) are known for their love of water, and are more of a problem with homes near water sources (rivers, lakes, sewers...etc.). They move into the ground level and basement of buildings, lining their nests with shredded paper, cloth, or other fibrous material.
Roof rats (pictured to the right) are extremely agile and excellent climbers. Roof rats make their nests in enclosed or elevated spaces such as attics, walls, false ceilings, and cabinets. Both breeds enter homes seeking warmth, food and a place to breed. If they can be found close to a home (in trees, bushes, ivy for roof rats; in sewers, rubbish and wood piles and gardens for Norway rats) it's only a matter of time before they find their way into your home.
The average Norway rat can successfully wean 20 offspring each year, from 4-6 liters. Roof rats have 3-5 liters annually X 5-8 per litter = 25-40 offspring!
Rats contaminate food, damage packaging which attracts insects, gnaw on electrical wires and tear up insulation. In addition, they carry such diseases as murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis (food poisoning), ratbite fever and plague.
Your first line of defense is prevention:
Among rat repellant options, we've considered ultrasonic/electromagnetic devices and box traps in this article. You can explore a number of creative natural rat repellents in this additional article including such items as eucalyptus and pepperment oil, naphthalene balls, ammonia, spices, sweet potatoes and home made rat poison.
However, natural rat repellents have a limited potency and need to be tested one by one. Traps and devices are not a sure solution. In the meantime, you and your family are exposed to the damage and disease caused by a rat infestation.
Give yourself a fresh new start. Call in a rat extermination expert who will thoroughly inspect your home for the presence of rats, the cause, and then eliminate the problem. Once your home and the area within 300 feet of your home is clear of rats, and your home has been rat-proofed, you can more effectively employ DIY approaches.
Do you think you have a rat problem? Don't wait until they cause damage to your home and expose you and your family to disease!