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How To Get Rid Of Rats When They're In Your Home

rat on the dishes

No one wants to admit when they have rats in the house. They are a health hazard and it can be downright embarrassing. However, the truth of it is actually at least a little comforting. Rats get into ANY house they possibly can, and don’t care how clean your home is. As long as there are corners to hide in and walls to chew through for nesting, rats will deem your house suitable. When you have rats in your home, the first thing you want to do is get those pesky rodents out once and for all. After all, they carry disease, are incredibly destructive, and stink everywhere they go. Getting rid of a minor infestation may be doable, but sometimes, it's best to call in the professionals.

Do You Have A Rat Infestation?

If you're unsure whether you have a rat infestation or not, you may need to look for some signs to confirm it. Especially if it is fall or winter, rats are eager to get indoors to stay warm, dry, and fed. If you have rats, you'll likely notice some telltale signs, such as:

  • A strong smell of ammonia

  • Loud, scrabbling sounds, sometimes in the walls

  • Small, pellet-shaped droppings where rats have been

  • Footprints in dusty areas

  • Smears of grease along where rodents bump the walls

  • Damage, such as gnawed containers, wires, or shredded paper

  • Missing or ruined food

Getting Rid Of Rats In Your Home

If you have rats in your home, it is ideal to identify them early. If you find them quickly, you can usually prevent the infestation from getting too bad. You can do this by implementing some simple strategies to make your home less desirable. Any home that protects these rodents from the harshness of winter is a home that can find itself facing an infestation. However, we can still discourage them from sticking around with some basic knowledge and preventative measures.

Prevent Your Home From Being An Attractive Target

The best way to make rats leave your home is to get rid of anything that might keep them around. This is easier said than done! However, if they don't have a reason to stay and get established, they'll go off to find other, more accommodating environments. The best way to do this is to:

  • Seal gaps so rats can't come and go at will

  • Keep your home clean and de-cluttered

  • Keep trash cans covered and a few steps away from corners, walls, and other easily scalable surfaces

  • Make sure food isn't easily accessible by keeping it up, off the floor, and in tightly sealed containers

  • Empty trash cans at least once per day, preferably after dinner, and empty “smelly” foods such as meats and cheeses from trash cans right away

Can Rats Be Repelled By Scents They Don't Like?

Some scents are less attractive to rats than others, but some of the common home remedies such as soaking cotton balls in peppermint oil and applying cayenne pepper or cloves have not been found to be effective. Using dryer sheets is another commonly attempted home solution for rats that just doesn't work - rat nests have been found with dryer sheets inside of them.

Use Traditional Rat Traps

You can purchase traditional rat traps at many hardware retailers. Make sure you read the directions carefully, and set them properly. It is important that you get traps that are sized correctly so they will work effectively on rats. Over the counter glue traps rarely work for rats, since they tend to not have enough glue, and typically aren't constructed of a durable enough material. Bait the traps that you place with the food that the rats were already getting into for best results.

Call Miche Pest Control For Expert Rodent Control Services In DC, MD & Northern VA

If you already have a rat infestation in your home, we recommend using a professional exterminator. Because rats can reproduce quickly, established rat infestations frequently require help. Our team of expert technicians get rid of rats quickly, and use preventative measures to keep rats away after they're gone. Miche Pest Control is a family owned and operated pest control company serving Washington DCMaryland & Northern Virginia. Miche Pest Control has a 4.9 star rating and over 1,000 reviews online - learn more about our rodent control services, or contact us today!