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How To Get Rid Of Rats

February 01, 2021 - Rats

Rats are a common problem in homes of all shapes and sizes in Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Due to their small size and secretive nature, it can be difficult to spot a rat problem until you have a serious infestation. These animals can cause serious damage to parts of your home, and they can also carry dangerous diseases.

How To Spot A Rat Problem

The sooner you can catch a rat infestation, the more easily you will be able to solve the problem. The warning signs of a rat infestation vary in severity depending on how many rats are in your home. If you suspect that you may have a rat problem, be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • Nests, especially in hidden corners
  • Dead rodents
  • Rat droppings
  • Chewed wires
  • Scratched or chewed wood
  • Scratching noises at night

Getting Rid Of Rats

Once you've confirmed that you have rats, you can start considering your options. There are a variety of ways to get rid of rats. Rat traps are some of the most popular options, especially when compared to rat poison. Many families choose not to use rat poison due to the presence of pets or small children in their homes. The best option for your family will depend on the specifics of your home, who lives in it, and the amount of money you can spend getting rid of them.

Winter presents its own set of challenges when you're looking to get rid of rats in the greater DC, Baltimore and Fairfax areas. When cold temperatures set in, rats will start looking for a warm place to stay. This usually happens soon after the first frost, which means the risk of getting a rat infestation spikes in the winter months. Be on the lookout for the signs of rat problems once it becomes jacket weather!

What Types Of Rat Traps Are There?

Rat traps are generally viewed as an easy, cost-effective way to get rid of rats. If you use traps, place them in areas where you have seen signs of rats, such as rat droppings, or rat hair. With rat traps, you need to check them regularly after you've placed them, to see if you have caught a rat. If you do not use bait on your rat trap, you can leave it out for longer periods of time since there isn't any bait that can spoil, but you are less likely to catch a rat if you don't use bait.

There are several different types of rat traps. Not all traps on the market can handle larger rodents, such as rats. When attempting to get rid of a rat infestation, it is very important that you get the right size of trap - make sure that the trap you purchase is intended for rats! A trap of the wrong size will either not kill or not trap the rat you're trying to get rid of.

Live traps will allow rats entry into the trap, but will prevent them from leaving the trap once they are inside. A common way to use a live trap involves placing an attractant such as a bait inside the trap, and tricking the rat into triggering the trap's door mechanism, keeping the rat trapped inside. The second most common method of using a live trap is to use a one way door that leads into a live trap. Either method of live trapping will allow you to release the rat after it has been caught. If you do this, make sure you seal up the entry point the rat was using to access your home, or it will come right back.

Snap traps are one of the most popular forms of rat control. Large rat snap traps will either kill the rat when they close, or will hold the rat in place. Many homeowners choose to bait these traps with cheese or peanut butter, but the absolute best bait for snap traps will always be the food(s) that the rats are already eating.

Glue-boards are another common option for rat control. However, most glue boards available over the counter are insufficient to catch a large rat - often, the glue isn't strong enough, or there just isn't enough glue to keep the rat stuck. A thin glue board can be chewed through by the rat, and homeowners often make the mistake of using an oily bait (peanut butter, for example) to attract the rats to the glue board. This can be a problem because the glue on most glue-boards can be neutralized by oily substances. Don't use oily substances on glue boards!

Regardless of what type of rat trap you use, make sure you check it regularly. If a dead rat is on the trap for too long, it will begin to smell, deteriorate, and can attract other pests (carpet beetles and flies, most often). Traps are best checked every day, morning and night.

For Expert Rat Control - Call Miche Pest Control

If you're having issues getting rid of rats in Washington DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia, let us know. Miche Pest Control is a family owned and operated pest control company that provides residential and commercial rodent control services for rats, mice, and voles. Our expert exterminators get rid of rats fast - contact us today!

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