If you’re dealing with a rat infestation, you likely have many feelings about it, ranging from fear and revulsion to frustration. Whether your home has been invaded by roof rats, Norway rats or another furry critter such as mice, these long-tailed rodents breed quickly and can do a lot of damage to both commercial and residential structures. Therefore, getting rid of rats and mice safely and effectively is vital.

Quite often, they also carry diseases. The prevention of rats from nesting in or near your building or home in the first place is generally the best way to deal with an infestation. Elimination is the only real option that works if you have identified an infestation.

There are many options for to kill rats if they’ve made a nest in your home, most of which can be obtained readily online or at your local hardware store. These include rat traps, glue traps, live traps, bait stations, rat poison, rat bait chunks, natural oils like peppermint oil or even the newer electronic pest control options, which can be used individually or in combinations of two or three products to achieve best results in case of heavy infestation. Regardless of what method you choose for getting rid of your rat problem, it’s important to be informed and feel confident about your strategy.

Identifying Rats from Mice

Rats fall under the rodent category and are sometimes confused with mice, although they’re larger in size and can weigh up to a pound. Some breeds prefer to live at ground level, burrowing in tunnel systems they’ve dug while others are skilled climbers and spend their time in trees, attics, rafters, and even inside the walls of buildings. They’re so flexible they can enter your home through a hole the size of a quarter. As mentioned, once they’ve invaded a space, they breed quickly and it can be challenging to get them out.

Even if you don’t see the rats themselves, you can still have an infestation. One common sign is a consistent scratching or scurrying sound which may happen nearby or even within walls. Since rats are nocturnal, they prefer to be more active after dark. You might also see small chewing or gnawing marks, especially on packages or soft food products in your cupboards. This is sometimes accompanied by droppings or urine stains. Evidence of nests, tunnels or burrows around your home might also indicate that you have an infestation.

How to Treat Rat Infestations Quickly

Infestations can happen in almost any kind of dwelling, including a newly-built home if it’s not appropriately rodent-proofed. They’re also especially attracted to restaurants and establishments that serve or house food, which can be devastating for these kinds of business. An infestation, left untreated, can lead to major structural damage, contamination, and sanitary concerns. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention lists a number of diseases that can be spread by these rodents.

Once they’ve located a suitable place to nest, they breed at a high rate, taking advantage of their new food supply. For this reason, treating an infestation must be done as soon as possible or you’ll have a massive problem on your hands.Once you’ve identified a rat problem in your home or business, you have a few options.

Poison –Easily found at your local hardware store, this is often sold in the form of a “bait box,” which lures the rat and then ultimately kills them once it has been ingested. This is a relatively inexpensive option but not a very sanitary one as after consuming it, it’s likely to head back to its nest and die there, resulting in a nasty odor that could take weeks to find the source. While using them in houses where little children and pets are present, great care needs to be taken.

Traps–Manual traps like the Big Snap-E are inexpensive and easy to use. Simply bait them with peanut butter or other sticky food, set them up and let them work their magic. They’re reusable and models like this one made from steel and polystyrene are very easy to clean.

Though they don’t pose contamination risks the way toxins do, it is advisable to place them in areas where they cannot come in contact with children or pets. You can solve this problem by placing them in a covered area or an open box where small hands and furry feet won’t find them. Many people prefer this option, as it’s pesticide-free.

It is advisable to use traps in different locations and keep moving them in different areas to catch the rats. The reason being that once a rat is caught in one location, it may become smart and no more rats may be caught in that place again.

Professional Extermination

This is an expensive option and is normally only used in extreme cases. A professional team will apply a commercial-grade toxin to the affected parts of your home and seal up all the points of entry. Depending on the procedure, this can require a lot of preparation on your part, as items in your home have to be protected from pesticide contamination.

The Bottom Line

A rat infestation is frustrating, damaging, and needs to be treated as soon as soon as possible. Rodents can cause massive destruction in a short period of time and their ability to multiply quickly and carry disease render them dangerous to humans. It is important to perform wildlife removal in case theinfestationhas been identified. With so many products available on the market to end the rat infestation, this quick guide helps you to identify which one would work the best for you. Regardless of what method you choose, take care to act promptly and quickly.