Direct Pest

How to Get Rid of Rats

How to Get Rid of Rats

Rats leaving nasty surprises in your kitchen? Rifling through your rubbish and scattering it all over your yard at night? The experts at Direct Pest have compiled the best ways on how to get rid of rats, mice, and other furry creatures that may plague your home or garden. Read on to find out how to recognize signs of rat infestation, ways to repel and prevent rats from infesting your home. Find out how to get rid of rats using the best and most efficient way.

How to recognise signs of a rat infestation

There are many different ways to recognise whether rats have been living it up in your home or garden. The most common way to recognize a rat infestation is simply coming across rat droppings, as the creatures eat and gnaw on food constantly, leaving rat poop virtually everywhere they go.

Another possible giveaway for an infestation, especially if you don’t have any pets, is coming across frayed wires or any chewed-up insulation, wood, or carpets. Rats love to chew on anything they can to keep their teeth trimmed. It might be healthy for them, but it is dangerous for your home, as frayed electricals and insulation can be a serious health and fire hazard.

how to get rid of rats
(These furry rodents might be cute, but they are not healthy for you or your home)

Here are some other, less common ways to come across a rat infestation:

  • Evidence of gnawing, or scratching on walls, furniture, or plastics
  • Coming across any shredded paper or cardboard, especially if found in a clump in a dark corner. This indicates nesting
  • Finding bits of food or rubbish scattered across the floor or yard every morning after waking up
  • Finding rough, small holes in walls and cupboards.
  • Grease marks running along walls, which is indicative of rats rubbing dirt when running around.
  • Hearing scratching noises in walls or cupboards when it is quiet at night.
  • Small feet and tail tracks left in dusty areas of the house. This is a dead giveaway that rats or mice have made their way into your home.

When recognizing a rodent infestation in your garden, the signs are very often the same, so you should check your garden for any chewed-up wires, or vegetables, and inspect your shed or patio for any rat or mouse droppings.

The dangers of rat infestations.

Thre are plenty of reasons why a rat infesation can turn dangerous very quickly, and you need to be aware of how serious the problem might be, especially if left untreated. As well as destroying your valuable items and creating fire risks, rats are also carriers of bacteria and viruses, such as ringworm, and can spread disease into your property, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Rats also carry Leptospirosis, which is an infectious disease that can be spread to humans via rat urine. if left untreated, the symptoms often get worse, and worse yet can lead to Weil’s disease, which very often leads to hospitalization, and sometimes even death. This why it is very important to know how to get rid of rats and recognize the risks associated if the problem is left untreated.

Rats also have the ability to multiply extremely fast, as a female rat reaches maturity at 6 weeks of age. The female can get pregnant and give birth in as little as 21 days. This means the female can give birth to up to 12 litters a year, which are often litters of 6 to 12 baby rats. This essentially means that your infestation can go from mild to severe in a matter of weeks. So what can be done to prevent this, and if infested, how to get rid of rats from your home?

How to prevent a rat infestation?

In order to prevent rats from taking unwanted residence in your home, a multitude of steps can be taken. These include the following:

Eliminate any access points that rats may be using to enter your home or garden.

One of the most effective ways to curb a potential rat infestation in progress is to simply block any access the rats may have towards your home or garden. Rats love to chew holes, and will even tunnel underground to gain access to your home, therefore it’s a good idea is to seal up any holes in the walls or flooring you may have, even the smallest ones, as rats are very flexible and can enter through a hole that is roughly the same size as their head.

Another good practice when sealing up holes, especially if you don’t find many on the ground floor, is making sure to check your loft and roof for any signs of damage or infestations. Most rats are excellent climbers and will scale your home using guttering, ivy, or any tree branches that may be extending over your roof.

if you have done a good job of sealing up your home, you probably won’t be wondering about how to get rid of rats, as any rat trying to gain access to your home or garden will quickly give up, and go on its way to find another residence which is easier to get into.

Always store food properly, and switch to heavy duty rubbish bags.

Another great strategy for keeping the rats at bay, is limiting their food source in your property. Storing your food properly, such as using air-tight containers and maintaining a food-free floor is a major limitation of the rat’s food source. If rats can’t gain access to your food, they simply won’t bother and will move on to an easier food source.

This is why it’s also important to use heavy-duty bin bags for any rubbish or food scraps you keep in your garden, as it makes it harder for the rat to gnaw on your binned leftovers, as well as containing the smell of food inside of the bin bag, rather than the outside, where rats could potentially smell it.

Keep your home and garden tidy, in order to repel rats.

Perhaps the simplest strategy to maintaining a rat-free home is to simply make it uninviting to them. Rats won’t invade and stay on your property if there is nothing there to pique their interest. This is why it’s very important to keep your house clean, sweeping and mopping floors often, as well as discarding any rubbish or out-of-date foods.

Frequently hoovering carpets and sanitizing countertops, eating spaces and other furniture will also help, as doing this will make sure you don’t have any bits of food or breadcrumbs hidden behind your toaster or in the cracks of your sofa.

Furthermore, making sure you don’t leave any rubbish outside or level any areas that collect water in your garden, is a sure-fire way to making rats avoid your home, when they are looking for theirs.

What NOT to do when your home has been infested

In the unfortunate circumstance that you followed the above tips and your home and garden still got infested with rats, here are things you should never do, as these things can aggravate the problem and make it worse:

  • DON’T ignore signs of a rat infestation. the problem very rarely goes away by itself, and very often the situation gets worse with every passing day, which can be both very costly and harmful to your health.
  • STOP trying to identify the severity of the problem by yourself. Identifying a rat infestation is one thing, however attempting to figure out exactly how big the infestation is, or how many rats there are in your home is a difficult task, and is best left to the experts.
  • NEVER try to deal with a serious rat problem by yourself. If the situation is severe, never try to catch the rats or extract their nest by yourself. Rats carry disease and will bite you if their territory is threatened.
  • DON’T attempt to use traps or poison to control the problem. Using rat traps or poison rarely solves the root of the problem, and if done incorrectly, can seriously harm you, your child, or even your pets. If you leave rat poison scattered across your carpet or corners of the room, it can be easily ingested on accident by your pet or child. This can be very harmful and even deadly to them.
(Rat poison might seem like a cheap and cheeful solution, but it is inhumane and can be deadly to your pets and small children)

So how do I get rid of rats?

Rat infestations are a very difficult situation to deal with, and over time can not only become a costly problem but also a harmful one to your and your family. This is why the best and most effective way to get rid of a rat infestation is to give Direct Pest a call and let them identify and deal with the problem.

Direct Pest will send over a team of highly-trained experts to assess the situation and will pick the right method to humanely catch and dispose of all the rats in your home, solving the problem once and for all. Don’t hesitate and call now to find out affordable prices, quotes, and more information on how Direct Pest can help you and your home, or visit them at directpest.co.uk