Rats are pests that can be particularly detrimental to homeowners. Between the damage they cause in and around homes and the diseases they carry that can be transmitted to humans, rats are extremely undesirable houseguests.
Rats have proliferated throughout Quebec due to the decrease in street traffic caused by COVID-19. Our pest management technicians reported a significant increase in infestations during the lockdowns.
If you encounter one or more of these pests in your house, you must act quickly to eliminate them. In this article, our exterminators present useful tips for getting rid of rats in and around your home.
Rats are particularly harmful for humans. In addition to carrying transmissible diseases, they can cause significant property damage. They make their presence known by gnawing electrical cables and creating fire hazards, deteriorating insulation, cracking pipes, etc.
Rats prefer warm, humid environments. They tend to hide in attics, garden sheds and basements. If they find a place with food access and no predators to disturb them, they can multiply very quickly.
There are several practices you can implement to limit your risk of infestation.
Rats often venture into homes in search of food and a warm place to nest. The best way to avoid an infestation is to prevent them from getting in in the first place.
Apply our pest management technicians’ recommendations to limit your risk of infestation:
- Seal any cracks or holes you can see on the outside of your house
- Install screens at the ends of your pipes
- Place garbage in a hermetically sealed can
- Keep food closed and inaccessible to rats
- Repair any damaged water sources: leaking faucets, broken pipes, cracked sinks, etc.
- Keep your doors closed, particularly during the fall, when rodents are looking for warmth
Attics are popular with rodents because they tend to be quiet and rarely frequented by humans. Rats can nest and multiply easily there.
To prevent an infestation, try these recommendations:
- Tidy your attic to avoid giving rats nooks and crannies to nest in
- Clean your attic well once you’ve tidied it to remove any lingering odours
- Block any holes with steel or iron wool if possible
- Place sage in every corner of the attic
Your backyard is another area where rats commonly proliferate.
Prevent rat problems in your yard with these recommendations:
- Keep the grass cut short, because tall grass provides shelter for rodents
- Dispose of garbage in hermetically sealed cans
- Place fatty or oily waste such as eggs and dairy products in the compost in a biodegradable bag
Although prevention is essential, it’s not guaranteed to work. If an infestation occurs despite your best efforts, we recommend using extermination methods to get rid of the rats.
Note that if you have a significant infestation, it’s best to leave the extermination to the professionals. Our rat exterminators have the expertise needed to put an end to the problem. In addition to extermination, they can also decontaminate your home and take preventive measures to protect you from any future infestations.
At Elite Pest Control, we favour humane extermination methods that respect animals and the environment. There are a variety of natural methods that can help you get rid of rats.
One of the most effective natural rat repellents is peppermint. Rodents hate its strong smell.
To keep rats away from your house, place a peppermint plant in the garden, on your patio or in your kitchen. If you can’t find peppermint, you can try cloves.
Essential oils are also quite effective at deterring rats from entering your home. Sage, laurel, garlic, lavender and eucalyptus are all scents that they hate.
Place your chosen essential oil in a diffuser or soak small cotton balls with it and place them strategically around your house. Note that this method may not be 100% effective, particularly if the rats know there is access to food near the repellent.
There are a variety of traps available for catching rats. The classic spring-loaded trap baits the rat with cheese or peanut butter and then snaps shut when triggered. However, this type of trap is a lethal option.
There are other types of effective traps that are non-lethal, such as cage traps. These catch the pests without killing them so that you can release them back into the wild.
We recommend using at least two different types of traps to maximize your chances of success. If there are two or more types of traps, the rats will be less suspicious and take more risks when exploring.
You can also try leaving the baited traps in place for 3 or 4 days without setting them to let the rats get used to them. That way, the rats will be less suspicious of the traps when they are finally set.
Lethal methods for getting rid of rats are very effective but require caution, as they can be dangerous for children and pets. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully to use these products and devices safely and effectively.
This type of bait can be used to exterminate rodents. It should only be placed in areas that are inaccessible to children and pets. Read the instructions to find out how to use the bait correctly.
As its name suggests, this product prevents rats’ blood from coagulating. It is available in solid formats such as paraffin blocks. Like poison bait, anticoagulant rodenticide is extremely toxic. Keep it away from vulnerable, at-risk individuals.
Electric traps are similar to cage traps, but they capture rats and kill them rather than leaving them alive. Electric traps have a detection system that electrocutes the rat once it enters the trap. The trap is an anti-microbial and anti-odour receptacle that will contain the rat until you can dispose of it.
Getting rid of a rat can be fairly simple with the right tools and methods. However, in the event of a large infestation, the methods described above may not be enough. In such cases, professional extermination is the only solution.
The Elite Pest Control team can travel anywhere in the province to carry out effective, permanent exterminations. In addition to the many traps and methods we have to get rid of rats, we can help you avoid future infestations with our prevention strategies and caulking services. We will also decontaminate the premises to ensure that your house is safe and sanitary and all traces of the infestation are removed.
Having a rat in the house is never a good sign. However, if the situation is addressed in time and with the right methods, it can be resolved before a true infestation occurs.
If you believe that a colony of rats has infested your home, call a pest control specialist without delay. They will be able to carry out the extermination work needed to get rid of the problem.
If you’d like to ask a question or request our services, contact our team of exterminators. We will be happy to answer your queries and tackle any pest problems you have.