Rats in the Attic

Education - Rats in the Attic

Probably the most common human - wildlife conflict nationwide - rats in the attic. These capable rodents love to chew their way into your house and raise their young there.

How to Keep Rats Away - Rat Prevention Tips

How do I keep rats away from my house? Maybe you want to prevent rats from coming to your house, roof, garden, or property in the first place, before they get in the attic. Well, it's hard to keep rats away from a property. They can pretty much go wherever they want, and they will, if there's adequate food and water sources. The real key, regarding rats in the attic, is to prevent them from getting inside. On the roof is fine. Inside is not. To do this, you must inspect the house and seal shut any potential rat entry holes, with steel, which rats can't chew through. Other than that, your best bet is to eliminate things that attract rats to your property, such as bird seed, garbage, pet food, fruit plants, water sources, clutter and debris and so on. That said, even the cleanest property is likely to be a good habitat for rats, so there's not much you can do to keep them away from your house. But you can keep them OUT of your house. As for other methods, rat repellent is a myth, and doesn't work. As for keeping the rodent numbers down, the worst thing you can do is kill rats with poison - click the link to read why. Your best option to keep the population down is rat trapping. But in reality, there will always be rats outside so long as they have food and water - your only concern is eliminating shelter - your shelter!

Photo Examples of How to Keep Rats Away From Your House

1 - Home & Attic Inspection

A full inspection of the exterior of the home, including the roof and all vents, to find out how they are getting in. Plus an inspection inside the attic to identify rat damage.

2 - Repair the Rat Entry Holes

The job will fail unless you solve the source of the problem. Seal shut the entry holes, with professional grade repairs, or else the problem will happen again.

3 - Remove the Rats

AFTER the repair job, set at least a dozen snap traps throughout the attic on the areas of high rat activity. Use wooden snap traps baited with peanut butter.

4 - Clean the Attic

In addition to repairing chewed electrical wires and damaged duct work, you might want to remove the rat feces, maybe the insulation, and decontaminate.

Information About Rat Prevention and How to Keep Rats Away

Because of the damage these rodents can do, the average person wants to work hard to keep rats away from their property. These pests can spread disease and leave their droppings everywhere. They will also chew on wires or anything else that is handy and contaminate food that gets left out. While you can remove rats once they have taken up residence in your home, it is much smarter to prevent them from ever getting there in the first place. A bit of prevention will save you a great deal of hassle later on.

Repellents Won’t Work
The first thing most people are tempted to try to keep rats away is repellents, both homemade and store bought. While you can easily find dozens of suggestions for these items, none are truly effective. Don’t waste your money on a rat repellent whether you buy it online or in store and whether it is a spray, granules, or something else; it won’t work. If you want to ignore expert advice and try using a rat repellent, then at least opt for a homemade one. This way, you won’t be wasting any money as you should already have the ingredients at home. As a bonus, homemade repellents don’t typically contain harmful chemicals like you will find in the ineffective ones for sale.

Even so, using peppermint oil, ammonia, mothballs, bay leaf, onions, pepper, and any of the other suggestions you find online so easily won’t do anything against rats. A rat isn’t going to give up their cozy shelter and easy access to food for a bad smell; they know leaving the safety of your home is a death sentence. To make matters worse, mothballs are harmful to humans as well. Even those expensive sound machines won’t convince rats to leave the security of their new home. Worst of all, those machines will sometimes emit sounds within the hearing range of people, annoying your neighbors.

Are Fences Useful?
You can sometimes use fences to keep rats away, but you have to be smart about it and this will only work on small areas. Rats are tiny animals and can fit through even tinier holes, meaning that you need to opt for a smaller mesh. Because they are excellent chewers, you also need a sturdy material. Of course, rats can also climb, meaning that the fence will have to be tall and completely enclose the area. This means that while fencing is practical for temporarily patching up small holes in your home, protecting your garden, or keeping rats out of the area under your porch, it just isn’t practical on a larger scale. To keep rats away, the area needs to be completely enclosed; otherwise, they will find a way inside.

Make Home Repairs
Because completely enclosing an area is the only way to prevent rats, you need to make thorough home repairs if you want to keep them out of your attic, walls, and kitchen. Take the time to inspect your home from top to bottom and seal up any gap you find. Pay particular attention to areas with gaps such by roof eaves, pipes, and vents. There should not be any gap that can potentially offer entry to your home anywhere. For the best results, you should have a professional inspect your home for you as they are much less likely to miss a spot than you are.

Remove Their Food Sources
While the only sure way to keep rats out of your home is to prevent them from getting in, you can also limit its attractiveness to them. Rats are more likely to try to widen that tiny gap in your siding if they know they will find food inside. To avoid this, keep your home clean, being sure to always wash your dishes and clean up crumbs after eating. Store your leftovers in a secure container and in a cabinet or your fridge. You should also make sure your garbage isn’t accessible since this can be tempting for the rodents as well. Opt for a garbage can with a secure lid and keep it closed at all times. Outside your home, it gets a bit trickier, particularly if you have fruit trees but you can minimize the attraction to rats by cleaning up the fallen fruit regularly.

What To Do If Rats Get In
Even with your best efforts, you may miss a small spot and end up with rats in your home. If this happens, take care of the issue as soon as possible. You will need to figure out how they got inside and seal up their entry point. Then, you can set up snap traps to catch the rodents and remove them. This process will go much more smoothly with a professional as their experience helps them find the entry point quickly and catch all the rats on their first try.

The Bottom Line

How to prevent rats - outside is hard, and maybe trapping is the only option. But it's very easy to keep them away from your attic, by performing simple home repairs to seal shut open holes they can use to get in. Presumably you are visiting this website because you already have rats in your attic, but if they're just in your yard or garden, well, I actually don't have great advice for you other than trapping and removal. Just don't waste your time and money on ineffective repellent products.