The thought of having rats in your home can really freak out the toughest of people. No wonder people then simply call their local rat exterminators to have them deal with the problem. Coming face to face with a rat isn’t something most people want to deal with. Unfortunately rats have populated pretty much the entire planet. Finding a country free of rats isn’t an easy thing to do.
There are loads of different kinds of rats however it’s really only 2 that will live side-by-side with humans; rattus rattus (aka roof rat, black rats and ship rats) and rattus norvegicus (aka Norway rats, house rats, brown rats, sewer rats, wharf rats and gray rats).
Rats are certainly not creatures you want about your house because they carry illnesses, are dirty, defecate everywhere and eat your food. Certainly not the sort of house mate you want to have around. However they are also very intelligent and curious. Some people keep the rattus rattus as pets and can train them to do different little tricks. So when you want to get rid of them you need to understand you are dealing with an intelligent animal.
How do you know if you have rats?
You don’t have to see rats in your home to know that they are there. You can easily see the tell-tail signs such as their droppings which are the size of raisins. You will also see gnawing marks, especially around food packaging where the rat has been chewing to get at the food. You might also be able to hear them scuttling about at night in your attic or walls.
Traps or poison?
OK, so you know you have rats in your home and want to eliminate them as quickly as possible. First of all there’s the issue of trapping them. It’s best not to use poison for a couple of reasons.
- Poison is dangerous to children and pets.
- The rats won’t die immediately. Instead they scurry away to an hidden space before they eventually die. This means you can end up with dead and stinking rat without knowing where it is.
Where do you set the traps?
You will need place rat traps in areas where you think the rats will go but be careful about pets and children in your home. You should then keep the traps in place for at least a few weeks after you caught the last rat to make sure they are all gone.
How do you prevent them getting into your home?
In addition to setting traps you need to try and work out they got into your home in the first place. Some homes are old and and in need of repair. There can be all sorts of a gaps, cracks and holes that have appeared over the years. So it’s time you did a thorough inspection of these areas and then seal them up.
There are caulks and expanding foams that you can use to do the job. Rat exterminators can even help you out in this regard because they should have an understanding of where they might be getting in.