How To: Deal with rats

Deal with rats

The best way to keep rats out is by making it difficult and unappealing for them to come inside. Keep your house clean and free of anything that a rat might want to eat. Rats can fit through very small opening so go on the defensive and keep rats where they belong.

Simply put, rats are gross. Nobody wants these creatures in their inner sanctum. Here's how to cope.

Step 1: Seal your home

Keep rats away by sealing cracks and crevices, including underneath doors. Make sure vents and crawl spaces are covered with steel mesh or metal screening.

Small rats can fit through holes the size of a quarter, so seal well.

Step 2: Store food properly

Don't leave food out – store it in rat-proof containers. Clean up crumbs. The same goes for pet food, which rats also love. And make sure all of your garbage cans are tightly closed.

Step 3: Reduce clutter

Clutter offers cozy spaces for rats to settle down, so clean up your house! Check all rooms, basements, and attics from top to bottom.

Step 4: Clean outside

Don't leave uneaten pet food sitting around outside. Use rodent-proof birdfeeders, and make sure seed doesn't spill. Remove dog waste, keep firewood off the ground, trim any branches that hang over your roof, and plant bushes at least 3 feet away from your home.

Step 5: Watch for signs

Watch for signs of rats, such as damage to food containers or woodwork, plus the appearance of nests or droppings. Listen to hear them rustling inside your walls.

Step 6: Put out traps

Put snap rattraps along walls and in corners of infested areas. Bait the traps with dried fruit or peanut butter mixed with cheese or oats. While wearing gloves, dispose of any dead rats by bagging or wrapping them in plastic and throwing them outside in the garbage.

Step 7: Call a pro

It's not recommended that you use poisons unless they're absolutely necessary. If this is the case, call a pest-control professional.

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