You’ve just seen a rat in your house… What do you do now?
Rats are notorious for contaminating food, carrying disease, and damaging homes, which means it’s important you get rid of them as soon as possible. How should you react if you see a rat in your home or evidence of an infestation? To answer that question, we’re going to take a look at some warning signs of an infestation, what you should do if you suspect rats in your house, and how to avoid an infestation now and in the future.
Warning Signs of a Potential Rat Infestation
First, let’s take a look at some common signs of a rat infestation you should watch out for:
- Droppings — One of the most obvious physical indications of a rat presence in your home is the discovery of rat feces. You’ll usually find several in one place and they can be identified by their oblong shape and length of about 3/4 of an inch.
- Urine Smell — It typically takes a while for urine to produce a noticeable odor in most areas, which would probably indicate an ongoing infestation. Rats will urinate wherever they happen to be, but you’re more likely to find the smell in your basement or attic.
- Wall Noises — Rats often get around your home by crawling through the walls, which can lead to scratching and chewing noises. Since rats are nocturnal creatures, this is much more likely to occur after the sun has gone down.
- Teeth Marks — Rats will chew through anything from cardboard and wood to plastic and wires. If you see any teeth marks or find evidence of chewed-up boxes or frayed wires, you likely have an infestation.
- Nesting — Like many animals, rats will often build a small nest inside your walls or possibly in a corner somewhere. Nesting materials can include everything from paper and cardboard to plastic and trash items.
What to Do If You See Rats in the House
Next, you should take these actions if you notice signs of rats in your home:
- Put Out Traps — If you see rats in your house or any signs of them, you should put out traps immediately. There are plenty of different types of choose-from, including rat bait stations that draw them in and kill them.
- React Right Away —As with other rodents, rats are able to reproduce at an alarmingly fast rate. If you hesitate to act once you’ve seen a warning sign, a few rats can quickly turn into dozens.
- Call an Expert — Since rats can carry diseases and cause damage to your home, it’s best to call an expert to get rid of them. A pest control company will inspect your home, confirm an infestation, and eliminate the problem fast.
How to Avoid a Rat Infestation in the Future
Finally, take these measures to help avoid a rat infestation in the future:
- Keep Your Home Clean — The best way to prevent your home from being attractive to rats is to keep it clean. This means removing leftovers and other food sources so that they’ll have fewer reasons to go inside.
- Seal Entryways — Rats will enter your home through a variety of entry points, which includes holes and gaps that they can either squeeze through or chew on until they can gain entry. Seal any problem areas with weather-stripping, spray foam, or caulk to keep them out.
- Take Out Trash — Rats can commonly be found in your kitchen because they’re attracted to the food inside. Taking out the trash on a regular basis will remove one of their most common food sources.
- Move Trash Can — If your trash can is close to your home, this can lead rats to head inside due to their proximity. You can reduce the chance of this happening by moving your trash can as far away from your home’s structure as possible.
- Reduce Moisture — Like other creatures, rats will often be attracted to your home because it’s a source of water. As a general rule, you should remove puddles after it’s rained and keep water structures away from the edge of your home.
- Use Peppermint Oil – Rats don’t like the smell of peppermint oil, which means it will often act as a repellent. The best strategy is to soak cotton balls in the oil and then place them near entry points where you suspect rats may attempt to get inside.
Contact ProHealth Pest Control If You Have Rats in the House
ProHealth Pest Control uses organic pest control methods to get rid of rodents, arachnids, insects, and more. If you have any questions about how to prevent rats in your house or would like to schedule an appointment, reach out to us by calling (727) 472-9420 today to schedule a free consultation.