How to Get Rid of Rats

There are many misconceptions that people may have about rats, and in the right situation they can be very intelligent and useful animals. However, they usually live around humans and often cause problems. Rats have historically been carriers of disease, and when they get into the homes and gardens of people they can often cause problems such as food contamination, chewing on electrical wires, and are known to have a number of parasites that can harm humans and pets.  Most people simply object to the noise in the attic or walls at night - scampering and scratching.

How To Get Rid Of Rats - the Five Steps
1 - You must find out how they are getting into the building.
2 - You must seal shut all of these open holes.
3 - You must trap and remove the rats with snap traps. Poison will not solve the problem.
4 - You can, if you want, clean up the mess they've made.
5 - Keeping your house and property clean and free of garbage or debris can help.

But really, if it's rats inside a house or building, nothing matters except sealing shut all the entry holes. This can be simple, or it can be very difficult. You must inspect every inch of the house or building, and understand the vents and plumbing. It's possible that there is just one really obvious opening. But in my experience, there are usually several points of entry. Experience matters tremendously when knowing how to find all the rat entry holes. They all must be sealed shut with steel, which rats can't chew through. If you can do it yourself, great. If you need help, do not hire a pest control company - they use poison and don't intend to solve the problem. They intend to make you a customer for life. Hire a professional wild animal removal expert. Click on that link to find a directory of hundreds of professionals, only one pick per city, throughout the United States who actually solve the problem correctly.

How Do You Know You Have Rats?
Most people notice the noise they make - scampering, scratching, pitter-patter of little feet running up the walls or above the ceiling, in the attic. If rats get inside the house, they leave droppings everywhere, they steal food, and they chew on everything. If you have rats in the attic, inspect, and you'll see lots of rat poop pellets, trails in the insulation, a bad odor if it's been long enough, brown staining in various areas where the rats frequently travel, and chewed wood and wires.

You'll never get rid of rats permanently until you find out how they are getting in to the building, and seal those holes shut permanently, with something rats can't chew through - steel. Inspect every last inch of the house - the roof, the eaves, soffits, roof vents, dormer vents, plumbing stacks, chimney, siding, any area where pipes or wires go into or out of the house, A/C chase, ground level vents, etc etc. Rats can climb anything, even upside down. You have to seal everything shut with steel. A strong knowledge of both building architecture and rat behavior helps a great deal in this process.

What Trap Do You Use?
It is possible to find a live trap for those who want to catch the rats without killing them, but even after they are trapped there is the question of where to release the animals. Handling live rats, even if they are in a trap is also hazardous and this is why many people will use another trap that will kill the animals. There are also other traps which can include a glue pad, which isn’t a very pleasant way to die for the animal. It is very important not to use poison, because this will cause more problems than it can solve, and as it doesn’t kill the rats immediately you will often start to smell the carcass decomposing a few days later.

Finding And Trapping The Rats
The placement of the rat traps is very important as it is important that they go into an area that the rats will visit frequently. If you are using live traps then it is important to check them regularly, otherwise dehydration can become a big problem for any rats that have been trapped. Rats will not usually venture into the open areas of your home unless there are food sources to be found there, so the best places to look for rats will be in basements, wall cavities and in the attic. In terms of baiting the traps, any food source will usually work for a rat, but they will often find it particularly difficult to resist meat and peanut butter. If it appears that there are a number of rats it is smart to place a number of traps in the areas where the rats enter or exit the property. It is important to keep setting the traps until you are sure that all the rats have been caught.

What To Do Next
You should check your traps regularly to see if there have been any rats caught, and if they are then it is wise to don rubber gloves before handling the animal. Although rats can often be clean animals when kept domestically, in the wild they will often have parasites and diseases that you will want to avoid. When disposing of the bodies, it is best to double bag the animals both for hygiene reasons but also to make sure that the smell doesn’t attract other scavengers that will look to make a meal of the corpse. Once these have been disposed of, carry out a thorough check of your property, and seal any holes or gaps that the rats have used to access the area. Some people may want to lay down some sort of repellent, but unfortunately these will very rarely be successful.

Rats are animals that have lived in tandem with humans for many centuries, and whether it is the Black Rat or the Norway Rat they can both cause big problems. There is often no choice but to get rid of them, as they can cause big hygiene and health problems for humans where they are allowed to live unchecked. The final step you may want to take, after getting rid of rats, is to clean up after them. I use a special enzyme cleaner and fogging machine.

How To Trap A Rat
There are a number of problems with having rats in your home or in your workplace, and there are many people who will want to find the best ways to get rid of the animals. The problem is that they can often be well hidden, living in cavity walls, cavities under the property or even in the roof space, so they may have been there for some time before people realize they have a rat infestation.

Live Traps
Many people who are animal lovers will feel squeamish about the idea of killing rats, and using a live trap also eliminates the issue of having to deal with rat carcasses. These traps will usually come in the form of a cage which will need to be baited, and once the rat enters the cage it will stand on a sensitive trigger in the trap which will then close the cage behind it. The difficulty with live trapping is that it can often be against the law to relocate a rat, and moving it outside of your property will often see it scamper straight back to the entry point.

Lethal Rat Traps
There are a number of different traps that have been designed to trap rats, and these can range from a larger version of the traditional mouse trap that will snap shut killing the rat, to more innovative methods. There are some glue traps that will cause the rat to stick on a pad of glue meaning it cannot move, but this can often mean the animal will suffer a slow and painful death. Another option for those looking for an effective rat trap is the electrical trap which will zap the rat with a strong electrical current to kill it immediately.

The Right Location For A Rat Trap
Once you know you have an infestation of rats in your property, the next thing is to do the necessary checks in and around the property to find out where the rats are and how they get in and out. The best places to place traps are in the areas which are frequently used by rats. In roof cavities, these will often be on the beams themselves, while those trapping rats in other parts of the home may want to look for the entry point the animal is using to get into the property. These areas will usually be indicated by a higher concentration of feces and urine stains from the rats.

Bait For A Rat Trap
Choosing a suitable type of bait isn’t really difficult when it comes to rats, because they will eat items from such a wide range of different food groups. Peanut butter is inexpensive and successful rat bait, while other people will want to use meat or even chocolate. Some people may choose to use a poisoned bait to deal with a rat problem, but because the rats die away from where the bait has been left then this can result in a problem in terms of locating and disposing of the carcass.

Handling And Removing Rats
The largest problem for those using a live trap to catch rats is what to do with them once they have been caught. Many states will prevent releasing the animals back into the wild. If you do release the rats, ensure it is at least ten miles away from your property to ensure it doesn’t come back. Dealing with dead rats is also problematic, as rats can carry many diseases and parasites. For this reason it is best to use thick rubber gloves, and to wrap the carcass in two thick garbage bags. This will help reduce the smell and decrease the likelihood of attracting further predators. Some areas may have special places to take the carcasses, while some people will simply place it in the garbage.

Do You Need Help?
I wrote this website to provide information on How to Get Rid of Rats in the case that you have a rat problem and need to make an informed decision about what to do. If you have any questions you may email me, but I do know from experience that rat removal is not simple. If you need professional help solving your wildlife conflict, I recommend that you talk to a professional rat control expert in your town by clicking on my National Wildlife Control directory, which lists experts who I recommend in every USA city and town who can help you with your rat issue.

More Rat Articles I've Written:
How to Get Rid of Dead Rats
How to Kill Rats
Rat Repellent
How to Get Rid of Rats in Your House
How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Walls
How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Kitchen
How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Garage
How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Attic
How to Get Rid of Rats in a Barn
How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Basement
How to Get Rid of Rats in the Ceiling
How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Garden
How to Get Rid of Rats in the Insulation
How to Get Rid of Rats in the Crawlspace
How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Yard
How to Get Rid of Rats in a Restaurant
How to Clean Rat Feces and Urine
Is Rat Poison Effective
    Will the city services help me with a rat issue?
Should I hire a pro, or remove rats myself?
How to keep rats out of my garden
How to keep rats out of my garbage
How do you remove a rat stuck in a dumpster?
What is a rat’s mating habits
What is a rat’s natural diet?
Do more rats live in urban areas, or wild areas?
What are some of the symptoms of a sick rat?
What to do about a rat on the roof
Do rats make good pets?
What do wildlife rehabilitators do with rats
What can rats climb?
Do rats chew on wires? Why?
What kind of damage do rats cause in an attic?
How to find and remove a dead rat
Does poison make rats thirsty and die outside
Will a pest control company remove a rat

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Attic - Rats in the attic are a noisy, messy problem and they can be very difficult to get rid of if you don’t take the appropriate steps. To get rid of rats in the attic, you need to find out where the rats are getting into your home. These entry and exits points should be easy to locate; rats leave grease marks and feces as markers. Any and all openings into your home must be sealed or more rats will be drawn in. Once everything is sealed up you can think about trapping the rats. Live trapping is not practical in homes where rats are a problem. The only real method or removal is with the use of lethal, snap traps. Place the baited traps along rat runways, areas where they have left trails of feces and urine. Traps can be baited with peanut butter or marshmallows. Once you’ve caught the rats, they need to be removed and the attic needs to be thoroughly cleaned. Other rats will be attracted to the feces and urine left behind, so clean up is essential.

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Walls - Rats love to live in walls. Not only are walls warm and quiet, they are inaccessible to most predators and, of course, to humans. Walls provide great warmth and are full of fun wires and cables to chew on. Getting rid of rats in the walls can be challenging. You will be able to determine where rats are running by the grease marks and excrement left behind. When eliminating a rat infestation, do not use poison. Poisoning rats will only result in a number of carcasses within your walls, and dead bodies will smell after a period of time until they are removed. Buy a good number of snap traps, but before you set them, make sure all the holes and entrances into the home are sealed. Rat waste draws in more rats. Close up all the holes first. Once the house is impenetrable, set out your baited traps along the discovered rat pathways. It’s not necessary to open up walls and place traps inside. Placing the snap traps near the rat exits and entrances, even when closed up, will draw rats to the bait. Once the animals have been removed, be sure to clean the spaces where the rats have been travelling to prevent more rats from moving in.

© 2003-2018     Website content & photos by Trapper David     Email questions: