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How to Get Rid of Rats In Your Home & Yard – The Ultimate Guide for 2023
Rats have lived in close proximity to people since humanity established the first city, and they’ve flourished with the rise of urbanization. Each continent has its own indigenous rats and rodents, but different species have spread with trade and migration and adapted to life around the world. That’s all well and good when they stay in nature, but when rats get too comfortable in your home and yard it can have serious consequences.
The same things that have made rats so successful in spreading around the world make them difficult, dangerous pests in the home. Depending on the species, they can eat just about anything and they’re not as timid as other household pests, which can make rats dangerous to pets. They’ve grown resistant to disease and parasites that can hitch a ride on a rat and end up in your home. Some types of rats have a love of shiny, metallic things that can lead them to tear car engines apart and cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. To avoid the health and property risks that rats can pose to your home, you’ll need to understand what you’re dealing with and how to handle an infestation. But in many cases, the best solution is to reach out to a professional rat exterminator.
There are innumerable species of rats spread throughout the order of Rodentia, the rodent family. Different kinds of rats vary widely in terms of diet, temperament, behavior and size. Larger species can grow to weigh more than a pound measure more than a foot in length, counting the tail. Common traits include extremely strong teeth that can chew through wood and even concrete in some cases, as well as the ability to slip through extremely small spaces.
Rats are social animals, with some species living in family units. In others, the males are highly aggressive toward each other. The larger, stronger ones will attempt to monopolize mating in an area and prevent other males from mating.
Mothers can take care of their young for as little as two weeks or longer than a month. The offspring are blind at birth, but will quickly become independent and capable of reproduction. Rats can generally reproduce as young as two months old, and from this point on they can reproduce around five to six times a year. Each of these litters can be as small as five or larger than a dozen, and if you’re doing the math, you’ll see that that’s too many rats.
Two rats alone can have close to 100 offspring in a year, and their offspring will have already produced several new generations in the same time. With a suitable place to live, a few rats can quickly produce an infestation of thousands. In their lives, they’ll present a health and safety risk and can cause serious property damage, and after they die they’ll release putrid gases that can trigger asthma attacks and attract other pests. If you suspect that you have a rat infestation, you need to act fast.
Where Do Rats Live?
Rats live almost everywhere that humans do. They’re extremely adaptable and handle extreme heat well, especially since rats are primarily active at night. In general, the only places that rats don’t live are those that combine extreme cold and low human habitation. Antarctica and the North Pole are largely free of rats, but several species have arrived in the outlying islands by ship and devastated local ecosystems. Rats are highly common in many Alaskan islands, where they’ve wiped out many native bird and turtle species.
Likewise, colonialism brought rats to Hawaii with catastrophic effects. Areas that once brimmed with palm forests are now barren because of rats eating the palm seeds. Rats in Arizona and Texas are often native species of desert rat that locals know as the Pack Rat, a species that will steal jewelry and tear apart car engines in their search for shiny things.
Rats in NY, NJ, PA, and other highly urbanized stretches of America are mostly invasive species that thrive in cities. The volume of trash in America’s urban areas and plentiful spaces for the rats to hide have resulted in things like Chicago taking on the moniker “Rat City.” The only habited place in North America that’s free of rats is across the border in Alberta, Canada.
Rats didn’t begin arriving there until the 1950s, and the province virtually declared war on them. The government went so far as buying and destroying farms to eliminate early infestations. Today, rats have to cross their own version of no man’s land if they want to cross into Alberta from neighboring Saskatchewan, with traps and armed rat patrols killing numerous invaders each year. Bulldozers, high explosives, shotguns, and the aptly-named rat poison warfarin are just a few of the tools the Albertan government employs to keep their land rat-free.
Rats are a menace in urban areas, but they can be even more dangerous to rural communities. Alberta is primarily agrarian, and rats can kill small farm animals and devastate crops. However, nowhere in America is cold and isolated enough to fend off rat invasions.
Where Rats Live in the Home
If you live somewhere besides Western Canada, rats might make their home in or around yours. Some species live in trees and eat nuts and fruit, while other rats live in tunnels, tall grass, and shrubbery. Arboreal (tree-based) rats are likely to settle in your attic or other areas that are higher in your structure, while terrestrial (ground-based) rats often live more toward the ground. In their eyes, a pile of rubbish or a cluttered garage is just as comfortable as a secluded tunnel network. Both will venture out into your pantry at night in search of a meal, leaving feces and spreading bacteria as they go.
It’s also common for rats to live near the home in the yard, particularly if anything attracts them there. Some rats love fruit and nuts, and they’re likely to forage fallen produce from beneath fruit trees. These species are particularly dangerous to farms and rural communities, as grains and cereals are their favorite foods. Rats in Florida’s cities are as much of an invasive nuisance as an infestation of rats in a PA farm.
How Long Do Rats Live?
How long do rats live? It depends on circumstance, species, and luck. Pet rats have lived as long as four years with optimal care, nutrition, and a suitable environment. However, these are luxuries that wild rats can’t count on, and it shows in the relative shortness of their lifespan. Rats suffer fairly high rates of mortality early in life, and less than half will make it to one year of age in the more long-lived species. Some common rat species live to around a year, while others can make it two years fairly often. Even in these species, though, it’s extremely rare to see a rat live to three years old in the wild.
In short, the answer to “how long does a rat live” is “not very long.” That said, whether a rat lives for as little as a year or three, it will be able to reproduce many times over. The fast pace of their life cycle means that even with high rates of juvenile mortality, the average rat will have dozens or hundreds of offspring that make it to sexual maturity.
Most Common Types of Rats in North America
When it comes to rat infestations in America, there are three species that are the most common. The two most common species are Old World rats that came to America as stowaways on ships. Roof Rats have largely stayed near the places where they arrived and are most common in seaports, coastal cities, and the American South, where they spread with cargo boats traveling the river network.
Norway Rats are the most common species throughout the United States and are particularly widespread in urban areas. You can find them just about anywhere, and the wide footprint of this species means that infestations overlap with other Old World rats as well as new world species.
The third major rat species in America is the Pack Rat, a New World species that adapted to life in the deserts of the Southwest. While they don’t follow human settlement in the way Old World rats do, expanding urbanization in Nevada, Arizona, and other states in this area has made Pack Rat infestations more common.
Norway Rats (Brown or Sewer Rats)
Rattus Norvegicus have brown fur and a long tail. While the scientific name of this species calls back to their common name, they actually aren’t from Norway. Where did Norway rats come from, then? It’s likely that Norway rats actually originated in China, home of some of the oldest large cities in civilization. After flourishing in these cities, they spread to the corners of the earth.
In nature, these rats like to live near the ground and in tunnels. They’re comfortable in the sewer systems that run beneath every major American city, which has earned them the name Sewer Rats. They’re even known for infiltrating homes by crawling up toilets and traveling through other pipes in a plumbing system. One of the distinguishing features of a Norway Rat is its size, as it’s the largest type of rat in America. The body can grow to be almost a foot in length, and it can be quite vicious when cornered. Cats are Norway Rat predators, but the rats can often kill younger cats. Even an adult cat or a large dog can be seriously hurt by a bite from one of these rats, especially since such bites can easily bring infection and disease.
In short, getting a cat is far from the best way to get rid of Norway Rats. Not only are the rats considerably dangerous to any household pet, but your pet won’t be able to get into the Norway Rat burrow and solve the source of the problem. You’ll want to take a more hands-on approach and use traps, poison, and seek out professional help from a brown rat control expert. Not only will an expert be able to eliminate an infestation, but they’ll also be able to seal entry points into the home.
Most of the signs of a Norway rat infestation are the same as other rodents, such as tiny footprints and bite marks on insulation or electric wiring. However, you can figure out if you’re dealing with these rats by observing the droppings they leave. Mice leave droppings that are smaller than grains of rice, while other rat species typically have feces with tapered ends. A Norway Rat leaves droppings that are slightly larger than grains of rice with blunt, rather than tapered ends.
Roof Rats (Black Rats)
Rattus rattus likely originated from the Indian subcontinent, and it’s easy to distinguish it from the Norway Rat based on appearance and habit. They have dark, black fur on their backs with a more lightly colored underside. Additionally, they’re considerably smaller than their Chinese cousins, with adults rarely growing longer than eight inches with tails that are longer in proportion to their bodies.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of roof rats, you’ll have to take a different approach from dealing with Norway Rats. In nature, Roof Rats live comfortably in trees and are likely to enter your home through overhanging branches. They might build a nest in the nooks and crannies of your roof before seeking shelter in attics and other interior spaces. The silver lining is that the tendency of roof rats to collect themselves in these isolated, upper spaces can make them easier to get rid of. Rats in the roof are easier to use poison against compared to those that live in areas pets and children might frequent.
While there are broad similarities between exterminating Norway Rats and Roof Rats, there are also key differences. For instance, bacon is an extremely effective bait for other rats, but not for Roof Rats. Getting rid of black rats requires using baits that appeal to them, which generally consists of plant-based foods. Additionally, the exclusion process entails different steps. For instance, you’ll need to trim overhanging branches that provide a means for them to get into the home. Finding and eliminating these entry points are one way to prevent roof rat infestations naturally, but they won’t work if you already have rats.
Consider contacting a professional; a black rat extermination expert will know how to get rid of roof rats in the attic and keep them out.
Pack Rats (Wood Rats)
Neotoma cinerea, also known as the Packrat, is one of the largest species of woodrat. While brown rats and black rats hail from the Old World, the woodrats are native to the US and have very different behaviors. Some are on the small side, but Neotoma Cinerea can grow to be nearly as large as a Norway Rat. They have a mouselike appearance with a shorter tail and a rounded nose, and their coloration is a gradient brown that grows lighter toward the stomach. Compared to the menacing appearance of Norway Rats and Roof Rats, a packrat looks almost cute in a mischievous sort of way. And it’s no wonder they look like that; these little thieves don’t stop at stealing your food.
Besides differences in appearance, these rats have highly different behaviors as compared to Old World rats. Packrats steal anything that catches their fancy, from expensive jewelry to action figures. If they’re already carrying a trinket and see one they like more, they’ll immediately drop the one they had and take the new item.
They use these items with bits of wood, leaves, rocks, and other refuse to create complex dens in secluded spaces. Other building materials they employ include fur, insects, and bones. Their urine has an incredible preservative quality, and by breaking down sugars in the organic materials it turns their den into an amber-like, crystalline compound. If undisturbed, the structure can survive for tens of thousands of years. Scientists have found middens that are nearly ten times older than recorded human history.
In nature, a packrat might build a midden in a cave, beneath a rock, or in a tiny crevice within a rock formation. These are all secluded, dark places that offer shelter from predators in much the same way that your garage or a car’s trunk might.
Packrats prize familiarity, so once they’ve visited your property once they’re sure to come back. While you can temporarily solve the problem with extermination, this is only a temporary solution. When packrats live in your area, you need to take steps to ensure that your property is unsuitable for their nests. For instance, do you have an extra car that you almost never drive around? The longer you go without using a vehicle, the more likely a packrat is to start using it to store food or build a nest.
Avoid packrat infestations by periodically driving each of your vehicles and storing food with caution. Packrats love dog food, which many homeowners store in bulk in the garage. If you have insecure dog food in a garage or shed, that space will be something like a dream come true for a packrat.
One other important characteristic of packrats comes from their adaptation to living in the desert and other dry, barren places. Old World rats need access to standing water to live and support population growth, but packrats get all of the water they need from their diet. Eliminating water sources in the home can naturally deter other types of rats, but won’t do much about a packrat infestation.
However, getting rid of roof rats naturally by making your property a poor nest for them is still an important step. You should consider consulting an exterminator for more guidance on how to packrat-proof your home.
How to Get Rid of Rats
Knowing what poisons kill rats instantly and the best traps to get rid of rats are only the first step in eliminating an infestation. Even a dead rat can create problems in your home, as the body will attract other pests. Even the smell can linger terribly in the air and make it hard to enjoy the comfort of your own home.
Likewise, you can’t necessarily just leave out traps with baits and expect them to get the job done. Rats are extremely cautious creatures that don’t trust new things in their environments. They’re remarkably intelligent and capable of social learning, which manifests in many ways. If you want to solve your rat infestation, you’ll want to ascertain the species of rat you’re dealing with so you can pick suitable traps.
After you get rid of the rats, you’ll need to figure out how rats entered your home in the first place. Even the largest rats can invade your home through a hole the size of a quarter, so unassuming cracks and gaps in the foundation can present invasion points. Without taking the right steps to exclude future rat invasion, you might end up fighting another rat infestation before you know it.
But before you begin sealing entry points and leaving traps, you should have a plan for the entire extermination process. Besides killing rats and preventing them from returning to your home, you need to be prepared to deal with the corpses and the smell they leave behind.
Dead Rat Smell
Dead rat smell is harmful to health and can carry bacteria and allergens into the air of your home. When nature takes its course, the rat will decompose entirely in about a month and the smell will be gone soon after. However, waiting is no way to deal with the problem. When you notice a dead rat smell coming under the floor or in a wall cavity, the gases and harmful compounds from the rat are reaching your airways and creating health risks. It’s necessary to take action to deal with the smell of dead rats, for comfort and for safety.
The best way to avoid the noxious aroma and health risks that come with dead rats in your home is to promptly eliminate the corpses. This is yet another reason why snap traps are worth using; they kill the rat quickly with little suffering and keep the body in an accessible place.
Once you see that a rat has fallen into the trap, you should use a simple surgical mask and plastic gloves before touching it. Then, you should place the body into a plastic bag, tie the bag closed, and repeat the process with a second bag. This double-layer of protection will contain most of the harmful gases, at which point you should toss the rat in an outdoor trash can. Ideally, the trash can should be secured to keep out scavengers such as opossums.
However, it’s not always that simple. Sometimes, traps aren’t sufficient to eliminate an infestation due to the caution of the rats or the numbers that are hiding within your home. Whenever you use poison or fumigation to kill rats in their nests, many will end up decomposing in your walls and other out-of-reach places.
When you can’t dispose of the corpse easily, you have to choose between one of two solutions. The easier choice is using specially-made chemicals that you can drop into the empty spaces of your home to eliminate dead rat in wall cavity smells. If this doesn’t get the job done, you may need to hire a professional to remove sections of wall, dispose of the corpses, disinfect the area and then rebuild the wall.
Best Rat Baits, Traps, and Poisons
Rat Sorb isn’t a bait, trap, or poison, but it’s extremely useful when you have a rat infestation. It’s a potent chemical that you can use to control the odors from rat urine, feces, and decomposition. Application is as simple as applying a generous amount of Rat Sorb to cotton balls, and then dropping these cotton balls into the areas where the smell is originating from. These sorb-soaked cotton balls will absorb the smells and keep the problem under control. This is a great resource because it can help you avoid the trouble and expense of tearing out your wall to get at the nest.
Authenzo Mouse & Rat Trap
The Authenzo rat trap and similar designs improve on traditional wood-and-springs snap traps in a variety of ways. For one, it replaces the fragile wooden structure with sturdy plastic that doesn’t absorb water and which is easy to clean. You set the trap by squeezing one end of the mechanism, which helps you avoid snapping your fingers as you might with a traditional mousetrap. The trap applies sufficient force to kill rats quickly without causing undue suffering, and you can dispose of the body without having to touch it. All of these qualities make the Authenzo rat trap a great, reliable choice for tackling your own rat infestation.
Tomcat All-Weather Bait Chunx
This is a two-in-one bait and poison that does everything you need either to do. It’s great for use indoors and outdoors, with a tough composition that holds up to time and the weather. While it’s not the strongest poison, it will still reduce and even eliminate rodent infestations with time. The one point of concern is that this rat poison can harm other animals and children, so you should take care to make sure that only rats can access it. You can do this by using the milk crate method, or otherwise making it so that other animals can’t access the bait chunks.
Tomcat All-Weather Bait Chunx gets the job done under any circumstances and at a reasonably low price. While the toxicity demands that you use this poison with care, that’s a drawback to almost all rat poisons.
EcoClear Products RatX
This is a highly unique rat poison in that it’s not actually a poison in the normal sense of the word. It’s a specially formulated chemical blend that exclusively affects rats, mice, and other closely related species. If your children or pets eat it, it won’t hurt them in the slightest. For that matter, it won’t even hurt most rodents, such as voles.
This is because EcoClear RatX works by blocking certain pathways in the brain and stops the rat from realizing it needs water. It will go without drinking and die of dehydration in a few days. This narrow focus is a huge benefit to RatX since it eliminates most of the problems that other rat poisons have. However, it can be a bit more expensive compared to other poisons. Furthermore, it won’t be as effective on packrats due to their unique physiology and how efficiently their body uses the water within the food they consume. The last drawback to RatX is that moisture causes it to dissolve, which means it may not be very useful if you want to eliminate rats in your yard.
Nonetheless, it’s probably the most lethal rat killer that won’t harm the environment or your family. That alone outweighs any drawbacks that RatX might have, so long as it’s applicable to the rat problems you’re suffering from.
How to Get Rid of Rats Naturally & Without Harming Pets
If you need to get rid of rats naturally, you have a variety of options to choose from. While fumigating a home with poison gases is the easiest way to kill rats in your house, it’s an extreme step that often isn’t necessary. Instead of destroying their nests, you can make your home uninviting.
Identify areas of rat activity, which feces, paw prints, and dirt from their oily bodies will identify and place traps in these areas. If you find that rats are leaving traces of their presence in the pantry or the trash, then you know where they’re getting their food. You should take steps to make sure the rats have access to as little food as possible in your home, which will encourage them to take the bait in your snap traps.
The harder it is for rats to find other food sources, the more likely they’ll be to walk into snap traps or eat a natural rat killer. If you find and seal the holes that rats use to get into your home, the less likely an infestation will continue. If you don’t want to use chemical baits and poisons, then you should experiment with different natural baits such as peanut butter, bacon, and berries. You can even try to make your own natural rat poisons and see what kind of results you get.
Homemade Rat Poison
Baking soda-based homemade rat poisons are popular, and the idea behind them is sound. That is to say, people combine small amounts of baking soda with sugar and cocoa powder so that rats will eat the baking soda. In turn, the baking soda reacts with chemicals in the stomach of the rats and produces gas that causes an intestinal rupture. This is a cheap, simple solution using things you probably have in your home, and it can get surprisingly good results while posing little or no risk to children and pets.
However, rats need to consume a fairly large amount of baking soda for it to be fatal. Furthermore, the adaptability of their bodies means that they can become more tolerant of the concoction. If they don’t quickly consume enough homemade baking soda rat poison to die, then you might find this solution becomes entirely ineffective. However, you can also devise homemade rat repellants out of essential oils and aromatics.
How to Get Rid of Rats in Your House
When rats invade your home, the exact steps you’ll take to get rid of them will vary based on the type of rat and the source of the infestation. If you have kids and pets, then you’ll need to be careful about the kind of poisons and traps you place. Additionally, the location of the rat nests will influence the measures you should take to eliminate the infestation. A rat trap is a lot less likely to hurt someone when it’s in the attic than next to the cereal cabinet, after all.
But there are common threads between all types of rat infestations. First, you know that the rats are getting into your home from outside and that they have a nest somewhere that they hide in during the day. What draws them to your home isn’t just shelter, but food and water. In the eyes of a rat, an accessible trash can or a bag of dog food is as good as a buffet. Virtually anything that has nutritional value can sustain a rat infestation. If you have leaking faucets creating even tiny pools of standing water, that will meet their needs for drinking as well.
Your home is always going to shelter invading rats from predators and the elements, there’s not much you can do about that. However, you can make your home inhospitable to a rat infestation by making sure they have no access to food and water. Get a secure lid for your trash can, don’t leave food out overnight, and try to find where the rats in your house are getting their sustenance from. This is a valuable step in preventing a rat infestation as well as coping with a current infestation. However, the resourcefulness and resilience of rats mean that you’ll also want to employ more proactive measures to kill rats in your home. Apply some of the following tips to get rid of rat infestations in different parts of your property.
How to Get Rid of Rats in the Attic
Getting rid of rats in the attic is somewhat easier than dealing with rats in other spaces throughout the home. Since the attic is an enclosed space that’s separate from the primary living spaces in your home, you don’t have to worry about pets or children hurting themselves by eating something they shouldn’t up there. Using strong poisons and being generous with traps can help thin out and eliminate rats in the attic, so long as you take precautions to keep kids out of the area.
While it is possible for Norway rats to make their home in your attic, you’re more likely to find roof rats in this part of your home. As such, consider using sweet berries and fruit as baits. If your unwelcome guests aren’t receptive to these foods, then consider using peanut butter to entice them into traps.
How to Get Rid of Rats in Walls and Ceilings
Killing rats in walls and ceilings can be challenging, as these spaces are the most inaccessible areas of your home. Severe infestations may call for fumigation and targeted removal of the walls so that you can get rid of the dead rats. However, these are essentially options of last resort. Even if you can’t reach the rats in your walls, you can still keep an eye out for rat droppings to discover where they’re getting food and water. Attempt to cut off these sources, and leave snap traps with various baits in the area afterward.
If you find that a dead rat smell starts coming from your walls, then you should try using cotton balls with Rat Sorb. You can drop them into the cavities of your home, and they’ll neutralize much of the scent. If that doesn’t work, you should consider removing and rebuilding the wall to dispose of the corpses. Snap traps can help make things easier since they kill rats quickly and keep the body in a place where you can easily collect and dispose of it.
How to Get Rid of Rats in the Roof and Ceilings
If you’re dealing with a rat infestation in your roof, it’s likely you’re dealing with arboreal roof rats. In nature, these rats live in trees and it’s likely that they’re entering your home through overlying branches. Trim any branches that hang toward your home to exclude the property from further unwanted visitors, and then start leaving traps in areas where you know that rats are active. The type of rat that likes dwelling in the upper parts of a home likes eating produce, particularly high-carb cereals, nuts, and fruit.
How to Get Rid of Rats in the Garage and Basement
Rats seek three things when they start making nests, and these are shelter, food, and water. For a rat, the perfect shelter is full of tiny hiding spaces that ensure it can escape predators and avoid detection. This means that rats in garages and basements feel right at home since these areas usually serve as cluttered, messy storage spaces. If any sort of food is accessible in or near these areas, then a rat infestation is likely to occur in them. To make matters worse, you’re likely to go a long time without even noticing you have rats in the garage and basement. Rats in these secluded areas can multiply out of control for months or even years, and then they might spread to the rest of your home.
On the bright side, the same factors that make garages and basements perfect rat shelters make it a bit easier to deal with infestations. Since you and your family don’t live in the garage or the basement, you can cut off food sources more easily. Additionally, it’s relatively safe to be aggressive with poisons and rat killers that you wouldn’t want to use in the habited areas of your home. Just keep good track of any places where you left traps, baits, and poison, and make sure you clean up when the infestation is gone.
How to Get Rid of Rats in the Yard
Even if there’s no access point for rats to enter your home, rats in your yard can still be dangerous nuisances. While living in the shrubs and trash around your home isn’t as ideal for the rat as staying in your cozy attic, it presents problems for you. The rat itself is likely to tear up flower beds and might eat or damage fruits, vegetables, or herbs that you plant. Furthermore, it’s almost inevitable that outdoor rats and your pets will run into each other at some point.
Cats and dogs have strong rat-hunting instincts, and this can lead to fights that there’s no winning. While only smaller cats and dogs are likely to suffer a fatal rat attack, getting bitten by a rat or eating a dead rat can cause serious bacterial infections. A curious pet licking the feces that a rat will drop all over your yard could also come down with a serious illness.
When you start trapping rats in the outdoors, it’s necessary to take greater precautions compared to setting traps in the garage or basement. Even if you hide a trap in thick shrubbery, it’s still likely to attract and injure animals that you didn’t intend to hurt, especially neighborhood pets. One workaround is using a milk crate with heavy objects on top of it to use the contortionist skills of a rat against it.
Raccoons, opossums, dogs, and cats won’t be able to overturn the crate, but a rat will easily slip through the holes in the crate and trigger the trap. While using a poison such as warfarin can be viable, this means that the rat is likely to wander off somewhere before it dies and another animal might eat it. Use a snap trap with an aromatic, flavorful bait to kill rats quickly and painlessly without creating a health risk for other animals.
A novel, natural way to kill rats is to install an owl home in your backyard. Owls are the greatest predators of rats and other small rodents. If you coax a family into settling on your property, they’ll terrorize and repel rats as they’ve spent millennia evolving to do.
How to Get Rid of Rats in an Apartment
When you have rats in your apartment, the first order of business is talking to the landlord. A rat infestation craters the value of a property and poses all sorts of risks that they can be liable for. The landlord will have more power to coordinate between tenants and clear the building for extreme solutions, such as fumigation. After all, rats don’t respect private property and if one tenant is dealing with rats, it’s likely that many are.
Rats can easily roost in the walls and travel through air ducts. The owner of the building can work with professional rat exterminators to find and destroy nests throughout the complex, and then seal entry points into the property and prevent future intrusions.
However, you’re not totally dependent, on the landlord for apartment rat solutions. You can set traps and use rat repellent to help keep your apartment rat-free, even if there’s a broader problem that is going unresolved.
Rat Removal and Control: How to Keep Rats Away
There are many measures that you can take to prevent a rat infestation and combat existing rodent problems. At the end of the day, though, the only sure way to fully resolve a rat problem is by reaching out to experts. Getting rid of rats isn’t easy; they’ve spent tens of thousands of generations adapting to living discreetly in our shadows. By the time people realize they have rats, it’s likely that the infestation has already ballooned out of control.
But where rats have evolved to be tough to get rid of, we have the advantage of knowledge. As expert rat exterminators, we’re deeply familiar with the different species of rats and what it takes to deal with each type of infestation. We have a broad, well-developed repertoire of techniques to get rid of rats and deal with the problems they create. Whether you need to exterminate rats in the attic or keep packrats out of your car, we have the skills you’re looking for. When your living situation creates new extermination challenges, such as dealing with rats in your apartment, we can help.
However, killing the current infestation is often the easy part. Figuring out how the rats got into your home in the first place requires a very specific sort of attention to detail that only comes with experience. The ability of rats to contort themselves and squeeze through the tiniest spaces flies in the face of our human intuition about how bodies are supposed to work. This means that even if the average person looks directly at the crack that rats have used to slip into their home, they might not appreciate it as such. We won’t make that mistake, and we’ll identify every entry point that rats might use to enter your home.
Rat extermination costs more than attempting to deal with the problem on your own, but it’s the only way to enjoy a guaranteed resolution to your rat problems. The combination of rat removal and prevention means that you’re saving time and money in the long run, compared to eliminating infestation after infestation on your own. You’re not just paying for rat extermination, you’re paying for future peace of mind.
Permanent Rat Removal with Nextgen Pest Solutions
At Nextgen Pest Solutions, we’ve helped customers across the South protect their property and families from invasive pests. Our attention to detail and knowledge produce great results every time, and this is why we’ve earned a sterling reputation within our service area. If you live in GA, FL, or AL and suspect you have rat problems, reach out to Nextgen Pest Solutions.
People tend to have many questions about rats; what do rats eat, why are rats in my home? Some questions are even more trivial, such as people wondering at the quality of their eyesight.
What Do Rats Eat?
Rats eat virtually anything, from worms to eggs to the vulnerable young of animals that would eat rats in adulthood. When they’re introduced to a new area, rats will quickly learn how to eat what’s available. In a testament to the intelligence of these rodents, people have even observed invasive rat species diving for mollusks or stalking and killing waterfowl. When it comes to your pantry, rats prefer foods that are high in carbs, protein, and fats.
Carb-rich cereals are a favorite target across different species, and some love fruit while others don’t care for them. Of all of your household foods, the one with the most universal appeal among rats is probably peanut butter. Rats already like nuts, and peanut butter is fattier and loaded with sugar. One particularly common household food source for rats is pet food since it’s nutrient-rich and people often store it carelessly.
Can Rats See In the Dark?
Rats are primarily nocturnal animals with sensitive eyes that bright light easily strains. However, this doesn’t mean they have great night vision. As it happens, rats have remarkably poor eyesight. They rely on a collection of other senses such as smell, hearing, and touch to navigate. While their sense of smell guides them in the general direction they want to go, rats use their whiskers to touch their immediate environment. Together, these methods compensate for their lack of good night vision and enable rats to get around by night.
Where Do Rats Nest?
Rats are very adaptable when it comes to how they find and choose shelter, but there are a few common characteristics. Above all, they need warmth and dryness to keep themselves and their babies cozy during the night and in the winter. Besides that, easy access to food and water are indispensable, and finally, rats desire security from predators and natural enemies.
These three requirements mean that in the eyes of a rat, the dark corners of your home can be the perfect nest. Even if you lock up your pantry, an unsecured trash can is a feast for a rat. During their nightly adventures in search of food, the only enemies they need to fear are you and your pets. Unless you take steps to make your house inhospitable to rats, they’ll make themselves right at home.
Why Do Packrats Collect Things?
While we know that packrats collect things shiny, metallic things, no one has ever been able to put forward an explanation as to why. If anything catches their attention, they’ll grab it in their paws and steal it away to their nest. Not only do packrats love little items and trinkets, but they even show entirely personal preferences between one item and the next. When a packrat is carrying one trinket and sees another that it deems superior according to an unknowable set of rat criteria, it drops what it had and trades it for the new thing. This has earned packrats another nickname, “trade rats.”
What Does Squirrel Poop Look Like?
Squirrels are rodents. Their poop looks like mouse or rat droppings, but bigger and with tapered ends. Their poop is shaped like very large grains of rice. If they’re dehydrated, squirrel poop will be shaped like irregular little BBs. Squirrels need about a pound of food per week to sustain their lives. Anywhere they build a nest will have a significant amount of scat nearby. They usually come back to the same place to poop over and over, so you’ll see piles of it in the corners of rooms if squirrels have infested it.
What Do Squirrels Nests Look Like?
Squirrel nests are warm, waterproof, and very protective. They work hard to layer twigs, leaves, and materials taken from humans to make walls that are as impenetrable by prey as possible. Their nests aren’t like birds’ nests that are open from the top. Squirrels’ nests are like caves that are closed from the top and sides with just a tiny opening to get in and out. Their nests are so well insulated they block winter winds, snow, ice, rain, and just about anything else that nature can throw at them. Squirrels nestle inside and their body heat is retained by the insulation, making a tiny little climate-controlled haven that’s perfect for their families.
What Sounds Do Squirrels Make?
Squirrels bark, scream and squeak. They’re quite chatty animals and communicate with other animals vocally and with their tails. Sometimes their barks can be mistaken for bird calls, but their voices are distinguishable from birds by their tone and quality. Birds have sharp, clear, hollow-sounding chirps while squirrels’ barks sound tighter, guttural, and forceful. When they’re in distress, they make a sharp, urgent squeak that’s a clear indication to their peers that there’s danger nearby.
Are Squirrels Dangerous?
Squirrels are more afraid of humans than humans are of them. However, their fear can cause them to react violently. While it might be ok to get within 10 feet of a squirrel in an outdoor setting, you don’t want to corner one in your house. It’s not safe to pick them up, pet them, feed them people food, or treat them like domesticated animals. Squirrels will attack dogs if they get too close or make them feel fearful for their safety.
They do carry diseases like rabies, bubonic plague, intestinal worms, parasites, fleas, lice, and other undesirable contagions. Squirrels’ teeth never stop growing. They’re sharp, long, and strong enough to inflict quite a bit of damage. Many humans have been bitten by squirrels and contracted bacterial infections in their wounds. It’s best to stay out of their safe zone whenever possible.
Are Squirrels Nocturnal?
No. All breeds of squirrels are active during the daytime rather than the overnight hours. There are some breeds of squirrels that only roam at dawn and there are others that are most active around sunset. Most tree squirrels are active at both sunrise and sunset rather than during the warmer hours of the day or overnight hours. Squirrels fall prey to many nocturnal predators, so if you see a squirrel out at night, it’s probably running from something that’s trying to eat it.
Are Squirrels Protected in Florida?
Yes. Much of squirrels’ habitat in Florida has been lost to the construction of human homes. Their populations have declined dramatically in the last 150 years. Because of habit loss and declining populations, Florida has enacted laws that prohibit the hunting and trapping of squirrels. Don’t use live traps or lethal traps to trap squirrels in your home if you live in Florida. Instead, opt for other human means of keeping squirrels out of homes, like ultrasonic devices, and ensuring any holes in the exterior of your home are closed up to prevent squirrels from getting inside in the first place.
Are Squirrels Omnivores or Herbivores?
Squirrels are omnivorous, meaning they eat meat, fruits, vegetables, and pretty much all types of foods. Squirrels take advantage of tourists who like to feed them processed foods. These types of foods are as bad for squirrels as they are for humans. It’s best to let them forage for roots, worms, insects, plants, nuts, and fruits, which squirrels have evolved to need as part of their healthy diet.