How to Prevent Rat Infestations

Rat Problems sign

Rats are one of the most challenging pests to get rid of once they make their way into your home. As the shyer cousins to the curious mouse, rats are harder to catch, often skipping traps and learning the risks of a household quickly to avoid them. Unfortunately, some species of rats can birth over 2,000 babies in a year, so you can easily see how quickly a rat infestation can get out of hand. Today we share why rats are a risk and how to prevent them.

Why Rats Pose a Risk to Health & Safety

Not only do you not want uninvited pests in your homes, but rats are a severe risk to the health and safety of your home and its occupants.

Spread of Disease

Rats are known for the variety of diseases they carry, from hantavirus to salmonellosis to leptospirosis. These diseases can spread from the rats to your home’s residents through accidental contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, in addition to the handling of rats or rat bites.

Home Safety

Rats are notorious chewers, with homes often paying the price. They can easily chew through wires, furniture, walls, and décor if they need. While ruined furniture and décor can be expensive, chewed-through wires can cause electrical fires.

How to Prevent Rat Infestations

Step #1: Seal Any Entries

Most rats can squeeze themselves through holes only half an inch in diameter; that’s smaller than a quarter! The best way to prevent rats from entering your home is to seal up any possible entry points, even the tiny ones. Filling it with wire mesh or steel wool will keep them from chewing their way through.

Step #2: Remove Their Environment

Like all living things, rats search for food, water, and shelter. To reduce your chances of them wanting to share a house with you, you must remove these options. We suggest eliminating potential hiding places (often in attics or basements), keeping trash and food in sealed bins, and ensuring there are no water leaks or open water sources in the house they can utilize.

Step #3: Utilize Natural Deterrents

We understand that harsh chemicals are typically not the preferred method to get rid of rats. Therefore, we recommend utilizing natural deterrents such as peppermint oil, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, and crushed pepper around entry points outside your home, such as along the foundation.

Additionally, you want to introduce natural predators to prevent rats from living outside your home. No, we do not suggest letting the housecats run loose. Instead, make your backyard a suitable environment that entices owls to hunt them for you.

Step #4: Know When to Call for Help

Unfortunately, even the best prevention techniques don’t always work. If your home does become a hot spot for rats, you will want to get it taken care of as soon as you notice a problem. Give us a call over at Reliable Pest for a quick and easy infestation removal quote.