How to get rid of rats in your home and outside

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, rats are responsible for spreading various diseases, including severe conditions like hantavirus, leptospirosis, and monkeypox.

Do you have rats on your property or in your home? If so, you need to get them out as quickly as possible before they have a chance to multiply, spread illnesses, and harm you or your loved ones.

Don’t know how to get rid of rats? You’re in the right place. 

This guide tells you everything you need to know about banishing rats inside and outside your home. 

How to get rid of rats in your home

The first step to eliminating rats is knowing when they’re present.

If rats have taken up residence in your home, you might hear strange sounds coming from your walls, see piles of rat droppings in low-traffic areas like the basement or attic, or see greasy-looking smudges on the walls.

You must act fast if you pick up on any of these warning signs. Don’t give the rats a chance to reproduce and further complicate the problem!

Here are some tips to get rid of rats in the home as quickly as possible: 

Set traps

Traps are simple, poison-free tools that help you efficiently get rats out of your house.

Place traps in the areas you know rats tend to frequent, such as your pantry, basement, attic, garage, crawlspace, etc. To lure rats into the trap, you can use food like seeds, pieces of apples or bananas, or peanut butter as bait.

Make sure you use plenty of traps, too. There’s rarely just one or two rats inside a home — these creatures multiply quickly. Without a sufficient number of traps, you’ll barely put a dent in your rat problem.

Try natural deterrents

Certain scents deter rats. Spreading these scents around your home can keep rats away and discourage them from entering or returning:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Cloves

If you’ve found rat holes in your home (in the walls, behind appliances, around windows/doors), you can also spray pepper spray around those openings. The smell irritates rats’ noses and keeps them away.

Seal the gaps

The easier it is for rats to get into your home, the harder it’ll be to get them out. Failing to seal the gaps that rats use to enter the house is like using a thimble to get water out of a boat with a hole in the bottom. 

If you have gaps in your interior or exterior walls, fill them with cement, caulk, or wire wool. Then, check these gaps regularly to ensure they remain adequately sealed.

Remember, rats can fit through very narrow openings — as small as two finger widths — so even small spaces can act as wide open doors for rats.    

Call a professional

Ridding your home of rats is often easier said than done. Rats multiply quickly and can be tricky to catch, even with the most sophisticated traps.

Working with a professional will help you eliminate rats faster than most DIY methods. They’re experts in pest removal and can use safe, effective techniques that don’t involve harsh chemicals. 

Pest control professionals can also inspect your home to find openings that rats use to get inside and help you fill them. They know the areas that are most common entryways for rats and will ensure you don’t miss any. 

How to get rid of rats outside of your home

How do you know if rats are running around outside of your home?

You might find nests under your porch or in other hidden areas. You might also see tunnels in the grass or piles of droppings around the property.

Don’t assume you’re safe just because the rats haven’t infiltrated your house. If they’re allowed to stay on the grounds and multiply, they’ll get into your home sooner or later.

Try these tips to get rid of rats outside of your home:

Set traps

Rat traps work outdoors as well as indoors. Place them in areas where you know rats are likely to scurry about (near your shed, around your porch, near trash cans, around the garage, etc.).

Remember that you might need to use more traps outdoors than indoors since you’re covering a larger area. 

Fill in rat burrows

Rat burrows are tunnels about 2-4 inches wide where rats live and reproduce. If you find rat burrows around your property, fill them in immediately to prevent rats from getting out and wreaking havoc on your property or entering your home.

There are lots of options for filling in rat burrows, including the following:

  • Fill them in with soil (and pack the soil with a shovel)
  • Fill cracks in the sidewalk, patio, or driveway with cement or metal filler
  • Use dry ice, which sublimates into carbon dioxide and suffocates the rats

Dry ice is particularly effective, especially for those who don’t want to use rodenticides on their property. Dry ice is environmentally friendly and doesn’t add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere (meaning it won’t contribute to the greenhouse effect). 

Establish physical barriers

Physical barriers make it harder for rats to establish new burrows on your property. If you have empty dirt patches in your garden, planter boxes, or tree beds, cover them with a layer of steel mesh or another type of screen.

These coverings are simple and inexpesnive. They will also make the property less hospitable and prevent rats from burrowing into the soil.

Call a professional

Getting rid of rats inside your home is hard, but getting rid of them outside the house is even more complicated. Remember, too, that outdoor rates are likely to become indoor rats, especially if you don’t take care of them right away.

Call a pest control professional if you suspect that rats are running around on your property. They’ll conduct a thorough inspection, identify areas where rats are setting up shop, and eliminate them with environmentally safe, effective methods.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have any lingering questions about eliminating rats from your home or property? If so, check out the answers to these frequently asked questions:

How do I get rid of rats permanently?

Working with an experienced pest control team is the most effective way to get rid of rats and feel confident that you’ve eliminated all of them from your home.

Remember that keeping rats away from your property permanently is easier if you prioritize prevention and maintenance.

Most pest control professionals offer ongoing services to help you keep your home pest-free long-term. These services include regular inspections to identify vulnerable areas and setting traps to catch any rodents that have snuck back inside.

What scent will keep rats away?

Scents like black pepper, peppermint, and cloves can deter rats and keep them out of your home. This tactic is more effective when you combine it with another rodent removal strategy, such as setting traps, sealing gaps, and filling in rat burrows.

How can I get rid of rats fast at home?

The fastest way to get rid of rats is to work with a professional. Instead of guessing and hoping for the best with DIY techniques, reach out to an expert who knows what works and what doesn’t.

A team of pest control professionals will help you catch all the rats that are running around your home and reduce the chances of new ones finding their way in. 

What are rats afraid of?

Rats are generally afraid of human activity. That’s why they sneak around inside your walls, in your attic, or in your basement.

Rats also fear predators like hawks, eagles, owls, cats, rat terriers, and other rodent hunting dogs. 

Your presence or an animal’s presence doesn’t guarantee that rats won’t enter your home or property. You should still utilize methods like rat traps, filing in burrows, or hiring a professional team to keep your home pest-free.  

Why can’t I use rodenticide?

Rodenticide (a type of poison that kills rats) used to be a popular tool for eliminating them. However, rodenticides are dangerous and highly toxic to humans and animals like dogs and cats.

Because it’s so toxic, rodenticide isn’t safe to use inside the home. If you have pets that run outside your house, spraying rodenticides around the property is not safe. 

In some states, like California, rodenticides have been outlawed. Even if they are legal in your area, there are other, safer methods that professionals can use instead to keep your home and property pest-free. 

Get rid of rats inside and outside today

Are you ready to say goodbye to rats inside or outside your home? Do you want to get rid of them in the safest, most ethical way possible?

If so, Natran Green Pest Control is here for you.

We offer environmentally-conscious rodent removal services to help you regain control of your home. We also seal entry points to prevent rodents from returning and disinfect your property with botanical-based treatments.  

Get in touch today to learn more about our rodent control services or schedule a free inspection.

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