Home PestsRats

How Do Exterminators Get Rid of Rats in Attic?

Rat Sitting On A Wooden Pallet

Rats are unwelcome visitors. Apart from being unpleasant to look at, they carry diseases and can pose serious health risks. If you hear their scampering feet in your attic, it is time to call an exterminator.

Since rats frequently breed and multiply fast, the risk of disease spreading in your house is high. Below, we will show you how exterminators can eliminate rats roaming around your attic:


Rats are the last visitors you want to share your home with. Because these destructive rodents frequently breed, exterminating them can be overwhelming.

If you hire an exterminator to remove them from your home, their workflow usually follows the following progression:

  1. Inspection
  2. Rodent exclusion
  3. Extermination
  4. Cleaning up

Below, we will consider what procedure a standard rat extermination follows and answer some questions common to a rat infestation in the attic and other parts of buildings:

How Does a Rat Exterminator Work?

Although they look small and innocent, these rodents can be highly destructive. They can chew through anything, from walls to insulation and electrical wiring.

Typically, standard rat extermination follows the steps discussed below:

Step 1: Inspection

A Man In Purple Shirt Inspecting Attic Via Torch

The first thing a rat terminator will do is conduct a thorough inspection of your house. Infestation cases are unique – each case will require tailor-made solutions.

Thus, it is only after an inspection that the exterminators can tell you what steps they will take next. Inspections typically take about 30 minutes.

Some of the areas where the exterminator checks first are the roof line, plumbing vents, and attic. The attic is one of the favorite places rats love to hide. They also leave a clear trail for exterminators to follow.

From these signs, a trained professional can make a near-accurate guess of how many rats you are dealing with and how long they have been there.

Exterminators can also tell if rats damaged your building and the extent of the damage. After the inspection, they will relay their findings to you and discuss the next steps to remedy the situation.

Step 2: Rodent Exclusion

Rat Peeps Out Of A Hole In The Roof

Rodent exclusion is the next step that follows after the inspection of the attic, roof line, and plumbing vents.

It involves professionals identifying and sealing up areas where rats come from. There is no need to exterminate rats if they can find their way back in.

Vents, wardrobe doors, pipes, cracks, and missing screens are some entry points for these rodents. Rats can fit into very tiny holes, which need to be filled or sealed.

Some common sealants are hardwired fabric, mesh, rubber, metal flashing, etc.

Another rodent exclusion step is to take away their food sources. Unsealed food, water left overnight, and pet food is common sources for rats.

Putting food away, closing trash bins upstairs, and repairing leakages can exclude rodents from your house. Once you have taken care of the food sources, sanitization and cleaning come next.

Take out all garbage and thoroughly clean your attic. After taking the garbage out, the ground around your house also needs cleaning to reduce clutter.

While cleaning the yard, ensure that all dumpsters and garbage cans have tight covers. This will prevent rats from seeking alternative spots to hide.

Step 3: Extermination

Black Rodent Bait And Trap Station Being Used Outside A Building To Control Rats

Once the above steps are completed successfully, the pest control specialist will then face the rat population squarely. The aim is to rid of them and prevent a return.

The density of the rat population in your attic will determine what method the rat exterminators will use. Some of the best rat extermination methods include:

1. Rat Baits and Rat Traps

A Rat In A Trap

These are the cheapest and most common methods of dealing with a rat infestation. However, rats are extremely smart and cautious animals.

So, pest control professionals often use special techniques to catch rats this way. It can take weeks to complete rat extermination through this method.

Before setting the live trap, professionals often place tripped traps and baits along ran runways and where they eat. Since it takes time for rats to trust new objects, this method requires a lot of patience.

Two common rat traps are glue traps and live traps. While effective, the risk with these traps is that captured animals can urinate and increase the risk of diseases.

The last thing you want is a disease outbreak while exterminating rats from your attic.

The glue or light trap can also capture other animals and not the intended rate. Further, this method is not effective where the rat population is large.

2. Electric Traps

Professional Preparing Electric Trap For Rats

Electric or electronic rat traps are an effective rat control tool. It operates by delivering a high voltage surge to kill rats that enter the trap.

This device can kill as many as fifty rats, provided it is fully charged. Electric traps are effective tools for dealing with a sizeable rat infestation.

Rat enters this trap, drawn to treats placed at the entrance and on the black wall. Going further into the trap, the rat steps on a metal plate that conducts electric current.

An electric trap can kill rats in seconds, depending on how full the batteries are. Most devices have a green light that flashes to indicate that the remains must be disposed of.

These electric traps are easy to set up, and they work on both rats and mice. You never have to touch the rat, as these make for convenient disposal.

3. Rodenticides

Pest Controller Inserting Rodenticide Bait Blocks In To A Rat Bait Station

Exterminators typically bring in rodenticides when baits are ineffective.

Rodenticides or rat poisons are mixed chemicals formulated solely for killing rodents. Rodenticides typically have attractive flavorings like peanut butter and fish oil.

So, it is advisable to store them far away from children and pets. When eating, rodenticides are very toxic, and most variants can stop normal blood clotting.

They can also be toxic when inhaled or if the chemicals come in contact with the skin. So, do not attend to handle these chemicals on your own.

Only professionals understand how they work and know the best ways to use them.

4. Ultrasonic Technology

Two Ultrasonic, Housing Protection Against Mice And Rats

This is a chemical-free and more humane way of getting rid of rats. Unlike most other methods, ultrasonic technology does not harm rats.

Instead, it scares rats away, using noises humans can not hear. Using ultrasonic products can reduce the number of rodents in your attic.

However, it does not totally eradicate the infestation. So, you cannot use this technique to drive rats away. It is better combined with other techniques.

5. Tracking Power

White Tracking Power For Rats

The use of tracking powder is another technique professionals adapt to deal with a rat infestation. Tracking powder contains toxicants mixed with other materials that stick to a rat’s fur and paws.

Whenever the rat grooms, it injects the tracking powder. The tracking powder mixes with the acids in the rodent’s stomach to create a toxic phosphine gas. This gas can kill rats from one day to three days.

Tracking powder does not dissolve in water – and that makes it more potent. Exterminators turn to this chemical where rodenticides don’t work.

6. Fumigation

Exterminator In Workwear Spraying With Sprayer

When other techniques fail, pest control experts may choose to fumigate. Fumigation involves enclosing the entire building in a tent-like material and filling it with a fumigant.

Exterminators may spread fumigation agents like aerosol chemicals throughout the attic to reach hidden rat locations.

Fumigants often kill rodents almost immediately and leave traces after airing the building. It is a fast and affordable way to rid your house of its toxic rat community.

Step 4: Cleaning Up

Cleaning Wooden Table

After successfully exterminating the rat, the next step is to clean up the dead rodent and the extermination tools. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), proper cleanup helps prevent the spread of disease.

After successful extermination, the first thing to do is to ventilate your home. Exterminators typically use cross ventilation to speed up the process.

Ventilation takes between 30 minutes to an hour before residents can re-enter the building.

It is advisable not to touch dead rats with bare hands. This reduces the risk of spreading diseases. Instead, use latex or rubber vinyl gloves when touching the rats.

During this cleaning process, don’t sweep or vacuum your attic.

Sweeping or vacuuming will revive leftover urine, dust, and fecal matter, which may spread diseases.

Instead, spray those areas with disinfectant or a mix of water and bleach. Then, allow it to soak for a couple of minutes before you start cleaning.

Once the area is soaked, wipe it with paper towels and dispose of them.


Dealing with a rat infestation is a challenging task, even with the many available DIY remover options. Many homeowners soon realize that handling the problem alone is often ineffective, time-consuming, and expensive.

Fortunately, professional rat exterminators can deal with the issue effectively and in no time. You may have to pay for the service, but the long-term benefits are worth the effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does a Complete Extermination Take?

The duration of rat extermination depends on many factors. These include the severity of the infestation, the removal method used, and the location. However, complete rat extermination can take several days to weeks.

What Should I Do When Faced With a Rat Infestation?

Once you have spotted a possible rat infestation in your house, do not panic. Establish whether you can handle the issue yourself using a DIY method or whether you need to hire a professional.

Deciding whether you can handle the infestation yourself depend on factors like the size of the infestation and whether you know how to use DIY methods.

If you think you can’t handle it on your own, call on pest control professionals. These services are more thorough than standard DIY procedures and save you a lot of stress.

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