A rat infestation can be devastating to homeowners. They carry diseases and pathogens that can make you sick or kill you and cause serious structural damage to your house.
Some people even think housefires without known origins are because of rats gnawing on wires. And it can be a hassle to get rid of an infestation.
Fortunately, preventing rats is easier than eliminating them. But what keeps rats away? Continue reading to find out.
Rats can be dangerous pests because they can carry diseases and destroy your appliances and home.
Fortunately, you can deter them by using some of the methods below:
- Sealing gaps in walls.
- Storing food in tightly sealed containers.
- Setting up traps and baits.
If you want to keep rats away from your home, using the methods below should help:
6 Ways To Keep Rats Away
Rats are one of the pests you don’t want in your home. They are nasty critters that can cause diseases and destroy appliances.
And if you live where rats are a common problem, it’s only a matter of time before they make a nest in your home.
That is why most homeowners have an exterminator in their saved contacts. But do not rely on them alone because there are preventive measures you can follow, like the ones below:
1. Seal All Gaps in the Walls
Rats are crafty animals, and if they see a hole leading to your home, they will use it. They can even slip into holes that are as big as a quarter.
So, you’ll need to perform monthly inspections to ensure there are no holes that rats can use as entry points.
Rats can even go through damaged drains. So, it would be best to repair them immediately.
To ensure rats don’t enter your home, seal the gaps with the right materials, like wire wool, metal kick plates, caulk, or cement.
These materials are hard to claw or chew through. So, rats will have a hard time entering your property.
2. Store Food and Leftovers in Thick Containers
Like other animals, rats typically come into your home looking for food. Although in the wild, these critters prefer to eat grains, nuts, and seeds.
They are opportunistic feeders and will eat anything available. And that list includes tiny insects, meat, and even small rodents. Rats also love pet food. So, it’s essential to clean up after your pets eat.
If you want rats out of your home, you must eliminate their potential food sources.
Don’t leave food lying on the floor. Store all of it in thick and sealed containers or the refrigerator. And don’t forget to clean your dishes after eating to prevent rats from having a feast in your sink.
3. Keep Your Yard Clean and Close Your Garbage Bins
Besides providing food to rats, your vegetation can also serve as a cover for rats. So they can move around your property undisturbed.
So, it’s essential to trim your shrubs and lawn. Cut off the branches on trees that connect to your house, too, because roof rats can climb on them and make nests in your attic or ceiling.
Another simple yet effective way to keep rats away is to cover your garbage bins. Leaving them open invites rats to come and have a party in your garbage.
Also, don’t expose your garbage to direct sunlight because the heat will increase the decomposition process making it smellier and more attractive to rats.
4. Set Up Traps and Baits
Pest management services use traps to decrease the rat population in an area. But if you want to maximize the effectiveness of this method, you need to consider what to use. You must place the traps in strategic locations to ensure a quick extermination.
Below are some typical traps you can buy and set in your home:
- Snap Traps – These traps are the traditional ways of catching rats. As you may know, the metal bar of this trap snaps once a rat takes the bait, crushing their skulls or neck in the process. But do not place them in areas where children and pets play because they can cause injuries.
- Glue Traps – These are easier-to-use glue traps because it does not require a complicated setting or bait. After you’ve inspected which paths rats use, place the traps there, and you’ll catch one the moment they run on it.
- Electronic Traps – You can use electronic traps if you want something more modern. As the name suggests, these traps will shock rats to kill them. Since these are not toxic, they won’t harm your pets and kids. Unfortunately, you can’t use them outside because they are not waterproof.
5. Use Homemade Deterrents
You can also use homemade and natural deterrents to keep rats away. Scents like peppermint can irritate the nasal passages of rats, preventing them from entering your home.
- Peppermint Oil – Peppermint can be a refreshing scent to humans. But rats think it’s not very pleasant and can’t stand it. You can place cotton balls with peppermint oil in rat-prone areas, like your attic, basement, or kitchen.
- Ammonia – Ammonia is a pungent-smelling substance that rats cannot tolerate. Mix two cups of ammonia, two teaspoons of detergent, and a quarter of water in a bowl and place it with rat activity to keep them away.
- Mothballs – You can also use mothballs to repel rats. You can easily buy them in the market and place them in your kitchen or attic. But they can be toxic, so ensure no kid will reach them.
- Pepper Flakes – Pepper flakes are spicy, which can cause breathing problems for rats. You can sprinkle some of the rat entryways. But you’ll need to sprinkle them every few days to ensure rats will not come.
Although these remedies work, they are ineffective long-term solutions because rats are adaptive animals. If the rats come back, call for professional help.
6. Adopt a Rat Predator
Besides being your companion, some pets can also help you keep rats away. If you want to have one that can repel rats, below are a few choices you can have:
- Cats – As you may have seen in cartoons and movies, cats are the natural enemies of rats. But you must ensure your cat is not too domesticated since it might not chase and kill rats.
- Dogs – There are also dog breeds bred to hunt rodents like rats and other earth-dwelling animals. Some of these dog breeds are terriers, dachshunds, and German pinschers.
- Snakes – Snakes love hunting mice. But it can be hard to monitor these animals once you set them free on your property.
- Weasels and Ferrets – These pets may look cuddly. But they are excellent rat hunters because they can fit into small spaces. They are also very agile and can chase rats around your home.
As useful as your pets are, they will not eliminate a rat infestation. They may catch one or two rats a day. But that rat could have already given birth to 10 more. Call pest control if your pets keep finding rats.
Rats are one of the nastiest pests you can have in your home. They can carry diseases and destroy your appliances and home. So it’s essential to prevent them from entering your home.
Some of the things you can do are seal gaps in the walls, store food in a sealed container, and adopt rat predators.
So, if you know anyone asking what keeps rats away, sharing this article will help.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Can I See Rats?
Rats are nocturnal. So you’ll most likely see them at night. But if you have a large infestation or food and water are scarce, they will come out during the day.
How Can I Tell if I Have Rats?
Look out for rat droppings. These things look like shiny black capsules with blunt ends with sizes ranging from 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. They may also have cylindrical burrows in your garden.
Where Do Rats Make Their Nests?
Rats like to nest in safe places with a constant source of food and water. Such places include between walls, under floorboards, abandoned vehicles, and garages and sheds. If they live outside, they’ll make burrows near their food source.