As with many pest invasions, prevention is key. A good starting point is to avoid attracting rats in the first place. You want to keep your house, from basement to attic, clutter-free and clean. Don’t forget the garage, the shed and any other adjacent buildings. Store garbage in closed containers and dispose of it promptly.
Get a cat
Although cats do not guarantee that your house will never be infested with rats, they are a great way to keep rats away from the garden and the outbuildings. This is especially true if your cat is a good hunter. Rats looking for a new inn will be less likely interested in your house if it is well guarded.
Mint in the garden
Even though mint is not a permanent solution, it is a good way to enhance your garden and make your house less attractive to rodents. It seems the fury invaders are not fond of the aroma, whether it be peppermint or citronella. Knowing that, you can ensure you are not making your home more inviting than it already is.
Outsmart the rat
If rats have already turned your home into their personal winter hideaway, you will have to be clever to get rid of them. Rats are known to adapt rapidly and are smart when it comes to avoid poison and traps. Do your homework, read on the subject, develop a clear plan of attack before you take them on.
Close the door
The most effective way to turn rats away is to find and seal all the entry holes around your house. This is probably the only 100% guaranteed way of having a rat-free residence. It will require time, perseverance and attention to detail as rats can squeeze into tiny spaces. Make sure you block every single access, permanently.
Repellants and deterrents
Preventing rats from coming in will take care of new arrivals, but you still must eliminate the ones who have turned your walls into their apartment building. Common household products such as moth balls and peppermint oil will help you protect areas of your house that have not yet been invaded.
To avoid rats dying in your walls, you might want to use traps. Some are baited, which will attract them, but remember that rats are clever and might fall twice for the same trick. Traps are available at your hardware store and from your local exterminator.
When you are ready to take back your house, poison is the next step. Be mindful that most of the ingredients that kill rats are toxic for humans and could seriously harm children and house pets. Some poisons kill fast while others act slowly. For great recommendations when choosing your poison, follow the advice of professionals.
Do it yourself
By following the steps listed above, being vigilant and determined, your chances for victory are high, especially when consulting green pest control experts.
Calling in the cavalry
Finally, if at any point you feel like you are fighting a losing battle, don’t give up. Call your local exterminator for back up and say goodbye to your rodent tenants.