How to Get Rid of Rats in Your House Fast

The fast way to get rid of rats in your house

Rats are a universal problem. They can chew up your walls and home, carry disease, leave droppings, and terrifying residents. They are tricky creatures who find their way into homes by squatting in basements or under porches and build nests behind your walls or in attics. Once a rat is in your home, it is hard to get rid of them because they reproduce quickly.

Some of the best ways to get rid of rats in your house fast include prevention and exclusion, trapping, bait, and habitat modification. The following tips will help you learn what attracts rats to your house and the best ways to keep them out or get rid of them quickly!

Find out where the rats are in your house

The common signs that you have a rat issue are if you see droppings inside of your home or close by outside. Additionally, you should be on the lookout for any chew marks on railings, walls, and openings. They are very active at night, so the best way to spot one with your own eyes is to use a flashlight at night and randomly survey the area. Listen out: rats will make rustling movements when they are moving around.

If you are home alone and hear this in the walls, you have an issue. A more grotesque way to know you have an invasion is if you spot dead rats near your home or if you see nests, even outside. The closer rats are to your home, the more likely it is that they are trying to find a way into the property.

Pest control worker on the floor spraying pesticides
Image credit: EdZbarzhyvetsky, Deposit Photos

Keep your house clean so rats aren't attracted

The best way to learn how to get rid of rats in the house fast is to prevent them. If you remove everything they need to survive, they will move on to another target. This means removing food sources and shelter. Rats come out at night, so I recommend walking around at night to see if you spot them. One of the best prevention tactics is to keep the home clean, including the attic and basement. Regular cleanings make a space less attractive for rats. Additionally, you should try to seal any possible entryways.

Food is one of the major motivators for a rat to invade space. After cooking, make sure to wipe down all surfaces and to also keep food sealed up and put away. Outside garbage cans can attract rodents too, which is why it is important to cover them with secure lids every single night. If you have a cookout, remove any leftovers, including wrappers on the ground, and wipe down the grease from the grill.

Once a month, take the time to clean the floors with bleach and water in case a rat has been in the home. Even small things like standing water in flower pots can attract rodents. Knowing what attracts rats to your house helps you make a preventative plan.

Close up entry points in your house

Rodents can enter a home in many different ways. They can squeeze through a lot of small gaps in the foundation or doorways, so it is important to inspect the property for possible openings. The rodents can even expand openings by chewing on them, so be aware of this. Common gaps are near doors and windows or in places where plumbing and electrical work are being done. They will climb on trees and wires to get into attics too. If you see a possible opening, make every effort to close it or plug it up.

Other preventative measures to get rid of rats in your house fast

You can add some items to the home to repel rats. For example, rodents hate mothballs and they are easy to buy and use, especially in basements and attics. However, they can start to smell and they are dangerous if kids touch or put them in their mouths.

Ammonia is another great tool to use: mixing a cocktail of two spoons of detergent, some water, and two cups of ammonia. A bowl of this mixture should be placed in trouble areas since rats hate the smell of it. Other smells rodents hate to include castor and peppermint oil.

Rodents are also repelled when people use crushed paper around the home. Some people have found success keeping rats out of their back yards by planting some mint plants in the area. Lastly, some homeowners find success when they also have a cat in the house.

baited rat traps
Use a baited trap to poison rats

Baited or unbaited ray traps

Traps are of the most inexpensive ways to remove rats. There are two main types of traps: baited and unbaited. An unbaited trap can be left in a spot for a long time without worrying. However, a rat is more likely to find its way into a baited trap. You do not want traps out in the open because they will just remind you of rodents and could scare guests, friends, and family members.

The best spots for these traps include out of the way or hidden areas in the home. They should be near food sources or in trouble spots like attics and basements. You also want them to be tucked away so that children or pets do not accidentally touch and trigger them.

Types of rat traps

When shopping for traps, it helps to know all of the options and how they work. Snap traps are one of the least expensive options. They are usually plastic or wooden and snap close to trap the rodent. If you know the relative size of the rat, try to get a trap that fits its size. In larger urban cities, there are sometimes larger rodents than in suburbs. Mousetraps are smaller and will not work for rats, which are larger.

Humane live traps are a little more expensive because they have a wind-up mechanism that when touched will close the trap. This trap does not injure the animal at all.

Lastly, there are glue boards, which trap the rodent's feet with sticky adhesive. Glueboards are easy and discreet, but they are usually used for smaller rodents like mice. A larger rodent may be able to pull itself free from the board. All of these items can be used with bait or left alone. Bait may attract the rodent to the trap, but it will have to be regularly changed so that it does not attract insects.

Types of rat bait

The cartoons lie about the best bait for traps; you do not have to use cheese. Soft baits could be easily taken without triggering the trap. Instead, dry pet food is a popular choice because it does not spoil as quickly as cheese. Additionally, nuts and dried items like fruits and meats have worked. Bait should be attached to the trap with something like string or glue. The longer a rat is trying to get the bait, the better likely it is that they will be trapped.

rat caught in victor snap trap

Always inspect rat traps in your home regularly

After you have set up traps, it is important to inspect them regularly. If a rat is caught, you want to get rid of it quickly. God forbid the animal dies and then starts to smell. This scent is hard to get out of a home. Additionally, a trapped rat could attract others or a dead rodent could bring in other insects and cause a different type of issue. It is recommended that you inspect the trap in the morning and evening. If you capture the rodent, you will have to either release it far from your home or have it exterminated.

Rat poison pesticides or rodenticides

Poison is another available option. The best poison for killing rats is one that is sold in ready-to-use bait stations. This protects children and pets in case they touch or contact the poison. Poison is recommended if other methods have failed. The best poison for killing rats is regulated by the EPA.

If there is a large infestation, it is best to consult a licensed professional who knows how to use bulk rodenticides. Make sure if you go this route to read the instructions and follow it to a tee. Know that poison does not kill the rodent immediately upon ingestion. Instead, it can take as much as a week.

Types of rodenticide

There are different types of poison to use. The main types are anticoagulants and non-anticoagulants. Anticoagulants affect a rat's ability for its blood to clot whereas non-anticoagulants affect their nervous system or the blood's calcium levels. Some states have specific rodent bait laws in place. For example, California restricts the use of single-feed anticoagulants to licensed pest control professionals.

There are liquid and soft baits and there are pelleted and extruded box baits. Experimentation is the best way to determine the best poison for killing rats in your home. You never know which bait will work for which rat.

Credit: Skitterphoto, Pixabay

Understanding bait stations

Laws are in place that requires people to use bait stations when using rodenticide options. This means that children and pets will not end up playing with the bait, which could potentially injure or kill them. When you use a poison bait system, try to eliminate other smells in the room and other food options. If you use multiple rat baits, keep them roughly 15 to 45 feet apart. If you have a lot of rats affecting the property, then you may place them closer together. If you only have one or two rats, then farther apart works best.

Do not move the stations after being placed so that rats get used to them. If the bait has been consumed, replace it the following day. If the rat is not taking the poison, it helps to use an additional bait along with it: dry meat like bacon or birdseed. This will further attract rodents.

Wrapping up

You can learn how to get rid of rats in the house fast if you know what attracts rats to your house. The best lesson is to be proactive and keep them out. All is not lost if the rodents find their way into your yard or property. By investing in traps and using the above tricks of the trade, you can remove them.

There are a lot of different methods. When choosing your plan of attack, think about where the rodents might be and the best way to keep residents safe. Once the rats are removed, it is all about preventative measures. Rats are a common issue for people around the world. Do not freeze up or feel shame if you feel them behind the walls. Act today to get control of your home and banish unwelcome visitors.

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