While expert pest control services are helpful and at times necessary in order to safely and effectively get control of a rat situation, there are steps you can take on your own in between ongoing rat control treatments to further encourage a rat-free space. Here are some tips on what you can do between visits to keep rats out of your space for good!
Get Rid of Rats Indoors
Like any critter, rats need food, water, and shelter at the minimum to survive. If you take away one, or ideally all, of these, rats will be significantly less likely to continue staying in your space. Home or business interiors have the greatest propensity to having all three in a close proximity to one another.
- Regularly clean your space. Reduce clutter, clean up food crumbs, and don’t leave food out (including pet food).
- Watch for leaky pipes or faucets. Sinks, taps, and water pipes are the easiest ways for rats to find water without having to travel outside. Ensuring all of these are working properly decreases the chance a rat can get hydrated inside your space.
- Keep pantry items properly sealed. We all know rats’ ability to chew through most anything. To avoid contaminating your food, keep pantry and cupboard items in plastic or fortified containers. This will give you more time to spot gnawing marks without having to also replace food.
- Monitor attics and crawl spaces for signs of nesting. Rats can use newspaper, insulation, wood shavings, and other shreddable household items to make their nests in cool, dark areas. This makes insulated attic or crawl space areas attractive candidates, especially since they’re low-traffic areas as well. Keep an eye out for droppings, filth, or other damage that might signal you have an unwanted guest in those spaces.
- Store large trash cans outside your space. These bins are great places for rats to find sustenance, and for those storing them in the garage, they are easy targets to hit with low risk of detection. If possible, relocate your trash cans to outside of your garage to further prevent rats from targeting the inside of your space.
Get Rid of Rats Outdoors
Especially as the weather gets warmer, rats are more likely to move around outdoors as well as indoors. If you live in a wooded area or close to a lake or other water source, you run the risk of having rats hanging around your area. Here are some strategies you can implement to ensure they can’t make their way inside to nest:
- Keep trees and shrubs near your space well kept. Overgrown shrubs, dense foliage, and trees with overhanging branches can all aid and abet rat nesting and give them access to your space. Given rats’ skilled jumping, climbing, and burrowing skills, you can’t give them any advantages by not keeping up with your landscaping and gardening.
- Ensure gaps and cracks around drain pipes, crawlspaces, and roofing joints are sealed. Rats can squeeze through a crack or hole half an inch wide, and their teeth are handy for enlarging anything to encompass that diameter. Properly sealing the exterior of your space is one of the most helpful tools in preventing rats from obtaining long-term shelter inside your home or business.
- Keep an eye on trash cans and compost bins. Rats will eat anything from meat to grains for sustenance, even if it’s decaying. Put your compost and trash bins away from any easy entry points to your home to ensure that snacking rodents can’t find their way inside.
- Limit water features or puddles. From dripping hose connections and garden puddles to bird baths, there are many places rats can find water in your backyard. Ensuring you don’t have a consistent, easily accessible supply for them is important in keeping them out of your space.
- Monitor unused cars (or RVs) for signs of nesting. Especially in the winter, rats have been known to nest inside cars (and RVs) for shelter. They can easily make their way in through the ventilation system, which can cause health problems down the road, so make sure you’re going out to turn your car on every once in a while.
We at Cascade Pest Control are dedicated to helping you keep rats out of your space. Our services are non-toxic, eco-friendly, and scheduled to be as low-impact to your routine as possible. If you’re struggling with a rat infestation, or want to start more intentional prevention treatment, give us a call!