How to Get Rid of Rats – Rat Control Tips to Deal with a Rat Infestation

How to Get Rid of Rats

Getting rid of rats can be a difficult task for someone who does not have experience or the necessary tools and products. If you see a rat then you should take immediate steps to bring their numbers down. The problem with rats is that they multiply fast. The gestation period is just over 20 days, the litter size is 6-13 pups, and thus a pair of rats can produce up to 2,000 descendants every year. Add to that, rats reach sexual maturity in 4-5 weeks. So a small rat problem can turn into a very serious situation if left unchecked so calling us for rat control Toronto should be your first move.

How Do I Know If Your House Has Rats

How to Get Rid of Rats

Rats, whether it is the Black Rat (Rattus rattus), or the Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus), are members of the rodent family, and these medium-sized rodents with long tails are found all over the planet, and except for the continent of Antarctica, have made most of the globe their home. Originating in Asia, this highly invasive species has made its way into other continents and living close to humans, these creatures have become their most consistent, although unwanted, companions.

This is a problem that many people, unfortunately, find themselves asking. With rats having such an abundant population it is inevitable that this problem is going to occur from time to time. If you have found yourself asking this question then there are many signs to look out for and the sooner you investigate the sooner you can tackle the problem and put your mind at ease. If the problem gets out of hand, contact The Exterminators for rat control Toronto solutions.

The first and foremost sign will be droppings. Check your kitchen cupboards and pantry but also check less obvious places as rats are not prone to only roaming in one place. The second sign is gnawed marks. Rats have very strong teeth and have a penchant for chewing compulsively so it is not unusual to find marks on anything ranging from phone wires to woodwork. Again check everywhere. If you have checked for these signs and found nothing then the best detective can sometimes be your pet cat or dog! If your pet has sensed something such as a different odour, then the animal will probably be more alert and instinctive than usual. So pay attention to the behaviour of your domesticated companion.

Rats are nocturnal creatures so hearing scurrying, squeaking or scratching sounds is a common sign that you have an infestation. In the complete silence of the night, rodents go about their business, so this is a key time to be alert on detecting any noise. These animals will nest in walls and lofts. Anywhere with good heat insulation is a perfect nesting place for rodents.

Rat Entry Points

Rats will chew on just about anything including electrical wires, wood columns and books. These animals also carry many diseases some of which have killed humans in the past. Excluding the rats is just one part of the solution. It is also necessary to figure out how they are getting into the house in the first place and to permanently seal all possible entry points. This inspection can be cumbersome especially in a big house. A rat can squeeze through an impossibly small so you may have to check literally every inch of your house.

How to Find Rat Entry Point

rat entry points

Some of the common places you need to check include:

  • All vents (roof, ground level crawl space and gable vents)
  • Roof and roof lines
  • Doors and windows
  • Powerline entry points
  • Plumbing stacks
  • Air conditioner chases
  • Wall ceiling
  • Toilet
  • Furnace ducts
  • Brid blocking vents
  • Foundation
  • Potential ladders such as trees, shrubs and vines

It is crucial that you know the architecture of your house inside out and think of all the hidden openings and spots so you don’t miss anything. It also helps if you know what to look for to indicate possible entry points. Scratch marks, droppings, damage, odours, stains and scurrying sounds are tell-tale signs of possible rat entry points.

Make sure that you wear the necessary protective gear including a bodysuit, respirator, gloves and knee pads. This is a dangerous job because of the potential disease that can be transmitted through coming into contact with rat urine and droppings.

Are Rats Found Everywhere?

A highly adaptive species, and one that has been living in close quarters with humans for centuries, rats are found on every continent except for Antarctica and are truly one of the most commonly found pests even in the modern world. The opportunistic survivors that they are, rats can feed off just about anything they find, and have realized that where there are humans, there is no dearth of food.

From the most modern cities in the world to hidden hamlets, rats have made their home everywhere, and even while they live in close quarters with humans, they cause untold amounts of destruction and trouble to their favourite living partners, as well as spread disease.

What Destructions Can Rats Cause?

rat-damageIn your home, they can chew wires, open new holes and contaminate areas with their feces.

A highly destructive species, rats seldom stick to scavenging and foraging only for food. They are known to chew through almost everything they find, even if they do not feed on it, and in urban areas, cause quite a considerable amount of financial losses.

In homes and business places, rats can chew through just about anything they come across, even if they have enough to eat, and in instances like the rat flood of India, are so destructive that they destroy entire human habitats.

Whether it is in Toronto or a rural area in one of the developing countries, rats are found everywhere, spreading havoc as well as potentially fatal diseases. The destruction of food supplies in massive amounts, damages to goods that are not even edible, and laying waste to just about everything they come across, rats are a curse to have around.

Rats have also been held guilty of causing environmental degradation when given a free rein. The black rat, also known as the ship rat, found its way into new settlements by hitching a ride on ships and in some cases, have destroyed entire islands of plants, birds and other animals, especially in the absence of predators. Some experts even believe that rats have singlehandedly driven 40-60% of all seabirds and reptiles into extinction and on isolated islands, they have reproduced and hunted down prey with such vengeance that here, the amount of destruction stands at 90% of all habitat.

Rat Control Tips

Is it Impossible to Get Rid of Rats?

Rats are among the most invasive species of pests and have made the world their home, and almost every society around the globe has experienced different levels of rat infestations at one time or another. In some regions, even the government has had to intervene and take special measures so that the rat population is contained and the devastation they cause is brought under control.

In the urban context, rats usually stay below the radar and since there is plenty to feed on, seldom come in direct contact with humans. However, in the event of a rat problem, licensed extermination companies like The Exterminators are quite proficient at dealing with the problem in a systematic manner.

Eventually, rats do form an important part of the ecology and ridding the world of every last one of them – although this does seem like an impossible proposition in terms of costs as well as size of operations – would surely create an imbalance.

Even so, thanks to modern methods of rat control and elimination, as well as the assistance of professional extermination agencies, it is not very difficult to contain the population of this highly damaging species of pests.

How to Deal With a Rat Infestation

Sanitation

Removing what attracts rats is the first step in any rat control program. You need to make sure that there are no feeding sources for the animals in the first place. Remove all garbage from the area, interior and exterior of the structure. All garbage should be placed in pest-proof containers.

If you have pets make sure that all pest feces are cleaned from the areas in question. Bird feeders are also a common attractant. Remove the bird feeder completely or clean around it daily. Pet food is another attractant. Clean after your pets regularly. If you have fruit trees in your backyard make sure you gather all fallen food. Also removing their hiding spots is imperative so that all hiding spots are removed.

rat-entry-point

Sealing Entry Points

All entry points should be sealed effectively so that no animal can enter. Follow the rat trails and inspect the exterior of your property. Common access points for rats are wall vents, doors, windows, and compromised areas of the structure. When sealing entry points keep in mind that rats can chew through many types of materials including hardened plastic and concrete.

Snap Traps

If the rats have made their way indoors then you can use snap traps effectively. An effective way to get rid of rats is via the use of the snap trap. Snap traps need to be placed in areas of high activity. Rat snap traps are larger than mouse traps and are more powerful. Bait the snap traps and set them in areas where you have seen the rats. Make sure you use the traps only indoors so you don’t kill any squirrels or chipmunks. You will need several snap traps to bring down a population. The greater the number of snap traps the faster the knockdown effect will be.

exterior-rat-stationRat Poison

Poisons can be effective if used properly. Most poison you can buy in Ontario off the shelves is not effective. You will need to hire an exterminator in order to have access to more potent and effective products. Exterminators go through a licensing process and training on how to use rodenticide safely and effectively. Exterminators use commercial grade poison specifically formulated and labelled for exterior use. Not every rodenticide is labelled for such use. When in need of an exterior treatment, it would be best to call professionals.

Ultrasonic Repellents

Ultrasonic rodent repellents are plugged into electric outlets near areas with high rodent activity. The device emits ultrasound (exceeding 20,000 Hz) which is virtually undetectable to the human ear but presumably causes convulsion, confusion and/or death to rodents. The premise is the ultrasound will keep rodents away from your home. This idea seems to be based on the fact that Chinese farmers used similar, but rudimentary manually-operated devices for rat control to keep rodents and pests away from crop fields.

Why Don’t Ultrasonic Repellents Work?

Ultrasonic-Rat-Repeller

From a factual point of view, there is simply no conclusive evidence that these devices work. There is no independent study that seriously supports the claims made by manufacturers of these products.

Another fact that the manufacturers neglect to mention is the directional sound emitted by these devices does not travel through walls and other such obstacles. If, perchance, these devices actually worked; their effectiveness would be severely limited by the layout of the average home. Rodents can simply nest in ‘safer’ parts of the house where the offending noise cannot reach them.

Finally, claims that ultrasonic noise repels rodents are not completely unfounded. Rodents are cautious creatures and generally keep away from unfamiliar sounds, sights and smells. These animals are however highly adaptable and will soon get used to the sound. If at all effective, such a device would only be a short-term solution.

What to Do if you Spot Rats?

Act immediately. Rats are resilient and persistent creatures. If you have seen rats on the exterior of the house start with preventative measures. If you have seen them on the interior then you should take the necessary measures to keep things under control with removing clutter, sanitation and snap traps.

Hire a Professional Pest Control Company

Poisons and baits are far more effective for rodent control than any device you could plug into a wall. DIY extermination has a high failure rate because laying poisons and traps successfully requires intimate knowledge of rodent activity. This helps to identify areas of high activity and to place baits, traps and poisons accordingly.

Using poisons and traps also puts your young children and pets at risk especially if you do not know how to these products safely.

Hire a professional, licensed exterminator in Canada to get rid of rodents. The professional will identify the type of animal before using the most appropriate extermination method. The exterminator is also responsible for thorough cleanup and disinfecting the home to discourage other pests from coming in and eliminating the risk of contracting a disease from the rodent’s nest, feces and urine.

Lastly, only a professional can help you identify all the possible rodent entry points and seal them accordingly. Ask for a warranty of at least 6 months to ensure that the extermination was successful.

Call the Exterminators at 647-496-2211 or check our online shop for some rat control products.

Article Updated: August 17th, 2018

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.