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Common Rat Entry Points in House
Rats can fit through any hole that is at least 20mm wide. These are agile creatures that can climb walls, jump three feet into the air, and swim for several minutes at a time. Common entry points include wall vents, roof vents, utility line openings, cracks in the window frames or door frames, and cracks in the foundation. Rats may even come through the toilet by entering the plumbing stacks of older homes. Most rats in Ontario burrow underground, so their points of entry are usually somewhere along the exterior of the ground floor. As rodents, rats can chew through practically anything and will therefore take advantage of any weaknesses they find on the exterior structure of the home. Wood, plastic, vinyl, rubber, and soft metals like aluminum screening and copper wiring are no match for a rat’s teeth.
How to Find Rat Entry Points
When looking for rat entry points, start on the outside and work your way in. First, look for signs of burrowing around the perimeter of your home. Rats usually burrow in the yard before making their way indoors. The entrance to a rat burrow is approximately 5 to 10cm wide and appears smooth and compacted from persistent use. You may also find multiple holes near each other as rats build large networks of tunnels with several entrances to the underground.
Then, examine the foundation of the home. Look for cracks or holes in the sides of the house. If you can, look under the porch and examine the foundation there. Rats often dig under the porch and find weaknesses there that have not yet been discovered by the homeowners. Check if there are any wall vents, openings around utility lines, or cracks surrounding the windows and doors to the house. Rats may also venture into the house by climbing through gaps between vinyl siding.
While they are rare, roof rats can get inside by crawling through the roof, so you may want to examine your roof for entry points as well. See if you have any uncovered roof vents or gaps in the roof’s edge. Plumbing vents are also vulnerable to rats as they are surrounded by a rubber mat that can be chewed through.
Inside the home, look for holes in the wall that rats could be using to get inside. Look behind appliances and in the most cluttered areas of the house such as the garage, kitchen, or attic. You should also find out if your plumbing has any valves or grates installed to prevent a rodent invasion. During your search, look for rat droppings and other signs of damage resulting from chewing and gnawing. Listen for scratching sounds coming from the walls and check for smear marks along the floorboards. This will help determine if you are indeed facing an infestation of rats.
How to Seal Off Rat Entry Points
To keep rats out, you will need to strengthen weak spots and seal entry points with materials that are strong enough to resist the animals’ chewing. 16-gauge, galvanized steel mesh is an excellent material because it is malleable and coated in zinc, which helps protect the metal from rust. It is also thick enough that rats will not be able to chew through. Cap vents and other openings with this mesh and screw it into the surface you are covering. Walls, foundations, chimneys, roof edges and the areas surrounding plumbing vents can also be strengthened with galvanized steel mesh. For other entry points like small cracks in the foundation, use concrete or hydraulic cement. Gaps between vinyl siding and cracks surrounding the windows, door frames, and utility lines can be sealed with caulking. Be sure that you thoroughly seal these openings so that no rat can chew or scratch their way through.
Attic Rat Entry Points – How Rats Get into Attics
Rats get into the attic either by making their way up through the house or by entering from above. The most common species of rat in Canada is the brown rat, which burrows underground and usually does not invade attics, but there is another species that does. Roof rats, also known as black rats, prefer to nest above ground. These rats are somewhat smaller and darker than brown rats. Roof rats usually get into the attic first by climbing up the walls of the home or jumping down from a tree, then exploiting any weaknesses they find on the structure of the roof. These include gaps along the roof’s edge, roof vents, plumbing vents, and chimneys. Rats can chew through wood and the plastic coverings of roof vents to get inside.
DIY Methods vs Professional Rat Extermination Service
If you want to get rid of rats yourself, you will need to find where the pests are coming from and invest in several traps. This is much easier said than done as rats are skittish creatures that can learn to avoid the traps you set. They may also continue to get inside the house if you cannot find their points of entry and seal them shut. Moreover, trapping rats can be stressful. Snap traps, for example, are effective, but you will need to handle their victims directly to clean them up. Baits can be purchased in stores, but they risk harming other animals and resulting in rats that have perished between the walls of your home. Homemade repellents are also largely ineffective as they do not address the reasons you are getting rats in the first place.
The training and experience that professional pest removers have is invaluable. If you hire a professional, he or she will inspect your home thoroughly to identify where the rats are coming from and implement a pest control solution that works. Technicians have access to commercial-grade rodenticides that work better than the ones you can buy in stores and they know where to use them for maximum safety and effectiveness. Most companies even guarantee to get the job done, so they will continue to come help until the pests are gone. They can also pest-proof the home for you so can rest assured that no more pests will enter.
Call a Professional Rat Exterminator
If you are currently dealing with a rat problem, contact a local pest removal company for help. Rats are terribly destructive pests that will wreak havoc on the structure of your home and put your family at risk of getting very sick. These animals multiply very quickly and the issue will get out of hand if there is no professional intervention. Licensed technicians have access to safe, commercial-grade rodenticides that eliminate rodents quickly and efficiently. These rodenticides are formulated specifically to appeal to rats and come in tamper-proof boxes that require a key to open. Technicians are experienced in rodent removal and will thoroughly inspect your home to get to the bottom of your rat problem. They can also pest-proof your home with commercial-grade, galvanized steel mesh and caulking on all potential entry points. Call The Exterminators (647-496-2211) today for both interior and exterior rodent control services that you can count on.