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6 Ways to Scare Rats Away

November 27, 2020
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Rat infestations are a devastating occurrence. Aside from exposing you to different pathogens and health hazards, the presence of these rodents in a home can also cause serious structural damages. Preventing these pests from entering your home is much easier than eliminating them, which is why the focus should be on following preventive measures.

So how can you scare rats away from the property? You keep these rodents out by sealing all the gaps on the walls, storing the food in thick containers, keeping the yard clean and garbage bins closed, and setting up traps. Other effective but short-term ways to prevent them from entering the home is by using homemade deterrents and adopting rat predators.

6 Ways to Prevent Rats from Entering Your Home

Rodents like rats and mice are the nastiest unwanted guests that can plague a home. If you live in New York – the third most rat-infested city in the country – it’s only a matter of time before rats decide that your home is a cozy place to build a nest in.

This is why it’s important to keep a rat exterminator’s number saved on the phone. But instead of relying solely on professional help, there are a few preventive measures you can follow to protect the home from a rat infestation:

1. Seal All Gaps on the Walls

Rats can easily slip into holes as big as a quarter. Regular home inspections should be performed to find holes that can serve as entry points for mice. They can also enter through damaged drains, so make sure to repair them immediately.

To ensure that the rats won’t easily enter the home, seal the gaps using the right materials, such as caulk, wire wool, cement, or metal kick plates. These materials make it harder for rats to chew through and get inside the property.

2. Store Food and Leftovers in Thick Containers

These furry pests are attracted to open food sources more than anything. Although most of them prefer nuts, seeds, and grains, rats are opportunistic feeders that will consume anything available to them. This long list can include smaller rodents, tiny insects, and meat. They will also eat pet food, which is why it’s important to clean up the leftovers after the pet’s mealtime.

Keep the rats out of your home by eliminating their potential food sources. Store all food in thick containers or put them inside the refrigerator. It’s also important to clean the dishes to prevent the rats from feasting on the leftovers from the dirty plates.

3. Keep the Yard Clean and Garbage Bins Closed

Aside from being another food source, the vegetation in the yard also serves as a good cover for these rodents, which is why it’s important to regularly trim the shrubs and trees adjacent to the home. For roof rats that are excellent climbers, they can use the tree branches near the roof to get inside the attic and build a home there.

One more simple but effective way to keep rats away is to cover all the garbage bins at home. Leaving them unsealed is like inviting the rats to feast on the trash. It’s also important to keep them out of the sun to slow down the garbage decomposition and reduce the smell.

4. Set Up Traps and Baits

Trapping rats is a method utilized by rodent control services to put a dent in the rat population. To maximize its effectiveness, the type of trap to be used should be carefully considered. The traps should also be placed in strategic places for quicker extermination.

Here are some of the common rat traps that can be bought from the market:

  • Snap Traps – Snap traps are the traditional yet effective way of catching mice. These traps utilize a metal bar that snaps shut with a strong force to kill the trapped rat. However, snap traps should not be used in areas where pets or children tend to play. The snapping force of the trap is enough to accidentally cause injuries.
  • Glue Traps – Glue traps are much easier to use than other types of rat traps because they don’t require baiting or a complicated setting. After inspecting the property and identifying the possible pathway of the rodents, just place the glue traps in their runways to catch them as they run.
  • Electronic Traps – For a more humane and modern option, electronic traps can also be used to get rid of rats. These traps utilize high-voltage shock to kill the trapped rat. Since they are non-toxic, electronic traps are safe to use around pets and kids. However, electronic traps cannot be used outside the home because they are not waterproof.

5. Use Homemade Deterrents

Homemade and natural deterrents are also useful in keeping the rats at bay. Some scents, such as peppermint can irritate the nasal passage of these pests, effectively preventing them from entering the home for some time.

  • Peppermint Oil – The refreshing scent of peppermint oil for humans means a bitter smell for rats that they can’t stand. Just put a few drops of the peppermint oil on some cotton balls and leave them in rat-prone areas, such as the kitchen or attic.
  • Ammonia – Another odor that rats can’t tolerate is the pungent smell of ammonia. By mixing two cups of ammonia, one-quarter of water, and two teaspoons of detergent in a bowl, you can keep rats away from the home.
  • Mothballs – Mothballs are also effective rat repellents. They are also easily available in markets. Just place them in rat-infested areas like the kitchen or the attic to fend the pests off. However, the smell of mothballs can also be harmful to humans so keep them away from the areas where children frequently stay.
  • Pepper Flakes – Aside from driving them away with the spicy smell, pepper flakes also make it difficult for the rats to breathe. Just sprinkle pepper flakes along corners and entryways used by rats. It’s important to sprinkle the pepper again every few days to keep the rats out.
  • Caulk and Steel Wool – By filling the gaps and other rat entry points with caulk and steel wool mixture, the rat will have a hard time chewing through the material. This is because the material gets stuck in their teeth, making it difficult for them to move or chew.

Although these remedies might be effective for some time, they cannot be considered long-term solutions to keep rats away. Rodents like mice and rats are highly adaptable; it will only take them a few days to get used to the smell of natural repellents and when they do, only traps and professional exterminators might be able to eliminate them.

6. Adopt a Rat Predator

Aside from providing you with companionship, some pets are also useful in keeping a few rodents away. If you’re planning to adopt a pet that can help with preventing rats from entering the home, here are a few choices:

  • Cats – Cats are the natural enemy of rodents. Just make sure to adopt an active cat that’s not too domesticated because these cats are usually not interested in hunting or killing rats. Some cats even toy with a dying rat, which can be a health hazard to you and your family.
  • Dogs – Some dog breeds, like terriers, are bred to catch smaller earth-dwelling animals like rats. They are skilled in digging holes and chasing down rodents; these breeds are known as “ratters”. Other known ratter breeds include German pinschers and dachshunds.
  • Snakes – Snakes also enjoy hunting mice for dinner. But the problem with keeping one at home is that it might be hard to monitor where they are when set loose. They can also be injured by the rat if the rodent decides to retaliate.
  • Weasels and Ferrets – These cuddly pets are excellent rodent hunters because they can easily fit into tiny spaces. They are also agile enough to chase the rats around the home.

As useful as keeping these pets are, they are not enough to stop a rat infestation from growing out of control. They can catch a rat or two every now and then, but it’s important to remember that these pests breed rapidly; the rodent that your pet managed to kill might have already given birth to ten rats before it was caught.

High-Quality Rodent Extermination Services by Positive Pest Management

If you need help in dealing with the rat problem in your home, contact Positive Pest Management now. Our staff has 15 years of experience in providing high-quality rodent control and exterminating services using safe and environment-friendly methods.

Here at Positive Pest Management, we ensure that all our clients experience services that exceed their expectations. Call us now for effective rat extermination in your commercial, industrial, or residential property.

Learn more: Why Are There So Many Rats in New York City?