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What to Do About Rats Burrowing Under Driveway

January 30, 2021
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Rats create nests in places that provide them with sufficient shelter and food, which is why it’s common to find these pests in residential properties. They burrow the ground under man-made structures because it’s a great hiding spot. However, this rodent habit damages the concrete and weakens the building’s foundation.

So what is the best way to eliminate the rats burrowing under the driveway? Once the presence of rats under the driveway has been confirmed, homeowners should keep the area clean, eliminate food sources, close any existing holes, and contact a professional exterminator.

How to Eliminate the Rats Burrowing Under the Garage

Among the 21 million American homes that report rodent infestations every year, around 24% of those occur in the attic and garage. These pesky rodents are excellent diggers that build extensive burrow systems and pathways to cater to their different needs, such as shelter and food storage.

When rats dig underground, most of their underground tunnels extend under concrete or man-made structures. Without solid earth under the concrete, the slab loses its support and develops cracks. This is a common occurrence under driveways and garages, which is why burrowing must be eliminated before they cause serious structural damage.

Here are some of the most effective ways to get rid of the rats digging under the driveway:

1. Check for Signs of Burrowing Rats

Rats leave droppings wherever they go. These filthy rodents also leave footprints and gnaw marks on different materials like wood and plastic. They also leave rub marks on several places, but these grease tracks are more noticeable on the lower parts of the walls near their burrowing holes.

What do Rat Burrows Look Like?

Most rat burrows are found under bushes and other dense vegetation. Each burrow has a main entrance that measures around 2-4 inches in diameter. The entire burrow spans around 18 inches deep and 3 feet long. These pests also create deeper burrows when they are near a concrete slab or under the house’s foundation.

As you explore the rat burrows further, soft debris like insulation, cloth, grass, and leaves are scattered in some areas. These parts of the rat burrow serve as the nesting area for the rodents. Living areas and food storage may be different parts of the same burrow.

In addition to the main entrance, rats also create one or two exit holes. This allows them to escape from predators quickly. Exit holes are more difficult to find than the burrow’s main entrance. They are typically filled with dirt or disguised as another object.

2. Keep the Area Clean

There are three important reasons to keep the driveway clean: it takes away important resources for the rodents, it lowers the family’s risk of acquiring rodent-transmitted diseases, and it disrupts their communication.

These smart creatures utilize their droppings and urine to send important messages to their kin. Make sure to sweep the droppings and clean the track marks against the walls. Mix one part bleach and ten parts water to create a cheap yet effective disinfectant.

3. Get Rid of Clutter

Even if they can’t find food under several piles of paper and other inedible materials, rats still find different types of clutter useful. Clutter provides them a hiding place, as well as materials to make a cozy nest underground.

Eliminate the clutter stuck in the garage by recycling newspapers, bottles, paper bags, and cardboard. If these materials are beyond recycling, make sure to segregate them first before leaving them in the nearest dumpster.

4. Trim Bushes and Shrubs

Most rat burrows are hidden under bushes, shrubs, and other dense vegetation. Prevent these rodents from digging in the yard or near the driveway by trimming the plants regularly. Ensure that no ivy, brush, or shrub grows too close to walls. It’s also crucial to keep the garden free of trash and weed.

5. Eliminate Food Sources

Rats eat anything they get their grubby hands on, including pet droppings, meat scraps, small insects, nuts, bird seeds, pet food, and more. They won’t hesitate to invade the nearest garbage can in search of food, which is why it’s essential to keep the garbage bags sealed tightly. Using garbage cans made of metal or thick plastic prevent rats from feasting on the trash.

6. Close Burrows

Once the burrow has been located, it’s time to fill it with dirt and seal it with steel wool or mesh wire. When closing the burrows, make sure that there are no rats in the nest. These pests might create more burrows as they attempt to escape. They might also die of suffocation inside which causes several problems including foul odor and numerous health risks.

If there are small cracks in the driveway caused by the rats, seal the hole using metal filler and cement. However, it’s better to call a concrete raising company for their mudjacking services. They do a better resealing or leveling job for severe concrete damage caused by burrowing rats.

7. Contact a Professional Exterminator

Eliminating rodents for good is a complicated job that requires the right tools, skills, and knowledge. It’s better to hire a professional exterminator who’s equipped to get rid of burrowing rats in the driveways. Aside from the rat removal process, exterminators also perform preventive measures to keep the burrowing rats from returning.

Damages Caused by Burrowing Rats

Burrowing rats are destructive creatures that create tunnels and nests underground. They are excellent diggers that prefer burrowing near man-made structures. However, this habit results in several different property damages, such as:

1. Damaged Concrete

Concrete is typically utilized as the foundation of many buildings and properties, but this material is also vulnerable to rodent consumption. Rats have constantly growing teeth that are trimmed by chewing on hard materials, such as wood, plastic, and concrete. Deteriorating concrete may serve as food for hungry burrowing rodents during desperate times.

2. Weaker House Foundation

Burrowing rats dig anywhere whenever they avoid predators or search for a new home. Since they prefer staying close to man-made structures, these rodents dig under driveway concrete and form voids there. This action threatens the concrete slab’s integrity and weakens the house’s overall foundation.

Voids created by burrowing rats are difficult to detect in their early stages, but cracks and gaps on the concrete are noticeable for serious cases. You need to contact a rodent exterminator to eliminate the burrowing rats and a concrete raising company for their mudjacking services.

Prevent Rat-Caused Structural Damages with Positive Pest Management

Positive Pest Management helps clients from different areas around New York City get rid of the burrowing rats under their driveways. Our 15 years of experience in the industry allows us to come up with the best rodent extermination solutions.

Ensure safe and effective rodent exclusion work with our IPM-based practices here at Positive Pest Management. Contact us at 1-800-294-3130 to get a free estimate for your home.

Read more: How To Deal With Rodent Droppings in the Attic