Although it may seem an unrealistic problem in the present days, rats can give us real headaches, no matter we live in the city or outside. In addition to causing consistent damage, rats are disease-bearing, which also means an insecure environment for us and our family. There are disease concerns with both wild (rats, mice) and pet (rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs) rodents and rabbits. They can carry many diseases including hantavirus, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), Tularemia and Salmonella.
1. The first thing you need to do when you see rats around the house is to carefully check each corner of the building, both inside and out, not to mention the roof (yes, rats are good climbers). Check for holes that would give rats access inside. Remember! Rats do not need larger spaces to break in. So make sure to detect all the holes and cover them properly.
One of the most effective materials you can use to fill them is polyurethane spray foam. It automatically expands to fill the cavity, and when it sets, it’s strong enough to prevent another hole from occurring. Closed-cell, low-expansion foam makes the strongest patch and is the easiest type to handle.
2. Consider buying some traps to catch the rats, so you do not have to poison them. To increase your odds of catching the critters, place traps inside closets, as well as under any furniture — like sofas, chairs or even cabinets — sitting along the walls. A clever way to lure rats into traps is to cut a hole on each side of a shoebox and place it along a suspected rat path with a baited trap inside.
3. Mow the lawn, trim the bushes and shrubs. These are the best places where rats hide before entering your home.
At the same time, if you’re storing wood for heating purposes next to the house, you should know that it could become the favorite hiding place for rats. So, try to move the wood as far away from the house.
4. Keep the kitchen as clean as possible. Food scraps are a specialty for small rodents. Store the food in plastic boxes, especially if we are talking about grains or vegetables.
5. Finally, if you’ve managed to get rid of rats, it’s time for a general cleanup. Be careful to use gloves and mask, as I was saying above, the rats are carrying many diseases.
Image Credits: foreignpolicy.com