Most properties will have a problem with pests at some point. From termites to rats or raccoons, it can be distressing. Rats on your property need to be dealt with as soon as possible as they can make you very sick. The bites, droppings, and urine of rats can spread infections such as Lassa fever, tularemia, leptospirosis, and hantavirus. They can also carry ticks which can transmit diseases too.
Rats are a problem in most towns and cities and it is estimated that there are up to 7 billion rats in the world.
In this article, we look at some tips on how you can discourage rats from setting up home in your property.
Signs You Have A Rat Problem
Rats are good at keeping a low profile. They are very intelligent creatures, so you will have to look for other signs that you might have a rat problem.
- You can hear them – if you’re hearing scratching or scrabbling noises around your property.
- You can smell them – rat urine has a strong smell of ammonia, if you start picking up that unmistakable scent, it might be time to call in the wildlife removal experts.
- Footprints – if you’re discovering little footprints in some dusty areas of your home then you might be looking at rat tracks. If you think that you might have rats in a certain area, then a good trick is to sprinkle some flour or talc on the floor and if there are footprints the next day, you have a problem.
- Rub marks – rats have terrible eyesight, so they tend to rub against walls and skirting boards as they move. If they do this often, they will leave tell-tale rub marks against surfaces.
- Gnaw marks – rat teeth can grow up to five inches in a year, so rats need to keep gnawing on things in order to keep their teeth filed down. If you find damage to your electrical cables, food storage containers, and shredded bits of paper then this is usually down to rats.
- Rat droppings – easy to spot, rats can leave around 40 pellet-shaped droppings every day.
Things You Can Do To Discourage Rate
You might think that you can just wait for the rats to go somewhere else, or die off, but that’s not a good idea. A rat can live for three years and can start breeding from just three months old. They can have up to 70 babies every year. Within a year, a couple of rats could turn into thousands.
Seal Up Any Entry Points
Rats are opportunists. There are many ways for rats to get into your home and they can squeeze through the smallest of gaps. Typically, they can use a damaged drain, small holes in walls, or in the crawl spaces underneath houses.
Check the perimeter of your home regularly and seal up any gaps as soon as you notice them. If you can’t see any obvious ways for the rats to get in, you might need to get a professional who is used to dealing with rat and wildlife removal to come and assess your property.
Declutter Your Outside Spaces
If your garden is unkempt and filled with old furniture or other materials, you’re giving rats the perfect place to hide.
Declutter your garden and not only will you be discouraging rats, you’ll have improved the outside of your home too.
Takeaway Their Food Supply
Rats will eat just about anything so you need to make sure that you aren’t giving them a free lunch. Keep all trash in closed bins and store food in an airtight plastic or metal containers.
Don’t leave food lying around on countertops of spilled on the floor. If you like to put food out for the birds, this can attract rats. Only put a little out at a time when you know the birds will eat it. Don’t leave it out overnight. Read our guide 5 Things You Do Unknowingly to Bring Rats and Mice to Your Home to learn what you should avoid doing.
Try Peppermint Oil
There is no definitive evidence that this works, but some people swear by it. Soaking some cotton balls in peppermint oil and leaving them scattered around the corners of your home can deter rats. It will give your home a minty fresh smell too.
Use Rat Traps
There are many types of rat traps available on the market, from the traditional ones that will kill the rat or non-lethal ones that will merely capture it.
Unlike in the cartoons, rats don’t really go for cheese so put a smear of peanut butter or meat paste in the traps to attract them.
Remember, whichever style of trap you use, you’re going to have to deal with either a dead rat or a live one that you’re going to have to release somewhere.
Stay away from rat poisons, they can be a very dangerous substance to have around the house, especially if you have pets or children at home too.
If you use it outside you risk inadvertently poisoning other wildlife that is attracted to the poison.
Call In The Professionals
Even if you practice good hygiene at home, you could find yourself with a rat problem. A prolonged rat problem is dangerous not only to your health, but your property too, as rats can do a lot of damage to wall, insulation and electrical wiring.
At SWAT Wildlife, we have many years of experience in wildlife removal of all kinds and rat removal in an environmentally friendly way. We’ve helped thousands of homeowners and businesses across Toronto.
Not only will we find and remove the rats, but we can also assess your property, seal up any entry points, and give you guidance on how to prevent a reinfestation in the future. All of our work comes with a written warranty for peace of mind.
Call us on 416-792-5158 to speak to one of our friendly team at our Toronto office now.