Rat Infestation: How to get rid of a rat infestation
If you have been hearing noises within your floorboards, or spotted what looks like a potential nesting site, there is a high possibility you may have a rat infestation in your home. Although it is not a pleasant process, getting rid of a rat infestation can be important both for your health and to avoid any damages in the home.
Why is it important to control a rat infestation?
Rat infestations can be a big spreader of disease. Much like other animals, rats mark their territory through urination. This, and the germs that they carry on their paws and body can spread numerous dangerous disease such as:
- Toxoplasma gondii
These can be extremely harmful especially if they come into food preparation areas, for example the kitchen. Rats can also cause damage to the home or property as they can tend to chew through things such as electrical wires and even pipes. Damages to wires and pipes could result in leaks in both water and gas presenting a significant fire risk.
How can you spot the signs of the rat infestation?
Rats infestations become particularly troublesome as soon as the weather begins to get colder in autumn through winter. But what are the tell tale signs to look out for?
- Smell and noise: Rats have a strong ammonia like smell. You will also often be able to hear them before you see them, making scratching/ scrambling noises in floorboards and walls.
- Droppings: You will usually find small, pellet shaped droppings near where the rats are nesting or at entry points.
- Smear marks on walls: As rats have poor eyesight, they use walls as a guide and can leave marks as they brush up against them. Here, you may be able to notice grease/ dirt marks along walls and surfaces.
- Footprints: In more dusty, hard to reach areas you may be able to spot footprints if you look close enough.
- Appliance and household damage: If you have noticed some of your electricals are not working and you suspect you have a pest problem, you may want to check your wiring. You may also notice damage to storage containers or bins as rats tend to gnaw through these too.
How do you get rid of a rat infestation in a property?
If you know that you have a rat infestation, there are a few ways of getting rid of them and reducing the chances of them returning.
- Make sure holes and gaps are sealed.
Rats manage to get into buildings through the smallest of exterior holes and gaps. You can prevent rats from getting into your home by filling gaps with cement, wire wool, caulk, hardware cloth and plaster. Making sure that gaps are sealed will prevent any pests being able to get into your home. Damaged drains could also be an entrance for rats, so make sure you have checked these.
- Maintain a clean environment.
Having clutter and objects stacked up against walls and corners can disguise anything hiding behind them. If you have a thorough clear out you will be able to see more clearly if there are any damages to walls (chances for rats to get in) and keep an eye on if there is anything around. Avoid damaged drains by cleaning pipes and drains regularly, this is an extra precaution so that pests can’t use them. Another thing to consider is ensuring that waste is kept in closed bins, as this attracts rats as they’ll use bins as a source of food.
- Eliminate food sources.
As well as household waste bins, rats are resourceful and will find many other sources of food around your home. Don’t leave food out for composting and make sure if you have food left out for wild birds and animals, you have it kept in a bird feeder and the bags kept in secured containers. Rats will feed off grain so if they find it in your garden or near your house, this will attract them.
- Contact the professionals.
Getting rid of a rat infestation by yourself is not pleasant and can also be difficult if they are hidden away in hard-to-reach areas. Contacting an external contractor is the quickest and most effective way of getting rid of a rat infestation. Rats are riddled with diseases and can be dangerous, so it is best to not risk anything by yourself. By calling a professional you will get much better results without the concern of going out and buying the equipment and resources. Reputable contractors from DASA will ensure that your rat infestation issue is professionally dealt with and you won’t have to worry about eliminating them from your home anymore.