Why are we talking about rats again? What’s happened that so many people are now searching online for suggestions on how to keep rats out of the house? Is there some sort of rat scourge that we need to know about? 

An article from the BBC entitled, Coronavirus: Why more rats are being spotted during quarantine, stells us all we need to know saying, “The closure of restaurants and the retreat by humans indoors is having an effect on the eating habits and behaviour of rats, say experts. Late last month, the French Quarter in New Orleans had new swarms of visitors wandering its famous streets.

“Not long after the coronavirus closed bars and restaurants in the Louisiana city, rats were coming out of hiding.”

While this report was focused on the U.S. the situation is much the same in the UK, where we learn that “The figures provided to the Press Association show the number of residential rodent cases for the first half of 2020 was equivalent to 90% of comparable cases for the whole of last year.” (Source)

We know that rats and mice are incredibly resilient and adaptable, so we really shouldn’t be surprised. Their survival depends largely on us humans and our waste, so when our habits change, logically theirs will too.

That’s all well and good, but the question remains:

How do I keep rats out of my house?

rat on carpet

Rats enjoy the simple things in life, namely, food, water, and shelter. If they have these three things, then they are content to live out there little rodent lives wherever that may be.

Does your home offer these creature comforts?

Refuse entry

The best form of defence against rodent infestations is to deny them access in the first place. Rats and mice can access your home through the tiniest space from the floor to the ceiling. Fixing and filling these access points will require a little work but is the ideal first step towards keeping rats at bay.

Trim those trees

Failing entry from the ground floor, rats can gain free admission to your home by using the trees and shrubs close by to get in through chimneys, roofs, or open windows. In fact, even those tiny openings in your eves will allow a fat little rat in.

Remove food sources

This can be a tricky one, as rats and mice will eat pretty much anything. 

  • Start by keeping your garbage bins closed and preferably away from your house.
  • Compost bins, likewise, should be kept closed or covered.
  • If you have pets, be sure to store their food in a closed container and be sure not to leave food overnight as a tasty midnight snack for our rat friends. 
  • Don’t leave food open in the kitchen and clean up thoroughly after each meal.
  • If you have fruit trees then try not to leave ripe fruit on the ground and, if possible, harvest the fruit as early as you can.

Remove habitat

Dense vegetation, woodpiles, and building debris all provide safe, warm homes for rodents. If you can, ensure that your garden is free from hiding places which all serve to keep rat families in close proximity to your home. 

Use deterrents

Rodents are deterred by certain smells, so cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil and positioned at potential entry points are a great place to start. It’s important to note that these are deterrents, and we shouldn’t expect them to act as efficient a rodent removal strategy. 

Strong smells such as garlic and onion can also act as a deterrent, although don’t leave your home smelling awesome.

Outside traps

Humane cage traps set outside the home allow you to trap and release these little critters. Perhaps a home in the country will suit them better…?

Call in the professionals

Many of us live in built-up areas and someone else’s problem can quickly become ours. If the rat population in your area is alarming, then taking decisive action and calling in a professional pest control company may well be your best option.

Rat removal made easy

A rat infestation is not fun for anyone and should be taken seriously. We know that rats carry disease and cause damage to our properties, so we agree that prevention is better than cure.

However, the current situation may mean that your rat problem needs a firm hand and a long-lasting solution. Poisons, traps, and other methods can be potentially harmful to our families and our pets, so we really want to leave these extreme measures to the people who know-how.

Please feel free to call in the Combat Pest Control team to assist you in keeping your home free of rats.