Discovering rats in your home can be dreadful. Fortunately, you can deter rats to prevent infestations.
Rat Prevention Tips
Keep food in glass or metal airtight containers.
Tidy inside your house and around your garden. Rats love clutter because they seek places to hide.
Place rubbish bags in metal bins outside, and make sure lids are securely closed. Otherwise, it’s a rat buffet.
Always store pet food above ground level, in sturdy containers with tight-fitted lids. Clean up pet food and bird seed debris regularly.
Gardens provide great access for rats, too. Make sure your lawns are tidy and debris-free. Don’t include organic food waste in your compost heap.
Please note that it’s too late for prevention if you have already seen signs of rats, such as droppings.
Remember that pests seek the same things we need: food, water, and shelter. Rats need consistent and easy access to water, even though they don’t drink very much per day. Although they prefer to eat small amounts of a variety of different foods, rats will eat almost anything. Remove easy access to food and water! Rats enter your home in search for shelter and food. In proofing your home, you help to make it less attractive to rodents. Brown rats can climb but tend to burrow more. Black rats are good climbers and often inhabit lofts. Both species will gnaw at gaps to enlarge them enough for easy entry. They are also adept swimmers, carrying diseases from sewers and drain systems.
Proofing Your Home
Entrances – Use bristlestrips fitted to the bottom of doors. Around exterior doors, weather-stripping as a deterrent. Young rats can squeeze through small gaps under doorways. Remember that pet doors can provide easy access for them, too. Rats will gnaw to enlarge gaps, quickly moving from a garage to the living room!
Gaps in exterior walls – Fill holes, and even small openings around utility cables or pipe work, with concrete, caulking, or stainless steel wire wool. Steel or aluminium plating can also be used. Check up to a height 2 meters because rats can jump.
Roofs – Repair roof damage and seal gaps with wire mesh. Rats will climb along electrical cables or branches to get into attics and lofts via broken roof tiles or under eaves. Trimming vegetation away from your home can help prevent this.
Drains and sewer pipes – Always keep toilet seat lids closed. Rats have been known to swim up damaged sewer pipes and squeeze through u-bends in toilets. They will also use drain pipes and drainage outlets. Tightly fitted metal grates or screens should cover all drains, especially in basements. Check that all drain pipes are well-maintained and in working order.
Eliminate clutter and items like firewood next to your home.