Rat infestation is a serious problem to health, food, and livestock. It is estimated that there are more than 10.5 million rats in the UK alone and the number continues to increase due to rapid urbanisation.
Rats can multiply extremely quickly and because they can grow to maturity in a matter of 18 months, with a gestation period of just 21 to 25 days, a pair of rats alone can have up to 15,000 offspring in a single year!
Rats are carriers of numerous diseases, with around 35 identified known to be transmitted by rat droppings, urine and saliva. In this article we will share some useful tips and tricks to help eliminate rats from your home, as well as identify some likely hiding places to aid pest control.
Rats, like all animals, need water to survive. To ensure they don't set up home and breed in or around your property, you need to cut their access to water.
You can do this by enforcing the following:
- Ensure faucets are turned off when not in use.
- Check for any leaks around the house.
- Get rid of any stagnant water in your garden, house or garage.
- Do not keep your pet's water tray out in the garden.
- Keep your rubbish bins covered with a tightly fitted lid and remove any food scraps around it.
- Do not dispose your trash in carton box or paper bags.
- Do not leave pet food out in the garden overnight.
- Remove pet feces as rats eat almost anything including fecal matter.
- Make your pantry rodent-proof and seek the help of a pest control professional if needed.
- Keep your house clean and clean up any food scraps or spilled food immediately.
Rodent-Proof Your Home
Rats breed close to where humans live, especially in areas not frequented or visited often, such as in basements, sewers, barns, ponds, dumps, in attics, etc.
Here are a few other techniques and tips to keep your homestead vermin-free:
- Keep your doors closed. Install a spring snap so that your door closes automatically each time you enter your home. Rats cleverly tailgate without you noticing them.
- Make sure any holes in walls, floors and around pipes and cables are sealed with cement and/or sheet metal.
- Store firewood outdoors, at least 20 feet away from home. Suspend them in poles at least 5 or 6 feet from the ground to prevent rats from climbing up.
- Clean the house regularly. Throw away any unnecessary items in your basement, cellar, or attic.
- Ensure that your trash doesn't accumulate in or around your home as it's excellent harbourage for rats.