Getting rid of rats requires a two-step combination. First, the homeowner must find and then block the entrances to the home that the rats are using to gain access. Once rats can no longer enter the premises, the homeowner can then begin using traps and other methods to eliminate those present in the home. Failing to block the entrances results in new rats replacing those caught in the traps, making the homeowner’s pest control efforts akin to bailing out a sinking ship using a single pail.
Rats can enter homes using entrances much smaller than most homeowners might expect. As a result, the main problem lies in finding the potential entrances rather than blocking them. For the most part, homeowners should make sure that rats have minimal access to vulnerable areas of the home. This means cutting branches so that rats cannot use them to gain access to roofs, making sure that shrubs are not planted next to homes, and eliminating clutter that rats can use to hide. Make sure that all openings to the home are either sealed up or protected using metal mesh. Furthermore, remain vigilant for more of these openings to appear over time.
Once the entrances have been closed, a number of traps can be used to eliminate the rats based on the homeowners’ personal preferences. Traps should be placed close to the places that rats frequent. Peanut butter is an excellent bait, but fruits, vegetables, and nuts also make for excellent substitutes. Make sure that the traps are in accessible locations so that the rats can be retrieved and disposed of after their elimination. Furthermore, if the traps are lethal, make sure to wash them using bleach so that the smell of blood is eliminated after each kill.
Of course, for the best results, be sure to consult local pest control professionals about how to get rid of rats. Not all rat species behave in the same manner, meaning that some rat control methods might be more or less effective under the circumstances. Pest control professionals are the people best placed to understand the local rat species and the most effective methods for eliminating members of said species.