Posted on: 19 January 2017Share
When you hear rats scurrying in the brush outside of your home, you may immediately become concerned about the possibility of them entering your home and becoming new residents. Before you panic, there are ways to minimize the chances of having a rat problem.
Maintain Structural Integrity
You should regularly inspect your home for places where rats may enter your home. Some vulnerabilities can include cracks in the walls, weathered roofing material, or pipes leading inside your home. Cracks in the walls or siding materials can usually be fixed with caulking made for outdoor use. Larger holes may need to be patched with wire mesh before they are covered. The wire mesh helps maintain the integrity of your repair and is difficult for rats to chew through. Holes for pipes should be just large enough for the pipe to fit through, preventing rodents from squeezing indoors or chewing the edge of the opening.
Keep Trash Cans Sealed
Keeping trash cans properly sealed and as far from your residence as possible will act as a deterrent to rats. Make sure the lid fits securely over the trash can and you may want to invest in a trash can with a locking mechanism. Other nocturnal animals, such as possums and raccoons, can easily knock over trash cans, making them more accessible to rats. Some locking systems are designed to fit over traditional trash cans issued by local waste management services. If you cannot find a lock to accommodate your trash can, purchase a separate locking trash can and simply transfer your trash to its normal container the night before trash pick-up.
Be Cautious About Rat Poisons
The same precautions you would use indoors to kill rats with poison are only magnified if you want to use poisons outdoors. Since there are many animals that may visit your property, it is best to avoid using any rat poisons outdoors. Concerns include neighborhood children, pets, or wild animals, such as squirrels and birds. You must also be concerned about animals that are avid hunters, such as cats, that may eat a poisoned or dead rat.
You can reduce some of these concerns by using bait stations that are designed to allow rats inside, but would be difficult or impossible for larger animals to enter. Most poisons are not an instant fix; the rat will need repeated exposure to the poison for it to work. The delayed reaction to the poison reduces some of the toxicity to other animals that may ingest an affected rat.
Maintaining the structural integrity of your home and eliminating items that are attractive to rats can make your home less desirable. For more information, contact local professionals like A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc.