Seeing a rat in your home can unexpectedly throw you off. They tend to wait until you have visitors in the house and they start to roam around. Not many guests would want to come back to your house knowing it has rats. With all the shame and damage rats can cause, you would want to know the right methods for scaring them away. So, today we look at how to scare rats away from home.
Signs You Have a Rat Infestation inside Your Home and Garage
Other than seeing a rat running around in your house, there are other signs that help identify a rat infestation in your home. Check them out below.
Rats will tend to concentrate their droppings in one location. Rats can produce an average of 40 droppings in a single night. It is hard to miss their droppings in various places around your home with such a quantity. The droppings are brown in color with a tapered spindle shape. Some say the droppings resemble large rice grains. When you see such droppings, prepare yourself to combat rat infestation.
Once rats move into your home, they will establish a route around the house. They will use this same route to and from where they hide most of the time. To identify the route, you will find rub marks along the skirting boards and walls. The rub marks are due to the dirt and smudges they leave when crossing to different rooms. With repeated rubbing of their dirty bodies against the skirting, you should notice the rub marks.
Rats are excellent climbers. Each time you try to catch one, it would climb to the roof for its safety, making it hard to catch the rodent. Around the roof, area is where cables pass through to different rooms. If you notice these cables have gnawed marks, then you know there is a rat infestation in your home.
Brown rats also make a grinding noise with their teeth each time they are gnawing on something.
To enter your home, rats often dig holes. This is especially for the brown rats. They are excellent diggers and excavators. These holes are necessary for food storage, shelter, and nesting. Look for holes around your home, especially where there are solid structures or objects.
Other than burrowing holes in your backyard, rats can also set up nests inside your house. Most of these nests can be found in attics, lofts, cavity walls, and under eaves. For those that set up nests in lofts, they will shred the insulation cardboard to make themselves a nice nest.
Look for rat footprints
Rats are messy, so look for footprints, especially in areas less trafficked. Sprinkle talc in such areas and come later to see footprints for yourself the next day. You can follow the footprints of their hiding area so that you can scare them away with various techniques.
Damages Rats Cause to Your Home
Some people might not understand why people would want to chase rats from their homes. Other than being spooky, rats can cause various damages to your home. Here are some of the damages to expect if you end up with a rat infestation.
- Rats tend to chew on everything just to build a nest. It can be wood, cloth, books, or paper. There are people who have lost money to rat chewing it. No one wants their favorite shirt to be chewed by rats.
- Since rats also love to gnaw and burrow, your furniture, car seats, and home insulation might be at risk. They can gnaw through your furniture to get a comfortable place for a snug nest.
- As suggested earlier, insulation is also not safe from rats. This is especially insulation found in attics and lofts where they can hide their nests.
- Rats can cause fires as they chew on the cable insulations. When the insulation is no longer available and there is electricity in the wires, it can lead to a fire.
Rats love an area that is less disturbed and hidden. If you are looking to flush them out, those are some of the places you should start looking at today.
Rats do not just damage various structures in your home, as they also go after your food. Here is what to expect in terms of food damage.
- Rats will feed on almost anything in your kitchen. For those who cook food with a lot of flavor such as steak, expect it to attract rats into your kitchen.
- For food stored in a cardboard box or paper wraps, rats see this as a bonus. They will eat your food and take the wraps to make their nests.
- For food stored in the pantry, rats can contaminate it with their droppings, urine, and hair. If you continually eat such food, you might end up contracting some diseases.
- Rats do not eat a lot of food; however, they contaminate a lot more. It is estimated that a rat needs 3 grams of food per day, but it will contaminate up to 10 times the food it consumes. This is through its droppings, urine, nibbling on the packages, and leaving a lot of food partially eaten. Such food is unfit for human consumption.
As you can see from the above damages, there are more reasons to deal with rats and get rid of them from your home.
Where do Rats Hide in Your Home?
Now that you know the possible damage a rat can do to your home, next is to identify where they are likely to hide. Once you note their hiding areas, you can use various methods to drive them out of your home. Here are some of the places rats can hide.
Attics for most of the year are isolated with no one going into them. As such, attics are nice places for rats to hide. They love a place where they can roam around without the risk of meeting people. Since rats are also amazing climbers, getting into attics should not be a problem for them. The insulation material in the attic is also soft, making it easy for them to create a nest in the same spot.
Rats love to live in the walls as they find it protective of humans catching them. Whenever you hear scratching noises coming from the walls at night, the chances are there are rodents in your wall. Work on getting them out of the walls as soon as possible. Since walls have electrical cables passing through them, rats can chew on them removing the insulation. With the insulation removed, there is a risk of starting a fire.
Other than living in your house, rats also love going into the garden for some food. There are a lot of things that rats can chew in your garden. This includes leftovers, rubbish, wood furniture, plants, and ornaments. All these things can be tempting for rats and thus leading to an infestation. You can identify an infestation in your garden if you notice rat-like digging and rats running around the garden.
Being a nice cozy room under the roof, a loft is a perfect space for rats to seek shelter. In case you have a rat infestation in your loft, you will start to notice droppings, footprints, and the urine smell in the room. Make sure you eradicate them from your personal space as soon as you notice their presence.
There is no doubt that basements are common places for rats to hide in your home. Since most people use basements are their storage facilities, it provides a nice place for the rats to hide. Some even store food supplies, making it easier to attract a rat infestation into their basement.
- Drains and sewers
It is no surprise that rats would be in your drains and sewers. For a long time, we have known that rats love sewers. Rats can easily squeeze themselves into sewer and drain lines. The worst part is that they can end up causing a lot more damage to these structures. We all know the costs of repairing drains and sewer lines are high.
Those are not the only places you can find rats. The other areas rats can hide include garages, sheds, kitchen, decking, compost bins, and more.
How to Scare Rats Away from Your Home
Rats are not rodents you would want to continually see in your home. It is necessary to take various measures to rid of them from your home. Here is how to do it.
Fill the cracks, holes, and gaps
Rats can easily squeeze into cracks, holes, or gaps in your home. A rat can easily go through a hole size of a quarter. So, it is best if you check your home for such unnecessary holes. Seal them with proper materials that rats cannot burrow through. Such materials include caulk cement, plaster, steel wool, and hardware cloth.
Do not feed them
Rats can eat almost anything. If they get something on your property that they like, you will find them coming around more often and eventually moving in. It is best if you cover all the garbage cans in your home to prevent them from accessing leftovers. Also, pick your fruits as soon as they ripen. Clear those that fall on the ground. No rat would stick around if there is no food.
Remove their nests
Once you have noticed where the rats hide, it is best to remove their nests from these areas. Once a rat notices that there is someone accessing where they hide, they would move to another area or home. Also, do not leave old cars or appliances around your property where they can easily set up a home. Removing heavy vegetation also helps to remove their habitat.
Set traps in their habitats
Use traps in their habitats to drive them away. It is easy to get commercial traps that are effective. You should end up with an easy time driving more rats away once they notice the traps in their habitats.
Call the pros if necessary
There is no shame in calling professionals to deal with the rat menace. Sometimes you might think they are all gone, but they seem to pop up occasionally. A professional rat exterminator understands the different methods necessary to drive all the rats from your home.
Homemade Remedies for Rat Infestation
Here are some home remedies that you can use to drive the rats away from your home.
Rats have an impressive sense of smell. Humans find the smell of peppermint as pleasant and refreshing. The same cannot be said for rats. They find it offensive and too strong. Simply drop a few cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them in areas common with rats. This will keep the rats from coming to the area.
- Using mothballs
Mothballs will repel both mice and rats. Take caution as they are both poisonous to mice and humans. Simply place the mothballs in deserted areas where rats can hide. This includes the attic, basement, or backyards. You should find mothballs being readily available and easy to use for scaring the rats away.
Ammonia is no fun for rodents. Its smell alone will choke the rats and get them out of their hiding areas. To use ammonia for rat removal, mix two cups of ammonia with 100 ml of water and 3 spoons of detergent. Place this mixture in a bowl and set it up where rats can be found frequently. The pungent ammonia smell will drive the rats out of your attic in no time.
- Owl feathers
Naturally, rats fear owls as they know that owls can feed on them. Since we cannot bring owls into our homes, it is best if we use their feathers. Simply get owl feathers and place some near a rat hole. Once they see the owl feathers, you should not have a rat problem anymore.
Treatment For Your GARAGE
Garages are a popular place for mice because they offer warmth, but don’t think that they won’t enter your home—that’s the next step. If left unchecked, you could have yourself a full-blown infestation. Act fast and you will be rodent-free in no time. Here’s how to treat a mouse infestation in your garage.
Bait Live Traps
Bait live mousetraps in strategic places inside the garage with pieces of cheese or a lump of peanut butter. Set the traps near a wall and keep the bait end near the suspected access point. Check your traps daily and send live mice off into fields miles from your home.
Add Conventional Traps
If you want double coverage, set conventional mousetraps by placing traps under shelves, in corners, along with window casings, and in the rafters. Look for access points and place traps near these openings. Check traps on a daily basis and remove dead mice before they decompose and start to smell.
Line the Outside With Mouse Repellent
Mouse repellent sprayed around the outside of the garage helps prevent new infestations.
Rats can cause a lot of damage to your home and food. The last thing you want is to eat food that has been partially eaten by rats. So, it is best to find ways on how to scare rats away from home. All the methods mentioned above are easy to follow and use. You now also know where best to get these rats and act accordingly. Whenever it seems too much of a problem, call a professional rat exterminator to deal with them.