Small Pets

Rat Control 101: Keeping Your Home Rodent Free

Rat Control
Written by Arlene S. Lane

We all look forward to a peaceful rest at home after our daily business. But your resting time becomes a nightmare when unwanted visitors start crawling around. Rats and mice can destroy anything within your home. They gnaw on electric wires, destroy furniture, contaminate food, and leave ugly patches on your laundry.

Thanks to rat control companies who employ different methods to eliminate rodents from our homes.

Before you seek the services of rodent eradication from a company, explore rodent behavior and how to keep them at bay from this post.

Signs of Rodent Infestation

Rodents can cause havoc in your home, especially when their population is high. More to that, it is difficult to eradicate them when they multiply into large numbers.

Therefore, you need to act immediately if you notice signs of infestation. They include:

  • Nesting materials such as shredded paper and fabric
  • Rodent droppings around food packages
  • Holes on food packages or signs of chewing
  • Holes on walls, floors, and entry points to the house
  • Unpleasant smells from hidden areas of your house

You can discourage rats and mice from your home by sealing their routes and keeping food containers closed.

Understanding Rodent Behavior

The first step to rodent eradication from your home is understanding their behavior. Common rodents, such as rats and mice, exhibit aggression and social dominance in their surroundings. They also love dark places; you will find them beneath furniture or in your food store. Besides food, other features which attract rodents to your home include:

  • Water sources. Rats and mice love water sources such as leaking pipes and poet bowls.
  • Your garage or kitchen pantry can offer shelter to rodents, especially if you rarely inspect them.
  • Safety from predators. Unlike the forests and bushy areas where rodents fall prey to wild animals, your home is safe for them. Homes without pets, such as dogs and rats, are prone to rodent infestation.

Inspecting the rodents’ common shelter areas and food sources can help you keep them at bay.

Methods of Rodent Control

The ideal method to eradicate rats and mice from your home depends on the infestation extent and home setup.

Secure All Food Sources

Food sources within your house and its environs are the greatest attraction to rodents. Whether it is your best dog food or food for your reptile, they will likely look for a new habitat elsewhere if they lack food.

You should therefore ensure your food store, cabinets and packages are completely sealed. After feeding your pet, dispose of the remains well and adopt tamper-proof bins for waste food.

Get Rid of Nesting Materials

Rats use soft fabrics and blankets to build nests. You should therefore store your fabrics in heavy plastic bins.

Also, declutter your house and remove clothes and other fabrics you no longer use.

Foliage and falling branches outside your house can also harbor rodents. Ensure you clear them regularly and keep the grass in your lawn short.

Secure Entry Points and Seal Gaps

Mice and rats will try to invade your house, especially in the cold season. In addition to external rodent control methods, you should seal all possible entries. Rodents from outside can enter your house through tiny holes in the foundation and doorways.

If your wall is rough, rodents can pass through ventilation openings. Therefore, seal them using steel wool to discourage rodent entry without hindering airflow.

Use Essential Oils

Strongly scented oils like clove and peppermint oil repel mice. If you notice mice invasion in any part of your home, don’t use cotton balls in these essential oils and place them near the rodent shelter.

Although this method may not eradicate rodents, it will minimize their destruction as you look for other control means.

Use Rodent Deterrents

Mothballs and electronic deterrents such as ultrasonic devices are effective in rodent control. These devices make high pitch sounds that frighten rodents.

You can use natural and electronic deterrents to drive these unwanted guests from your food store. The sounds are silent to you but high for rodents.

Traps and Baits

Baiting involves the use of poison-containing meals to kill rodents.  The baits are sealed in plastic and other soft materials, which rats can chew easily.

On the other hand, traps capture and kill rodents, or you can kill them after the trap captures them. Trapping is the most efficient method to get rid of rodents.

You can bait traps with butter, bacon, or beef to attract rodents.

Get a Cat

Cats are the most effective mouse deterrents in homes. If you keep a cat as your pet, rats and mice are unlikely to invade your home.

If you live in a place where cat rearing is not allowed, get cat urine and spray at the rodent entry points. The cat urine smell will drive the rodents away.

Final Thoughts

Rodent control is key to protecting your property and your family’s health. You should therefore inspect your home regularly and practice the above measures to keep rodents at bay.

About the author

Arlene S. Lane

Arlene S. Lane is a veterinary technician and hospital manager with over 12 years of experience. Arlene has been contributed expert content to The Pet's Rise for over 10 years.
Arlene has worked in veterinary medicine since 2017. Arlene's veterinary experience ranges from routine wellness care and preventive medicine to emergency and specialty care, where she has performed duties ranging from specialized nursing to clinical administration.

You cannot copy content of this page