First, watch out for the signs
Realizing the presence of these creatures is usually the first step towards excluding them, so here are the first signs of a rat infestation. Signs of a rat infestation can be pretty obvious, even as these mammals are nocturnal animals they still leave behind indicators of their presence. The first and most obvious signs are black pill-shaped droppings, scratching or scurrying sounds at night, musky smell, gnaw marks on fruits, walls, and on some other objects around the house.
Seal cracks and holes in your building
This is both a rat control and preventive measure. Rats usually squeeze through tiny cracks and gaps in the building, and they also get around by using these narrow passageways. Sealing holes limit their movement and prevent new rats from coming in, but it doesn’t completely solve the problem.
Rodents have very sharp teeth which they use to chew their way through a wide range of materials including wooden structures. These animals can be industrious and work persistently to create their own passageways in and around a building. A crack as small as ¼ of an inch is enough to let them get through.
Check for cracks in the roof
The two most common rats in the US are roof rats, also called black rats, and Norway rats which are also called brown rats. Roof rats are excellent climbers and usually live in the ceiling and attic, they will most likely find their way into your home from cracks in the roof, ceiling, and upper sections of your building.
Therefore, you also need to check for cracks around your roof, check for cracks in the roof tiles, shingles, soffits, fascia boards, and seal every gap with a powerful sealant. Also, make sure there isn’t any tree branch that extends to your roof as this will lead animals into your home. Trim tree branches frequently to make sure they are never less than 4 feet away from your rooflines.
Get rid of clutter
Rats are always looking for places to hide and a good way to discourage this is by ensuring there isn’t anything for them to hide behind. Remove piles of logs, junks, leaves, and ensure there are no objects resting on the walls of your building.
Move objects away from your walls, remove vines and other flowering plants, keep grasses beautifully trimmed. Your trash can should be closed properly with a tight-fitting lid, and keep your outside space neat and free of clutter. This should also extend into your living space, the interior of your building should be clutter-free and properly organized.
Store food properly
Animals have an innate survival skill and are able to seek out food sources even in the most unusual places. Eliminating a rat infestation is very similar to preventing rats, and since rats are always looking for what to eat, poor storage of food will certainly attract them to your building or keep them there for much longer.
Food items should be securely sealed in rodent-proof containers, including pet food and bird food if you feed garden birds. Rodents can chew through plastic containers and paper bags; therefore, the best storage containers are glass or metal containers with screw-on lids. Always keep your pantry and kitchen neat and free of food particles and debris, and store fruits, bread, cookies, and leftovers in the refrigerator which rats can’t get to them.
When there is already an infestation, the above steps alone will not get the rats out of your home. You will have to actually try to get the rats out by using an effective rodent removal method. There are a number of rat removal methods including different trapping techniques with appropriate baits. Rat traps include snap traps, live traps, glue boards, and baiting traps.
Snap traps: these traps are designed to hold bait and once the animal steps into the trap to snatch the bait, the trap immediately snaps on the rat and kills it. This is one of the cheapest options, but it may not be ideal if you have pets and little kids who may be tempted to play with it. The spring in the snap traps is very powerful and since it instantly kills a rat, it can break a finger or cause a serious injury.
Glue boards: these are simply boards or trays with very strong adhesives, they are able to trap anything that crawls or runs over them including insects, rodents, snakes, etc. They are much safer than snap traps but may not be very effective as rats may learn to avoid them. But you can always change the position and make sure it’s strategically placed in a way that it can’t be avoided, and you can have several glue boards simultaneously placed in different areas.
Live traps: this is one of the most humane ways of trapping rodents, it also requires some form of bait. The bait will lure in the rat, and as it moves in curiously to sniff or snack on the contents of the trap, the door snaps shut and the rat is trapped. The trapped rat will be unable to escape until you find it there.
And if you can’t get them to leave? Bring in the experts!
If you can’t seem to get all the rats out and after all your effort you still find traces of fresh droppings and rodent activity, then maybe it is time to invite a professional rodent exterminator. At Norcal Wildlife Removal, we provide professional rodent removal services, our wildlife control team will find their hiding places, remove the entire rodent population in your home, and seal up cracks and entry points to ensure they never return.
Cities we serve include;
Brisbane, Atherton, Half Moon Bay, Burlingame, Portola Valley, Colma, Daly City, Millbrae, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Belmont, Redwood City, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Pacifica, San Bruno, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Woodside, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Campbell, San Carlos, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, San Francisco, etc.
Call us for animal control at (650)477-9070