How Do I Get Rid of Rats in My Home?


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Whats the best way to eliminate rats quickly?

Having a problem with rats we know can be extremely stressful. They can scare you with their untimely late night appearances, eat your favourite chocolate, keep you up all night gnawing in the cavities, and lets not even think about the damage they may be causing to your electric cables. There are many different ways to eradicate rats with some being more trickier than others. As well as getting rid of the rats you also want to know exactly how they got in in the first place. Locating the source of entry will prevent more from accessing your property in the future giving you peace of mind knowing the rats are staying out for good!!

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What different options do I have?

You have a variety of ways to eradicate your unwanted visitors. You first need to make a choice, if you want to do the job humanely or not. We, like most people love animals and where possible, if safe to do so for the animal and the public we will remove humanely, however this option brings some difficult challenges. Rats are not stupid animals and suffer from neophobia which is a fear of new things. Therefore if a rat has set up it’s territory in your home and knows its surroundings vividly then adding new objects such as traps will make the animal shy away. So what are the choices: 

  • humane trap such as a live cage
  • getting a cat or a rodent hunting dog such as a terrier or jack russell. 
  • inhumane glue board trap
  • snap trap
  • Poison

Humane Traps

As mentioned previously, humane traps can be very difficult to rid you of your non paying guests. Rats are clever and don’t always do what we want or even expect them to do. Where you place the trap and what tempting bait you use is very important when trying to catch this rodent. 

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Inhumane glue board 

Glue Boards are a successful way to eradicate infestation. We urge that these traps are checked regularly and no later than any 12 hour period. This is because it’s cruel to let an animal suffer needlessly, as well as a rat being strong enough Therefore on finding a live mouse, quick disposal is important by either folding the board and standing on the fold, or using a piece of paper to place over the board with the mouse on and standing on the paper, or hitting the paper with a heavy object. The paper is used to prevent yourself sticking to the board.

Getting a bigger furred friend

Certain homes seem to always be under siege from rats and it drives some people (and gives them an excuse) to get a pet. Be aware that if getting a puppy or a kitten, it will take many months before it is quick and able enough to catch any rodents. Small dogs such as terriers and Jack Russell’s are known to be very good rodent hunters. Please note that over feeding the pet can make it slow, tired and uninterested. Leaving pet food out over night is a big no no as this will attract vermin who will use this as a food source which can make the infestation grow worse.

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Snap Traps

Snap traps are hit or miss in our experience with our customers, it is very dependant on where they are placed and what tempting bait is used. These traps are an instantaneous kill so are preferred to glue boards. The more traps you set the more successful you will be.

Rodenticide (Poison)

This method is probably the most tried and tested with very good results. Special care and attention should be taken when using a rodenticide product. Always place such baits well away from children and animals. Never place outside for the natural wildlife or a neighbours pet to eat. Rodenticides can be bought from certain hardware shops and online. Please follow the accompanying guidelines when baiting. We would always recommend placing where possible in basements, under floor boards, in loft spaces, in boiler cupboards, behind kitchen unit kickboards or anywhere else rats are likely to get to but other animals and children can not. Soft palatable bait are a preferred food choice for rats. 

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What is the Best Tempting Bait to Use?

IMPORTANT: Most rats like foods that are high in fat and protein. A another big factor is foods and liquids that they believe to be safe. Rats have evolved over the last few decades to get a taste for certain delights which most homes have. Adult rats will pass on this information to their young about scents (smells) that are safe and scents that are not. From our experience soft palatable oily foods are preferred by the rats.

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Chocolate & Peanut butter

Most rats, like us humans will like the scent of chocolate and they believe it be a safe food. The softer the chocolate the better, however they will still gnaw on your left over fruit & nut bar. We’ve had this delight in our home and work place for many years now and our furry friends have got very accustomed to it. Try never to leave chocolate out over night and where possible put in the fridge.
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Fruit & Veg

 Rats like fruit and vegetables because these foods are normally soft and easy to eat with rodents knowing these to be safe. Most homes have these food items and rodents  know they are good for their diet. Soft fruits such as bananas and tomatoes tend to be their most common choices, but they will gnaw on any organic food if available.
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Nuts & Seeds

Rats have been grazing on seeds for as long as they have been around. Most seeds are source of protein for them and again rats  know most seeds are not harmful to them. People will leave seeds out in their sheds and garages so rats  will likely nest close by to these areas with this food source nearby. Rats in gardens will sometimes be attracted to the bird feeders over spill.

Where Are The Rats Getting in?

If you’ve had one rat in your property then it’s likely you’ll get another at some stage. Finding the source of  entry is crucial when preventing further rats from gaining access. The main points to look for are:

  • large holes or gaps in the Air brick
  • gaps around entering/exiting services such as waste water pipework through walls
  • via a neighbours property if attached
  • breaks in sewer pipework (specialist survey)
  • leaving doors open
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