How To Get Rid of Rats in House Fast
Rats are never welcome visitors to your house as these rodents cause a lot of damage and are a potential risk to you and your family. They are also a safety hazard as they chew through electrical cables, which poses a fire risk. Rat urine and feces can contaminate several areas of a house and even leave a foul smell.
Rats mostly prefer to hang out near sewers, but sometimes they can easily find their way into your gardens, sheds, and even your house. And once they infest your home, it becomes a significant concern as these are more aggressive than mice, are a health risk and can spread diseases by biting you, other members in the house, or even your pets.
So how to get rid of rats in house fast? Keep reading until the end to learn about all the efficient tips and tricks.
What are the signs of a rat infestation in the house?
When figuring out how to get rid of rats in house fast, you first need to find out where these rodents are hiding. And if your home faces a rat infestation issue, here are some signs you can check.
Strange smells and sounds in the house.
If you have rats in your house, you will notice a strong ammonia smell as they give off a very pungent odor.
Rats are also pretty loud, and you will hear a lot of rustling, squeaking, and scratching sounds when they are around. They do not stay in a single place and usually move throughout your home. These signs indicate that there are rats present in your apartment.
Droppings and smears.
The foul smell also comes from the pellet-shaped rat droppings, which look like rice grains, and is usually blackish brown. The droppings are oval-shaped and are approximately 10 mm long.
Rats also have poor eyesight and maintain particular routes along the walls. And while traveling through these paths, they are known to leave behind grease smears and smudges along the walls.
When there are rats in the house, damages are almost inevitable. They chew through and gnaw on electrical cords, clothes, storage containers, furniture, and paper and can create a mess in the kitchen by scattering around food left over on the counter and eating it too.
Rats leave droppings and urinate around the house, spreading diseases and leaving a foul, lingering odor if left unattended.
What attracts rats to your house?
Before thinking about how to get rid of rats in house fast, it is essential to know what brought them inside in the first place.
Rats may seem like simple creatures at first, but they are very crafty, good swimmers, and capable of trying hard to find a cozy home. Rats are not just about their long, thin tails, furry body, and paws.
These creatures are social and usually like to travel in packs. If they want to find a new group, the male and female split and build their nest in a new space. Rats can reproduce very rapidly, and they can start breeding when they are 5 weeks of age. Hence their pack grows fast, and they mate very frequently.
These rodents are easily attracted to dark and moist spaces, and empty buildings, waste dumps, and overgrown areas make them feel welcome. They just need a small hole or gap to find their way in and set up their home.
Regarding food choices, rats are typically omnivores and are neither picky eaters. They will happily consume waste and are great chewers, the credit for which goes to their sharp teeth.
Rats try to find warm air escapes through which they can wiggle their way inside the house in winters. If you have bits and pieces of food scattered around your kitchen or any space like bread, nuts, berries, etc., they get drawn towards it.
They love cluttered areas, making them feel cozy and creating an ideal environment for them to breed. They also get attracted to leaky pipes and kitchen drains as they always search for water.
How to get rid of rats in house fast?
Invest in a dehumidifier
As we have already established above, rats are highly attracted to places with dripping water. Any moist, leaky spaces create the risk of rat infestation. But a dehumidifier can come to the rescue in this scenario as it removes excess humidity in the air and maintains the required moisture level in the house.
When the excess moisture is sucked out, it can help prevent the rat problem. You can also add an air purifier to eliminate the foul smell and improve the air quality.
Air purifiers can eliminate airborne contaminants, and when it includes a carbon filter, it becomes very effective in removing unpleasant odors.
Seal all the gaps.
Rats do not need significant entry points to get inside your house. And that is why if you want to know how to get rid of rats in house fast, the first step is to identify all the entry points to see how they are getting in.
If you notice these rodents, their droppings, or hear any noises within your walls or in the attic, these are the places you need to look first.
Check out any cracks and crevices or areas with gaps like in the roof, door frames and windows, attics and crawl spaces, oven gas lines, garage doors, etc. Do not forget the drains, bathtubs, and the sink as well.
Once you have identified the entry points, the next thing you need to do is see them. But what you will use as a material depends on the hole’s size.
You can go for spray foam insulation, caulk for bricks, cement, rat-proof wire mesh, steel wool, galvanized metal, hardware cloth, and door kick plates. Let’s find it challenging to gnaw through the steel wool, and galvanized metal can be most secure as they can easily chew through aluminum.
Sealing these gas and cracks is not enough. You need to check them a few times a month to ensure that they are maintained well and prevent rats from entering via the entry points.
Clean up the clutter.
Rats are always looking for places to hide and take shelter. And one of the best ways to eliminate these rodents is to destroy their entry points.
Cleaning up clutter and messy spaces and moving objects away from the walls is a great way to drive them away. These creatures have an extraordinary sense of smell, and the objective is to get rid of any temptations which might attract them.
If you have accessible food sources and water around the house, or maybe you have left out food bowls for your dog or cat in the house, rats will try and eat them.
Do not leave fruits, vegetables, bread, or food items on the counter. Even if you are storing food in cabinets, try to seal them by storing them in glass or stainless steel containers. Avoid stockpiling food on the floor unless it is adequately sealed, as rats can gnaw through sacks and cartons easily. Keep the trash contained in bins and clean up any spills immediately. Do not let water collect your dreams and pipes; keep them clean.
Use natural repellents.
Want to know how to get rid of rats in house fast using natural ingredients? A few natural ingredients can go a long way to repel rats.
You can sprinkle crushed pepper or even use pepper spray near their entry points, like openings and holes. It will irritate their noses and airways and prevent them from reentering your house.
Natural ingredients are also a great alternative to eliminate the rats without killing them. Since these rodents are susceptible to smells, you can try out essential oils like peppermint oil, citronella oil, and beaver oil.
They are very overpowering and will send the rat in the other direction. You can use these essential oils on cotton balls and put them underneath your furniture questions and near the entry points.
You can also use cayenne pepper, clove, bleach, and onions to repel rats and drive them away so that they can look for shelter, food, and water elsewhere.
However, it is essential to know that if rats already infest your house, natural ingredients and scents will only prevent them from staying in certain areas but will not eliminate them.
Consider rat cages
After you figure out the locations of the rats in your house and where they usually travel, you can consider setting up rat traps (cages).
P.S. I know rats are notorious and can cause damage to your house furniture, appliance, etc. But we should not kill them using glue traps or rat traps that can choke them or break their spine. It is EXTREMELY cruel to do so, and we (FreshHomeGuides Team) request you not to use glue traps and rat traps.
If you succeed in finding the rats’ location in your house, put bait inside the cage that automatically shuts when the rat tries to eat the bait. Now relocate the rat to the nearby forest, dump yard, or ground so that they can live peacefully and don’t destroy human belongings.
Using rat poisons or rodenticides is another idea for rat control. But rat poison is lethal, so keeping it away from pets and children is essential.
Some of the rat poison available on the market today is waterproof, which makes it easy to use outside. However, another risk factor involves using rat poison: once the rats die, any wildlife predator consuming the dead rats will also die from the poison.
Rat poison and rodenticides must be mixed with rat bait like nuts, bacon, pet food, etc. You can use traps to set up the perfect rat bait, and it does not need a lot of equipment.
It is not a humane way to deal with rats, and another issue is that if the rat dies inside the house and they crawl back into its nest, getting them out is another problem to face. Plus, there is another risk of harming other wildlife.
P.S. We don’t recommend using this method. Please consider relocating the rats to a different place, don’t kill them.
Reach out to pest and rodent control services.
If the rat infestation problem has become too prominent and the population of rats has increased considerably in your house, the traps and natural remedies might not work anymore. It is now time to go for on how to get rid of rats in house fast.
And the best idea in that scenario is to reach out for professional help. Professional pest control services can be effective inside your home and help control the rat population outside your house.
Tips to prevent rats outside your home.
By now, you have a fair idea of how to get rid of rats in house fast. What are some of the preventive measures you can take to avoid rats outside the home as well? Here are some effective steps you can follow.
- Try to plant rat deterring plants like balsam fir, mint, sage, etc. Keeping cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil in the garden also helps prevent rats.
- Rats are creatures that do not like change and hate it if you change the locations of the items in their hanging spot. Change up the things in your garden. You can add new pots, place new branches of rat deterring plants, and so on.
- Do not keep your trash can open and use a bin with a heavy or lockable lid instead. Leaving trash bags lying around the bin can also be the reason that attracts rats to your house.
- If you are someone who feeds wildlife in your garden regularly, be careful about the feeding times. Ensure you do not leave the food lying around, especially at night. Rats are nocturnal creatures, and they roam around at night searching for food. After it’s dark, remove everything, so it doesn’t attract rats.
- If you have bird feeders, try to remove those as rats will climb up to eat bird food. Get rid of bird baths as well as they will see it as a water source.
- Try to attract owls outside your house, as this natural predator can eat dozens of rats in a single night. You can create a suitable habitat for them, like adding a water source and building a nest box.
- Dry ice is another way to get rid of rats without poisoning them. It produces carbon dioxide, which anesthetizes and kills them. However, dry ice can damage your skin, so it is recommended to wear gloves and other necessary protective gear while dealing with it.
Rats can be very problematic if you don’t get rid of them immediately as they can spread various diseases and cause much damage. You might just wake up and find that the electrical wires have been chewed on, leftover food has been scattered around or eaten, your clothes have holes, and so much more.
The strategies mentioned above help answer the question- ‘how to get rid of rats in house fast?’. Each method is very effective, and you can use them depending on your convenience and the scenario at your place.
However, suppose you notice that the rat population in your house has increased significantly, and the rat infestation has become severe.
In that case, it is best to reach out to a professional pest management company as they are more skilled and knowledgeable in this department and are equipped with the proper tools and techniques.
What type of damage can rats cause in your house?
Even though these rodents are small, they can create significant damage. They can cause structural damage to drywall, wood, and other building materials. They can destroy books, paper, clothes, furniture, etc.
Since they chew you on electrical wires, it can lead to a potential fire and electrocution hazard. Rats can also spread various diseases, threatening the lives of everyone in the house. If the population is too high, the damage done by these creatures can be expensive and irreversible.
How to stop rats from coming into your house?
The primary strategy is to make it almost impossible for rats to enter the house. Close all the doors and windows and seal any gaps and cracks around chimneys, vents, and foundations.
Use natural repellents in these entryways like peppermint and citronella oil, bleach, pepper, etc. Fix any leaky pipes or drains, and do not leave bowls of water for your pets, especially at night.
Keep the trash covered, and do not leave the space cluttered and messy. It’s all about dissuading the rats from coming in.
How long does it take to get rid of rats?
If you want to know how to get rid of rats in house fast, you must understand that the duration required for rat removal depends on the population you are dealing with.
It might take a couple of weeks to eliminate rats if it is a small group. However, it might take longer if it is a severe infestation issue, especially if you live in large apartments and buildings.