How to identify you have rats in the attic with steps to help rat removal?
Do you hear those bumps in the night? Odds are those are created by rats in the attic. You may also hear scurrying noises, scratching, or even gnawing sounds. It is imperative you stay active in your rat control methods. Prevention is far cheaper and safer than cleaning up a rat infestation, requiring you to call in the services of a professional rat exterminator.
Rat Removal Step One: Property Inspection
The first thing you should do, to identify if you have rats in the attic, is run a thorough inspection of your property. Check the ground level for any holes or gaps that might provide entry points for rat. ANY small hole is suspect as rat and other rodents can squeeze through amazing small holes.
Inspect anywhere pipes or hoses enter your home structure. If you have raised home (no foundation) you should inspect every inch oh the home that touches the ground.
Next check the rest of the home structure, especially the roof. Rats are fantastic climbers and can leap several feet from trees to your roof. Once on the roof, rats can enter through vents, eave gaps, roof lines – any place where a gap or hole exists.
Rat Removal Step Two: Seal All Entry Points
Closing off all entry holes is critical. It prevents more rat invasions and will keep the rats currently in your home cut off from escape. Wherever possible, use steel mesh or lining to seal off the entry points. You can find these common materials from your local hardware store. If possible, also use a sealant to block any air flow. If rats detect an air flow, they be tempted to find a way to the source.
Rat Removal Step Three: Setting Traps
Once you have sealed up all the possible entry points, you can place your traps.
When placing the traps you need to take care of where the rodents are running. You don’t want to throw the trap out in any position and hope the trap works. With a little thoughtfulness you can have more effective trapping. Look for runways where the rodents are running. Typically insulation will be padded down from the traffic. Look for rub marks on pipes or other obstacles in the rodents pathways. You may also see holes burrowed into the insulation. Place the baited side of the trap perpendicular to the runway. Place the baited end towards the tunnel.
- Wooden Snap Traps: Wooden “Victor” rat traps are probably the most familiar trap. These traps are reliable and when set properly, very effective at catching rodents. We recommend the Victor wooden traps with a yellow plastic bait tray. Based on our experience they are the easiest to set and have the best catch rate.
- Glue Traps: Also very effective at catching rodents. Typically we use these specifically for mice and not rats. Rats tend to be too big and will pull themselves free of the adhesive. We don’t recommend using glue traps from big box stores. The adhesive is not as strong and the traps are less effective. We recommend the “Catchmaster Gluee Louee” brand glue board.
- Live Traps: We do not typically use any live traps for catching rodents unless we are trapping in sensitive areas. Sometimes rodents can be shy of live traps causing them to avoid the traps. Also the live traps must be checked daily and the rodents removed in order to keep a fresh trap for the next rat.
Which bait should you use to catch a rat?
I have read a lot of people talking about special baits to catch rats – cheese, bacon, jelly, beef jerky. Any of those would probably work. Based on years of rodent work we have noticed rats and mice will eat almost anything. We use peanut butter on our traps, and have used peanut butter for many years and have always had great success catching rats. We carry peanut butter on our trucks because it is easy to buy, easy to apply, most animals like it, and very effective.
Rat Removal Step Four: Trapped Rat Removal
Carefully remove any trapped rats. Your should wear gloves for protection as rats carry disease and parasites. Some dangers of unprotected rat handling include.
- Rat Bite Fever
- Bubonic Plague
Dispose of the dead rats, clean off the trap, and reset. Remember, if you have seen a single rat, odds are there are multiple rats in the area. Continue the trapping process until there are no more signs of rats.
Rat Removal Step Five: Clean-Up and Restoration
This is we really recommend you hire a professional. Companies like Wildlife Removal Services specialize in attic restoration. We have specialized equipment, clean chemicals, and protective gear. Without the right tools, if you handle the clean-up yourself, you risk missing areas, inhalation of particles you really don’t want to breathe, and exposure to contaminated ares.
In most cases, removal of some roofing installation will be required as part of a through restoration. Wildlife Removal Services can also replace any removed installation with top of the line fiberglass insulation.
Additional Information About Rat Trapping
It is highly recommended that you do not use exclusion methods such as placing mouth balls, ammonia, or ultra-sonic sound emitters or strobes. Also, poison is the worse option you could use – the rats ingest the poison but go off into the walls or other hard-to-reach places to die. You do not want decomposing rats in your walls or roof. It is more expensive to locate and remove the dead rats and further more expensive to clean-up and restore any infested areas.
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