Have you recently found out that you've been sharing your home with a family of rats? Rats aren't the roommates that anyone wants in their home. If you've found evidence of rats, there are some things that you must do -- and things that you have to avoid doing -- to help you get rid of them for good.
Eliminate All Food Sources
Each night when you go to bed, the rats come out in search of food. Your goal is to make it as difficult for them to find food as possible. They rely greatly on their noses to lead them to the food supply, so you'll need to get your food into air-tight containers.
Any food that isn't in cans should be moved into storage bins for the time being. It's not ideal, but it's better than having the rats continue stealing your food. Don't leave your pet's food out at night. Put the bags of food inside plastic bins with lids. Pet food will attract the rats and could lead to the pet food becoming contaminated.
Never Try to Save Food
If you've found that a rat or two has nibbled on the end of your loaf of bread, you need to toss out the entire loaf. Never try to save the food that the rats have nibbled on. When rats don't finish the food that they've been nibbling on, they spray it, much like a cat sprays his territory. That rat spray isn't something that you'll want to consume.
Now is the time to get some traps set. If you know the general area in which the rats seem to be hunting, set the traps along the walls and in the corners.
If you have pets, you'll need to get the pet-safe trap houses; these traps use bait-and-snap or zap traps to kill the rats after they enter. The rats can get into the house, but your pet will not be able to get in and get hurt on the trap or eat the bait.
Call a Pest Control Specialist
Rats should never be left to continue breeding in your home. Chances are you have many more than just one rat living in your walls. A pest control specialist will be able to find out how they are getting into your home, and they will use the proper rodent treatment to eliminate them from your home.
Don't ignore this problem – it's not going away on its own. The longer you allow the problem to persist, the more damage your home will sustain and the more difficult it will be to gain control of the situation.