I operate a professional rat removal business in Orlando FL (if you don't live in Orlando click here for your area
, where there's a lot of rats. I've seen hundreds of cases, and am an expert on getting rid of rats.
The first & most important principle to know is that in order to
completely & permanently solve the rat problem, you must stop any rats from getting inside the house in the first place. They're getting in somehow - they can use a lot of different entry points - vents, ducts, gaps in siding,
architectural gaps in the eave and fascias, on the roof, under the house, etc. Follow these steps.
Step 1 -
Inspect the house and attic to identify if you do have a rat problem, or if it's mice, squirrels, etc.. If you're hearing fast pitter-patter sounds in the walls or the attic at night, then
there's a good chance it's rats. An inspection, including
visual identification of rat droppings, tracks, and other signs, helps. Look for chewing on wires and brown staining on pathways, which are two common bits of rat evidence.
Step 2 -
Find out how the rats are getting inside the building - this is the most important thing to do! You can never permanently remove rats from your attic or home unless you find all of their
entry holes into the building. Inspect every inch of the outside of the house, from the ground up and the entire roof. Check out all gable vents, soffit vents, loose siding,
fascia boards, eaves, roof corners and so on.
Step 3 -
Seal every entry hole closed permanently. Rats can chew through almost any material, so you should use steel mesh screen for your repairs. I also like to use a
polyurethane foam sealant to block all air flow through entry gaps, so rats dont' try to chew their way in, because they smell air.
Step 4 -
Finally, you can trap and get rid of all the rats. Yes, first seal up, THEN start trapping. If you set traps before you've stopped them from getting in, you don't get rid of the rat problem. New rats keep coming in.
Once the house is sealed shut, every last spot, you'll have a much easier time of
trapping the rats. Location is the most important factor. Set the traps on the rat runways, where you see droppings and trails in the insulation. Snap traps actually work the best. I bait them with peanut butter, but placement
is much more important than type of bait.
Step 5 -
Check the traps every day, and remove and get rid of all dead trapped rats, and reset the traps. Move any unsuccessful traps. Continue trapping until you hear no more rodent sounds at night, and see no more evidence of fresh
rat activity. This should only take about 2-3 nights if you've sealed the building correctly. If it takes longer, you probably missed sealing some entry holes, and should re-inspect the building.
Step 6 -
Once all the rats are out, I recommend cleaning and deodorizing the attic or house where rats left waste. This means vacuuming out rat droppings, removing and replacing dirty insulation, and fogging the attic with a special cleaner.
As you can see, complete rat removal can be done, and it can only be done this way. There is no effective shortcut, such as a rat repellent or permanent poison. The only true cure is to prevent rats from entering
the building in the first place, and then complete trapping and removal. This job is not easy, and I recommend hiring a professional to do the job correctly. I have personally trained and interviewed several hundred
companies throughout the USA. For my personal pick of the best rat control company in your city or town, click on my USA directory of rat experts
, 140 companies serving 97% of the United States.
With our experience in rat control and knowledge of building architecture and how rats use it, we can get rid of rodents completely, with guarantee. We perform a very detailed inspection of the house or building, and find every last spot that rats are
using to get in. Experience and knowledge of rat behavior matters a great deal in this process. Once we've found everything, we seal it all up, with steel mesh and plating, that rats cannot chew back through.
We make sure the place is entirely rat-proof. This is by far the most important step. Once this is done, then it's just a simple matter of trapping and removing the remaining rats, which is easy once they can't get outside for food and water,
and the job is done. Well, it's also a good idea to have the attic cleaned and decontaminated and deodorized to kill off the parasites and the chance for Eosinophilic Meningitis, Leptospirosis or Salmonellosis, and to eliminate the
scent in rat grease and urine that will attract new rats to try to chew their way into the house.
It's also important to trap and remove the rats correctly. A lot of lazy companies will set a few traps by the attic hatch. That's not very effective. Rats are creatures of habit, and tend to travel the same pathways over and over.
In order to catch them, it's best to set many traps, at least a dozen or more, on the exact trails in the attic that the rats are using. Poison is a horrible idea, as it leaves rat carcasses in the attic and walls, decomposing and giving off a
terrible odor. Glue boards and other traps aren't very effective. Snap traps are best. For more information on rat trapping, read the how to kill rats
page. Or, if you want to read more detailed
information on getting rid of rats from many types of areas, visit www.howtogetridofrat.com - how to get rid of rats
As for other ideas for how to get rid of rats, people may recommend cleaning up garbage, keeping the property free of trash and debris, keeping vegetation down, trimming back trees and other plants next to the house, and so on, but these things are not necessary. Sure, garbage and debris and flora will attract rats, but the truth is that there's always going to be a lot of rats outside, even if you live in a very clean area, and there's no way to stop that. So the only real way to take care of a rat problem for good is to seal shut all entry points into the house, and let the rats live outside or in your neighbor's house, where they belong.
And now, to address the concerns of specific areas within a building:
How to get rid of rats in the attic - This is the most common spot, and luckily, in an attic there's plenty of space to move around, and to see the rat trails and burrows and runways in the insulation, which will tell you where to lay the traps. The most common
entry points are on the roof level.
How to get rid of rats in the basement - Set traps along the walls, where rats like to travel. Look for signs, like rat or mouse poop, and set the traps there. The most common entry areas for basement dwelling rodents are at ground level, or even plumbing pipes.
How to get rid of rats in the ceiling - If you're not talking about a ceiling with an attic, but one with no space, or one between floors, then it's a bit harder, because there's no space in which to set traps. Find other areas to trap - surely the rats are going
in other parts of the house. As usual, sealing the holes is ultimately the most important thing. If you need to get rid of a dead rat in the ceiling, you've got to cut a hole. A drop ceiling, like in an office, is easy to set traps in.
How to get rid of rats in the crawl space - A crawl space is the gap under an elevated home. If this gap is wide open, you'll have lots of animal problems. I install complete steel mesh barriers. If there's just a few small vent holes, it's a lot easier to seal up. Set
traps on the areas of high rodent activity.
How to get rid of rats in the garage - Set traps along the walls, where rats often run, and look for other rat sign, like poop. The most common entry areas are at the garage door, notably the lower corners, which aren't often sealed well. You can seal these areas off
at the bottom with concrete.
How to get rid of rats in the house - If they are inside the house, you can set traps in either a safe place like a pantry, or out in the open if you have no kids or pets, or in a lockable container. You can also likely trap in the attic, where the rats are also hanging out.
How to get rid of rats in the kitchen - The most common entry point is the power supply behind the stove. Go ahead - pull your oven out, and you'll see! Block this area off with metal flashing, but don't get electrocuted!
How to get rid of rats in the walls - If it's a dead rat or a nest of baby rats, then cut a hole in the wall. Otherwise, they're probably going up the wall into the attic, and you can get rid of rats there. As with any place, find the entry holes outside - that's how
to solve a rat problem permanently.
Read more articles about rats:
What to do about a trap-shy rat
What are the types of rat snap traps?
Does poison make rats thirsty and die outside (NO. This is a myth)
What is the best bait to trap a rat?