This is an educational guide about how to remove rats from a variety of situations. The most common problem people face with rats is home invasion - an infestation of rats in the home, perhaps in
the attic or walls, or even in the house itself, like in the kitchen. Follow the below steps to remove the rats from your house or building permanently.
Step 1 -
Inspect the house and attic. You have to identify for certain if you do have a rat problem. If you're hearing scratching or scampering noises in the attic at night, or up the walls, etc, then
there's a good chance it's rats. If your kitchen food is being nibbled on, it may be rats. Other animals, from squirrels, raccoons, and mice can also do the same, so an inspection of the attic, including
visual identification of rat droppings, tracks, and other signs, helps. Look for brown staining on pathways, and chewing on wires, two common bits of rat evidence.
Click here to learn why you should never use rat poison
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 vents, pipes, loose siding,
fascia boards, eaves, roof lines, etc.
Step 3 -
Seal every entry hole shut permanently, with steel. Rats can chew through almost any material, so you must use steel mesh or metal flashing for your repairs. I also like to use a
special sealant to block all air flow through entry holes - when rats detect air flow, they start to chew their way in.
Click here to for photo examples of rat hole repairs
Step 4 -
Trap and remove all the rats. Yes, seal up first, THEN trap. To trap first is pointless, because new rats keep coming in. Once the building is sealed, you'll have a much easier time of
trapping the rats. Set the traps on the rat runways. I have tried many traps, and the very best is the wooden Victor snap traps. I bait them with peanut butter, but placement, right on the frequently
used rat trails (you should have spotted them during your inspection) is much more important than type of bait. You can use live cage traps, but they don't work very well, and relocating live rats isn't a good idea.
Step 5 -
Check the traps every day, remove and throw out all trapped rats, and reset the traps. Continue until you hear no more rat 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 house right. If it takes longer, you probably missed sealing some entry holes, and should re-inspect the house.
Learn advanced rat trapping tips
Step 6 -
Once all the rats are out, I recommend cleaning and deodorizing the attic. This means vacuuming out rat droppings, removing and replacing soiled insulation, and fogging the attic with a special cleaner.
If you are unable to effectively follow the above steps, I recommend that you hire a professional to take care of the problem. However, do not hire a regular pest control company
- they will not solve
your rat problem - they want to maintain a never-ending quarterly service contract, so they don't want to permanently solve the problem. They just spread some rat poison in the attic, and over the years I
have discovered that the use of rat poison is a horrible thing. It causes far more problems that it helps. Poison never solves a rat problem - all it does is kill a few rats from time to time, and most of them
die inside the building, where they create a horrible odor problem, and then within days, new rats come take their place. You want to hire a wildlife removal expert who will treat rats like the mammals they
are, not like insects. I recommend that you hire one of the companies on my wildlife-removal.com directory.
My directory has companies listed in over 550 US cities and towns, but I'm going to give a special recommendation to my friends that I've trained in these cities:
Los Angeles CA
Boca Raton FL
Fort Lauderdale FL
I'll now answer several queries that I've received over the years regarding different rat removal situations:
1) how to catch a rat in the attic - follow the above steps, of course! There is no good way to live-catch rats, so I use snap traps.
2) removal of rats from house - If they are in the living space of the house, set the traps in a safe place. Find out how they got into the house. Never use poison.
3) rat traps - There are many kinds - cage traps, repeater traps, glue board traps, but the most effective are actually the snap type traps.
4) mouse trapping tips - Mice are very similar to larger rodents, like the Norway Rat or the Roof Rat. They are a little easier to trap though. Set smaller, mouse sized traps.
5) How to remove rats from attic - Not an easy task. The key is sealing all the entry holes shut, and setting the traps in just the right spots.
6) how to catch a rat - With cunning, stealth, vigor, and determination! No, actually experience is the main thing that helps contribute to success.
7) rat deterrent - The best deterrent is to seal shut all entry holes into a building. That failing, there is no product that will get rid of rats.
8) rat poop in my automobile - Rats can easily get into cars. Run the car more often, park it in a garage, or set traps in the car when you're not driving it.
9) trapping rats in attic - Look for the paths, trails, and rat burrows in the insulation, and set the traps on these areas.
10) How to remove rats from basement - Same as anywhere else in the house - first close off access holes, then set snap traps.
11) rats and nests - They do have nests of baby rats in the attic - the nests are made out of insulation or plant debris.
12) remove rats from roof - You can actually set traps right on the roof - be sure to drill wooden traps into the roof. It works very well.
13) rat repellent moth balls - Huge myth. Lots of manufacturers sell cheap mothballs (naphthalene) as an animal and rodent repellent, but it has no effect on rats or mice.
14) does rat poison work to remove rats from attic - NO! Poison is the worst. It does kill a few rats, but not all. And then the rotting rat carcasses stink up your house horribly. And new rats just come anyway. Never use poison.
15) remove rats in walls - If it's a dead rat or a nest in the walls, you've got to cut a hole open to access it. If it's just rats running about up and down the walls, then you can set traps in the attic or house or wherever else they are going.
16) How to remove rats from car - Not so easy. If you can't put your truck or automobile into a garage, then you can just run it more often, or use hot sauce on the wires to prevent chewing on electrical components.
17) rat prevention - Keep your property free of debris and garbage. But the most important tip is to deny them a place to live by sealing off entry holes into a house.
18) rat diseases in attic - Rats spread several diseases, and that's why it's important to clean up rat droppings after you catch and remove them.
19) law on trapping rat - I don't think there are any laws preventing rodent trapping in a home or attic.
20) Removal of rats from ceiling - A dead rat must be cut out. If there's no attic space to set traps, then set them where you can. There must be a spot. In a drop ceiling it's pretty easy.
21) How to remove rats from crawl space - You can set traps in the crawl space, but as usual, denying them access with an exclusion barrier is the best option.
22) how to capture a rat that lives in my house - You can capture it with a variety of traps, but I like snap traps best, because they are most effective.
23) How to remove rats from garage - Find the openings, probably at the lower corners of the garage door, and set traps there, and seal those areas shut, if possible.
24) How to remove rats from garden - That's pretty hard to do. A pet cat might help out here. I only specialize in buildings.
25) can rodent in attic chew into the house - Yes, they can easily chew through drywall, but it doesn't happen often.
26) How to remove rats from building - Follow the six steps at the top of this web page.
27) removing mouse from your house - The House Mouse is harder than the Brown or Black Rat because it can sneak into the house via smaller holes. But, they are a bit easier to trap.
28) rodents in the chimney - Doesn't happen that often, but if you've got a chimney problem, put a cap on the top of the chimney.
29) rodents in homes - A common malady worldwide, in most cities and urban areas.
30) i have a rodent in my roof who do i call - Do not call an exterminator or a pest control company. Call a licensed wildlife control company.
31) rodent removal repellant - No such thing. Go ahead and try the usuals - ammonia, coyote urine, cat urine, moth balls, mint - they do not help in the slightest.
32) rodent removal from residence - If it's in your apartment or loft, you can try to follow the steps at the top of this page, or call a pro.
33) rodent on roof of shed - They like sheds as much as any other building, so long as there is adequate shelter. Use the same removal techniques as in a big house.
34) rat urine smell - It has its own unique smell. I like spraying a special cleaner called Bac Azap to get rid of rat urine odor.
35) rat removal tips and tricks - Here's a tip: if they are licking the bait off the pan but not getting trapped, try setting the pan to hair-trigger sensitivity.
36) baby rodent sounds - squeak, squeak, squeak! A high pitched squeaking sound.
37) attic mice removal - Set a whole bunch, like at least a dozen or even twenty, mouse snap traps in the attic.
38) where can you get a trap for a mouse in the attic - They are sold all over the place, in department or hardware stores, like Wal-Mart or Home Depot or Sears or wherever. You can also order them online.
39) where are rats getting into my house - Lots of different areas. Check all vents, pipes, loose siding, plumbing stacks, fascia boards, eaves, roof lines, etc.
40) what to do with caught rodent - If you've live trapped it, you can relocate it aways away from your house, I guess. But it won't live long without a home to live in.
41) what to do when there is a mouse in your attic at night - Start the above six-step process!
42) what to do when a rat is in the walls - Get it out of the walls before it chews on wire or plumbing.
43) noise in attic at night mice - They make a very light noise of course, but some people describe it as very loud.
44) removal of rodents in crawl spaces of house - If by crawlspace you mean under the house, seal all crawl space vents, and set traps in areas of high activity.
45) what should i do if there is a rat in my atic - Remove all of them first by blocking their entry or exit, then by expert trapping methods.
46) pregnant rodents in my attic - Rats have eight litters of young per year - if they live a year, that is, which is rare. It is very common for rats to give birth in an attic. Rats are sexually mature at 12 weeks.
47) what kind of bait is used for catching a rat - Bait does not matter nearly as much as trap location, but peanut butter is good, as is meat, chocolate, anything.
48) what does a baby rat sound like - Probably nothing. They are usually quiet, or emit a very faint high pitched squeak.
49) rodent removal business listings - I've got a huge list of great rodent experts on my directory.
50) rat catchers - Some are skilled, and some are not, just like with any profession. Ask them about their technique, now that you know the proper way to go about solving the problem.
51) How to remove rats from mobile home - There's a good chance they're getting in from the bottom, so get down and dirty and under the mobile house and find those entry holes and seal 'em!
You can also email me if you have any questions about rat removal.