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How to get rid of rats in the attic at night

Do you think you have rats in your attic? What gives you that impression? Have you heard scuffling noises at night? Perhaps you've spotted some rat poop? Maybe you've even seen a rat yourself, as bold as you like, running around in your kitchen and not caring much about your presence?

Rats are getting bolder and braver these days and they're not second-thinking the decision to break into your home and set up somewhere comfortable to rest their heads. They follow the trail of food that we humans leave behind, and it's more than likely food that brought them right to your front door. Or rather, your attic.

1 - Make sure you have all sources of food covered
Do you throw garbage bags out in the back yard? A rat will tear through that plastic in a heartbeat. Throw your garbage in a metal garbage can, and make sure the lid can be secured. Raccoons can easily knock the tops off and knock them onto their sides, and then the rats can get in after that.

2 - Do a home inspection
If you know you have rats in your home, you can solve the problem yourself. You will need to first start by giving your home or commercial property a good once-over. You are looking for areas of damage - these are how the rats are likely getting in your home. You should pay particular attention to areas like:
• Around windows and doors
• Joins of chimney and home, also at the top of the chimney
• Around plumbing - pipework into and out of your home
• Around drains
• Attic / roof spaces
• Siding
You will need to note down EVERY piece of damage you find - every hole, crack or crevice. You will also need to take note of areas that may need repairing or maintaining further down the line.

3 - Perform repairs and seal
At this stage, you will need to not only repair the damage that you can see on the exterior of your home - the ways the rats are getting in - but also make sure that you are sealing up the holes. You cannot start trapping until you have sealed up the holes, otherwise you will just keep trapping a steady stream of rats passing through.

4 - Bait and place traps
Only when you are one hundred percent sure that you have sealed up every hole that the rats could have used to gain access into your property can you then set traps. Make sure that you re using rat traps, as opposed to mice traps which are smaller. You shouldn't waste your time with things like poison, or even "humane" live cage traps. Rats are likely to injure themselves in the live cage traps, especially if they are larger ones with lots of space, and rats that are re-released in the world seldom live for long. Not quite as humane as you first thought, right?

Bait isn't that important, although peanut butter tends to be a good choice. Make sure you don't go for something like cheese, which can deteriorate quite quickly. You might also want to avoid sweet foods, such as jam or fruits. These can attract other critters, particularly more rats, mice, and even insects too. You don't want to get rid of your rat problem to replace it with an insect problem.

5 - Check traps regularly, move if necessary
If you place the traps in the right position the first time, you shouldn't need to move them around too much. If you aren't catching anything, move them around a little, or try a new bait. It is likely the positioning that is wrong, however. There are many tricks you can use to find the most frequented areas of your property, and those are the areas in which you will want to concentrate your trapping efforts.

For more rat information, visit our rat removal tips page, or for more specific how-to instructions, read the how to get rid of rats page with 6 step-by-step instructions. If you have a problem with rats above your ceiling in your house, read my rats in the attic guide. The most important part of rat control is sealing shut entry holes into the building, but after you've done that, you'll want to know how to kill rats humanely to complete the rat control job. If you need to hire professional help in your city, click on my directory of over 200 rat removal companies servicing 95% of the USA. we can help your with your rat problem!
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