Things You'll Need
The last thing anyone wants in their home is a wild rat. It is frustrating to hear the patter of little rodent feet in the middle of the night. The damage a rat can cause by chewing through wood cupboards or walls can become expensive to repair. There are some quick steps you can take to rat proof your home.
Keep it Clean
Clean areas where food particles may be scattered. The bottom of shelves and pantries hold quite a bit of food the rat is attracted to. By cleaning the cupboards and pantry floor daily, the crumbs from crackers or cereal are swept away.
Store dry goods in heavy plastic containers. A rat can chew through a box of cereal or a bag of rice. Keeping these items in plastic or metal containers will keep the rats under control.
Clean up any areas around the house which may attract rats. Brush piles or wood piles are great nesting places for a rat. By removing the brush or moving the wood pile once in a while, the rats will not feel safe building nests.
Clean the kitchen every night by clearing dishes and putting away food items. Sweep the floor to pick up any food particles which may have fallen.
Seal it Up
Fix any holes in the foundation of your home which a rat may be able to crawl into. Rats are attracted to warmth and a food source. When you seal up any holes in the basement or foundation walls the rats can not come in from the cold.
Check the garage doors for gaps. A small gap under the door is just big enough to let a rat into your home. Make sure the garage doors are shut properly.
Inspect indoor walls and crawl spaces for evidence of rats. There may be holes the rats are already using to get into your house. Seal them as quickly as possible to deter the rats from coming back.
Bait and Trap
Set rat bait or traps around the areas you have seen the rats or noticed activity. Be sure to keep the bait out of the way of small children and pets.
Set bait or traps behind appliances like the stove and refrigerator. The warm, dark corners are where rats like to hide.
Inspect the bait and traps frequently to remove any carcasses you may find or to add more bait.
Trash and debris in a neighbor's yard can attract rats into your home. You may want to offer to lend a hand in clearing any debris to avoid an infestation.
Rats carry diseases. Take precautions at the first sign of rats in the home. One rat can lead to an infestation.
Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.