How to Keep Rats Away From Your Home

Knowing how to keep rats away from your home is important as rodents can cause a lot of damage to your property.

This is not to say there aren’t other pest issues plaguing the citizens of our fair city, but rats are especially tricky because they spread many different diseases, cause structural damage to power cables and pipes alike, and unfurl contamination all around.

Aside from that, oftentimes when people attempt to get rid of the problem themselves, they make it even worse. Most often when people try to rat-proof their homes they poison mice or rats without taking proper measures first. This endangers local wildlife since rodents escape and get eaten by predators. Which is why this type of work is best left to the pros.

Prevention is the best cure! Allow us to illuminate the path to a rodent-free living environment. Here’s how to keep rats away from your home and why you should do it.

How to Rat-Proof Your Home

Keep your home clean and neat
Keeping your home neat and clean will not prevent rodents in itself, but since it’s one of the main precursors to an infestation, this is where you should start.

Clean the crawl space
Rats love crawl spaces. They provide cover for them, and when they are not cleaned for a while, crawl spaces can be perfect shelters. Because of that, crawl spaces should be cleaned and kept neat and free of clutter. That way you can easily monitor these places and thus potentially prevent a future infestation.

Clean the garage, the attic, the basement, and try to prevent clutter
Because clutter allows rats to hide, they usually take it as an invitation to come in. This is why it’s crucial to prevent clutter in the areas where it’s most likely to occur – basement, garage, and attic. We’re sorry, but out of sight, out of mind won’t cut it this time.

Don’t leave food lying around
If rats consider clutter an open invite, they take food scraps for a royal welcome. It’s like you’ve organised a feast and they’re the guests of honour. Ensure all food leftovers are properly sealed (even the one you plan to dispose of). Odours are what attracts rodents the most. Close the buffet!

Carefully inspect your home for viable entry points
Examine the inside and outside of your home for any possible entry holes. Rats are bigger than mice, but they can also easily squeeze into relatively small holes.

If there are any entry holes, seal them
In order to seal the entry points with you can use either a rat-proof mesh or a rodent-proof expanding foam. They both work great and depending on your problem different materials will do the job. Holes smaller than half a centimetre can be sealed with expanding foam, and it will hold up well. For anything larger, you will have to use a rodent-proof mesh made out of metal. Meshes work best for larger rodents like big rats, while still doing a perfect job protecting from mice.

Have a look around your house for branches near the roof
Rats often climb on trees, use stray branches to access the roof, and get in through there. If you remove those branches, you also remove a huge entry point for rodents.

Put your rubbish bins away from the house
Place your rubbish bins as far away from the house as you can. Rodents love the smell of rubbish because our waste is actually their food. Thus, the further away you place the bin, the better.

Use gloss paint for the lower parts of the pipes and house
A great way to rodent-proof your home is to use a gloss paint for the lower parts of the house and the pipes. This makes it more difficult for rats to climb.

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Rats on wooden furniture.

Natural Rat Deterrents

There’s a number of natural rat deterrents you can use to aid in your endeavour. It’s important to note these won’t work on their own. They have to be used as methods to enhance the rodent-proofing process, not as a replacement.

Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil has a fantastic odour and also moonlights as a rat repellent. Because of its strong and sharp scent, it irritates rodents and masks other smells coming out of your home and thus keeps some pests at bay. They’re not likely to pester you if they don’t think there’s food around.

Commercial organic deterrents
Some companies produce organic rat deterrents on a natural basis. They extract the ingredients and mix them in ecologically friendly compounds. As such, their effectiveness has often been debated, but as we’ve said, none of these methods should be used on their own, anyway.

Ultrasonic repellers
These devices emit a sound at a frequency high enough to be basically undetectable for humans, but rather annoying for rodents because they can actually hear it. The problem with this is that if you have a pet (cat, dog, hamster), they will also hear it. So this isn’t exactly a universal solution. Also, it’s pretty limited in effectiveness and scope.