Of all of the places that rats invade in homes, attics are the most common. Due to the cramped space and darkness, getting rid of rats here is a major challenge. Rats prefer to hide in small crevices and cracks, while building nests in your insulation. From there, they can expand to other areas of your home by tunneling through walls and ceilings.
Attics are also perfect grounds for infestation because they generally lack human traffic, thus enabling constant coverage. They’re also incredibly important to maintaining the structural frame of homes, and when damaged, it may weaken the overall structure and put your home at risk for collapse.
Here are some ways to get rid of rats in the attic without compromising your home’s structure:
Get Rid of Entry Points
One of the most effective ways to get rid of rats in your attic is to get rid of entry points that can be used to access your home. This means that any tree branches that touch your homes upper-exterior should be trimmed. You should also trim tree branches and foliage that are within a few feet of your home's upper-exterior, as rats can often jump up to a foot in distance.
Inspecting for holes is another key step in removing access. Look for any holes in your attic's walls, as well as its roof; remember – rats can chew through wood-based materials with ease. If you find holes, seal them off with metal sheeting or concrete so that rats can’t chew through the seal to regain entry.
You should also check your chimney, gutters and vents to ensure that there are no excessive spaces. If you find excessive spacing, try to cover these areas with galvanized wire-mesh screening in order to allow air flow while keeping rats out
Traps and Poisons
Just like the rest of your home, traps and poisons are effective for getting rid of rats. While having rats in your attic is never a pleasant experience, it's actually easier and safer to use traps and poisons in your attic, as it keeps them away from people and pets; however, it's important to keep poisons and chemical sprays away from venting systems, as this could circulate poisonous chemicals throughout your home.
Additionally, if you have a gas furnace, spraying flammable aerosol may cause a fire, so always exercise caution in these areas. You should also check traps on a regular basis to remove any dead rats, as rats produce pheromones that can signal other rats of their location.
Beyond the Attic
As mentioned, rats in your attic can easily spread out to other areas of your home, such as kitchen and bathrooms, their next favorite targets.
To avoid rats from ravaging some of the priciest areas of your home, keep the kitchen and bathrooms free of moisture and food debris at all times. If you continue to have problems with rats in your attic, you may need to contact a professional exterminator. Most exterminators will be able to evaluate your attic for entry points, treat areas in which rats have been found and help your home and its attic to remain rat-free.