Rats! These pests have been around for hundreds of years, invading homes, apartments, streets and yards. They live off crumbs, can sneak around in even the smallest and darkest of places, and are truly a nuisance to homeowners everywhere.
But what rat control methods will really work to get rid of these pests? The first step is to figure out which type of rats has invaded your home. Then, you take action and choose how you to control them.
Types of Rats
The two most common types of rats to invade homes are roof rats and Norway rats. Each can quickly become a nuisance to the homeowner, chewing through walls, doors, electrical components, and other household items.
Norway rats tend to be much more aggressive than roof rats, but neither should be welcomed. Roof rats tend to have smaller, slender bodies than Norway rats and cause equal amounts of damage to the home by chewing holes as large as two inches in diameter for entering and exiting.
Rats vs. Mice
If you're not sure whether you're dealing with a rat problem or a mouse problem, there are a few steps you can take to inspect the home and determine which type of pest you are dealing with.
First, rats tend to be much larger than mice and they have longer tails. Also, rat droppings are shaped like capsules and tend to be a quarter inch long; mouse droppings are much smaller than rat droppings, usually about an eighth of an inch in size and shaped more like a pellet.
Rat Control Methods
There are many different types of rat control that can work depending on the level of the rat infestation and the amount of time the homeowner puts in.
The most common rat control methods include bait and trap, bait and release, and electronic pest control devices. In some cases where the rat infestation is severe, you may need to combine two or more rat control methods in order to completely get rid of the problem.
Bait and Trap
One of the most effective methods of rat control is the bait-and-trap method. Using a trap, a small amount of bait is placed to attract the rat. When the rat comes into contact with the bait, the spring-loaded trap will release and kill the rat.
Bait and trap is ideal in attics, garages, closets, basements, and wherever rats are known to frequent.
Bait and Release
The bait and release method works by luring in the rat with the bait and setting up a trap that captures the rat, but does not kill it. Once it's trapped, the homeowner can take it somewhere far from the home or sell it to pet store owners who may resell it as reptile food.
Electronic Pest Control Devices
There are a number of recently-developed electronic pest control devices that have proven to be effective at keeping rats, mice and other pests at bay.
These devices work by emitting a high frequency tone that is inaudible to the human ear but is very loud for pests. These devices tend to be rather costly and can also irritate pets, so they are not always the ideal rat control method for homeowners who also have cats or dogs.
Doing Rat Control Effectively
Regardless of which rat control method or methods you choose, there are safe and effective ways to get rid of rats in and around the home. If you're still not sure which type of rat control method is going to be most suitable for your pest situation, contact your local pest control company for professional advice and consult.