Nobody wants a roof rat infestation in their home. From damaged goods to just the thought of these pests running around your home, many people shudder from the thought of rats. If you suspect a rat infestation in your home or know you have rats, it’s important to handle the situation and get rid of them promptly.

Luckily, there are ways to handle rats in both minor and severe infestations. To learn more about roof rats and how to get rid of them, keep reading.

What is a roof rat?

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Roof rats, otherwise commonly known as the black rat, are pesky creatures that are known to invade homes. These rats are typically brown or black in color, and are about 6 inches long on average. While some keep these rats as pets, they often cause trouble when they infiltrate a home. Roof rats can also cause damage to your lawn and garden as well.

Roof rats can cause serious damage to your home and can be hard to control once the problem becomes serious. From damaged electrical wires, insulation, furniture, boxes, walls, and more, there isn’t much roof rats won’t get into. Additionally, these rats can carry diseases, which can be dangerous if the rats get into any food stored within your home.

How can I tell if I have roof rats?

Outside of seeing a rat with your own eyes, some common signs of roof rats in your home include smells, droppings, sounds, and damage. The smell of urine can become extremely strong if there is a serious infestation of rats. You may also notice small droppings around your home as well as sounds, such as scratching or scampering noises coming from your ceiling or walls. Rats may also cause damage, so if you notice chewed walls, furniture, or holes, you may have a rat infestation.

How do I prevent roof rats?

If you want to avoid another rat infestation in the future, there are a few ways to prevent rats from entering your home or lawn. Some preventative measures include:

  • Sealing any holes with caulk
  • Covering any openings (vents, windows, etc) with screens
  • Keeping your home clean and free of a buildup of trash or food
  • Keeping food tightly sealed

Rats can crawl into extremely tight spaces and holes, so don’t underestimate any opening or hole within your home. Chances are, a rat can crawl through it. 

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In addition to these measures, keeping up with your lawn can also prevent rats. Rats and other pests like overgrown lawns, as they can hide within the plants. You can also enclose or remove any water and food sources in your lawn. Check out your local lawn care companies to learn more about how lawn upkeep can prevent pests. 

How do I get rid of roof rats?

There are a few ways to get rid of roof rats in your home. To learn more about dealing with these pests, keep reading the tips below.

#1 Rat Traps

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Rat traps are one way you can get rid of rats on your own. While rat traps are a good do-it-yourself fix for rats, they can be difficult and dangerous to set up. Some different types of rat traps include:

  • Metal traps
  • Electric traps
  • Humane traps
  • Snap traps
  • Glue traps

Depending on your preference, you can utilize these traps to catch and kill or catch and release the rats in your home. These traps can be placed inside or outside your home. Be careful when setting up traps and read the instructions closely. However, if the infestation is severe, traps may not be enough to stop the infestation.

#2 Rat Bait 

Rat bait, or rat poison, is another common way to get rid of rats in your home. This is a type of pesticide that kills rats once ingested. To use rat bait, you can install a physical rat bait with the pesticide inside.

Keep in mind, rats may not be immediately attracted to the bait. It may take a day or two for the rats to approach and ingest any rat poison. Additionally, remove any other possible source of food for the rats, as they may just ignore the rat poison to opt for a tastier treat. Once the rats eat the poison and die, you can remove them.

#3 Professional extermination

If your rat infestation is too severe or you don’t want to deal with them yourself, you can always contact a professional extermination company to identify and remove the rats for you. Professional rat exterminators know how to pinpoint the sources, entryways, and locations of rats in your home.

Once they determine these points, they will use their own method of extermination. Once the rats are removed from your home, the exterminators may also give you helpful rat prevention tips to use in the future.

Editorial Contributors
Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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