When it comes to rat control, what better an alternative than preventing them altogether? That way you won’t need to control anything at all; instead, you can sit back and relax in your home, safe in the knowledge that you are pest-free, and therefor safe from sickness and any unnecessary damage to your property.
Think of your home as a fortress and rats a rabble of would-be bandits roaming the wilds looking for settlements to sack. As the ruler of your castle, it is your duty to defend it. To keep your subjects safe from harm. And in order to do that, you’re going to need to bolster your defences. Are you ready, your grace? Then let us begin.
Make your home a poor choice for rats
If these bandits believe your fortress to have nothing to offer them, then they will be far less likely to attack you. This is step one of the pest prevention process. So, keep all of your food in sealed containers and clean your kitchen thoroughly after use. Keep your trash in a sealed bin and take it out of an evening to put outside (ensure that the outdoor bins are sealed as well). If there’re no food scraps and crumbs scattered around your home, then it will be a poor place for rats to call home indeed.
Another important step is to keep your home clutter-free, both inside and out. Less clutter means that there will be less places for rats to hide. Do a spring clean (no matter what time of year) and start throwing out any old rubbish that you don’t need. If you have boxes of bits that you no longer need or use, sell them or give them away to charity. Not only is this good house-keeping and pest-prevention, but it feels good as well.
Seal the gates!
And we’re not talking about the front door. Rats are crafty little blighters and will always find a way into your home—unless of course, you make it impenetrable. Smaller rats can fit through a hole as little as a small coin (approx. 0.96 inches), and if you look carefully, we can almost guarantee that you’ll be able to find a few around the outside of your home. Use things like Polyfilla to fill in small gaps, and wire mesh over vents and other ducts.
Pay particular attention to how close certain trees are to your home as well. You’d be surprised by how far a rat can jump, if there’s a branch reaching especially close to an open window. They can also run along electrical cables, so be certain to inspect your fascia and guttering for any gaps.
Don’t leave pet food outside
Find a dry and secure place to store pet food, and you should elevate it as well. If you were to otherwise keep them at floor level in a relatively open space, you’re guaranteed to attract all sorts of pests. The same applies with after having put food down for your pets to eat. When they’re done eating, clear the food up (if outside).
Sealed odourless composter
If you have a composter, it is advised that you don’t use any organic food waste. However, if you invest in a sealed and odourless composter, you shouldn’t have much of an issue, as you’ll be able to keep it stored inside.
Any firewood or other debris kept in your garden should be stored appropriately. Don’t leave it in piles on the ground; instead find a way to elevate it. Don’t give the rats an excuse to set up shop outside your home. Anywhere that you think might make a snug and cosy nest almost certainly will.
Seal & repair pipework
Rats have been known to swim up damaged pipes and can even get around u-bends in toilets. This is uncommon but get in the habit of leaving your toilet seat closed in any case. It is also advisable that you seal and repair all pipework, especially in basement areas which have a tendency to be damper.
Use traps as a last resort
You should only really need to use rattraps as a last resort and even then, you should approach with care—especially if you have pets or children. Poison is certainly not to be used lightly. If you really are worried that you might have a pest problem, then your best course of action will be to hire a rat control service to come and inspect your property. Once it has been confirmed that you have a pest problem, they will be able to take the necessary action to rid your home of the rodents.