Hopefully you have never had an encounter with a rat – upclose and personal. While some people keep rats for pets others try all kinds of ways to once and for all get rid of these ugly little creatures. If you see one in your house you can be assured he has family members in other places. There is no time to ask questions it is time to bring out the ‘rat patrol.’ If you have them in your garage, your office, or any other place then it is time to take action.
Rats can be dangerous if you come in contact with them on a regular basis. They can spread diseases. Pestilence and Black Plague are two of their offerings. They also carry bacteria which can be harmful. These can be found in their hair as well as their urine and those little droppings they leave throughout your home. Okay, so you have an issue. You are a pet lover. You are a faithful member of PETA. There are ways you can rid of the rat without killing it.
First, you need to play detective. If you see gnawing marks they have made on your wood you need to determine how long they have made themselves guests in your home. Since the rat is known to sharpen their teeth on the wood, as well as to get around inside, you can determine how long they have been present by examining the holes they have created. If the gnawing is rough this indicates a new chewing. If the gnawing is smooth this indicates an old hole as the creature has repeatedly chosen this area to chew on.
When you see the frequent droppings they will be soft and moist indicating they are fresh. If they are old droppings then they are hard and somewhat dried. Just as we humans have certain areas where we go to relieve ourself – so do rats. They generally choose areas around the home where there are little corners. They also urinate in your house; however, they do this while they are running. They leave streaks of urine which can sometimes be difficult to detect.
If you choose to hire a professional pest control company they will probably use chemicals. These can be dangerous if used improperly. If you have a massive number of rats, who keep multiplying faster than you can imagine, you may need to call in an exterminator. Whatever your choice, should you choose either of these methods, you must make certain to protect your family and your pets so that no one accidentally ingests the chemicals in any manner.
If you decide to handle the rat population on your own – and you do not want to use a chemical or anything that will harm the rats, there are ways of ridding of the rodents. First, it is important to keep all food sealed so that the rat cannot find anything to feast on. Most rats are simply looking for their next meal. If you supply it for the rat they will be most grateful – in fact, they will be so grateful that they will most likely return with their family members. Aside from keeping your food sealed do not leave any type of spillage around, fruits or vegetables sitting in the open, or items, such as a banana peel where the rat can get to it. When you dispose of food, if other than in a garbage disposal, you must do so by either continually emptying your garbage or sealing it so the rats cannot get inside.
If you were not successful in ridding of the rats through changing your routine with your food storage, you may need to resort to a trap. There are many variations from the single-catch live trap to the glue-board trap. The snap-trap for a rat is similar to, but much larger than, a mouse trap. The glue trap encourages the rat to step aboard, in order to taste the food sitting in the center, then, once they approach their feet become stuck to the gluen on the trap. The theory is that they will repeatedly struggle, to free themself, becoming so exhausted they will eventually die. Another, more creative way, is to bring in the family cat and put her in attack mode.