Rats can be a huge problem in the home and unfortunately, because they are very shy and good at hiding, you may not know you have rats in the house until you start noticing the damage they cause. It can be distressing to see the situation get out of control because in addition to causing damage, rats cause poor sanitation and carry diseases. For these reasons alone, it might be worthwhile to learn about how to eliminate rats from your home. This article will guide you on how you can locate and  kill rats.

How to find rats

Of course, the obvious way of identifying a rat invasion is to see one or more of the rodents with your own eyes. However, rats are nocturnal and stealthy, so they are very hard to spot. They’re also small and agile, which means that you might have to rely on clues such as droppings and gnaw marks, or noises such as the pitter-patter of tiny feet coming from above the ceiling as they skitter around in the roof cavity.

If you do have rats in the home, the first step is to find where they are hiding. This will provide a starting point for tackling the incursion and preventing future trouble. Common hiding spots are the roof cavity, the garage, inside wall cavities, basements, storerooms and sheds. In short, anywhere out-of-the-way, dark and quiet.

Look out for evidence of their droppings and gnaw marks, as this will indicate where they are spending most of their time. Nests can usually be found in dark, secluded corners and are often furnished from shredded paper (invariably, your documents or books), fabric (your clothes and drapes) or packing materials (your furniture stuffing). 

How to kill rats using poison

Poison is the most effective way of getting rid of rats. Products such as the Mortein Rat & Mice Dual Action Bait and the Mortein Rat & Mice Dual Action Throwpacks are used around the home and placed in areas where rats tend to frequent, such as close to their nest or near sources of water. Rats are suspicious by nature, so it may take them a few days to accept the bait package as part of their environment and to start eating from them. Once the rat feeds on the bait, even once, it is doomed and will die within a few days. Of course, rat poison should be kept out of reach of pets and children, as it can cause serious illness or even be fatal without treatment.

How to prevent rats from entering your home

The best remedy for a rat problem is prevention in the first place.

In order to prevent rats from entering your home, it is essential to remove anything that would attract them and anything that would make your place cosy real estate for a rat. Keep your home and property clear of unnecessary clutter and hoardings that could be adapted and fashioned by rats into a home for themselves.

Rats are well-accustomed to living in a human environment so to discourage them from entering your property make sure you make unavailable all potential sources of food and water to them. This means effectively sealing garbage containers, cleaning your barbeque and surrounds after use and picking fruit from the garden as soon as possible after they start to ripen and letting them ripen fully indoors.

Additionally, inspect the walls, windows, doors and drains for possible entry points, blocking or sealing them as necessary. Make sure you trim tree branches well away from your roof and remove materials from around your home that could provide rats with access into it. Read more about this in our article on how to avoid rats at home.