No one enjoys having an infestation of rodents in their house. The Norway Rat, perhaps the most common type of rat to infest homes, can reach nearly a foot and a half in length, and each female can birth nearly two dozen pups throughout her reproductive lifetime – a nightmare for any property owner. In most cases, you’ll want to deal with a professional rat exterminator to fully address your problem, but if you’re dead-set on trying the do it yourself approach before you give them a call, here are a few different tips and tricks to keep in mind:
- Use Traps – One of the oldest methods of dealing with a rodent problem is to use traps. These days, there are three primary types of traps the average person can try out before calling in the rat exterminator – snap, glue, and electric. Mechanical solutions such as this are relatively low cost and convenient (if a bit distasteful – you’ll have to do something with the corpse), but usually will not fully address an infestation.
- Employ Repellents – Repellents are another important part of the do-it-yourself solution if you’re trying to avoid calling the rat exterminator. There are chemical and technological choices here; ultrasonic repellents are the latest and greatest addition to the field, though they have their weaknesses as well. It is a very common mistake people make thinking that repellents alone can deal with an established infestation – they can’t, and you’ll most likely need to call in the rat exterminator if this is the case.
- Preventative Measures – Finally, you can try to address some of the root causes of infestation at the source. Rodents populate houses because of easy access to food and shelter – eliminate this ease, and you’ll often eliminate the infestation. Try improving sanitation efforts and rodent-proofing the area and you’ll often see significant benefits. Seal all openings to your home greater than one half inch in diameter, and address potential food sources such as garbage collection areas, outdoor pet pens, gardens, composting, and the like.
Keep in mind that none of these solutions are perfect; if you’re dealing with a serious infestation you’re going to have to bite the bullet and call in the rat exterminator to deal with things. However, using traps and repellents, as well as rodent-proofing your home can certainly help reduce the risk of further incidents.