If you hear scratching at night, smell a foul odor with no obvious source or find droppings, it’s time to research how to get rid of rats. These rodents are intelligent and likely to return to places with ample shelter and food. As a result, removing them completely is a monumental task that requires vigilance and professional assistance. If you have unwanted furry houseguests, these steps can help you kick them to the curb for good.
Secure Your Food
All animals need food, and rats are happy to eat nearly anything. In fact, rats can survive on scraps left by humans. As a result, any food left unsecured can turn into an all-you-can-eat rodent buffet.
For example, if you keep your pet’s dish outside, rats and other critters may get into it. Since you refill it, they’ll quickly learn this is a reliable source of sustenance. To prevent attracting trouble, never keep pet food of any kind outside, even if it’s in the original container.
Garbage and compost bins are also major food sources, as the rotting smells can attract wildlife. Fortunately, a few changes can keep animals out of your trash:
- Lock the lids
- Place inside a fence or wooden enclosure
- Position away from your house
You should also practice good habits inside your home. For example, don’t leave food out overnight; put leftovers inside sealable hard plastic or glass containers. It’s also a good idea to sweep regularly to eliminate lingering crumbs.
Seal Potential Points of Entry
Rats can squeeze through surprisingly small gaps and even enlarge holes with their sharp incisors. Once inside the walls, they can use the hollow space to move around and keep out of sight.
Regularly inspecting and sealing these potential entry points can prevent rodents from infiltrating your residence in the first place. Wildlife control experts know exactly what to look for, helping you identify issues:
- Foundation cracks
- Windowsill and door frame gaps
- Water-softened wood
Keep Greenery Neat
Shrubbery makes for an attractive landscape but also provides shelter to small animals. Placing bushes against your house allows rats to climb through windows and may even hide problematic cracks. It’s better to plant shrubs several feet away from walls and trim them regularly.
Trees pose a similar problem: Rats can use overhanging branches to access the roof. There, they can find or make holes to get into your attic. If this happens, you’ll have both rodent issues and a leak.
Remove Attractive Habitats
Unfortunately, landscaping worries aren’t limited to trees and shrubs. Tall grass can also serve as shelter, so overgrown lawns may attract rats, mice, and even squirrels. Keeping your grass to 3 inches helps you avoid this problem while keeping your lawn healthy.
It’s also a good idea to put distance between your lawn and your house. For example, you can lay several feet of rock around the exterior, creating an aesthetic visual while simultaneously guarding your property. Rodents are unlikely to cross rock and bare ground because it puts them at risk from flying predators, so even a short distance can be an effective barrier.
Contact Wildlife Control Experts
If you suspect you have rats, contact wildlife removal services in Milwaukee. Rodents can carry diseases, so removal requires safety equipment and special procedures. Additionally, rat nests and droppings can cause health problems, especially in or near HVAC ductwork. Professionals can safely remove all traces of rodents so you can rest easy.
The Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control team removes rats and other critters without harming them, minimizing the impact on the local ecosystem. We also address entry points to keep animals from returning. If rats or other wildlife have moved in, schedule an appointment by giving us a call or contacting us online.