Insects are annoying, and mice can be a hassle, but having rats in the house is a true disaster. They’re as destructive as mice except that their larger size just makes all the damage that much more extensive. Not to mention they carry disease and their droppings will contaminate everything they touch. You can call a pest control service, or try one of these remedies yourself:
Attractive bits of food that include a dose of poison are one of the best ways to get rid of rats, especially if you can leave them in spots you know the critters are active. You have to be careful that any pets or children don’t accidentally eat the baits, and the rats that eat them may die in very inaccessible places where you can’t clean up the mess.
Traps can be very effective though rats are known for swiping the bait while managing to avoid being trapped. You can go with the standard snap-and-kill traps, or try the cage type that traps them alive, as long as you are able to release them far enough from your home.
Snap traps can be found that are easier to use than the old wire spring ones, that can be set by squeezing them open. Just make sure you get large ones meant for rats, the little mouse traps won’t do the trick at all. Bait them with something that can’t be snatched up without triggering it, like a wad of peanut butter.
You’ll have to check them frequently so you can dispose of any dead rats that you’ve caught.
There are a couple variations to this, you can either use a commercial repellent or a DIY mix of strongly scented essential oils to drive away rats. Products in a pellet or spray form often have the odor of a predator to repel rats, but sometimes anything with a strong smell will do. Some people have success with natural alternatives such as lavender, lemon, cedar or even garlic odors to keep rats out.
Scented products are best for preventative situations, so keep rats from settling in. Once they are living comfortably in your house, it may not be enough to evict them.
These are easy to buy at most hardware or home improvement stores, and claim that they emit a high-frequency sound that humans can’t hear but will drive away rodents. Their effectiveness is questionable and they will only work in areas that are not blocked by walls or other obstacles. In other words, the sound won’t travel far through anything solid. But open areas like basements or garages might benefit from one of these.
This isn’t a guaranteed fix, but sometimes having cats or dogs in the house can be a deterrent for rats. Don’t expect every pampered house pet to become a hunter the minute that a rat is spotted. Many be bothered with a rodent intruder at all. The key is that the smell of your animals may make your home a little less appealing to any rats that are starting to move in.