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How to get rid of rats in your home

Here you can find how to get rid of rats plus tips to keep your house and garden rat-free, too !


By Cleanipedia Team

How to get rid of rats in your home: A rat in a pile of dishes in the sink
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Key steps

  • Fix plumbing issues.

  • Close up entry points to your home.

  • Clean up piles of rubbish and wood.

  • Keep pet food and bird seed in metal containers.

  • Collect fruit and vegetables from your garden when ripe.

  • Use traps to catch and release rats.

  • Call a professional to clear out an infestation.

Rats can leave droppings, transmit disease, chew through electrics and furnishings, and generally be an unpleasant presence in the home. It can be difficult to know where to start when seeking to rid a house of a rat problem, especially if you want to avoid using poison or other inhumane tactics. This guide will show you how to get rid of rats and keep them away, too. 

Rats can be difficult to get rid of. If you have a major problem, call in a professional to remove them and take steps to prevent a future infestation.

What attracts rats? Three things to keep an eye out for around your home

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Before you have a rat problem, it’s important to understand why they might come to your home:

  1. There is suitable shelter. Rats need somewhere to live, so piles of rubbish, wood and more can lead to you finding a rats’ nest in garden areas.

  2. There is a food source. Rats need food to survive. If you are prone to keeping bird seed or pet food in your garden, shed or other accessible spot, it is ideal for rats. Find somewhere else to put the food or there is a risk you will be feeding rats on the regular.

  3. There is a water source. Just like other animals, rats also need water. If you have a leaky pipe or other plumbing issue, it provides water for the rats to live and prosper.

What deters rats? Two easy ways to stop rats coming to your garden and home

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You’ll want to introduce some repellents to your home if you’re dealing with a rat infestation. So, what do rats hate? Well, there are a few things you can use to prevent rats returning to set up home in your garden or house once you get rid of the pests:

1. Did you know rats don’t like peppermint?

Invest in some peppermint oil to place around your home. The best way to do so is with the following steps:

  • Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil.

  • Put your cotton balls at any known entry points where the rats have been coming into your home.

  • Refresh the cotton balls every 2-3 days to keep the rodents away.

2. Ammonia is another easy deterrent to keep rats at bay

It’s not just for cleaning, it will keep those pests away, too! Simply follow these steps:

  • Create an ammonia solution. We recommend 2 cups of ammonia, 200ml of water and a spoon or two or washing up liquid.

  • Mix this together in a bowl. 

  • Place the solution in spots where rats might like to enter your home or garden. Make sure you keep the solution away from kids and (wanted) pets.

Evidence of rats in the house? What to do when you need to get rid of rodents

 There are a few steps you can take to get rid of rats. These include:

  1. Professional pest control. If you have a major rat infestation, it is important to call in a pest control company. They can offer the service required to rid you of the problem. Use our tips above to keep rats at bay once you have rid yourself of the pest!

  2. Traps. You can buy rat traps which are humane to use from hardware stores and pet shops. Simply capture the pests and release them far away from your home.

  3. Poison. This is one way to ensure that you get rid of rats but it can also be a hazard, and you will have to clean up the dead bodies and dispose of them appropriately. Do not use poison if you have pets or children at home.

  4. Remove the things they need to live. The easiest way to get rid of rats is to remove the things in and around your home which they need to survive. For example:

    • Fix any plumbing issues, leaks and water around your home. This will ensure they have no access to water.

    • Close up any entry points such as holes in brickwork, roof tiles and more, which they could use to get into your home and create nests inside.

    • Clean up your garden, removing any piles of rubbish and wood and keeping your lawn trimmed; this will remove their ability to nest in your garden.

    • Keep pet food and bird seed in metal containers, fully sealed. Also, regularly pick any fruit and veg growing in your garden. This removes their food sources. 

Now you have everything you need to know about what attracts rats to your home, how to get rid of rats and how to keep them at bay. Rats aren’t the only rodents that can cause a pest problem in your home, however. If you need help getting rid of mice, Cleanipedia can help you.

Originally published