Rat Prevention Tips: How To Keep Rats Away
When domesticated, rats can make great pets, but wild rats are known to cause a significant amount of damage to your home. They will easily chew through all sorts of materials, including metal and wood given enough time. Luckily, there are simple measures you can take to keep these rodents out of your home and off your land, reducing the risk of damage or disease.
If you know what you are doing, it is possible to set up a fence to keep rats out of a specific area, but special planning is necessary. You will need to make sure that the fence is made of mesh with small holes as rats can fit in any space that is the size of a quarter or larger. When setting up the mesh fence, be sure to bury it underneath the ground, preferably at least 10 inches. You will also want to bend the mesh so it is at a 90-degree angle facing out of your property and extend it several inches in that direction before covering it. This will prevent Norway rats from burrowing underneath the ground and gaining entry.
Simple home repairs can go a long way towards keeping rats out of your house. You will want to seal up any holes, gaps, or cracks that you see in your walls or roof since rats can fit in very tiny gaps. Keep in mind that roof rats will typically enter through the attic or roof and Norway rats prefer ground-level areas so you must keep your home in top condition without potential entrances at all levels.
Also, make sure that all vents or screens are properly sealed without any tears as roof rats will typically enter through these gaps. Pay close attention to holes by pipe work and utility cables, ensuring they are filled using concrete or caulking and stainless steel wire wool or a similar object. Rats will also use sewer pipes and drains to enter homes on occasion so reduce this risk by relying on screens or grates that fit tightly to cover your drains, particularly those in the basement.
Cleaning The Property
Rats are attracted to properties because of the presence of food and they are scavengers who will eat nearly anything. This means that you can help prevent them by keeping your home and property clean at all times. Put food away when you are done with it and keep all areas clean and dry. You should also keep your garbage cans securely closed and clean these items as well as your crawlspace, basement, and/or shed frequently.
Instead of keeping pet food outside at all times, try to just put it outside when your pet eats. The rest of the time, it should be inside or in a tightly sealed container. When you are concerned about possible rats on or near your property, don't fill up birdfeeders; instead storing the seed in sealed containers. Take the time to clean up fallen fruit and seeds from trees and avoid using compost heaps without properly sealing them off using mesh. You should also take care of moisture leaks or standing water that can attract rats.
Don't forget to remove potential rat habitats, such as wood piles and overgrown weeds as these will also attract these rodents to your property. You can avoid this issue by keeping stacked wood or bricks a minimum of 30 centimeters off the ground. In the case of root rats, you may also want to thin out your trees as they may sometimes decide to live in these branches.
There are some natural remedies that claim to keep rats away and while some of these work, not all will. Ammonia, cat urine, mothballs, human hair, and mint leaves will not produce the desired results. In some cases, even having a pet cat roam your yard will not take care of the rats. That is because the cat may catch a few and scare away others, but it will not be able to get into your attic, walls, crawlspace, or other small spots that rats hide. Instead, the best natural remedy for rat prevention is to keep your property clean and take away all potential entry points.
You can also use chemical repellents or rat bait stations to keep rats away while some of these will simply deter the animals and others will kill them on contact or if eaten. Always be careful when using poison to keep away rats as you do not want children, pets, or neighborhood animals to accidentally come in contact with them. The majority of chemical-based repellents will only work as a short-term measure and unless you use that time to clean up potential food and shelter, the rats will simply return when you stop using them.
Read the How to get rid of rats page for helpful information and to learn more about Rat Prevention Tips: How To Keep Rats Away
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