You may start to wonder whether you have rats in your attic due to odd sounds and smells. There are typically some obvious signs that rats are present, such as their droppings, even if you don't see them and identifying the animal as rats is the first step to getting them out. You have a few options of how to get rats out of your attic, but the basic process is as follows:
- 1. Consider hiring a professional
- 2. Find all entry points
- 3. Seal entry points
- 4. Trap, kill, or exclude the rats
- 5. Clean the attic
Each of these steps is crucial as skipping any can lead to poor results. With the following instructions, you should be able to take care of the rat problem and make sure your attic is rat-free and stays that way.
When To Hire A Professional
If you are dealing with a relatively small rat problem, you can probably get them out of your attic by yourself. If, however, there is a large number of rats, it is a good idea to hire a professional. Since rats breed incredibly quickly, it can be challenging to remove all of them before they increase in number unless you are experienced. Additionally, professionals will already have all the tools they need to remove the animals.
Find And Seal Entry Points
In cases when you decide to get rid of rats by yourself, you need to start by figuring out where they are coming in. Make sure to look all over the attic; you can make it easier by looking for areas with urine streaks, chew marks, or rat droppings. After you have found the holes, you need to seal up all of them. This prevents more rats from coming inside and making your job even harder.
Trap And Relocate Rats
Now you have a choice of three ways to get the rats out of your attic. The first of these is trapping them using live cage traps and then relocating them somewhere. Peanut butter works well as bait, but you may have to introduce the trap unprimed before actually baiting and setting it. Always place the trap along rat paths and remember that you will need one live cage trap per rat. After catching them, you may simply put the rats right back outside your home or drive them to an area a few miles away. When relocating rats, always remember to check local regulations first as not every area of the country lets you release rats back into the wild or there may be restrictions as to where you can release them. Also, try to find a relocation area with access to food, water, and shelter. This will improve the rats' chances of survival as these are creatures of habit and tend to do poorly when relocated.
An alternative to trapping and relocating the rats is to kill them while they are contained in your attic. If you go with this method, select snap traps as these will kill the animal quickly, making them the most humane. There is also no risk of the rat crawling off to an obscure corner to die, as there would be with poison. As with live cage traps, place the snap traps along the paths that rats use and while bait may make a difference, it is not necessary since rats tend to follow the same paths. You should have enough traps to catch every rat in the attic, but as this type of trap is very affordable, that should not be a problem. After placing the traps, you will have to wait until you have caught the animals and then dispose of them in one of two ways. You can bury them in your yard (at least a foot deep to prevent neighborhood animals from digging them up) or throw them out with your garbage.
A final option is to exclude the rats in order to get them out of your attic. This method involves selecting the main entrance from the various holes you sealed and reopening it. Instead of leaving it open, you should place an exclusion device such as a one-way door there. Within a few days to a week, the rats should have all left your attic. Make sure all the animals are truly gone before resealing the final entrance.
Clean And Disinfect The Attic
Once the rats are effectively kicked out of your attic, it is time to clean and disinfect the entire area. Rats have a strong smell and this will attract new rats to come and try to break through your recently sealed entrances. As there is a risk of disease, you should wear biohazard gear with a HEPA filter mask when cleaning the area. Try to use a cleaner that was designed for decontaminating rat-infested spaces. You can also hire a professional to take care of this step for you. After the attic is clean, be sure that you remove any rat attractants from your home and property, such as opened garbage cans, pet food, and fallen fruits. This will prevent new rats from coming to take the place of the ones you get rid of.
Read the How to get rid of rats
page for helpful information and to learn more about How To Get Rats Out Of Your Attic