The best pest control method is prevention. Once a rodent population becomes entrenched, removing them becomes ten times as difficult. So instead of dealing with the mess involved with getting rats and other rodents out of your home, you can follow these tips to prevent the problem from ever occurring.
Block all points of entry
This tip comes first because it is the most important one. Inspect your home’s foundation and walls and look out for any points of entry rats can use. This is especially important during colder months as that is when your home is at its most inviting. Rats will get into your home through cracks that appear to be very small so use masonry repair material to cover every crack you find, no matter how small it is. Also, take care to look at the joints around your windows and doors, these thinner points of entry are ideal for rats to squeeze through if there are any gaps. If you have a garage, make sure that the weather seals across the bottom of the door are in good condition too.
Stop feeding the birds
We all enjoy watching the birds come to our garden and a bird feeder is an ideal way of attracting them. However, it also attracts rats who will find the grains and seeds on the ground around the feeder to be a wonderful treat. This is evidenced by the presence of squirrels who are attracted in the same way but are much more obvious. If you really want a bird feeder then the best thing you can do is keep it as far from your house as possible.
Store pet food properly
Dry pet food is typically sold in bags are cartons. If you buy these containers you need to move the contents into a plastic, air-tight container as soon as you bring the food home. Rats and other rodents love dry pet food and it will take them seconds to chew their way into a bag and make themselves comfortable. The last thing you want is to our food from a bag for your pet and to find a rat falling into your pet’s bowl. After you have transferred the food into a proper container, move it somewhere far above the floor for extra safety.
Keep your bins sealed
As you may have noticed from the previous two points, denying rats food is vital to keeping them out of your home. Rats, other rodents and much larger pests all love eating your leftover scraps. The only good way of preventing this is by making sure your bins are sealed as tightly as possible with airproof lids. If you have the option, you also want to keep any waste containers away from your home.
Keep plants away from your foundations
If you have a garden with dense hedge and shrubs you need to make sure that they are all planted at least a few feet away from your foundations. Plants like these obscure points of entry for rats and make excellent hiding spots. You also need to keep the soil levels nice and low so that rats will not be able to squeeze up behind your house’s siding.
Store dry food in sealed containers
Any dry food stored in bags is easily accessed by rats. If you keep flour, sugar, and other similar foods at home then invest in plastic or metal containers with airtight lids to store them. Then make sure they are placed on high shelves, the point is to make access as difficult as possible. Remember, rats have a good sense of smell so the airtight part is important for making sure that rats do not start thinking of your home as a food source.
Keep everything clean
When you are cooking a little food is inevitably going to end up on the floor and the countertop. This is not a problem in of itself but you need to make sure that you are cleaning up whenever you get the chance. If you keep pets do not leave bowls of food out because rats think “pet food” means “rat food” and pet birds can be the worst because hard-to-notice seeds often end up on the floor beneath the birdcage.
Close the garage door
If you have a garage you need to make sure it is kept closed as often as possible. Rats find the prospect of a warm, sheltered space like a garage to be irresistible, especially once things turn cold. Develop a habit of closing your garage door the moment you get out of your car and if you have a door leading from your garage into your house you need to make sure that is closed at all times too.
Get a cat or a dog
Cats and various breeds of dogs were originally kept specifically for their ability to hunt rats and other rodents. This does mean that you will have to be extra vigilant about your pet’s food since it can be seen as an invitation to rats but a cat or a small dog like a terrier will defend your home aggressively and will help control any rodent population that is in the vicinity of your house.
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Keep a few rat traps set
This is mostly a test to see if the other precautions you have taken are working. Keeping a few traps where you can easily regularly check them makes it easy to gauge whether or not rats are making their way into your home. Dealing with the first rat or two is much easier than trying to get rid of an entire colony. If your traps are catching rats and you are not sure why then you can enlist some professional help. Get in touch Excel Pest Services and arrange for a professional inspection so that you can guarantee that your home has been thoroughly rat-proofed.