There are many things to love about your home, but if you’re experiencing rat problems, the list may be brief. Unfortunately, rats are clever rodents that can find their way inside a home without drawing suspicion until it’s too late. Rats are common in any area with plenty of access to food and water and can be challenging to get rid of if you’re not using the right tools or resources.
In more severe cases, you may need a professional rat exterminator. In other cases, there are plenty of DIY options available that you can take advantage of as a homeowner.
Let’s look at common ways rats can enter your home and what homeowners can do to prevent and remove them.
Problem: A Messy/Dirty Home
Rats are attracted to the smell of leftover food and excess water, which means if your kitchen or living areas are too dirty, they can produce scents that attract rats inside. Since rats aren’t picky when it comes to food, anything left out and on lower shelves or spilled on the floor can entice them indoors.
Solution: Keep Your Home Clean
While kitchens may be the heart of the home, leaving them dirty or leaving food out is an easy way to attract rodents and pests inside. In particular, regularly cleaning your floors and removing spills is essential.
If you're storing food inside your cupboards, consider sealing them in plastic containers. These containers help block out their smells, which is often why rats will enter a home. Any unsecured food can easily be sniffed out — even pet food, grass seed, or bird seeds.
Problem: Leaking Pipes
When you have leaks in your home, not only are you inviting potential damage to your foundation, but you’re also welcoming rats into your home. Rats are drawn to damp conditions, and if your home has leaky pipes, they’ll use that as a point of entry. This can include a broken sprinkler head or leftover pet bowls that you keep outside.
Solution: Keep Your Home Dry
If you notice leaking pipes, the first thing you should do is have them sealed either professionally or on your own using piping materials. In some cases, you may need to saw through the existing pipe to replace the part or purchase metal tubing.
If you have pets, consider keeping their water bowls inside until they’re out in the backyard to prevent excess water from sitting and enticing rats and other rodents near your home.
Problem: Vulnerable Foundation
If your foundation is cracked, you’re inviting problems into your home, especially rats and small rodents. Any hole or crack greater than a half-inch is more than enough for a rat to squeeze through, finding its way inside.
Solution: Seal Entry Points
Any holes with a diameter larger than a quarter-inch should be sealed to prevent unwelcome visitors inside. This includes cracks in your walls, floors, around doors and windows, and your plumbing. This step may take more time, but putting in the time and effort here can save you the trouble of dealing with rats in your home, which may cause significant damage and health risks to your household.