Rats are among the most dreaded house pests. If you've discovered them in your home or apartment, your first thought may be to move as far away as possible. Unfortunately, this is not a practical solution, and you will need to employ some reliable methods to get rid of rats. To start, you'll need to inspect your home or apartment to find out where they are coming in and where they are hiding out.
To get rid of rats, your home inspection should include every part of your home, from the basement up to your top floor, including your attic. Some signs of rats include gnawing, fecal matter, droplets of urine, dirt smudges, and entry holes. When you find holes, plug them right away. Use mortar mixed with broken glass to fill every hole and crack you find in your walls and around the foundation of your house; the glass acts as a deterrent to rats that try to get in while the mortar dries. Check around your pipes, wires, and screens for any opening that would allow rats entry. They only need about 1/2 inch (1.27 centimeters) to get back into your home, so if you're in doubt, plug or seal the opening.
Next, work to get rid of the rats that have already gotten into your home. Snap traps are among the most effective approaches. Some of them are very sensitive, and when a rat just steps on one, it quickly springs up and traps it. Put these traps along the walls, especially in places where you have found evidence of rat infestation. Put bait on your snap traps, such as bacon or something else that smells yummy, to lure the rats.
Glue boards can also be used to get rid of rats; the pests stick to them and become trapped. Keep in mind, however, that they tend to be less efficient for full-sized adult rats. It's best to ensure that children and pets can't get to them, however, as they can get stuck to them as well. Also, rats don't die once they're stuck, so you'll need to drown them in hot water or put them in tightly lidded metal cans for disposal. Alternatively, you could use electric rat traps, instead of glue traps that don't actually kill rodents, to deliver a fatal electric shock once rats are lured inside.
Poisons can also be used to kill rats, but there are some drawbacks. First, they can be dangerous if you have pets or children in your home. Additionally, poisoned rats may go to hide in your home where you can't find them, such as inside your walls. As their bodies rot, they let off an awful smell and attract insects. Because of this, many people recommend using them as a last resort.
Your work to get rid of rats will all be for naught if you don't take some time to get rid of the things that attract them in the first place. Sweep up every day, and make sure you don't leave leftovers hanging around after dinner. Keep your trash and garbage in metal or glass containers; make sure the lids fit tightly, and don't use plastic. Additionally, it is helpful to put your non-perishable foods, such as cereal, rice and pasta, and bread, in metal or glass containers. Outside your home, get rid of debris and use metal trash cans that are kept lidded and away from your exterior walls.