Unless you have a pet rat, you probably don’t want one in your home. Most people are aware that rats are carriers of a number of diseases they can transfer to humans — some are even deadly. If that’s not bad enough, rats have Monophyodont teeth that continue to grow. It is not uncommon for rats to chew through soft metal, electrical wiring, and much more. With their desire to chew and grind down their teeth, it’s no surprise they can do serious damage to a home and its contents. They can even ruin automobiles by chewing through wiring in the engine.
Are rats still a problem in the summer months?
Many people believe their home is most at risk of a rat invasion during the winter months when they seek shelter from cold weather and when food outdoors can be scarce. The truth is warmer weather and high temperatures will send rats on a hunt for a more comfortable place to take cover. Rats also may have trouble finding enough food and water outdoors during hot, dry months. All of these things can be conveniently found inside your home.
Once inside, rats not only can destroy things in your home, but they can also easily get into most food packaging and contaminate your food. No one wants to eat off of a kitchen table where rats have been running around all night.
How do rats get inside a home?
Since rats are nocturnal, they will spend the evenings checking your home for any possible openings. Rats are known to squeeze through very small areas due to their long, cylindrical-shaped bodies. Smaller rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter or less. It just takes one opening large enough for a rat to get inside. Small cracks, holes, or gaps in your home are all too inviting for rats.
If you have one rat in your home, you probably have several.
Rats are known to travel in packs and rarely live alone. Rats are very intelligent creatures and also very social among each other. Their ability to reproduce quickly can lead to a rat infestation in an alarmingly short period of time. In just one year, a male and female rat can turn into 2000 rats. As your rat infestation grows, your ability to control them becomes far more daunting.
How can I protect my home from rats?
You can help keep rats outside by doing a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior. Check the walls and foundation for any cracks. Any small cracks should be sealed with caulk. Larger cracks can be filled by adhering steel wool to the caulk. You can then brush down the crack and seal over it.
Roof tops are an important area to check since most varieties of rats are great climbers — hence the name roof rat (Rattus rattus). Roof rats (also known as black rats) are known for taking cover in the upper region of homes and other buildings. They can easily get into cracks in your roof, and can also find their way in through corner intersections. Check your roof for any cracks, and be sure all flashing is in good condition.
Another obvious way to protect your home is to keep them off of your property so they don’t have a chance to find a way into your home. Some people think spotting a rat outside is no big deal, but any rat on your property has the ability to find a way inside at some point. There are many methods used for controlling rats, the most common being rat poison (rodenticides). The use of any poison comes with risk to pets, children, and other wildlife. Snap traps are also common because they are a relatively inexpensive option, but they often don’t kill a rat immediately and can lead to cruel suffering for the rat.
There are also toxin-free trapping methods that are safe around pets and wildlife. The Goodnature A24 Automatic Rat & Mouse Trap is a quick-kill method so rats are killed instantly. These traps are self-resetting and powered by a C02 cartridge, so they continue to work without needing monitoring. When used outdoors, scavengers often dispose of the rats for you by enjoying a free meal.
What have we learned?
In short, the best way to protect your home from rats in the summer — or any time of year — is to address the issue before they have a chance to come inside. The Goodnature A24 Rat & Mouse Trap is a “set-it-and-forget-it” method that can be very effective for rodent control. It is also safe and non-toxic so there is no danger to other pets and other animals.