Rats aren’t many people’s favourite animal. They can be very destructive and extremely difficult to get rid of. You’ll require plenty of patience and sheer determination to get rid of the stubborn blighters. They can cause damage to any crops you have, carry life threatening diseases onto humans and even potentially destroy your property. We have around 70 million of them in the UK alone. Councils have recently started charging houses for pest control services, so that’s another good reason to keep the rats under control.
How Can I Tell If I’ve Got Rats?
You can easily tell if you’ve got rats: If you see a rat, then you’ve definitely got rats. If you see more than one rat it’s highly likely you’ve got an infestation. Other things you can look for are rat droppings, rat runs and wood fittings that look frayed or gnawed. To keep rats at bay to begin with, make sure you don’t leave any food out in plastic bags that may attract them. Don’t put meat in compost and clean up any bird table spills you have.
How Do I Get Rid Of The Rats?
Rats are clever (without meaning to be). You’ll have difficulty getting rid so you need to be patient. Rats will be suspicious if you try to get rid of them, and will move around at night most of the time. Rats do need two things though: food and water. Cut off the supply to the rats, wherever and whatever you think it is and the rats should go away. Rats need a constant water supply, contrary to mice. If you are unable to cut off the rats supply of food and water, you’re going to have to exterminate them.
Poisoning The Rats
Poison is by far the most effective way of sorting out a rat problem. You can easily get it from garden stores. All you have to do is put the poison inside a few rat boxes and put them either by their holes, food or water supply, or where you have seen rat droppings. Rats will be suspicious of the boxes and this means it could take more than a week for them to start venturing inside. Check the poison every 4 days and replace it if you need to. Don’t leave the poison where any other pets can get hold of it, such as cats or dogs. The majority of rats that consume the poison will die in their holes, any you find you should try to burn to get rid of them. In some difficult cases you could try putting the poison directly in with the rat, by balling some up in cling film, popping it in the rats hiding hole and then covering the opening with a brick or another obstacle so it cannot escape. Some rats will have immunities to certain poisons so if one brand isn’t working try another.
Trapping The Rats
If you have a serious rat infestation trapping isn’t the best method, but it does hold advantages over poison as you can dispose of the rat straight away and won’t have a dead one somewhere in your walls or floorboards. Bait any traps for a week without setting them, replacing bait as it gets taken. After that bait and set the traps and you should catch a small amount of the rats.