When mice or rats show up in your home, it’s hard not to panic. Rodents are pests that destroy your walls and furniture, contaminate your food, and carry disease. Unfortunately, by the time you spot them, they’ve usually already nested behind your walls. While it can be difficult, there are ways to get rid of these gnawing pests. Here are some simple and effective methods to crack down your rat problem:

Step 1: Locate their hide-out

The first step in addressing your pest problem is to find out where the rodents are hiding out. Rats and mice are nocturnal creatures, so you don’t often see them running about during the day. Be wary of scratching noises in the night coming from behind the walls or the attic. Chew marks on walls, wooden panels, and electrical wires are also clear signs that they are settling in your home. 

Here are other clues to look out for:

  • Droppings
  • Piled nesting materials such as newspaper bits in corners
  • Gnawed fruits in trees
  • Smudge marks along areas near food, such as the pantry or kitchen.

Step 2: Seal all entry points

Rats and mice can fit into the smallest cracks and crevices. Therefore, it is crucial to check your house for any holes. Seal all openings, including pipes and vents. Install weather stripping around your windows and make sure that your door does not leave a gap on the floor. Because rodents can chew on most soft materials, use stronger sealants for the job.

Step 3: Prevent outside access

Since rodents come from the outside, you have to include your backyard and garden in your inspection. Trees and bushes provide food and access to these pests, so be sure to keep them trimmed all year round.

Step 4: Sanitize your home and remove all food source

Keeping your home clean and mess-free is key to curbing rodent problems. Rats and mice need food and water to survive, which is why they’ve nested inside your house. Perform a general clean, focusing on your kitchen. Keep all food in airtight containers and store them safely inside pantry cabinets or in the refrigerator. After dining, clean crumbs that may have fallen off the table. Avoid leaving leftovers out in the open. If you have pets, be sure their food bowls are always clean between feedings. Additionally, make sure you don’t have leaks in your pipes and faucets. Cover all your garbage cans and water basins.

Step 5: Use traps or bait

When eradicating rodents from your home, you can choose to use either traps or baits. You can also use both of these methods to make sure you covered all bases. The major difference between the two is that a trap physically contains the rodent in place. This is ideal if you want to be sure that the rats or mice are getting caught. If you can’t stand the sight of dead rodents, however, you can opt to use a bait instead.

There are several types of rodent traps. A live catch trap is a small cage made with wire. One end functions as a door and is left open. You put bait inside, and the mouse enters to eat it. Once inside, the mouse stands on a pedal, triggering the door to slam shut. Snap traps are contraptions that use powerful hinges that come off when a rodent steps on them. These work best when placed in areas with high rodent activity. Glue traps are flat sheets covered in adhesive. When a rodent passes through, it gets stuck until it dies. Because glue traps are usually lightweight, they’re best for smaller rodents. 

If you choose to use a bait instead, make sure that your pets and children cannot reach them. Regularly check for dead rodents and remove the carcass immediately to avoid bad odour and insect infestation. 

Maintaining a rat-free home means keeping your house clean and tidy at all times. If you’ve followed these steps but still suspect rodent activity, it is a sign that the infestation may have gone beyond what you can handle. In such cases, it’s best to call professional pest management services like Arnies Pest Management.

If you are looking to employ pest control services in Barnsley, get in touch with us to see how we can help!