Rats can be very annoying. They can chew on your clothes, run around, and leave droppings all over your home. Usually, rats make their way to residential homes during cold months. That’s why autumn and winter are often considered rodent seasons.
However, even if it’s not rodent season, rats can still loiter in your home. While they have an important role in the ecosystem, having too many rats around or in your home is not just annoying. It can also be a health and safety concern.
Risks of Rat Infestation at Home
Having too many rats at home poses many health risks. Rats and mice can spread around 35 diseases. Some examples are hantavirus, leptospirosis, hemorrhagic fever, and many more. Most diseases may develop even without actual contact with rodents. A person can get them by breathing in aerosolized viruses. Rats can also contaminate your food. And consuming them can result in serious diseases.
There are also safety concerns. For example, you’re repairing hail dents on your car in your garage and you notice rats roaming around. Once you leave, they might go into your car. Rats might break wires in your vehicle. The damage is not easy to detect. Rats can also chew on wood. And eventually, the small cracks or holes in your ceiling and walls can become big structural damage that can be costly to fix.
Keeping your home as rat-free as possible is important to ensure your and your family’s safety. Here are some ways to address rat infestation in your home:
If your place is a mess, rodents are likely to stay around. Thus, you need to make sure that you keep your home clean and organized. Consider choosing one cleanup day a week. Sweep the floors. Make sure that your garbage bins are closed properly. Also, don’t leave any food lying around. Sweep food crumbs. If you have any leftovers, put them in the fridge or dispose of them properly.
Rodent-proof Your Home
The first thing you need to do is to determine the possible entry points of rodents. These may include cracks or holes on your walls and your ceiling. Check your windows as well for any possible entry point. Don’t dismiss holes just because they’re too small. Rats can be small enough to sneak themselves in.
After finding possible entry points, seal them. Caulk your windows and doors. You can also use weather-stripping. If there are broken parts in your ceiling, it may be best to have them replaced right away. If you can’t seal them with materials that rats can’t gnaw on, such as thick plastic material, glass, or metal.
Placing mousetraps around the house is one of the most effective ways to keep rodents away. You can use snap traps, sticky traps, or electric traps. Put one or two in vulnerable areas in your home or in places you think they often pass by. These areas may include corners in your home, the garbage area, and the garage.
Use Rat-repellent Oils
You can go more eco-friendly in chasing rats away by using essential oils that rats hate. Peppermint essential oil is the best one you can use. Other oils you can use are eucalyptus and citronella. These oils won’t kill rats. But they hate the smell, so they’ll stay away.
Get a bottle of your chosen essential oil from your local supermarket. Put a few drops in a bottle and add water. Then spray generously in areas where rats might pass by or gather. Or put small bowls with a mixture of essential oil and water You can also use a diffuser with peppermint essential oils. But do this only if you don’t have dogs, as the strong scent can make them feel nauseous.
Hire an Exterminator
If all else fails, you will need to hire an exterminator. As this option will likely cost you more than the others, it’s best to keep it the last option if you feel like you can handle the infestation yourself.
Meanwhile, if you feel like the rodents in your home have become too much for you to handle, go ahead and hire experts to help you clean your home. Look for companies and check their reviews to find the best people to hire. You can also ask your neighbors for recommendations.
Getting rid of rats in your home should be at the top of your priority list. As soon as you notice rodents roaming around your home, you need to get rid of them to ensure everyone’s safety.