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How To: Get Rid of Rats—and Keep Them Away for Good

brown rat on a branch

Mice and rats are the last things you want to see in your home. They live almost everywhere and they eat almost everything. When they enter your home they can be very difficult to control. Rats and mice don’t just send chills up your spine, they can also cause quite a bit of damage to your home. Rats in your walls can chew through electrical wires, drywall, and insulation. Not to mention all of the dangerous diseases they can spread like salmonella and Hantavirus. In order to control them, you need to get rid of rats in your house fast. 

What Causes Rats?

If you notice rats or mice in your home then you might wonder “what do rats eat?” Rats are challenging pests to control. Before you attempt to get rid of rats you should understand what drives them into your home in the first place. 


Rats are omnivores, which means they will eat pretty much anything they can get their paws on. You can make this more difficult for them by storing food in sealed plastic containers, taking the trash out before you go to bed, and not leaving pet food out overnight. 


Rats don’t need much water. In fact, they can survive for a month or more without drinking water. This is because they get enough water in the foods they eat. 


Your home is a palace compared to the shelter rats can find outdoors. Once in your house, they can stay hidden behind walls, under furniture, in vents, basements, and crawl spaces. 

Best Way To Get Rid of Rats

Once rats have invaded your home there is not much you can do besides trap them or call a professional exterminator. However, you can be proactive right now and prevent rats from sneaking their way into your home.

Check Your Home

Rats can squeeze through holes and cracks that are smaller than their body. For this reason, you should do a thorough inspection of the outside of your home. Check for:

  • Cracks in foundation
  • Loose or missing boards
  • Gaps where utilities enter the home

Check Your Roof

Your roof is one of the most vulnerable spots in your home. With multiple vents, pipes, and utility entry points, there’s no shortage of spots rats can use to get into your home. Be sure to trim any overhanging trees that can be used by rats and squirrels to gain access to your roof. Be sure to check vulnerable areas such as:

  • Gutters and downspouts
  • Damaged vents
  • Chimney screens
  • Gaps in fascia or soffit

Seal The Gaps

Once you have identified all the possible entry points rats can use it’s time to seal any gaps in your interior or exterior walls.

Depending on the size of the opening you are trying to close off, fill them with wire wool, metal kick plates, cement, or caulk. Remember to check these areas every so often to make sure they are maintained. 

Clean Outside Your Home

Rats love to use clutter and debris to make their nests. One way to prevent them from getting into your home is by making sure you do not have too much clutter around the outside of your home. This includes firewood, un-raked leaves, lumber, tarps, or any other objects you store next to your home. 

Set Traps

There is nothing wrong with being too prepared when it comes to preventing rats. Rats are sneaky and even if you seal your home they may still find a way to slip in undetected. You can be prepared for them by setting ordinary rat traps in areas that rats can access such as behind appliances, under-shelving units, and on top of air ducts. For bait use peanut butter, seeds, bananas, or apples.

Best Rat Repellent

If trapping rats is not your thing, there are other, natural alternatives to preventing rats, such as:

Natural Ingredients

There are a few natural ingredients and essential oils you can use to prevent a rat infestation including

  • peppermint oil
  • cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
  • cloves 

Apply these ingredients around the foundation of your home to prevent the rats from entering. Apply your substance of choice generously along the line between your foundation and the ground.

Get a Cat

A cat is a rat’s natural enemy and they know it. Just the sight of a cat in the window will deter any rats from wanting to seek shelter in your home. Cats are also experts at catching and killing rats and mice.

Professional Rodent Control

If you are tired of dealing with rats in your walls, contact the best rodent control specialists in Boston at Clancy Bros to help you eliminate them. Our trained rodent control experts will help identify possible entry points, locate their nesting areas, and get them out of your house. Leave us a message on our contact page!

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