How to Get Rid of Rats

There are 67 described species of rat, which actually means the species belonging to the Superfamily: Muroidea. This encompasses what we generally call Rats and Mice. These two terms have no actual basis and tend to be commonly used to signify size, rather than being based on actual physical differences. “True rats” are members of the genus Rattus, the most important of which to humans are the Black Rat, Rattus rattus, and the Brown Rat, Rattus norvegicus. Many members of other rodent genera and families are also referred to as rats, and share many characteristics with true rats.

The Brown Rat is also known as the Norway Rat, House Rat, Grey Rat, Barn Rat, and Wharf Rat. It is the best known and is also the larger of the two. Black Rats are also called Roof Rats and Ship Rats. Whatever you choose to call them, they are a nuisance, a pest, and a real danger in the home and workplace. When we generally refer to rats or a rat infestation we are interchangeably referring to these two species.

Tips to get rid of rats

Cover your rainwater and waste water U-traps (gullies) with mesh and seal up sewer slabs so that the rats will find no openings above ground.

Store boxes containing paper, clothing or wool in the roof or basement provide excellent nesting for the Black Rat and Domestic Mouse, so this should be done on shelving.

Always keep the kitchen clean; wiping down all food surfaces and appliances is a sine-qua-non. Make sure your garbage bins have well-fitting and secure lids. Do not leave food out overnight in the kitchen.

Roof ratsDon’t leave pet food out overnight and sweep up spilled birdseed from around your birdcages. Regularly clean out aviaries and animal pens. Seal up your pet foods in plastic containers – rats and mice will rip through packaging in no time. If you need to stockpile animal feed store it on shelving and rotate its use regularly to ensure that old stock is used first: rodents are also extremely wary of change and will wait before trying out the food source.

Seal up all cereals or grains in plastic or glass containers and refrigerate tubers such as potatoes and carrots.

If you have fruit trees in your garden, collect the windfalls regularly. Do not put leftover meat, poultry, fish, animal and fish bones or dairy products in the compost bin and make sure you regularly turn over your compost and lime it properly.

Plant bushes away from the walls of your house. Creepers may look beautiful, but they provide rodents with very easy access to your house. If you have trees close to your house, prune them back regularly and make sure your air vents are sealed up.

Repair all plumbing leaks to prevent easy access to good water. When not in use, cover up fresh water pools, water-features and outdoor jacuzzis.

Last but not least do put down the lid of the toilet bowl after use, as rats are occasionally known to emerge from the sewer pipe through the toilet water bowl, especially at ground level.