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Do It Yourself Rat Removal
Roll up your sleeves and get working! If you want to get rid
of a rat problem, you can do the job yourself, for a low
cost. I'm writing here to help you do it right. Rat control
work is not easy. There is no simple fix. Please read the
below instructions if you actually want to solve the rat
issue permanently. Also, read my safety considerations below
It's not quick and easy - there is no effective rat
repellent that'll do the trick. You can't just throw some
rat poison in the attic, or lay out some snap traps or glue
boards and think that'll get the job done. That would be
like putting a band-aid on a toothache. You've got to
address the root problem. You've got to stop the rats from
getting inside your house in the first place.
DO IT YOURSELF INSTRUCTIONS
If you want to get rid of rats in the attic, you need to
follow a series of steps:
STEP 1: Find out how
rats are getting inside the building. This is absolutely
crucial! Those rats are entering your home and attic
somehow. You will NEVER solve your rat problem unless you
find ALL the entry points. Every single last one. One little
failure, one missed spot, and you will have rats in your
attic or house forever. You must inspect the whole
structure, from the ground up, including all portions of the
roof, and the plumbing system. Check vents, eaves, roof
joints, plumbing stacks, AC chases, the chimney, EVERYTHING.
You must be completely thorough. An intimate knowledge of
rat behavior and building architecture helps a great deal.
Know what signs to look for - brown staining and grease at
entry points, gnawing, etc. Also, inspect in the attic,
where you will see rat trails that will help you identify
entry points, and you'll spot rat damage that you'll want to
fix, such as gnawed wires or pipes. This page will help
explain the inspection process in more detail: Rat
STEP 2: Seal up all the
entry points. That's right, seal them up first, even if
there are many rats currently inside the building. It's very
important that you do it this way. If you leave the entry
holes open, and then begin trapping or excluding the rats,
guess what? Open holes mean more and more rats will keep
coming in, and the job will never end. And here's another
important point - the rats are much easier to trap once the
exits have been sealed off. And if you intend to do an
exclusion with a one-way rat door, then you have to seal all
entry/exit holes first. Read more about repairs on this
STEP 3: Trap and remove
the rats. You have three options here. First, you can use
the standard lethal snap traps. Second, you can use live
cage traps. Third, you can install a one-way funnel door
exit on the primary rat entry/exit hole, if you have
identified it. I have used all of these methods. I do care
about being humane to all wildlife, but when it comes to
rats, which breed incredibly quickly and have a very short
life span, and have good memories and gnawing abilities, I
must say that I absolutely do use the lethal snap traps in
the attic. I have found this method is to be the most
effective, and it's more humane than a slow, painful death
by poisoning. Set the traps on the rodent runways, not
haphazardly. Trap placement is absolutely key. Bait doesn't
even matter, but I do use peanut butter on my trap pans.
Brand of trap does matter, and I like the old Victor wooden
traps. Check the traps frequently and remove and dispose of
any trapped rats, to avoid odor problems. Read more about
the art of rat trapping here: How
To Trap Rats.
STEP 4: Clean up after
the rats. It's important that you decontaminate and
deodorize the attic after you have removed the rats. Rats
and rat feces can cause various health problems. Learn more
Diseases. Rats leave behind a strong pheromone scent
which attracts new rats to the attic. This scent is in the
urine and gland grease that rats leave behind. This scent
encourages new rats to gnaw their way into your attic, so
it's important to get rid of this scent. And other animals,
such as snakes, track this scent too. I wear full biohazard
gear and HEPA filter mask and vacuum up the droppings,
replace soiled insulation, and fog the whole attic with a
special enzyme-based cleaner that kills the germs,
pathogens, mold, and scent of the poop and urine. Read more
about the process: Rat
Your inspection process must include ladder work and
climbing on a roof. Most rats in attics enter via roof entry
points - although they can get into the building a variety
of ways. Proper ladder safety is a must, as is roof safety.
I'm not going to go into detail about harnesses and chicken
ladders and such, but be careful! Then, when in the attic,
wear a respirator - you don't want to breathe in fiberglass
insulation, dust or mold, or the variety of diseases
associated with rats. Walk only on the wooden beams in the
attic, never the sheet rock, or you could fall through the
ceiling! Be careful, an attic is a hazardous place, where it
can be easy to fall, or poke a roofing nail in your head.
Also, be careful when setting snap traps. They are very
strong, and can injure your fingers. If you're not
experienced in setting them, you may have some problems, so
THIS SOUNDS HARD
Well, it is. I've spent 30+ hours of labor on certain rat
control projects. But just because it's hard, it doesn't
mean it can't be done. You're always welcome to give it your
best shot, and then call out a pro if you can't get the job
done. I actually am not necessarily optimistic about the
chances of a beginner to do it completely right (like I
said, it took me dozens of houses before I started to really
get the hang of it), but I don't want to rule out your
abilities. Just be careful, pay attention to detail, and be
persistent. Finally, if you're broke, and money is an issue,
or if you just want to save money, just be aware that the
costs of leaving a rat problem untreated, from chewed
electrical wires, fire hazard, chewed pvc plumbing pipes,
health risks, can far outweigh the costs of rat control.
Professionals do exist for a reason, because it is in truth
very skilled work, but if you work really hard, you can do
it! If you need professional help, I have friends that I
have personally trained in these cities:
THE SAME APPLIES TO MICE
Although I wrote this site with rats in mind, such as the
Roof Rat and Norway Rat, the same principles apply to other
rodents, such as the house mouse. Mice behave very similarly
to rats, they're just smaller. If you have extra questions
not addressed above, email me if you have any questions
about how to solve a mouse problem yourself. Here is a list
of emails sent to me about rat issues: petrified
of rats, can dogs
keep rats away, rats in
carport, Rats in the
Air Conditioner - AC Chase, Rats
in Foreclosure Home, Rats in
New Jersey, Can Rats Live in a Hot
Attic?, What do rat bones look
Other rat information:
What should I do with a rat after
I catch it?
What animals do rats kill?
Do rats have bones? How can they
fit in such small holes?
Do rats attack human necks?
Will a rat in the attic have a
nest of babies?
What is the best bait to trap a rat?
Do rats bite humans in their
Do rats bite sleeping
What if you are bitten by a rat
Black pepper and rats
Biology of Black Rat
Do rats dig holes? Do they burrow
under houses? How deep?
Are cage traps a good option for
What can rats climb?
Can rats hurt you?
Can rats swim? Do they drown?
Do cats keep rats away?
Do rats carry rabies?
Can Rats Chew Through Wires in a
Does car insurance cover rat
Do rats destroy insulation
in an attic?
Do rats chew on wires? Why?
What can rats chew through?
Will a rat chew through the
What are the types of rat snap
How to Make a Rat Trap
Is it legal for me to trap a rat?
Humane rat traps
What if a rat got inside my
Do rats make good pets?
Do dogs keep rats away?
Are rats dangerous to cats,
dogs, or other pets?
How to get rats out of a wall
How to keep rats out of my garden
How to keep rats out of my garbage
How to get rats out of the garage
How to get rats out of your car
Rat diseases symptoms in humans
What diseases do rats carry?
Do rats live in more urban areas, or wild areas?
Rats in New York subway
How do you remove a rat stuck in a dumpster?
Why are there so many rats in NYC?
What does rat feces look like? Where is it found?
Is rat feces dangerous to touch or breathe?
What kind of damage do rats cause in an attic?
How do I clean rat feces out of the attic?