How to Keep Rats Away From Your House

If you have rats in your home, this is the website for you. I have written several detailed articles about how to solve the problem. I will link to the most important ones right now:
- How to do a Rat Inspection - to find out how they are getting in your house.
- How To Trap a Rat - trapping tips and techniques - very important.
- How to do It Yourself - for free. If you can't handle it, you can hire a pro from my list.

Now then, if you just want to learn how to keep away rats from your garden, yard, fruit, etc, read below:

How to keep rats away from your garden: some people swear that coffee grounds, sprinkled on the ground, can deter them from chewing garden plants. I doubt that. Other say that cayenne pepper powder, or other hot substances, such as pepper spray, applied directly to the plants, can help. That sound far more plausible to me, because rats would rather not chew on super hot stuff, just like you wouldn't. Other than that, you'll need to move your garden indoors to a greenhouse, because there's no way to keep rats from living outside & entering your garden.

How to keep rats away from your yard: You can't really keep rats away from your back yard. Or front yard. Or anywhere outside. Your best bet here is to try to keep the property as neat and clean as possible, so that there isn't any food or much cover to attract the rats. If you have a ton of clutter to hide in, and garbage outside, or pet food, then the rats will live there in abundance. I do not recommend putting poison outside to kill rats, but if you must take this approach, go ahead. But never, EVER use poison inside your house. Click on my poison page to learn why.

How to keep rats away from your bird feeder or birdseed: This is pretty much the same as with squirrels. A good squirrel baffle can keep them away from the birdfeeder. Many good ones are manufactured and sold. No problem. However, be aware that bird seed spilled on the ground WILL attract rats to your property.

How to keep rats away from your fruit trees: Not much of a good solution here. You can try the hot stuff, but it's a lot harder with fruit trees.

How to keep rats away from your garbage: Don't leave exposed garbage outside, silly. Keep your garbage can lids shut tight, and that'll solve the problem. If you have a dumpster,

make sure it closes tight! If not, then you'll have rats.

How to keep rats away from your car: If you don't want them crawling in and chewing up the wires, you can spray hot spray on the wires, or keep your car in a garage with a good, sealing garage door.

Are there any other good rat repellents to keep rats away from property? No, there are a whole lot of bogus products out there. Read my rat repellent page for more details.


 HABITAT MODIFICATION & PREVENTION

  • Eliminate debris such as garbage or compost piles on the property.
  • Seal all gaps, with steel, leading anywhere into the house.
  • Don't leave out pet food or open garbage cans.
  • Bird feeders can attract rats, as can fruit trees.
  • A pet cat or two might help. But I have seen rat infestations in homes with cats.
The following remedies do not work:
  • Planting or spreading mint leaves - that's a myth.
  • Use of rat repellants such as ammonia, mothballs, or cat urine.
  • Use of ultrasonic sound emitters (proven fraudulent by the FTC).
  • Use of fake owls or hawk decoys.

 FIND OUT HOW THEY ARE GETTING IN! - SEAL ALL ENTRY POINTS!

Okay, this is the most important concept in order to keep rats away from your house: don't let them get into the house in the first place. Seal up all the entry holes. There are dozens of areas rats can use to get in: vents, eaves, roof joints, plumbing stacks, AC chases, the chimney, soffit vents, loose siding, pipe outlets, etc. Any hole the size of a quarter will do. I seal entry points like these by bolting in steel mesh or metal (such as aluminum) flashing. I then use a polyurethane sealant to stop the air flow - that's important, because rats detect air flow, and if they can smell a gap open on the other side of a hole, they work hard, they chew, to get their way in. I seal up all vents with steel screen.



If you need professional help, I have friends that I have personally trained in these cities:
AL Birmingham
AL Huntsville
AL Mobile
AL Montgomery
AR Little Rock
AZ Phoenix
AZ Tucson
CA Anaheim
CA Fresno
CA Los Angeles
CA Oakland
CA Richmond
CA Riverside
CA Sacramento
CA Salinas
CA San Bernardino
CA San Diego
CA San Francisco
CA San Jose
CO Col. Springs
CO Denver
CT Bridgeport
CT Hartford
CT Waterbury
DE Wilmington
FL Boca Raton
FL Bradenton
FL Ft Lauderdale
FL Fort Myers
FL Gainesville
FL Jacksonville
FL Lakeland
FL Melbourne
FL Miami
FL Naples
FL Ocala
FL Orlando
FL Port St. Lucie
FL St. Petersburg
FL Tallahassee
FL Tampa
FL W. Palm Beach
GA Athens-Clarke
GA Atlanta
GA Columbus
GA Lawrenceville
GA Macon
GA Marietta
IA Des Moines
IL Chicago
IL Oak Forest
IN Indianapolis
IN South Bend
KS Kansas City
KY Lexington
KY Louisville
LA Baton Rouge
LA New Orleans
MA Boston
MA Lowell
MA Springfield
MD Annapolis
MD Baltimore
MI Ann Arbor
MI Detroit
MI Grand Rapids
MI Kalamazoo
MI Lansing
MI Oakland County
MN Minneapolis
MN St. Paul
MO Kansas City
MO Springfield
MO St. Louis
MS Jackson
NC Charlotte
NC Fayetteville
NC Greensboro
NC Raleigh
NC Winston Salem
NH Manchester
NJ Elizabeth
NJ Hackensack
NJ Jersey City
NJ Newark
NJ Paterson
NJ Trenton
NM Albuquerque
NV Las Vegas
NY Albany
NY Buffalo
NY Nassau County
NY New York City
NY Rochester
NY Suffolk County
NY Syracuse
NY Westchester
OH Akron
OH Canton
OH Cincinnati
OH Cleveland
OH Columbus
OH Dayton
OH Toledo
OK Oklahoma City
OK Tulsa
OR Eugene
OR Portland
PA Allentown
PA Harrisburg
PA Philadelphia
PA Pittsburgh
PA Quakertown
PA Reading
PA Scranton
RI Providence
SC Charleston
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TN Chattanooga
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TN Memphis
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TX Austin
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UT Salt Lake City
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VA Fairfax County
VA Norfolk
VA Richmond
VA Virginia Beach
WA Bellingham
WA Olympia
WA Seattle
WA Tacoma
WI Green Bay
WI Madison
WI Milwaukee
WV Charleston
Washington DC

...and
300 other towns!

 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. Email me if you have any questions about how to keep away a mouse from getting in your house, mouse prevention, how to keep mice away from your attic or walls, or any rodent prevention matters.

Reader problem: SINCE I HAVE TWO ABANDONED HOUSES, ONE TO MY RIGHT HAND AND ANOTHER TO MY LEFT HAND, OF MY HOUSE... I HAVE A LOT OF RATS THAT ARE MOVING ONTO MY PROPERTY, EATING MY GARBAGE, AND GOING INTO MY HOUSE AT NIGHT IN THE ATTIC.... I'M AFRAID BECAUSE MY KIDS GET SICK... BUT DOCTORS SAY ITS JUST A VIRUS... I FEEL LIKE CALLING THE PEST CONTROL BUT I'M AFRAID THEY MAY CAUSE ME TO MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU CAN HELP ME - MARIA

My answer: Maria, I understand that you have a bad rat problem. I can't help you personally, because I don't live near you, but I have many professional friends who can help keep those rats away from your house. You are going to need to seal the open holes in your house in order to keep the rats out. Hopefully you can contact the city to demolish the houses next to you.
If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at david@attic-rat.com