How to keep rats out of my garbage

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If you thought that getting rid of rats or mice would be as easy as letting your cat at them, you've probably got another thing coming. Many homeowners believe that a combination of poison, traps, and a household cat or dog is often the answer to the rat problem, but we've visited plenty of households where pets have been present, and rats have been present too.



We’ve also visited plenty of households where poison hasn't been the solution either, for the record. In fact, you should probably be aware that poison creates more problems than it solves.

If you think wild animals, rats included, might be digging through your garbage, it's time to take action. There are plenty of preventative measures you can take to ensure this doesn't become a constant problem, but you do need to remember that repairing the damage (cracks, holes, etc. around the home is non-negotiable. If you want a rat-free home, you will need to do that repair work either way, and you will need to make sure you are using materials that the rats definitely can't tear or gnaw through.

If you properly dispose of your garbage, making sure bags are thrown in an actual garbage can with a lid, and that lid has been secured, no animal can get inside it. When they can't get inside, they can't tear it apart and make a mess. They will also soon give up and move on to a house with more readily accessible food sources. That's the aim of the game - get the rats to give up because they have no way of getting access to what they want the most.

Bungee cords can help if animals keep knocking the lid of your garbage can, and you may want to consider moving it too. If it is currently outside, move it inside - into your shed or garage, for example. You will need to make sure that the rats have no way of accessing the shed or garage too though, otherwise you will have just moved the problem, rather than solved it.

If you are throwing food out - leftovers, etc. - make sure you are throwing it at the bottom of the garbage can, and put everything else on the top. You could also add some spray over the top. If the animals can’t smell the food, they won't know it's there. They then won’t try to access it.

A metal trash can is obviously a much better choice than plastic, or just using black garbage bags. Rats can chew through plastic, as can many other wild animals, and although quite pricey, will make for a great investment. This is definitely the case if you seem to be plagued by wild animal invaders.

Of course, all the moving around and hiding of garbage in the world won't make the world of difference if rats can actually enter your home, because there is plenty of food in there, ready and waiting. You need to make your home unaccessible to animals, not easily accessible, and you will find that regular inspections of your property will soon start to highlight any problematic areas. If you seal those holes and repair that damage with the right materials, rats, mice and other wild animals won't be able to get in, and then you won't have a problem at all. You can't really stop animals from entering your front or back yards, of course, but you can protect your home. That's the most important thing.

Go back to the Rats in the Attic home page.

If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at david@attic-rat.com