Rats can squeeze through a space as tiny as a quarter, making it easy for them to get into the narrow space between your home’s first floor and the ground. Rats under a house can avoid harsh weather as well as the many predators for whom they would make a tasty meal. Rats are attracted to this space because it serves as a dark and safe haven. But, the longer they stay there, the more likely it is that they gain entry into your home.

Rats in a Crawl Space

Rats often burrow along the foundation of a home, especially when it borders a garden or flowerbed. Loose bricks, foundation cracks, or damaged basement windows allow rats into crawl spaces.

These remote areas offer an ideal habitat for a nest. Crawl spaces are quiet, close to food sources, and provide shelter from predators. However, rats in crawl spaces rarely stay in one place. The pests gnaw through walls, wires, and plastic pipes to forage for meals.

Signs of a Rat Infestation Under Your House

Common signs of a rat infestation under your house include:

  • Holes dug around the foundation of your home.
  • Capsule-shaped fecal droppings around the outside of a burrow or along their runways.
  • A strong, musky odor caused by their frequent urination.
  • Dark, greasy smear marks along your foundation.
  • Tufts of fur caught on foundation plantings.
  • Squeaking noises heard through your floorboards.

Getting Rid of Rats Under Your House

It’s imperative to exterminate rats under your house. They pose health hazards and can cause costly damage to your home.

Rodents carry parasites such as ticks, fleas, and mites. In addition, diseases such as Hantavirus, Leptospirosis, and Monkeypox can spread to people who come in contact with rat feces, urine, or saliva.

The underside of a home provides rats with ways to get inside. Once inside your home, the damage they cause by contaminating food and gnawing on wood and wires can become extensive and costly.

Seal All Openings

Pipes and vents often run into a home from its undersides, and rats can gain entry from the tiniest of gaps in these vulnerable areas. Sealing these gaps is key. Installing metal flashing around the perimeter of your foundation can also deter rats, as they cannot chew through it. Installing a fence around your yard that extends a little underground can help keep rats, as well as other vermin, from being able to enter your property altogether.

Keep the Area Clean

Rodents tend to avoid well-kept areas. Tall grass, piles of wood, and yard waste such as leaves and branches all provide excellent hiding spaces for rats. By keeping a trimmed lawn and disposing of natural yard waste, you can eliminate the sense of safety to which rats are attracted.

Remove Rat Food Sources

Rats are omnivorous scavengers who gravitate to areas with a food source they can reliably count upon. Clear fallen fruit from fruit trees regularly. Fence in your vegetable garden. Don’t leave pet food and water in the yard. Keep trash cans tightly sealed. And, if you enjoy feeding the birds, make sure to clean up fallen seeds.

Remove Sources of Shelter for Rats

Rats look for dark, secluded places to live and breed. Objects and materials stored under your porch or foundation become attractive hiding spots for rats. Even piles of rocks or shrubbery planted along your foundation become a cover for these rodents. It’s best to maintain a distance between any landscaping and your foundation.

If you have a shed or crawl space, you’ll want to rat-proof those areas as well to remove all potential shelters.

Set Rat Traps

The best method of exterminating rats on your own is by using snap traps. Place them close to locations where you see rat droppings or have seen rat activity. Rats love peanut butter, which makes it the perfect bait. These traps efficiently kill rodents instantly. Place a milk crate over the trap so you don’t mistakenly kill or injure another type of creature.

Bait stations are another type of trap that works well. These are boxes that allow the rat to enter to eat the bait but restrict any larger animals or birds’ access.

Call a Wildlife Removal Service

When DIY rat removal methods aren’t working or aren’t working effectively enough, a wildlife removal service such as Critter Control is the solution. During a free Critter Control inspection, a technician will identify the infestation and lay out a plan for exterminating rats from under your house. With Critter Control, you will be 100% certain that all the rats have been eliminated. In addition, the Critter Control approach includes help on how to prevent future infestations as well as sanitizing the location of the infestation. Call Critter Control to schedule your inspection at (205) 286-6623.

Rat Removal Methods That Don’t Work

Rats reproduce so quickly that even one rat can turn into an infestation within the blink of an eye. When researching how to exterminate rats on your own, you’ll probably come across DIY rat control solutions that sound great but aren’t up to the task.

Glue traps might catch some problems but will not eliminate all of them. In addition, they are inhumane because the rat does not die quickly.

Rat pellets are not recommended because they have a delayed effect, leaving wildlife such as owls or foxes susceptible to ingesting a poisoned rat.

Some websites recommend using essential oils with smells such as peppermint, which rats do not like. But, these oils dissipate and lose effectiveness quickly, and when rats are desperate to get to food or their nest, they will endure the smell.

Preventing a Rat Infestation

When you’ve worked hard to create a home and yard that is welcoming and enjoyable, the last thing you want is to share it with rats. Making your yard inhospitable through all of the methods listed above in this article takes time, but it is time well spent. Keeping your yard tidy and free of food, water, and shelter opportunities is the best way to get rats to look elsewhere to live.

Critter Control technicians will also provide a plan for excluding rats.

Don’t Share Your Yard With Rats

Rats are intelligent and opportunistic animals who have lived among humans for thousands of years. You don’t have to be one of those humans. Keeping the underside of your home and your yard unwelcoming to rats, as well as any other nuisance animal, is part of good home ownership. But, if an infestation should occur, a wildlife removal service like Critter Control is your best defense for getting rid of rats fast.

Rats can easily burrow under a house and happily live and breed there for generations. By instituting preventive measures and letting Critter Control create a lasting plan, you and your family can live rat-free.

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