How to Get Rid of Rats: Trapping, Exclusion, Sanitation
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As soon as you've established you for sure have rats, what can you do?? While half you might wish to just burn down your house with those suckers trapped indoors, there is an easier way to remove the rats WITHOUT burning everything you own. There are 3 major actions to take to effectively get rid of your problem: trap them, seal up your home (this is called an exclusion), and then sanitize the area where they were to prevent any future health issues from remaining waste.
The exclusion, or sealing up of your home, should be among the first steps to the process as it prevents any rats not indoors from gaining access and growing your problem, and traps the remaining rats indoors, cutting off their ability to find food outside. It is important to remember the fact that rats can fit through a hole the size of a quarter, so any holes you find on your home must be sealed, regardless of size. It is probably a good idea to go over your home several times, to ensure that you have located any potential entry points and sealed them.
While you are in the process of sealing up your home, you will want to set traps inside of the room that they are nesting in. While they still have access to the outdoors and food sources, they will likely stay away from the traps. However, after your home is completely sealed and they're trapped in the attic, they will get desperate for food and you'll discover a substantial increase in trappings. Until, finally, the problem is completely resolved and there are no more rats.
Once all rodent activity has ceased, and you feel as if your house is secure and rat-free, you are ready to conduct the sanitation. While this part is the most nasty and you have to get up close and personal with their waste, it is also crucial to your health to have done. You should always wear protective gear- such as gloves and face masks when coming into close contact with any droppings or excretions. It is important to remove all droppings that you find, and then go over the entire area with a disinfectant or bleach water.
Worst case scenario, your insulation is significantly damaged and you must hire a professional to replace it completely, which can end up being a pricey project.