Rats may be a popular pet now, but the outdoor variety still cause problems--they carry disease and fleas, and can produce up to 90 offspring per year, starting at three months old. They are attracted to food and garbage, and can get into walls, nesting in the insulation.
If you have rats in your garage, it is a sure bet they will shortly migrate into your kitchen, so stop the problem immediately.
Set a standard rat trap. Pull the spring-loaded rectangular bar to the opposite side of the trap. It will want to spring back if you let go of it. Instead, fix it in place with a thin metal arm, which will hook in place. This arm holds the bar down until a rat steps onto the trap, triggering the mechanism to release the bar and trap, usually breaking its neck. You may place a piece of food on the trap to entice a rat to step onto it. You can also try a glue board--a sticky surface the rat cannot escape from. If found quickly, they can be released into the wild unharmed. These items cost between £3 and £6, and have several in each package.
Provide rat poison as a food alternative. There are two types: anticoagulants - meaning "non-clotting", causing the rat to haemorrhage and bleed internally over two to six days; and non-anticoagulants, which simply poison the rat with a blend of chemicals and take several hours. Both allow the rat to take some of the food back to the nest, if there are other rats to feed. Costs range from £5 to £13, depending on the type of poison,and how much you need.
Use a live trap. Rats are enticed by food placed inside the trap, which looks like a plastic box. They can then be released into the wild if you don't want to kill them. These can be ordered online, and are approximately £8 to £19 in price, depending on the size needed.
Hire an exterminator. A professional will examine the exterior of the home and determine how rats can get in and out, and then come up with a plan to help you get rid of them. This may be through the use of poison or various traps, depending on the plan agreed upon. Costs will vary, but be advised this is the most expensive option available. However, the treatments should be guaranteed.
Purchase an ultrasonic rodent deterrent. These small gadgets plug into an electric outlet and emit an ultrasonic pulse that small animals can hear, scaring them away. At home improvement stores, there are several models to choose from, with several smaller deterrents in a package, or a larger, single model. Plan to spend at least £16.
Dead rats should be wrapped in plastic or newspaper and disposed of properly.
Rat poison is toxic to pets and children, and must be safely hidden. Poisoned rats can be toxic to dogs and cats, if eaten. Glue boards can cause a slow death if not checked periodically; the animal will die of thirst and starvation.